My Blog Before Carrots ‘N’ Cake

Good morning! Happy Friday!

Last night, I joined a group of CrossFit ladies for dinner at The Fours in Quincy. When Mal and I lived in Q-town, we used to go there all the time, but I haven’t been back in years, so I was excited for a fun night out with my favorite CrossFit girls.


I really wasn’t planning to drink last night, but a cocktail on the menu called the “Frostbite” sounded especially delicious and appropriate for the impending blizzard that’s suppose to hit later today (stay safe, friends!), so I splurged and ordered one. (Thankfully, my digestive system seems fine today!)


The “Frostbite” was awesome! Ginger liqueur is my jam! Yum!


There were 14 of us at dinner, so we shared two orders of Buffalo Chicken Nachos, which were covered in melt-y cheese and buffalo sauce. Mmm!


For my entrée, I ordered the bacon cheddar burger with sweet potato fries on the side. The burger was good. The fries were awesome, and I ate them all.


Ok, back to the nachos”¦

I love, love, love nachos, especially Buffalo Chicken Nachos. They are my very favorite. In fact, I love nachos so much, I actually had a blog (GeoCities website) entirely devoted to them back in 2003. Remember how I gained 25 pounds after college? I attribute that weight gain almost entirely to beer and nachos. A couple of friends and I spent many of our Thirsty Thursdays and sometimes Friday and Saturday nights taste-testing nachos at restaurants and bars around Boston. We even had a rating system, which was based off things like cheesiness, variety of toppings, and even the colors of the tortilla chips (we were fans of the tri-color chips). I guess I had the food blogger thing in me long before Carrots ”˜N’ Cake!

When the “Best of Boston” issue of the Improper Bostonian came out in the summer of 2003, I was excited to see that it included a nacho category. While I agreed with the restaurant that won the category (Coolidge Corner Clubhouse), I felt the need to write the magazine and share my thoughts on who I thought had the best nachos in Boston (and apparently offer my judging services for the next year’s contest). Based on my nacho “expertise,” I thought the Black Rhino had the best nachos, which is kind of funny now because it doesn’t even exist anymore! Ha! Maybe their nachos weren’t that good?

Anyway, the folks at the Improper Boston must have got a kick out of my letter and enthusiasm for nachos because they printed it in the next month’s issue! My friends actually had my published letter framed for me, but, sadly, it got lost in my years of moving from apartment to apartment. I did, however, find my email to the Improper in my old Hotmail account with one of the editor’s reply. Check it out!

From: "Tina Rizzitano" <>
Date: Mon, 11 Aug 2003 15:46:08 -0400
Subject: Best Nachos
> Hey there,


> I can't explain how psyched I was when I realized that there was a Best
>of Boston nacho category. I am, without a doubt, a nacho fan”¦and my love
>has become an obsession (sadly, I'm not kidding”¦). A couple co-workers
>and I have spent the last year “rating” Boston's best nachos””I've even
>developed a website devoted to Boston's best and worst nachos. In my
>opinion, although the Coolidge Corner Clubhouse does have very tasty
>nachos, the BEST nachos in Boston are actually at the Black Rhino
>(yeah”¦who'd have guessed?). They really are fabulous”¦cheesy, crunchy,
>ample toppings, piled-high, etc.””and I've eaten A LOT of nachos (at least
>once a week if not more for the past year! Impressive if you ask me”¦).
> Besides offering my own personal opinion about Boston's best nachos, I
>would like to offer my expertise to next year's judging. I already have a
>year of nacho-eating under my belt (no pun intended) and I would be more
>than willing to help out the Improper staff in the coming year. Please
>keep me in mind if there are any openings among your Best of Boston's
>nacho judges.

> Take care,
> Tina
Re: Best Nachos
From: Ezra Dyer (
Sent: Wed 8/20/03 4:43 PM
Hey Tina

Would you mind telling me what town you live in so we can run that with
your letter?

I'm a nacho fan too. I'll have to get to the Black Rhino.

Pretty funny, right? I {heart} nachos forever and always.

Health News & Views

Looking for a delicious, gluten-free banana bread recipe that isn’t dry and crumbly? Look no further! This banana bread is so moist and sweet (and almost like the real deal), you won’t even know it’s gluten-free! (Mal and I ate the entire loaf in less than 24 hours!)

An Irresistible Gluten-Free Banana Bread Recipe

Questions of the Day

What food(s) do you consider yourself an “expert”?

If you had to start a blog today, what would it be about?


  1. that cracks me up!! i’m also a big fan of nachos – they are so versatile and you throw almost anything on them!

    I consider myself to be a chili expert – I’m kind of a snob about it. 🙂

  2. Baahaha, I love your letter! That’s great. 🙂 I guess it’s fairly well-known by now that I love beer. Good beer, that is. I enjoy blogging about it, but thankfully I also love fitness, otherwise I’d be in trouble! I suppose my blog is only 15% beer, but it’s enough to keep the passion alive. ha

  3. Haha that’s a hilarious email! Hey, at least they liked it enough to run it! You were pretty much famous before cnc came to be! I could eat tortilla chips for days on end and be a happy camper. They’re so addicting!

