Friday, September 30, 2011

Boston Vegetarian Food Festival Is Coming October 29-30, 2011

A culinary event that focuses on vegetarian fare returns to Boston in late October, and as always, a number of food providers will be participating.

According to the Boston Vegetarian Society website, the 16th Annual Boston Vegetarian Food Festival will be held on Saturday, October 29 and Sunday, October 30 at the Reggie Lewis Athletic Center on Tremont Street (at Roxbury Crossing). The event will feature a wide variety of vegetarian natural food providers, as well as national speakers and chefs and educational exhibitors. The event is free of charge (including the sampling of food), and parking is free as well. Hours are 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM on Saturday and 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM on Sunday.

The address for the Reggie Lewis Athletic Center is 1350 Tremont Street, Boston, MA, 02120.

For more information on the 2011 Boston Vegetarian Food Festival, please go to the link below.

Taste Dedham to Be Held October 27, 2011

A culinary event is coming to Dedham in late October, and more than 20 local restaurants will be participating.

According to the Dedham Rotary Club website, Taste Dedham will be held on Thursday, October 27 from 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM at Moseley's on the Charles. Attendees of the event will be able to sample various food items from participating dining spots as well as participate in drawing for prizes. Some of the restaurants that are taking part in Taste Dedham include Al Wadi, Brickhouse Cafe, Chiara Bistro, Halfway Cafe, King's Dedham, Olivadi Restaurant & Bar, Santoro's Sicilian Trattoria, Summer Shack, Tutto Italiano, and Wicked Restaurant & Wine Bar. Tickets to the event are $25 per person.

Moseley's on the Charles is located at 50 Bridge Street, which is just west of the VFW Parkway.

For more information on the 2011 Taste Dedham, please go to

Friendly's Is Filing for Bankruptcy

A Massachusetts-based chain of restaurants and ice cream shops is heading toward bankruptcy.

According to the Wall Street Journal, it appears that Friendly Ice Cream Corporation is going to be seeking Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection as early as next week. The article states that the chain would then attempt to be sold by way of a bankruptcy auction. It appears that poor economic conditions are at least partly to blame for the troubles at Friendly's, which is more than $250 million in debt, according to the Wall Street Journal.

[October 5 update: According to an article in The Boston Globe today, Friendly's has officially filed for bankruptcy, and the chain also announced a number of restaurant closings. The Boston area will see locations shut down in Acton, Billerica, Bridgewater, Brockton, Charlestown, Dedham, Foxboro, Hanover, Medfield, Needham, Quincy, Stoughton, Taunton, and Westboro. (For a complete list of closings, including elsewhere in Massachusetts and in other states, please go to the following Globe link: List of closed Friendly's restaurants)]

[December 30 update: According to another Boston Globe article, Friendly's has been purchased by Sun Capital. The article also mentions that the ice cream company plans to emerge from bankruptcy in early Janaury of 2012.]

Wilbraham-based Friendly's first started out in Springfield in 1935, eventually expanding to more than 500 locations, mostly on the East Coast of the United States. The chain is known in part for its ice cream products, including sundaes, fribbles, and floats, with its restaurants serving such items as burgers and seafood dishes.

The website for Friendly's can be found at

For more on this story, please go to the Wall Street Journal link below.

Friendly's Restaurant Weighs Chapter 11

Wings Over Plans to Open in Waltham

A small chain of wing places based in Massachusetts may be opening a new location in the Boston area, with this one being west of the city.

According to their website, Wings Over is hoping to open on Lexington Street in Waltham, making this the third location inside Route 128 in the Boston area (the other two being in Brookline and Somerville). Once it opens, the new Wings Over in Waltham will offer both regular and boneless wings in a variety of flavors, including BBQ, teriyaki, garlic parmesan, Jamaican jerk, sweet chili, and Texas mesquite. The heat range for the wings will run from "wimpy" to "afterburner," with three heat levels in between.

[December 6 update: Wicked Local Waltham reports that Wings Over will not be coming to Lexington Street in Waltham after all, as the City Council's Ordinance and Rules Committee ruled against it, citing potential traffic issues in the area.]

[June 11, 2013 update: According to a job post on the Craigslist site, it looks like Wings Over will be coming to Waltham after all, though its exact location is unknown. As soon as we find out an address, we will post another update here. (The post says that it will open this summer.)]

[June 11, 2013 update #2: An earlier article in the Waltham Patch mentions that the new Wings Over is looking to move into the former Wings Express space at 464 Moody Street. (Thanks to several Twitter followers for bringing this to our attention.)]

Wings Over first started out in Amherst in 1999, with its headquarters now being in nearby Hadley. In addition to its Amherst, Brookline, and Somerville locations, Wings Over can also be found in Framingham, Lowell, Springfield, and Worcester, as well as some other locations in Connecticut, Washington, DC, Illinois, Michigan, North Carolina, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Virginia. [Ed note: A new Wings Over has also opened by Northeastern University in Boston.]

The website for the chain can be found at

Casablanca in Cambridge's Harvard Square Is Up for Sale

A landmark restaurant and bar that has been in Cambridge's Harvard Square for several decades is up for sale.

According to the Boston Business Journal, the owner of Casablanca on Brattle Street has decided to move on, putting the eatery up for sale at an undisclosed price. The article mentions that a slow economy and high rents apparently affected Sari Abuljubein's decision to sell the spot, whose bar first opened in 1955 with the restaurant section opening in 1977, according to the Casablanca website.

Casablanca features a mix of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern fare, with the menu including such items as roasted almonds with sea salt, sauteed bluefish, eggplant and burrata, serrano ham, smoked lamb shoulder, and veggie dolmades.

Last month we reported that the owner of Casablanca may be behind the opening of a new restaurant in the Alewife/Fresh Pond section of Cambridge called Casbah, but we are still trying to confirm whether he is definitely involved. The link to that story can be found here: Casbah Restaurant Is Coming to Cambridge's Alewife/Fresh Pond Neighborhood

The address for this restaurant in Harvard Square is: Casablanca, 40 Brattle Street, Cambridge, MA, 02138. The phone number is (617) 876-0999. And the website can be found at

For more information on this story, please go to the Boston Business Journal link below.

