2007-11-14

I did it! I managed to spend $755 at Boston Market.

32 visits
11 Stores
107 Meals
53 People

It took over a year and this project has come to a close. My final meal was with Kenny and was subsidized by the $10 Gift Card contribution from Mark and Jeff on my 30th birthday last year.

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for being such sports for participating.

So what have I learned from this experience?

It takes a long time for one person to spend $750 at Boston Market, even when you're sharing it with others.

There are only two Boston Markets in Manhattan: here and here.

People love free food.

People really do win viral video contests.

This was fun!

Things I would have liked to have done:

Ask a stranger on the line if they'd like a free meal.

Ask a homeless or needy person on the street if they would like to join me for lunch.

Things that would make the Boston Market experience better:

Real silverware! If it's home cooked goodness you want, then how about a real fork and knife?

Healthier sides. True, without mashed potatoes and stuffing, it's just not a meal, but the steamed veggies and string beans are really the only health conscious options to choose from.

More salads. There are only 2 salads to choose from – the 'Chopped' and the…. I can't even remember. The chopped salad was pretty good though!

More specials. In over a year there were no real changes or new offerings on the menu. This was a bit disappointing when you've been there over 30 times in the last year.

Ideas for the future if Boston Market is interested:

1000meals.com (yes, I bought it):

One hundred is child's play. Let's do one thousand! How?

Idea 1: Feed the homeless

Idea 2: National Tour

When I have some extra time I will be adding some final graphs to the site. Until then, happy holidays!

- Keith

2007-10-21

Sean is in town this month visiting from his new home in Denmark. After a night of drinks at Will's we decided a Sunday afternoon Boston Market lunch would be the perfect hang over cure. We took a stroll over to local store #546, snapped some photos and ate.

Only $5 left! But for my birthday last year Mark and Jeff got me a $10 gift card so it's not over yet! I believe I promised Kenny one last meal. Right buddy?

2007-09-16
To celebrate my birthday (9/20) some friends and I traveled up to New Paltz, New York to enjoy fresh Maine lobsters at Rivendell Winery's 13th annual lobster fest. The following afternoon Alexis and I stopped by the annual New City Festival and munched on some delicious kettle corn. Right across the street was a Boston Market. We just had a big breakfast and I just needed some water. Alexis had a mashed potato craving and I have one more visit at a new store. Only $26.49 to go!
2007-09-11
It's been over a month since my last visit, but today's marks a special occasion ? the 100th Meal! Ok, I cheated a bit with my three water visits (6, 15, 26), but let's not get so technical.

I've been trying to arrange a meal with Glenn for some time now. He was bass player #3 in the Asobi Seksu saga (Part One | Part Two). We had some good times together. It's hard to tell from this photo but his turkey dip sandwich (I'm still not sure what the difference between the turkey carver and turkey dip is) seemed a bit on the skimpy side. And just for kicks I found Mike's turkey dip to compare. I totally forgot they used to wrap these things in paper.

In other news some of the contents of my stolen wallet were recovered by the clothing store it was stolen from and mailed to me. My remaining Boston Market card was one of the items!

So, with $30.59 left I still have a few more meals to go...
Stolen Wallet
2007-07-23
Only $45.08 and 2 meals to go and what happened to me this past Saturday? My wallet was stolen from a clothing store dressing room. Among the obvious essentials was the final Boston Market gift card. To finish it out I've decided to pay for the final meals out of pocket. See you soon!
2007-07-11
Today marks the one year anniversary of the first visit for 100 Meals. When I started this project I had no idea how long it would take to spend all of the money. With only $45.08 left of the original $755 prize money and two more meals to hit 100 meals it's soon coming to an end. To commemorate this day I took everyone from the first visit out. Before we ate I took everyone's photo again. Here they are from last year and today.

