Friday, March 30, 2012

YUM: A Taste of Immigrant City Returns to Somerville April 25, 2012

A food-based fundraiser for a Somerville organization that helps the city's immigrant community is returning once again.

On Wednesday, April 25, the third annual YUM: A Taste of Immigrant City will take place at The Center for Arts at the Armory on Highland Avenue. The event, which begins at 6:30 PM, will feature a number of immigrant-owned Somerville restaurants, including Aguacate Verde, Amelia's Kitchen, Churrasco Buffet & Grill, Fasika, Istanbul'lu, Masala, Maya Sol, Ronnarong Thai Tapas Bar, Sabur, and Yak & Yeti. YUM: A Taste of Immigrant City will also feature a silent auction and international entertainment.

Tickets to YUM: A Taste of Immigrant City cost $35 in advance ($40 at the door).

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

North End Restaurant Week to Be Held April 1-13, 2012

Boston Restaurant Week may be winding down, but one of the city's neighborhoods will be picking up the slack starting on Sunday.

An email from 451 Marketing indicates that the Third Annual North End Restaurant Week will take place from Sunday, April 1 through Friday, April 6 and Sunday, April 8 through Friday, April 13. A number of neighborhood eateries will be offering prix-fixe, three-course dinners for $33.12, with dining spots such as Bricco, Carmelina's, Strega, Tresca, Trattoria Il Panino, and others participating.

Presently, information about the 2012 North End Restaurant Week does not yet appear to be on the North End Chamber of Commerce site, but keep checking back via the link below for updates.

Dante's Frozen Yogurt Bar Is Opening in Allston

The frozen yogurt craze appears to be showing no signs of letting up, as yet another shop is on its way to Boston (with this one coming to one of its busiest neighborhoods).

The Eater Boston site is reporting that Dante's Frozen Yogurt Bar is coming to Allston, moving into a space on Comm. Ave. that is just west of the Harvard Avenue intersection. Eater Boston, which received this news via a picture from a DigBoston columnist, mentions that the locally-owned shop will be of the self-service variety, with frequently-changing flavor options along with a number of different toppings.

[June 20 update: Dante's Frozen Yogurt Bar is now open in Allston.]

The address for this upcoming frozen yogurt place in Allston will be: Dante's Frozen Yogurt Bar, 1236 Commonwealth Avenue, Allston, MA, 02134. Their website will be at

Free Grilled Cheese Day at Cheeseboy on April 22, 2012

One day after reporting that Ben & Jerry's would be having a "Free Cone Day" in early April, it has now been learned that this won't be the only free food day in the Boston area next month.

A Facebook events page from Cheeseboy indicates that the growing group of quick-service grilled cheese shops will have their Second Annual Free Grilled Cheese Day on Sunday, April 22 from 1:00 PM to 6:00 PM. The event, which celebrates National Grilled Cheese Month, allows patrons to order one Classic Grilled Cheese sandwich (Italian bread and American cheese) from Cheeseboy at no charge.

Locations of Cheeseboy can be found at Boston's South Station, the Prudential Center in the Back Bay, South Shore Plaza in Braintree, the Natick Mall in Natick, and Providence Place in Providence. (There is also a location at the Palisades Center in West Nyack, NY.) The website for Cheeseboy can be found at

[Earlier Article]
Free Cone Day Coming to Ben and Jerry's April 3, 2012

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Free Cone Day Coming to Ben and Jerry's April 3, 2012

A Vermont-based ice cream company is going to be giving out free cones at its stores early next week.

An email from Cone Communications indicates that on Tuesday, April 3, the Ben & Jerry's Scoop Shops will be having their annual Free Cone Day between 12:00 PM and 8:00 PM to celebrate 34 years of the company's being in existence. Ice cream lovers will be able to get their free cones at a number of Boston-area locations, including shops on Newbury Street in Boston's Back Bay, Park Plaza, the Prudential Center, JFK Street in Cambridge's Harvard Square, and others.

For more information on Ben & Jerry's Free Cone Day, please go to this link:

Sher-A-Punjab Opens in Quincy

A new Indian restaurant has just opened at the northern edge of downtown Quincy, moving into the space where an eclectic eatery had been.

According to one of our readers (and confirmed through the Yelp site), Sher-A-Punjab is now open on Hancock Street, taking over the former Blue22 Bar and Grille spot (Blue22 closed this winter after being open for just under five years). The restaurant's website is still under construction so there isn't a menu up yet, but a few of the food items that were mentioned on Yelp include garlic naan, palak paneer, samosa, chicken tikka masala, goat curry, swordfish masala, and tandoori chicken.

Sher-A-Punjab is open for lunch and dinner daily, with a weekend brunch available.

The address for this new restaurant in Quincy Center is: Sher-A-Punjab, 1237 Hancock Street, Quincy, MA, 02169.

Steve Butters of Butter Cafe and Bakery in Walpole to Be on Food Network's "Sweet Genius" April 19, 2012

The chef/owner of a cafe and bakery in Walpole will soon be appearing on a popular Food Network show that focuses on pastries.

An email from Image Unlimited Communications indicates that Steve Butters of Butter Cafe and Bakery in the center of town is going to be on the April 19 episode of "Sweet Genius." Chef Butters will be competing with three others on the show (which is hosted by pastry chef Ron Ben-Israel) to try to win $10,000. The show will air at 10:00 PM.