For sale: A Harvard Square fixture, Casablanca

Thursday, September 29, 2011

La Brasa Is Opening in East Somerville

It looks like the chef of a French bistro in Natick is opening a new restaurant in East Somerville.

A photo of a flyer that we received by email indicates that a new restaurant called La Brasa has been proposed for the space on Broadway where a bar called Khoury's State Spa had been until closing in 2009. The flyer mentions that the proprietor of the planned spot is Frank McClelland, who runs L'Espalier in Boston's Back Bay, as well as the trio of Sel de la Terre restaurants in Boston and Natick, but the owner of the dining spot will actually be Chef Daniel Bojorquez from the Natick location of Sel de la Terre. It appears that a neighborhood meeting is being held in the Broadway space on Wednesday, October 12 to talk about the plan to open La Brasa, as well as the request for a liquor license.

About two decades after opening the high-end French restaurant L'Espalier, Frank McClelland opened the first location of Sel de la Terre in 2000 along the Boston waterfront, with locations in Natick and the Back Bay opening several years later. Both L'Espalier and Sel de la Terre have gained national recognition from various magazines and books, with the original Sel de la Terre being picked by Esquire magazine as one of America's best new restaurants when it first opened. [NOTE: All locations of Sel de la Terre are now closed.]

According to a spokesperson for New France (the holding company for L'Espalier and Sel de la Terre), La Brasa will be not be affiliated with either restaurant.

The address for this upcoming restaurant is: La Brasa, 118-120 Broadway, Somerville, MA, 02143.

[January 25, 2012 update: According to the East Somerville Main Streets Facebook page, La Brasa has decided to sign a lease for the space at 130 Broadway instead of 118 Broadway, because the space at 118 Broadway "wasn't a match in the end." (Thanks to one of our readers for bringing this to our attention.)]

[February 6, 2014 update: Boston Magazine states that La Brasa plans to open in late March, with influences coming from French, Mexican, Middle Eastern, and Peruvian cuisines, to name a few. (The article also mentions that the main focus will be cooking over an open wood fire.)]

[April 25, 2014 update: UrbanDaddy states via a Twitter post that La Brasa opens today.]

Celebrity Chef Classes Coming to the Boston Center for Adult Education

A series of food and cooking classes are coming to the Boston Center for Adult Education, and students who sign up for them will get to meet some of the Boston area's most well-known chefs.

According to the BCAE website, a number of celebrity chef classes will be held at the Arlington Street education center, including classes on salads, Mexican food, oysters, pork products, brunch, and more. Each class will feature a chef from the local area, including Jamie Bissonnette of Coppa in the South End, Tiffani Faison of the upcoming Sweet Cheeks in the Fenway neighborhood, William Kovel of Catalyst in Cambridge's Kendall Square, Todd Hall of Temazcal in the Seaport District, Frank McClelland of L'Espalier in the Back Bay, and others.

The first celebrity chef class takes place on Monday, October 3, with the last one being on Monday, December 12. For more information on the classes (including prices), please go to

Thanks to Grub Street Boston for bringing this to our attention.

Burmese Food Fair Coming to Allston, October 8, 2011

A culinary event is returning to Allston in early October, and it will center around a cuisine that isn't often seen in the Boston area.

According to the Overseas Burmese Christian Fellowship website, the annual Burmese Food Fair will be held on Saturday, October 8 from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM at the International Community Church on Gordon Street (about a block west of where Cambridge Street, North Beacon Street, and Brighton Avenue intersect). The event will feature a number of different homemade Burmese food items, including assorted fried appetizers, fish soup, noodle salad, and various desserts and teas.

The address for this event is: International Community Church, 30 Gordon Street, Allston, MA, 02134.

For more information on the 2011 Burmese Food Fair, please go to the link below.

Lobsta Love Food Truck Opening at Harvard University in Cambridge

A new food truck is on its way to the Harvard University campus in Cambridge, and it will be featuring lobster rolls.

According to Boston Magazine's Chowder blog, Lobsta Love is getting ready to open in front of the Science Center, with the chance of it being up and running today, but if not, definitely tomorrow. The Chowder article states that Lobsta Love will offer a couple of different lobster rolls in various sizes--a classic roll with mayo and an Asian-influenced lobster roll--as well as clam chowder, lobster bisque, and lobster macaroni and cheese. The Chowder blog also mentions that Food Truck Nation is behind Lobsta Love, and that this will actually be the second Food Truck Nation truck to come to Harvard, with Grilled Cheese Nation also being on campus.

[October 6 update: According to a poster on the Chowhound site, Lobsta Love is now open.]

More information on Food Truck Nation's trucks can be found at the following link:

Thanks to Grub Street Boston for bringing this to our attention.

Gargoyles on the Square in Somerville Has Temporarily Reopened

An upscale restaurant in the Davis Square section of Somerville that recently closed is open once again, though apparently not for much longer.

A message sent by @LHRodriguez to the Hiddenboston Twitter page indicates that Gargoyles on the Square has temporarily reopened, and will remain so through this Saturday (October 1). A call placed to the Elm Street restaurant has confirmed this, as the message on the voicemail mentions that the lounge at Gargoyles will be open starting at 5:30 PM each night today, tomorrow, and Saturday. The restaurant will be serving food from their bar menu as well as cocktails.

[October 6 update: According to posts on both of the "Gargoyles Afterlife" Facebook pages (yes, there are two Gargoyles Afterlife Facebook pages), Gargoyles on the Square will apparently be reopening one final time starting tomorrow (October 7) and ending Saturday night (October 8). Hours appear to be 5:30 PM to 12:30 AM, with the bar menu and cocktails available. It is probably best to call in advance at 617-776-5300 to make sure of the hours. Thanks to a poster on Chowhound for bringing this to our attention.]

[October 13 update: Once again, according to posts on both of the "Gargoyles Afterlife" Facebook pages as well as the Facebook page of a person who works at the restaurant, Gargoyles on the Square will be reopening once again, apparently starting this evening and ending Saturday night (October 15). While we are not sure about the hours this time around, last week they were 5:30 PM to 12:30 AM, with the bar menu and cocktails presumably available once again. You may want to call Gargoyles at 617-776-5300 to get more details.]