July 11, 2006
July 11, 2007
I've also been thinking about what to do after all of the money is spent and I have a few ideas. I'll let you know soon!
2007-06-29
I started a new job a few weeks ago which means I now have a new desk , new neighborhood to explore and most importantly new co-workers to take to Boston Market. With only $130 to go (before this visit) I don't have too many more meals left. E.J. and Marc were both game for the event and Mark, who I hired to freelance in my office for the day, was pretty psyched as well. The visit to the 23rd street store now requires a short ride on the 1 train but this only adds about 10 minutes to the commute.

In other news I decided to have a one year anniversary lunch on Wednesday, July 11, 2007 to commemorate the first 100 Meals meal. The original participants, Josh, Patrick, Andy, Kara and Mike will all be there.
2007-06-17
Today was just one of those Sunday summer days that if you didn't spend at least part of it outside, you were missing out. Armed with my new (used) bike I decided to cruise the undiscovered streets and neighborhoods of Astoria. I threw some water in my bag and off I went. As I started to head back home I caught a glimpse of the familiar red, white and black striped awning peaking out of a strip mall on Northern Boulevard. I wasn't too hungry but thought I'd take the opportunity to fill up on water. I realized that I had left my camera home so I picked up a single use Kodak camera for the occasion. This is the first time I tried the fresh fruit salad. I wasn't aware they even had this. For $1.99 I got a small cup of honeydew, cantaloupe, and grapes. It wasn't a whole lot but it got me through the rest of the ride home.
Google Maps
2007-06-16
Google now has a really great tool that allows anyone to make and save their own map. I put this one together for 100meals.com. Enjoy!
2007-05-06
Ok well not quite, but I thought it would be a nice day to finally take my mom out to the Market and share in the winnings. Other than the torn booth seats we first sat in Mom, Alexis, and I had a great Sunday lunch. I gotta admit, I've been growing tired of the food but I was pretty hungry and quickly polished off my ¼ chicken meal.
Store #695 Open
2007-03-10
After lunch on Thursday Mike, Jeff and I decided to walk past Store #695 and check its status. We stepped in for a minute to investigate briefly and were stared down by the unfamiliar man behind the counter. Looks like we're back in business.
Store #695 CLOSED by order of the Commissioner of Health and Mental Hygiene
2007-03-02
Upon returning from a Thai lunch with Kenny at around 2:00 pm I was tipped off by Josh via email about a startling notice he came across while walking by the 23rd street Boston Market. I had to investigate further and discovered with my own eyes that this closure did in fact occur at Store #695. See for yourself here. When I asked a man exiting the store wearing a blue workers jumpsuit what was going on he glanced at me suspiciously. "Renovations, " he said and walked away. There were no more specific details about this anywhere else. I will most certainly have to have a celebratory lunch upon the reopening. Who's in?
2007-02-25
In this chapter of Asobi Ex-su I would like to introduce Brian. He was technically bass player #1 and played for approximately one year during 2001 (note: There was in fact another bass player prior to the official formation of the band in 2000). After taking a spin in his new MINI we went to check out one of the Boston Market Stop & Shop locations. We discovered that inside the supermarket was a Boston Market deli counter with a few rotisseries and some other Boston Market "inspirations". After realzing what type of situation this was We decided that it would be best to swing over to the Route 110 location. Brian attempted to order the 3pc Dark but they were out of dark meat! After warmly apologizing with a "Sorry boss", the manager substituted the meal with a ¼ white serving. In her haste, the girl preparing the chicken failed to completely remove the rotisserie leg fastener string. Somehow when I order multiple meals at Boston Market I always get all of the food on one tray and have to request additional trays for my guests. At this location I noticed that two trays were actually too large to fit comfortably face to face on the table. I was hoping that Mitch (drummer #3) would have been able to join us for dinner but he was not available. Maybe next time. In the meantime, I leave you with this photo of the band from 2001. [Part One]
2007-02-14
I thought I would make my Valentine's Day extra special this year by dining with some old friends of mine. Although I never met Dexter before, it felt as though I have known him for years. It was not too long ago that I played drums for Asobi Seksu. For the many years I played (and didn't play) with the band I watched bass players (and later drummers) come and go. Now, having converted my drum set into a decorative household sculpture and my throne into a somewhat functional nightstand I have experienced a sense of closure to my tenure in the band and gained a newfound camaraderie with my fellow Asobi Ex-su's.

