Short orders

South of the border, right by the ballpark

(Wendy Maeda/Globe Staff)
January 30, 2008

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The addition of La Verdad to its corner of Lansdowne Street improves the block, although it's way too cold outside to pretend an evening there resembles an evening in Tijuana. But after a couple of margaritas and a plate of savory shrimp tacos ($10.75), you'll likely give up wondering why the restaurant bothers to promote such an idea. Instead, you can imagine how in just nine weeks, you'll be able to grab a few tacos to go and take them across the street to the ballpark. But unless you already have tickets, a night in Tijuana might be cheaper and easier to finagle. La Verdad, 1 Lansdowne St., 617-421-9595, laverdad - LEIGH BELANGER

Heavenly treats
Opening a container of St. Emilion macaroons ($6.99 for 10 ounces, $14.95 for a tin) is like sniffing a bottle of amaretto - hints of honey, almond, and apricot greet you. The golden cookies, with their puffy, crackled tops, are nestled between sheets of white paper - rustic to look at, but dreamy inside. Bite into one of these macaroons and the crunchy outer shell reveals a moist, delicate crumb of ground almonds and egg whites. The recipe dates to the 17th century, when the macaroons were baked by a religious order in St. Emilion, France. Today, Bordelaise nuns still make them. The St. Emilion Macaroon Co. in East Boston, established in 1949, continues the age-old tradition. Available at DeLuca's Market, 11 Charles St., 617-523-4343, or to go - KAROLINE BOEHM GOODNICK

Jumping beans
With its winning combination of black beans, corn, roasted red bell pepper, chilies, and onion, Pam's Black Bean Salsa ($6.50 to $8 for 16 ounces) is fresh and chunky. Vinegar, garlic, and cumin complement the vegetables, creating a light base similar to vinaigrette. Scoop up this unique bean-based salsa on tortilla chips while you watch the Patriots blow out the Giants, or use it in a more substantial way, as a sauce with fish, grilled chicken, or stirred into cool rice for a salad. "It's not like any other salsa," says Pam Granese of Marblehead, owner of In Good Taste, which has been making the dip for 1 1/2 years. Store in the refrigerator for up to four weeks. "Our progression into stores has been nothing less than fantastic," says Granese. "The public loves it as much as my family loves it." Available at Crosby's Marketplace locations; Fruit Center locations; Pemberton Farms, 2225 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, 617-876-2711; and New Meadows Market, 19 Main St., Topsfield, 978-887-2005. - MONICA BOLAND