[October 20 update: Yet again, according to posts on one of the "Gargoyles Afterlife" Facebook page, Gargoyles on the Square will be reopening one more time, starting this evening and ending Saturday night (October 22). Hours are 5:30 PM to 12:30 AM, with the bar menu and cocktails presumably available. (This may officially be it for Gargoyles, as the note says "OK Kids, This is really the finale.")]

[October 21 update: Based on a post on the Gargoyles Afterlife Facebook page, tomorrow night (Saturday, October 22) is definitely the last night for the restaurant. The note says that "the liquor license was approved for transference to the new owner, so this is the last weekend at Gargoyles."]

Gargoyles on the Square closed down early last week after being in business since 1994, with one of the founders of the restaurant deciding to open a new spot somewhere in Arlington. As mentioned in an earlier article, the owner of Pizzeria Posto (also on Elm Street) plans to open a Mexican restaurant called The Painted Burro in the Gargoyles space.

The address for Gargoyles is 219 Elm Street, Somerville, MA, 02144.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Trina's Starlite Lounge in Somerville Is Opening Parlor Sports

Two years after first opening its doors on the Somerville/Cambridge border near Inman Square, a Southern-influenced restaurant and bar is getting ready to open a new spot next to it.

According to the Boston Business Journal, the folks behind Trina's Starlite Lounge on Beacon Street plan to open Parlor Sports, which looks to be a "cowboy-style" bar with an emphasis on sporting events being shown on flat-screen TVs. The article mentions that the new watering hole, which may be open by the middle of October, will offer bar snacks as well as craft beer, cocktails, and shots of liquor.

[November 1 update: According to Thrillist, Parlor Sports is planning to open this Thursday (November 3). Thanks to food/drinks writer MC Slim JB for bringing this to our attention.]

[November 4 update: Parlor Sports is now open.]

Trina's Starlite Lounge first opened in September of 2009, bringing to the Inman Square area a place to get Southern comfort food as well as a variety of cocktails and beers.

The address for this new bar in Somerville is: Parlor Sports, 1 Beacon Street, Somerville, MA, 02143.

For more on the opening of Parlor Sports, please go to the Boston Business Journal link below.

Starlite Lounge partners to open Parlor Sports in Inman

Roly Poly Closes in Boston's Financial District

A chain of sandwich shops with a limited presence in New England has closed its sole Boston location.

According to a poster on the Chowhound site, Roly Poly on Devonshire Street in the Financial District is shuttered, and a check on the chain's website indeed indicates that the location is no longer in business. This was the only branch in Massachusetts, with the only other Roly Poly locations in New England being in Connecticut (where there are eight of them).

Roly Poly first started out in Atlanta in 1996, eventually growing into a chain of more than 100 sandwich shops, mostly in the Midwest and the South.

The address for this now-closed restaurant in the Financial District was: Roly Poly, 189 Devonshire Street, Boston, MA, 02110. The website for the chain can be found at

Jonathan's Bar and Grille Is Opening in Newton

It looks like a moderately upscale restaurant featuring a mix of New American and traditional American fare will be opening on a busy road near the Newton/Needham border.

Based on information from their Facebook page as well as a job post on the Craigslist site and a poster on Chowhound, Jonathan's Bar & Grille plans to open on Needham Street in the space where a location of Papa Gino's used to be (next to Filene's Basement and a couple of blocks north of Oak Street). The restaurant will have seating for 90 and include a bar, with lunch and dinner offered Monday through Saturday and brunch and dinner on Sundays. It appears that the menu at Jonathan's Bar & Grille may include Italian items, seafood, steak, burgers, sandwiches, and pizza, according to their Facebook page

Expect Jonathan's to open sometime this fall.

[May 7, 2012 update: According to their Facebook page, Jonathan's Bar & Grille is now open.]

The address for this new restaurant and bar in Newton is: Jonathan's Bar & Grille, 215 Needham Street, Newton, MA, 02459. Their Facebook page can be found at

[January 20, 2012 update: The website for Jonathan's is now up--it can be found at The site mentions that the dining spot will be "a Back Bay style restaurant…without the hassle of going into the city" and that it will have lunch, dinner, and late night menus along with a live jazz brunch on Sundays.]

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Owner of Majestic Dragon in Ipswich Found Murdered in Restaurant

The owner of a Chinese eatery in Ipswich was found dead in his restaurant this morning, having apparently been shot twice.

According to The Boston Globe and the Ipswich Chronicle/Wicked Local, employees found Shui Keung "Tony" Woo slain in the Majestic Dragon on Route 1 this morning. The Globe article mentions that Woo's friends were told that he was shot, though the Ipswich Chronicle article states that while the official cause of death is homicide, the District Attorney for Essex County is waiting for autopsy results before confirming the cause and manner of death.

The Ipswich Chronicle says that Woo was the owner of Majestic Dragon for about two decades.

The address for Majestic Dragon is: Majestic Dragon, 81 Turnpike Road, Ipswich, MA, 01938.

For more on this story, please go to the links below.

[Boston Globe]
Owner of Chinese restaurant is found slain in Ipswich

[Ipswich Chronicle/Wicked Local]
Updated: Ipswich restaurant owner murdered

Oktoberfest and HONK! Parade Coming to Cambridge's Harvard Square, October 2, 2011

The Harvard Square section of Cambridge will be in a festive mood this coming Sunday, as two events will be held there in the afternoon.

According to the Harvard Square Business Association, the 33rd Annual Oktoberfest and HONK! Parade are going to take place on October 2 from noon to 6:00 PM (the rain date is Sunday, October 9). This year, 50 international food vendors will be selling all kinds of foods and three beer gardens will be serving adult beverages to attendees. In addition to food and drink, more than 200 stalls will be featuring clothing, crafts, art, vintage items, and more, and the HONK! Parade will start in Somerville's Davis Square and end up in Harvard Square about an hour later.

Oktoberfest and HONK! Parade are both free and open to the public, and children are encouraged to come, as these are family-friendly events with many different activities for kids.

For more information on the 2011 Oktoberfest and HONK! Parade, please go to the Harvard Square Business Association link below.

Fourth Annual Chili Con-Carnival Cook-Off to Be Held at The Grog in Newburyport, October 1, 2011

A chili cook-off returns to Newburyport this weekend, and as always, it will include food, live music, and door prizes.