Dexter (Bass player #4) and Steve (Bass player #2) were able to brave the elements today in the snow. I look forward to dining out with the rest of the Ex-su's soon.
2007-01-19
Vic (aka Billy) swung up the block in his blue and white suburban and picked me up. Two minutes later we were parked at a broken parking meter. Lawrence met up with us and was happy to discover that, unlike last time, Boston Market actually had chicken. As always Vic had a variety of entertaining stories to tell us and if Lawrence and I didn't have to head back to work we probably would've ended up ordering ourselves all dinner. I was excited to discover that Vic's Curly Oxide story, soon to hit the big screen, will be starring Sacha Baron Cohen. More info here as details develop!
2007-01-02
The first meal of 2007 couldn't have been more appropriate. I had the opportunity to finally meet (and dine with) the first prize winner of the Boston Market Home Movie Contest - Jeff. He did the cinematography work on the short "Cop and Cup". By coincidence, Mark's friend is Jeff's sister. It was definitely my favorite clip and was a deserving win. You can find it here under TV Spots. If I make it out to the west coast this year I'll be sure to meet up again. $220 and 24 meals to go.
2006-12-07
Today I took the vegetarian duo Mark and Damian along with Mark's buddy Lawrence. While waiting on line Lawrence informed me that his first car, a 1986 Mazda 323 hatchback, was purchased with earnings from a job at Boston Market years ago. Moments later the counterperson informed us that there was no chicken at the moment. No chicken! So we settled for turkey carvers. Our cravings were definitely not met, but who can really complain when it's free.
2006-10-29
With Halloween only a few days away, Chris and I decided today would be a good day to put together our "giant head" costumes. Last year's "Furleys" were a hit at the annual Halloween Parade and our new Facts of Life Mrs. Garrets and Natalies are sure to be a hit this year. Fortunately, we spotted a Boston Market right on Queens Boulevard. It was hard to miss with the gigantic billboard just outside. This was my first visit to a Queens Boston Market and I was quite surprised by its modern décor and clean exterior and interior. There was even an elaborate food display in front promoting their "Holiday Solutions" packages. Since I took so many photos here, I decided it was only fit to give Visit # 19 its own photo gallery page. Enjoy!
2006-10-13
Russ Heller who volunteered to spend 24 hours in a booth at Best Buy in New York listening to the 1985 Starship classic "We Built This City" does get hungry come dinner time. According to Blender magazine this is the Worst Song Ever. This is no usual Market run. Kip and I delivered some vegetarian sides to Russ who had been enduring the last 12 hours of repeated plays of a song that some people just love to hate. So to the backdrop of a song that we will now never forget the three of us crammed into a small plexiglass booth and enjoyed a meal during a historic event. You can find more info about this and Russ' live blog of the 24 hours here. Here's a photo of us eating in the booth.
2006-09-27
I was recently hired to produce a few travel related videos for a new company called Travelistic.com. Chris has been my contact over there and I decided it was time to (re)introduce him to Boston Market since he has not been to one in about five years. New on the menu was the Potatoes AuGratin which I believe were being revived for the time being. I recall seeing a sign about this at store #1831. They were quite tasty and had a smoked flavor to them. I also decided it was time to try the 3pc Dark meat and it did not disappoint. In addition, I received two coupons at checkout: $1 off Dinner Meal and $2 off 8oz. Sirloin Meal.
101 Meals
2006-09-20
For my birthday today, Mark and Jeff got me a $10 Boston Market gift card and labeled it 101meals.com. Well...I guess it'll have to happen.
100 Meals in Insound Zine
2006-09-14
Check out this article I wrote in Insound Zine #2 about Vistit #9 with The Big Sleep. Go get something at Insound.com and get a copy to read the rest of the zine! I also added a mailing list: Click here to subscribe.
2006-09-13
Somewhere out of the blue Kenyata dropped me a line and told me he was coming up to New York for a few days. The last time I saw Kenyata was almost 10 years ago while playing a festival he organizes in Wilmington, NC called the WE Fest. He brought down his publicist Margo and I brought along some people from work - Tom and Andy who co-write the music blog Raven Sings the Blues and Kara (who ducked out of her photo on the inaugural 100 meals visit).
2006-09-09
This weekend Damian and I took to the road again to beautiful New Hampshire for another weekend at Beam Camp. At 10:30am we made our first stop at the Westford, MA location and found out that the store did not open until 11. Recalling our last adventure to NH we decided to make our way up to store #1831 in Concord, NH. I was surprised by the well maintained outdoor eating area. This is where we ended up photographing our waters.
2006-09-06
Kip was the catalyst for this meal by introducing me to Peggy who writes a blog about salads called "Last Night's Salad Party". Her fellow salad connoisseur Shirley was super enthused for this splendid opportunity. This visit gave me an excuse to finally try the Boston Market salads which we all collectively enjoyed. I was pleasantly surprised! Noah, also a 100 meals newbie and apparently sleep depraved, sat quietly contemplating his recent YouTube fame from his Everyday video (1,114,366 views and countless other accolades at time of post, Congratulations, Noah!). Kip and Kenny thoroughly entertained the table with their clever, witty, and sometimes inappropriate lunch time humor. Overall, a great lunch.