  4. I would probably qualify as an “expert” on Tastykakes and Crab Fries/Crab Fries imitations (basically these are fries seasoned with Old Bay and served with cheese sauce). I could probably write many blog posts professing my love for these foods.

  5. I adore nachos. I’m on the record with a friend as saying a lot of the time, I’d rather eat nachos than have a fancy dinner. They’re just the BEST.

    I also love cheesy fries, though. Have you ever tried poutine? I’m from right near Canada so had it occasionally growing up and it’s amazing — gravy and cheese curds ladled over French fries.

  6. A friend of mine started a Nacho-rating web site a couple years ago so I think it’s super fun (and funny) that you did the same thing several years ago. We’re in the Philadelphia area so check out if you ever want good nachos in PA! I think we all go through phases of loving certain foods over others.

  7. Those nachos look absolutely amazing. I think they would be right up my alley. Ginger liqueur sounds really interesting, I didn’t realize that existed. If I had to be an expert in any food, it would probably be salsa. (I’m really picky about my salsa.)

  8. Ha ha – those nachos look AMAZING! I want a huge plate myself right now!

    I don’t know if I’m an expert but I know an awful lot about ice cream. I used to work for a large ice cream company and know all the tricks, tips, and otherwise useless but fun knowledge about the product. And I love to eat it when it’s GOOD.

    I also know quite a lot about the main ice cream components – namely vanilla and chocolate. They used to host lunch-time sessions with companies to come in and educate us on chocolate and vanilla. My favorite session was the one where they brought in all these samples of chocolate with varying butterfat content and sugar. It was amazing how a little bit more or less can drastically change the taste!

  9. Oh that’s too funny!! When I was in middle school, I wrote book reviews for our local newspaper for the public library. That was probably my next closest thing. 🙂

  10. I did just start a blog! I’m passionate about health and fitness, but much like you love Murphy, I LOVE my cat. Hence, the name of my blog. It’s not reeeallly about him, but when I was thinking of a name he immediately came to mind. I would consider myself an ice cream expert, or an onion ring expert. I love onion rings!

  11. That’s so funny! Nachos are pretty incredible…I made some for the Superbowl, and they were so easy, I was like “Why don’t I do this all the time?”

  12. Well, I just started a blog about two weeks ago about wholesome, clean eating…but Im not sure that counts. However, I just started cross fit so if i had to start a new one TODAY it would be about cross fit. I can tell Im going to be an addict…..

  13. The Snow Angel martini underneath the Frostbite looks like a good drink for a cold night!
    I’d like to say I am a cupcake expert…not that I can make them, but that I LOVE them! 😉

  14. Haha! I love this!

    I am most definitely a Pie “Expert.” I’m such a harsh critic when it comes to pie crust (mine is obviously the best. duh.). But there’s a lot to pies: crust, filling, topping, fruit/no-fruit, cream, too much cream.

  15. If I were to start a new blog today… it would be something like “Noob Chronicles”. I would just try out new things every month and try to get into things that other people are really into (such as a particular sport, cooking a specific type of cuisine, engaging in a particular fitness activity, reading a particular series of books, smartphone games/gadgets, knitting, fishing, etc.).
    And btw, I love that letter. It’s pretty hilarious!

  16. I am so impressed with your passion for nachos! I have written letters like that to restaurants I really loved. Hey, when you love food you really love food!

  17. I am absolutely a peanut butter expert as well as chocolate fudge cake expert. I have a major sweet tooth and if I am going to indulge, it has to be fabulous. I have even trained my son to have a selective and sensitive palate when it comes to dessert! It is fun to watch him order a dessert, eat it and discuss the taste, texture, type of chocolate etc.

  18. Biscotti. All Day. Everyday.
    I bake ’em, I buy ’em, I eat ’em. I know all there is know about Biscotti. Period.

  19. I will have to try that banana bread, I made paleo banana bread from civilized caveman cooking the other day and it is AMAZING, I suggest you try it:)

  20. Hey Tina,
    I checked out your recipe and it looks great – can’t wait to try it out! Quick question: how do you measure your coconut oil – solid or melted? My coconut oil is currently a solid mass and I’m wondering how I should measure it.

  21. Ice cream, without a doubt! Had a blog for 5 years (2006-2011) called Preppy Sue, sort of a catch all…food, shopping, kids, our daily adventures. Even had a weekly summertime feature called “What’s the Scoop Wednesday”, spent a lot of time finding homemade ice cream stands and reviewing them! My kids loved it and so did I 🙂

  22. About a year and a half ago my fiancee and I took a road trip through New England and realized about halfway through our trip that we had had nachos at every restaurant along the way, so we decided to continue throughout the rest of the vacation! The best nachos we had were at Brick Alley Pub in Newport, RI!

  23. those nachos look delish! my cousin called nachos “hot chips” when she was little, so that’s what i call them:) i think they’re a great saturday lunch!

    i started a blog about when i found out i was pregnant, mostly for former roomies and family who live out of state or far away. i’ve always been a huge journaler so its been really fun for me.

  24. Well, my blog is about my life, food, and fitness 😀 I’d consider myself an expert on vegetarian meals. I’ve noticed lately that when I eat out at a restaurant, I’m always savoring all of the flavors so that I can recreate the dishes at my house if I like them. Does that make me a real foodie?

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