According to the restaurant's website, The Grog on Middle Street in the downtown area of this North Shore city will be hosting the Chili Con-Carnival Cook-Off on Saturday, October 1, from 12:00 PM to 3:00 PM. The event, which will take place under a tent in the restaurant's parking lot, will feature chili from a variety of eateries in and around Newburyport, including Abraham's Bagels & Pizza, Bucciarelli's Butcher Shop & Deli, David's Tavern, Michael's Harborside, The Purple Onion, The Rockfish, The Stoplight Cafe, The Thirsty Whale, Warren Street Market & Deli, and others. Each attendee will vote for his or her favorite chili, with the winners being announced at 3:00.

Ticket to the 2011 Chili Con-Carnival Cook-Off cost $10 each (children under 12 are free), and as was the case last year, the event benefits three food pantries: The Pettengill House in Salisbury, Community Services of Newburyport, and Our Neighbor's Table in Amesbury.

The address for The Grog is: The Grog, 13 Middle Street, Newburyport, MA, 01950. The phone number is (978) 465-8008.

For more information on the 2011 Chili Con-Carnival Cook-Off, please go to the restaurant's website at

Taste of Perkins Coming to Watertown, October 6, 2011

A culinary event is coming to the Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown early next month, and it will focus on guests testing their senses at a number of blind tastings to experience flavors in a new way.

An email sent to us by Callanan and Klein Communications indicates that the fourth annual Taste of Perkins will be held on Thursday, October 6, from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM at the school, which is located on North Beacon Street (Route 20), about midway between Watertown Square and the Charles River. The event will feature blindfolded food and wine tastings as well as sensory exploration stations, a silent auction, and more. While there, attendees can sample hors d'oeuvres and wines in the school's museum while learning more about the Perkins School for the Blind, which is the nation's first school for the visually disabled.

Tickets to the 2011 Taste of Perkins cost $50 each, with proceeds benefiting the school.

For more information on this event, please go to the link below.

2011 Taste of Perkins

Zagat Includes Sweet Cheeks Among Its 12 Upcoming Top Chef Restaurants

A popular restaurant guide has just posted a list of upcoming "top chef restaurants" around the United States, and a soon-to-open Boston dining spot has made the list.

According to the Zagat page, Sweet Cheeks on Boylston Street in the Fenway neighborhood of the city was one of 12 restaurants to be included, and the only spot in New England to be on the list. Tiffani Faison, who was formerly at the now-closed Rocca on Harrison Street in the South End, is the person behind the upcoming Sweet Cheeks, an eatery that will focus on Southern-style fare, including BBQ dishes. It appears that the restaurant may be opening sometime in the middle of October, according to Tiffani Faison's Twitter page. The address for Sweet Cheeks will be: Sweet Cheeks, 1381 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02215.

Other dining spots that made Zagat's list of upcoming top chef restaurants include PizzaVinoTeca, Pig & Khao, and Catch, all in Manhattan, and Talde in Brooklyn.

The complete list of restaurants can be seen at the link below.

12 Upcoming Top Chef Restaurants

Boloco Expansion Continues; New Locations Coming to Waltham and Wellesley

A small local chain of restaurants that features burritos continues to expand through the Boston area, with two locations coming to the western suburbs.

According to an interview with the founder of Boloco in Citybizlist Boston, new locations of the eatery are on their way to Waltham and Wellesley, as well as in Warwick, RI, Bethesda, MD, and Washington, DC. It is not known exactly when the Waltham and Wellesley locations will open (nor do we have exact addresses for either spot), but it looks like they could be up and running before the end of next year, according to the article.

Boloco first started out in 1997 and today can be found throughout Boston, as well as in Cambridge, Natick, Concord, NH, Hanover, NH, and Burlington, VT. (A branch in Medford is due to close later this fall, while another new location is going to be opening very soon at Atlantic Wharf along Boston's waterfront.) The restaurants offer such items as burritos, salads, wraps, shakes, and smoothies.

The website for the Boloco chain is at

Charcoal Guido's Is Opening in Waltham

A brick-oven pizza restaurant that will feature wood-fired pies as well as grilled meats is on its way to Waltham.

According to a post on Brand New Watch (the blog for Wicked Local Waltham), Charcoal Guido's is planning to open on Moody Street in the winter of 2012, taking over the vacant space between Habanero's and Tempo. The article mentions that the upcoming eatery will offer Neapolitan-style thin-crust pizza in addition to chicken, lamb, and sausage cooked on the grill. Charcoal Guido's will be a sit-down restaurant, with a capacity of at least 50, and it will have a full liquor license.

[August 24, 2012 update: Charcoal Guido's is still not open, and in fact a poster on the Chowhound site mentions that the signage for the place now appears to be gone.]

[October 19, 2012 update: It looks plans for Charcoal Guido's to come to Waltham are back on track, as a reputable source tells us that they are looking to open within the next month.]

[November 14, 2012 update: A Twitter post from Brand New Watch indicates that Charcoal Guido's has opened.]

It looks like the address for Charcoal Guido's is 482 Moody Street, Waltham, MA, 02453.

Thanks to a poster on Chowhound for bringing this to our attention.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Highlights for the Week Ending September 23, 2011

A number of stories concerning the Boston-area restaurant scene hit last week, including the temporary closing of a landmark restaurant on the way, the upcoming opening of a new BBQ joint, and OpenTable's picks for top foodie restaurants. In addition, our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants) had a new featured review get posted last week as well as several new photos, including one of an upscale restaurant's delicious take on a familiar appetizer.

Below are links to some of what you may have missed last week:

Boston Restaurant Talk

Joe Tecce's in Boston's North End to Close Temporarily

The Little Depot Diner in Peabody Has Closed

Eat Outside the Square Foodie Crawl Coming to Somerville

Village Fish in Needham to Be Replaced By a BBQ Joint

OpenTable's Diners' Choice Picks for Top Foodie Restaurants

Boston's Hidden Restaurants

New Featured Review: Ritu Ki Rasoi in Burlington, MA

Our First Three Photo Slideshows

Photo: Fried Mozzarella from Allora Ristorante in Marlborough, MA

Updated List of September, 2011 Closings and Openings

Updated Review: La Siesta Restaurante in Winthrop, MA

Spoon (BBQ Food Truck) Opens in Roxbury

A new food truck that focuses on BBQ has just opened in the Roxbury section of Boston.