Read "market chopped salad" in Peggy's blog.
2006-08-29
I've been trying to plan a meal with Kenny for a few weeks now and finally met up with him today. Although I mentioned the site to him on numerous occasions he was a little confused about why I wanted to photograph him before we entered. At checkout Kenny somehow got a free soup after a slight confusion of what he ordered. This makes a total of 3 free items so far ? Sonya's free sides dish, Owen's free cookie, and now Kenny's free soup. Is it still free if I'm not really paying for it anyway?
2006-08-20
On our way back from a weekend trip to New Hampshire visiting our friends at Beam Camp, Damian, Mark, and I pulled off the highway to visit a Massachusetts Boston Market. Passing it the first time we located it tucked away in the corner of a fairly large strip mall. Inside, this appeared to be the cleanest kept Boston Market I have been to yet. Being that Mark and Damian are both vegetarians, we all ordered sides, cleaned up our plates, and were on our way back with full stomachs.
2006-08-14
Meal #11 and I'm thinking I should experiment a little more next time. Today my guest was Darin who writes a food blog called "now that's what I call a meal". He picked up an additional side on his order and we both 'splurged' on some dessert items. We both agreed that the chocolate cake was quite good but the apple pie slice just didn't make the grade. The most frustrating part of this visit to store #695 was that my gift card did not work. The cashier insisted that my card had no value on it and I had to dig out some cash for this one. When I returned home I verified online at bostonmarket.com/card that my card did in fact have value left on it. For the record, I am listing this meal as $0.00 since it did not directly deplete my winnings. I will also start logging exact beverage choices from this point on. Darin's Post
2006-08-06
After all of the great dinners Alexis' family has cooked for me over the past few years I figured it would only be fitting to spread the wealth and invite them all (or at least as many as I can) out for dinner. Before heading back down to New York, nine of us headed over to the nearest Boston Market in New Milford, CT. some of us had a few minutes wait on the Chicken Pot Pies and a few sides were mismatched but all in all it was a smooth ride. Owen was even given a free chocolate chip cookie for the trouble and we all stuffed ourselves for the ride home.
2006-08-03
Today I invited the New York band The Big Sleep to a rock 'n roll dinner. They're one of my favorite bands in NY so check 'em out. Somehow in all of the checkout confusion Sonya's meal did not get rung up. Also new on the dinner bill was newcomer Claire who runs ohmyrockness.com with Patrick. This also marks the highest number of guests so far.
2006-08-02
After receiving an email from Larry regarding a website I created for him I decided it would be fitting to ask him out for lunch at Boston Market. Larry is one of my dad's old friends and I have not seen him for about 10 years. Since he lives and works in Manhattan we were able to catch up over a Chicken Carver at the local Market. As a marketing executive Larry has come up with product names which include Nissan Pathfinder, Lincoln Navigator, Zoloft, Ford Taurus, Chevrolet Aveo.
2006-07-30
Another day at the beach, but first lunch. Alexis made me retake her photo since the day before she wasn't in a photo ready mood. Danielle , a vegetarian, loaded up on the sides. Alexis and I shared most of the potpie I ordered. I also met one of the store managers Jennifer who was curious enough to ask why I was photographing the store.
2006-07-29
92°F and fighting through an hour of Long Island traffic to get to the beach, my girlfriend Alexis and I decided to make a pit stop at the Market for some bottled water. It definitely saved the day. As indicated in her first photo she wasn't too happy about the heat, but she gave me the idea to offer a free meal to a stranger in line at Boston Market. I will definitely surprise someone sometime soon with this one.
2006-07-28
So this was my first visit to the only other Boston Market in Manhattan. Actually according to Google Maps there is one on 106 W 71st but their phone is busy. The Boston Market website shows no record of this. It's also my first time meeting Shawn who works with Anne. Anne used to work in my office and is now conveniently located near Store #3255. The facade of this location is much nicer to look at and the interior is also a bit cozier. Shawn, being a vegetarian, ordered a sides dish and this prompted me to break out dietary info in everyone's profile. Anne and Shawn were excited to be a part of the visit and Shawn's quotes will make a great addition to the site.
2006-07-26
Back from my trip to South Dakota and I had a hankering for a half carver combo. Alex and I met up with Hugh for lunch. We both used to work with Hugh and since his office is right around the corner it made for a convenient afternoon lunch. After each visit, a new idea for the 100 meals site always seems to develop. As a homage to the hilarious site overheardinnewyork.com I will be including various quotes at random from our own lunch or dinner conversations. In addition, we were also wondering who is programming the music in Boston Market. Alex pointed out Bright Eyes and Elvis Costello during our visit.