According to their website, Spoon is now open at the Mall of Roxbury on Warren Street (one block west of Blue Hill Avenue and just north of Martin Luther King Boulevard). The food truck features a variety of barbecue dishes, using hickory nut shells as fuel to give a light smoke flavor to the food items. A few options on the menu at Spoon include pulled pork, smoked chicken, quarter and half racks of ribs, burgers, BBQ tacos, fried pickles, and bacon scallion hush puppies.

Even though Spoon uses the Mall of Roxbury as its base, the food truck will also be moving around occasionally, showing up at various events around the region.

The address for this new BBQ food truck in Roxbury is: Spoon, 333 Warren Street, Roxbury, MA, 02119. Their website is at

Thanks to a poster on the Chowhound site for bringing this to our attention.

The Federal in Boston's Beacon Hill Has Closed

It looks like a gourmet Beacon Hill sandwich shop and pizza restaurant has shut its doors.

According to a veteran poster on the Chowhound site, The Federal on Cambridge Street is papered over and has a sign on the door that says the dining spot is closed, thanking customers for their patronage. Calls placed to the restaurant this morning have gone unanswered, though the website still seems to be intact.

[September 26 update: According to the Chowder blog of Boston Magazine, the group behind The Federal will be bringing a "new concept" to the space once renovations are complete. At this point in time, there does not appear to be a specific name given to the new eatery, nor does there appear to be an opening date. We will post another update here as soon as we find out more on the upcoming spot.]

[November 29 update: According to the new restaurant's website, the name of the place will be Griddler's Burgers and Dogs. More information will be posted in a new article this week.]

The Federal first opened in the spring of 2009, taking over the space where the Venice Cafe used to be. The eatery's menu included salads, sandwiches, and pizza, with such sandwiches as grilled cheese, pulled pork, pastrami, roast beef, an Italian, and a Cuban offered.

The address for this Beacon Hill restaurant was: The Federal, 204 Cambridge Street, Boston, MA, 02114.

Shrine (a New Asian Restaurant) to Open Along the Boston Waterfront

The group behind several restaurants and nightclubs in the Boston area and Connecticut are going to be opening a new restaurant and lounge on Boston's waterfront, and it will apparently be an Asian-themed spot.

According to The Boston Herald, Big Night Entertainment is planning to open Shrine Boston, a new place at Fan Pier in the Innovation District (just north of Northern Avenue and just east of where Fort Point Channel opens out into Boston Harbor). The article states that the eating and drinking establishment looks to be a "first-class and high-quality" place with Asian influences, and its 12,000-foot space will be in the same building as Strega and Caffe di Marina.

[January 16, 2012 update: According to The Boston Globe, a liquor license application for Shrine Boston has been delayed by the Licensing Board because there are currently no licenses available at the present time. The article mentions that if a liquor license becomes available over the course of the next 30 days, it will be granted to the dining spot, which is hoping to open sometime this summer.]

Big Night Entertainment is also behind the Red Lantern in Boston's Back Bay, Tosca in Hingham, The Estate in downtown Boston, and three spots at Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut.

The address for this upcoming restaurant and lounge will be: Shrine Boston, One Marina Park Drive, Boston, MA, 02210.

For more information on the opening of this dining spot, please go to the Boston Herald link below.

Southie waterfront to get new Shrine

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Diner in the Park Opens in Woburn

A new restaurant has opened in Woburn, and the folks behind it also owned a popular diner in Allston that was destroyed in a fire a few years ago.

According to The Woburn Advocate and Wicked Local, Diner in the Park opened at Cummings Park around the beginning of August, and it has apparently moved into the space where Let's Go Burrito had been until closing a few months back. The article mentions that the owners of Diner in the Park used to run Grecian Yearning on Harvard Street in Allston until a fire forced them to close the diner in June of 2008. It appears that the menu at Diner in the Park is similar to that of Grecian Yearning, with offerings including omelets, French toast, pancakes, bacon and egg sandwiches, burgers, gyros, and baklava.

Diner in the Park is open for breakfast and lunch on weekdays from 7:00 AM to 3:00 PM, and it looks like the place may be opening on Saturdays as well at some point.

The address for this restaurant in Woburn is: Diner in the Park, 340 West Cummings Park, Woburn, MA, 01801. The phone number is (781) 932-7400. And their website can be found at

Thanks to a follower of the Boston's Hidden Restaurants Facebook page (the owner of Koshka Cookies) for bringing this to our attention.

Friday, September 23, 2011

A Complete List of Our Twitter Food Polls

We have been posting a variety of Twitter food polls over the past couple of years, and there are now so many that it is getting a bit difficult to find all of them. So below is a complete list of the polls in chronological order (from newest to oldest).


Bar Pizza Poll (September 22, 2011)

Frozen Yogurt Poll (September 2, 2011)

Pulled Pork Poll (August 2, 2011)

Clam Chowder Poll (July 6, 2011)

Pancake Poll (June 15, 2011)

Fried Chicken Poll (May 24, 2011)

Burrito Poll (May 6, 2011)

Cubano Poll (April 15, 2011)

Corned Beef Hash Poll (April 1, 2011)

Guacamole Poll (March 18, 2011)

Donut Poll (February 28, 2011)

Pad Thai Poll (February 11, 2011)

Bagel Poll (January 28, 2011)

French Fries Poll (January 10, 2011)

Steak Tip Poll (December 23, 2010)

Bread Poll (December 3, 2010)

Coffee Poll (November 3, 2010)

Meatball Poll (October 8, 2010)

Sushi Poll (September 21, 2010)

Cupcake Poll (September 7, 2010)

Steak and Cheese Poll (August 5, 2010)

Ice Cream Poll (July 19, 2010)

Roast Beef Sandwich Poll (July 6, 2010)

Chicken Wing Poll (June 21, 2010)

Macaroni and Cheese Poll (June 7, 2010)

Fried Clams Poll (May 24, 2010)

Onion Ring Poll (May 3, 2010)

Hot Dog Poll (April 2, 2010)

Lobster Roll Poll (March 26, 2010)

Burger Poll (March 10, 2010)

Pizza Poll (February 12, 2010)


More polls are on the way, so keep checking back, and thanks once again for voting.