Note: Register printer was out of commission on this visit. I need the receipt to recall all of the delicious meals so I had the girl helping us handwrite the receipt.
2006-07-18
Andy is so far the most consistent and is on his way to eating the same exact meal every time. Jeff is the new guy at work. This weekend he's heading up to his hometown of West Boxford, MA. I?m heading out to Pierre South Dakota for a few days. Unfortunately, there are no Boston Markets within a 50 mile radius.
No luck today
2006-07-17
I decided to take off work today and get some backed up freelance out of the way. The blistering heat outside made for an ideal day to stay holed up in my super cooled room. 6 o'clock rolled around and I was starving so I decided to pump up the tires on the ol' Schwinn downstairs and take a ride up to my local Boston Market on Steinway street. I rode up and down the block and to my dismay, Boston Market on Steinway street, Astoria was no more. Perhaps it never existed and this was all my imagination. After a near death of heat exhaustion, I decided I would sweat out the kitchen and cook a little something myself.
2006-07-16
On Sunday, Andy and I decided to get haircuts on 5th Avenue at a place recommended by Patrick. We arrived at 4 and couldn't get an appointment until 5. With an hour to kill, Boston Market fed our cravings and we can now feel more confident with our dashing haircuts.
2006-07-11
Today was the first meal of 100 Meals so I thought I would just throw out a mass invite to my fellow staff of 25.

5 responded and off we went.

Two things I learned from this experience:

1)Take the person's photo before we eat. Kara ducked away from the headshots and now I have to retake her.

2)6 people is a bit of a hassle at checkout. I had to wait for 6 meals to be prepared and delivered to pay for everyone at once. Other customers seemed a bit uneasey that their meal was not being served.

Everyone waited and was patient for the inaugaral meal and photos.

Thanks guys!