Yum! Brands Is Selling Its Long John Silver's and A&W Restaurants

The company behind such well-known restaurant chains as Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and KFC is going to be selling two of its other chains.

According to Bloomberg, Yum! Brands Inc. has agreed to sell both Long John Silver's and A&W, with LJS Partners LLC and A Great American Brand LLC purchasing them, respectively. The article mentions that the company is selling the two chains because it wishes to focus on expanding in China, and neither Long John Silver's nor A&W are seen as international brands. The sales of both chains should be finalized sometime in the fourth quarter, according to Bloomberg.

Long John Silver's first started out in 1969 and today has approximately 1,000 locations across the country, while A&W, which was founded in 1919, has about 350 locations in the United States. A handful of locations for each can be found in New England, including Long John Silver's restaurants in West Roxbury and Salem, NH, and A&W restaurants in Fitchburg, Greenville, RI, and Salem, NH.

The website for Yum! Brands can be found at

Eat Outside the Square Foodie Crawl Coming to Somerville, October 25, 2011

A culinary event is coming to East Somerville next month, and it will feature food samples from a number of ethnic restaurants as well as music and entertainment.

A note sent to us by East Somerville Main Streets indicates that the first-ever Eat Outside the Square Foodie Crawl will be held on East Broadway (between Route 28 and Sullivan Square) from 6:00 PM to 9:30 PM on Tuesday, October 25. More than 15 restaurants will be at the event, including dining spots that feature Mexican, Haitian, Brazilian, Ethiopian, and Salvadoran fare. In addition to food samplings, there will also be indoor and outdoor music and entertainment, a silent auction, free merchandise from Mezzo Design Lofts, and more.

Tickets cost $25 each, with $5 being taken off the price if purchased before October 24.

For more on the Eat Outside the Square Foodie Crawl, please go to the East Somerville Main Streets link below.

Render Coffee Is Opening in Boston's South End

A new coffee bar is going to be opening in the South End of Boston, and it looks like it will be featuring some food items as well.

According to their website, Render Coffee is planning to open on Columbus Avenue by mid-October. Based on the address given, the shop will be moving into the address where another coffee shop--Uptown Espresso--has been since 2005. In addition to coffee and espresso, Render Coffee will also offer pastries and sandwiches, according to their Facebook page.

[February 10, 2012 update: Render Coffee is now open.]

The address for this new coffee bar in the South End is: Render Coffee, 563 Columbus Avenue, Boston, MA, 02119. Their website can be found at

Joe Tecce's in Boston's North End Is Closing

A landmark Italian restaurant that has been in the North End of Boston for more than 60 years is going to be closing for at least awhile, as the building in which it resides is being renovated.

According to The Boston Herald, Joe Tecce's Ristorante on North Washington Street will be closing temporarily, as its building will be converted into 32 condos (the restaurant will also be renovated as part of the project). The article states that it is unknown exactly when the restaurant will temporarily shut down, but once it does, the renovations could take as long as a year.

[October 24 update: According to a poster on the Hiddenboston Twitter page, Joe Tecce's is now closed (a call placed to the restaurant confirms this, as their phone has been temporarily disconnected).]

[November 9 update: It appears that the closing of Joe Tecce's might just be more than temporary, as The Boston Globe reports that an auction is taking place on November 15 to sell off a variety of items from the restaurant, including light fixtures and Italian pottery. The article also mentions that the owners of the building are apparently still looking to redevelop it, with condos and a restaurant being part of the plan. At this point, however, it is not known whether the restaurant would be called Joe Tecce's.]

[November 16 update: According to The Boston Herald, the now-closed Joe Tecce's was basically sold off "piece by piece" yesterday at extremely low prices. Included among the items sold was the bar, which a buyer and seller of restaurant equipment bought for only $167, as well as a freezer and refrigerator that the owner of Twist, an upcoming Nashua, NH nightclub, purchased. There is still no word on whether a new incarnation of Joe Tecce's might go into the space, or perhaps a completely new dining spot. Keep checking back for updates over the coming weeks.]

The sale of the condos in the building is designed to help Joe Tecce's get on more stable footing, financially; as reported here earlier, the owners of the restaurant filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last June, citing major disruptions during the Big Dig construction project as a reason for the filing. The Herald mentions that the owners, who are still in the reorganization process, hope that the renovations and the selling of the condos will help them get out of bankruptcy.

Joe Tecce's first opened their doors in 1948 and soon became one of the most popular restaurants in all of Boston, with such celebrities as Liz Taylor and Frank Sinatra visiting the place over the years.

The address for Joe Tecce's is: Joe Tecce's Ristorante, 61 North Washington Street, Boston, MA, 02114. The phone number is (617) 742-6210. And their website can be found at

Thursday, September 22, 2011

2011 Boston Local Food Festival to Be Held October 1

A food event returns to the Fort Point neighborhood of Boston early next month, and once again it will be focusing on foods that are sourced from the local region.

An email sent by The Sustainable Business Network of Greater Boston indicates that the Boston Local Food Festival will be held from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM on Saturday, October 1 near the Congress Street Bridge by the Children's Museum. Highlights of the event include freshly harvested produce and seafood, inexpensive dishes created using local ingredients, craft beer from local breweries, wine tastings, exhibits and demonstrations about cooking, gardening, and more, and music and art.

Guests are encouraged to bring produce from their gardens to drop off so it can be collected and distributed through South Boston Grows and The Food Project to families in need.

Admission to the Boston Local Food Festival is free.

For more information on the 2011 Boston Local Food Festival, please go to the following link:

Brew at the Zoo to Be Held at Franklin Park Zoo, October 1, 2011

An unusual event is returning to Boston at the beginning of October--one that will feature beer tasting at a zoo.

According to the Franklin Park Zoo's website, the second annual Brew at the Zoo will be held from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM on Saturday, October 1 in the zoo's Tropical Forest, which is home to such animals as lemurs, gorillas, mandrills, ocelots, free-flight birds, and a pygmy hippopotamus. The event will include stations hosted by area breweries, including Berkshire Brewing Company, Blue Hills Brewery, Clown Shoes Beer, Long Trail Brewing Company, Peak Organic Brewing Company, Watch City Brewing Co., and more. Tickets to the event cost $50 each and can be purchased at the Zoo New England site (see link below).

Franklin Park Zoo is located at One Franklin Park Road, which is just west of Blue Hill Avenue near where Dorchester and Roxbury meet.

For more information on the 2011 Brew at the Zoo, please go to the link below:

Franklin Park Zoo Special Events

Results of Twitter Bar Pizza Poll

Our latest Twitter poll is now finished, with this poll focusing on the best bar pizza in the Boston area. Our previous polls have included a frozen yogurt poll (Berryline in Boston and Cambridge won), a clam chowder poll (Legal Sea Foods in various locations), a bagel poll (Bagel Rising/Espresso Royale in Boston), a sushi poll (Douzo in the Back Bay), a steak and cheese poll (Carl's in Waltham), a steak and cheese poll (Carl's in Waltham), a chicken wing poll (Buff's Pub in Newton), an onion ring poll (Mr. Bartley's Burger Cottage in Cambridge), a lobster roll poll (Neptune Oysters in the North End), and a number of other polls. Below are the results of the Twitter bar pizza poll:

1) Alumni Cafe, Quincy (14%)
1) Lynwood Cafe, Randolph (14%)
3) Hancock Tavern, Quincy (6%)
3) Newtowne Grille, Cambridge (6%)
3) Santarpio's, East Boston (6%)
3) Town Spa, Stoughton (6%)

A number of other spots were picked in the Twitter bar pizza poll, including Anchovies (South End), AmVets (Randolph), Beacon Hill Pub (Beacon Hill), Biddy Early's (Financial District), Big City (Allston), Bukowski's (Back Bay), Cappy's Tavern (Readville), Christo's Pizza (West Roxbury), Eagle Brook Saloon (Norfolk), Franco's (Waltham), La Hacienda (Somerville), Monte's (Lynn), O'Hara's (Newton Highlands), Pleasant Cafe (Randolph), Precinct (Somerville), Red Wing Diner (Walpole), and Sunset Grill & Tap (Allston).

Thanks to all of you who have voted in our Twitter polls. We will start another poll in the next week or two, so keep checking back on our Twitter page at

Fate of Proposed Strip Club in Fall River Is Apparently Sealed; New Restaurant to Open Instead

A closed Fall River restaurant whose now-deceased owner battled to turn the dining spot into a strip joint will apparently become a new restaurant and conference center.

According to The Herald News and The Boston Business Journal, Robert Karam, the new owner of the site where Oliver's Restaurant used to be, had been one of the most vocal opponents of the proposed strip joint. He purchased the former dining spot from the estate of Paul Viveros, the owner of Oliver's who wished to create a 400-acre adult entertainment district at the site of the Airport Road spot. Karam plans to open a full-service restaurant with a conference center on the second floor with an expected closing on the property in December, so it appears that the new, unnamed eatery will open sometime in 2012 if all goes as planned.

It appears that the address for this upcoming restaurant in Fall River will be 320 Airport Road, Fall River, MA, 02720. (Just north of where Routes 24 and 79 split.)

Thanks to Grub Street Boston for bringing this story to our attention.

Village Fish in Needham to Be Replaced By Midtown Smokehouse and Grill

[Ed note: This article was edited on September 27 to reflect a name given to the new restaurant.]

A seafood restaurant in the western suburbs of Boston that has been in business for about four years is shutting down, with the owners reopening the spot as a barbecue joint.

Based on information from a job post within the Craigslist site and a poster on Chowhound, a new BBQ spot/smokehouse with a full bar is opening in Needham, taking over the space on Great Plain Avenue where Village Fish has been since 2007. The Chowhound poster indicates that the owners of Village Fish are also behind the new BBQ joint, which does not appear to have a name as of yet. [September 27 update: According to a more recent post on the same Chowhound thread, the name of the place will be Midtown Smokehouse and Grill.] The new spot may be opening next week, according to Craigslist.

[October 7 update: According to their Facebook page, Midtown Smokehouse and Grill opens its doors this evening.]

Village Fish has featured a variety of seafood items since opening in Needham in the fall of 2007. The restaurant had been located on Harvard Street in Brookline before making the move to Needham.

The address for Village Fish (and the new Midtown Smokehouse and Grill) in Needham is 970 Great Plain Avenue, Needham, MA, 02492. The website for Midtown Smokehouse and Grill will be at

Pinkberry Is Opening in Braintree

A national chain of frozen yogurt shops with five locations in the Boston area is getting ready to open a sixth spot, with this one being south of the city.

According to a job post within the Craigslist site, Pinkberry is going to be opening a new shop at the South Shore Plaza in Braintree, joining one other location on the South Shore (in Hingham) and other spots in the Back Bay of Boston (2 locations), Cambridge's Harvard Square, and Wellesley. The post does not specify an exact opening date for the Braintree location, but the chain is currently interviewing for managers, so it may be opening fairly soon.

[January 10, 2012 update: According to the Patriot Ledger, the new Pinkberry at the South Shore Plaza in Braintree is now open for business, and a note from CBH Communications indicates that the new shop will be serving free frozen yogurt from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM tonight.]

Pinkberry features an array of frozen yogurts (including chocolate, pomegranate, and green tea), along with a number of different toppings such as kiwi fruit, raspberries, cheesecake bites, chocolate chips, toasted almonds, peanut butter crunch, caramel, and honey. Also offered are smoothies and fruit parfaits.

The website for the Pinkberry chain can be found at

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Phantom Gourmet Food Festival to Be Held in Boston Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Phantom Gourmet Food Festival returns to the Fenway section of Boston this weekend, and once again, a number of restaurants and food purveyors will be taking part in the event.

According to their website, the festival will be held on Saturday, September 24 from noon to 4:00 PM along Lansdowne and Ipswich Streets, which are adjacent to Fenway Park. Some of the places that will be selling food and drinks at the event include AJ's Kitchen in Wilmington, the All Star Sandwich Bar in Cambridge, the Cabby Shack in Plymouth, DaVinci in Boston, Diblasi's in Everett, Eat At Jumbo's in Somerville, Exchange Street Bistro in Malden, Ginger Betty's in Quincy, Jacob Wirth in Boston, La Verdad in Boston, the Sandbar Grill in Taunton, Teresa's in Middleton, Windy City Eats in Weymouth, and many more.

Tickets to the 2011 Phantom Gourmet Food Festival cost $40 in advance ($50 at the event), with tickets including food samplings and entrance to the Lansdowne Street clubs (drinks are extra). As always, this is a 21-plus event

For more information on the 2011 Phantom Gourmet Food Festival, please go to the Phantom Gourmet link below.

Urban Barn Dance Coming to Cambridge, October 20, 2011

An event that benefits a non-profit organization focusing on farmers markets is coming to Cambridge in October, and it will include food items prepared by three well-known Boston-area chefs.

An email from Tugboat 23 Consulting indicates that the fourth annual Urban Barn Dance will be held on Thursday, October 20 at the Dante Alighieri Center on Hampshire Street in Kendall Square. The event, which starts at 6:30 PM, is a harvest celebration that will have chefs Bob Sargent of Flora in Arlington, Chris Schlesinger of East Coast Grill in Cambridge, and Paul O'Connell of Chez Henri in Cambridge build a menu from such places as Kimball's Fruit Farm in Pepperell, Austin Brother Farms in Belchertown, Siena Farms in Sudbury, Danish Pastry House in Medford, and Hamilton Orchards in New Salem. In addition to food, music (with dancing) will also be provided, as well as a silent auction.

Tickets to the 2011 Urban Barn Dance cost $50, with proceeds benefiting The Federation of Mass Farmers Markets, an organization that works with farmers, consumers, and communities to help maintain a strong farmers market system within the commonwealth of Massachusetts.

For more information on this event (include the purchasing of tickets), please go to the Mass Farmers Markets link below.

2011 Urban Barn Dance

OpenTable's Diners' Choice Picks for Top Foodie Restaurants Include Several Boston-Area Dining Spots

An online restaurant reservations provider has come out with its Diners' Choice awards for best restaurants that are "fit for foodies," and several dining spots in the Boston area have made the list.

According to PRNewswire, OpenTable's Diners' Choice Awards for best restaurants for foodies includes Bergamot in Somerville, Craigie on Main and Hungry Mother in Cambridge, and Menton and o ya in Boston. No other restaurants in Massachusetts--or New England, for that matter--made the list, though a number of eateries in New York City were picked, including Aldea, Annisa, Blue Hill, Dirt Candy, and wd-50.

The OpenTable list for foodie restaurants comes from more than 10 million reviews from OpenTable diners for more than 12,000 restaurants across the country.

For a complete list of the restaurants chosen by OpenTable's diners as good foodie spots, please go to the PRNewswire link below.

OpenTable Diners Reveal the Top 50 Restaurants for Foodies in the U.S.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Spike's Junkyard Dogs and Stack-a Burger Opening at the Burlington Mall

A Rhode Island-based group of hot dog places that has three locations in the Boston area is getting ready to open a fourth spot near the city, and this one will be partnering with a new burger spot.

According to a job post within the Craigslist site, Spike's Junkyard Dogs is planning to open at the food court within the Burlington Mall, while an earlier Burlington Patch article mentions that the eatery will be teaming up with a brand new spot called Stack-a Burger. The new burger concept will focus on inexpensive quality burgers, with customers being able to stack as many patties as they wish on a bun. An array of toppings will be available, and curly fries, salads, and salad wraps will also be offered, as well as a breakfast menu. Spike's Junkyard Dogs will feature everything offered at their locations in Boston's Back Bay, Allston, and Somerville's Davis Square, including all-beef hot dogs served with a variety of toppings.

The Craigslist post states that the new Spike's Junkyard Dogs and Stack-a Burger may be opening in a couple of weeks.

[December 21 update: According to the Burlington Patch, the new Spike's Junkyard Dogs and Stack-a Burger are now open in Burlington.]

In addition to its three locations in the Boston area, Spike's Junkyard Dogs can also be found in North Attleboro, Fall River, Providence, Cranston (which is where their headquarters are), Warwick, and Groton, CT. Their website is at

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Little Depot Diner in Peabody Has Closed

A North Shore diner that received national attention thanks to a popular TV show has closed its doors.

According to The Salem News, The Little Depot Diner in Peabody shut down this past Friday after being in business for more than 60 years. The article mentions that the folks behind the eatery are hoping that new owners can be found for the 1929 Worcester Lunch Car diner on Railroad Avenue, but for now, the spot is closed until further notice.

In November of 2009, Guy Fieri of the Food Network's "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives" featured The Little Depot Diner on his show, focusing on such items as mulligatawny soup and Boston baked beans. The restaurant was one of a few that Fieri visited in the Boston area during that time period, including Sam LaGrassa's in Boston and Louie's Restaurant in Providence.

In addition to the items mentioned above, The Little Depot Diner also featured such items as French toast, pancakes, waffles, eggs benedict, corned beef hash, hamburgers, and hot dogs.

The address for this now-closed diner in Peabody was: The Little Depot Diner, 1 Railroad Avenue, Peabody, MA, 01960.

For more information on the closing of The Little Depot Diner, please go to the Salem News link below.

Peabody diner serves its last breakfast

Tonic Is Opening in Jamaica Plain

It looks like a martini bar is planning to open near the Forest Hills T station in Jamaica Plain.

According to The Boston Real Estate Blog, the person behind the upcoming Tonic on Washington Street is in talks with local groups to cement the plans for bringing the restaurant and bar to the neighborhood. The blog mentions that the owner has a liquor license for the place, which, according to an earlier article from Grub Street Boston, may be a bit like Vee Vee and Ten Tables, a couple of upscale neighborhood bistros in Jamaica Plain.

Tonic will be taking over the space where Griffin's Cafe, a now-closed neighborhood watering hole, used to be.

It is not known exactly when Tonic might open; as soon as we find out more information, we will post an update here.

[April 9, 2012 update: The Thrillist site indicates that Tonic appears to be on the verge of opening. (Thanks to food writer MC Slim JB for bringing this to our attention via Chowhound.)]

[April 12, 2012 update: According to CBH Communications,  Tonic will be opening on Saturday (April 14) at 5:00 PM.]

The address for this new martini bar in the Forest Hills section of Jamaica Plain will be: Tonic, 3698 Washington Street, Jamaica Plain, MA, 02130.