Steve Butters is a graduate of the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts and has worked at such places as Mashnee Island Grille in Buzzards Bay as well as Metropolis Cafe, Flat Iron Tapas, Aquitaine, and Union Bar and Grille in Boston. The website for his Walpole spot, which is located at 935 East Street, can be found at

For more information on the Food Network's "Sweet Genius," please go to the following link:

Update: Pellino's Ristorante in Marblehead Closes; Yannalfo's to Replace It

[Ed note: This article was updated on May 29 to reflect new information on the former Pellino's space.]

A couple of weeks after we reported that a new Italian restaurant had officially opened its doors in the North End of Boston, it has been learned that the original North Shore location of the eatery has closed, and another Italian dining spot will be moving in.

An article in the Marblehead Patch reports that Pellino's Ristorante on Washington Street in Marblehead has shut its doors, with the owner indicating the main reason for its closure being the opening of its new North End spot on Prince Street. The article quotes the owner as saying that "We've opened a second establishment in the North End of Boston and the reason I closed is because I lost two key employees, a cook and a manager," which led to him to come to the conclusion that "There was no way I could have had both open at the same time." The Patch states that someone has expressed interest in taking over the Washington Street space.

[May 29 update: A more recent article from the Marblehead Patch indicates that Yannalfo's will open up in the former Pellino's spot, with a possible opening sometime next month. The article says that the new restaurant will likely be a bit more affordable than Pellino's had been, though work is still being done to the menu and the chef is not yet in place.]

The address for the now-closed Pellino's (and soon-to-open Yannalfo's) is 261 Washington Street Marblehead, MA, 01945.

Thanks to North Shore Dish for bringing this to our attention.

[Earlier Article]
G'Vanni's in Boston's North End Has Closed; Pellino's Is Replacing It

b.good Is Opening Near Boston's South Station

Earlier this week we reported that a small local chain of restaurants that features "real" fast food (and focuses mainly on burgers) was planning to open at least one new spot before the end of the year, and now we know the location of the place.

According to their Facebook and Twitter pages, b.good has signed a lease to open near South Station in Boston, moving into a space at the corner of Summer Street and Devonshire Street on the edge of the Financial District. A photo of the building indicates that the eatery may be moving into the GNC space there, though we are still waiting to confirm the exact address.

The new location of b.good could open by late summer, based on information from their Facebook note.

[December 7 update: According to a post on their Facebook page, the new b.good is planning to open next week. Their website also gives an exact address; it will be located at 84 Summer Street.]

[December 12 update: A more recent post from their Facebook page indicates that the new b.good is opening on Friday (December 14).]

Currently, locations of b.good can be found on Washington Street in downtown Boston as well as in the Back Bay (3 of them), Harvard Square in Cambridge, Legacy Place in Dedham, the Burlington Marketplace in Burlington, and the Derby Street Shoppes in Hingham. The chain is also looking to start franchising, and may eventually start opening locations outside of the Boston area. The website for the b.good chain is at:

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Beat Hotel (Formerly Liberal Servings) Is Opening in Cambridge's Harvard Square

[Ed note: This article was updated on May 28, 2013 to reflect a name change for the upcoming place.]

It looks like a new restaurant is coming to the Harvard Square section of Cambridge, and the person behind it happens to be part of a popular eatery in Boston.

An article in Cambridge Day reports that one of the partners of The Beehive on Tremont Street in the South End is proposing a new restaurant called Liberal Servings (now called Beat Hotel--see note below), which will be located on Brattle Street in the heart of Harvard Square. The article mentions that the new spot might include a dining room with two bars, a private dining area, a small outdoor patio, dancing with live music as well as a DJ, and poetry readings, with seating for 328 and standing room for 32 more.

It appears that the address for Beat Hotel will be 13 Brattle Street, though Cambridge Day says that it "isn't totally clear" exactly where the restaurant would be going. An upcoming License Commission hearing on April 3 should make things a bit more clear, so stay tuned for updates.

Thanks to Eater Boston for bringing this to our attention.

[April 10 update: Cambridge Day is reporting that the License Commission has given approval for Beat Hotel to open at 13 Brattle Street (taking over the former Tannery space).  It looks like the restaurant will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and it will be have the overall feel of a "neighborhood brasserie."]

[April 26 update: The Boston Herald reports that Beat Hotel is planning to open sometime in the spring of 2013. The article also states that entertainment will focus mainly on jazz music, with the place catering to folks in their 30s, 40s, 50s, and above.]

[May 28, 2013 update: According to the Cambridge License Commission General Hearing page for tonight's meeting, a name change is being requested for the upcoming spot; instead of Liberal Servings, it will be called Beat Hotel.]

[July 17, 2013 update: An earlier job post on the Craigslist site indicates that Beat Hotel will open sometime this summer, with a new post saying that there is going to be a "casting call" next week for this "exciting, modern, bohemian, Hippie eatery."]

[September 12, 2013 update: The Restaurant Hub blog of The Boston Globe states that Beat Hotel opens today at 5:00 PM.]

Wegmans Market Is Planning to Open Somewhere in Boston

A chain of grocery stores that recently opened its first location in Massachusetts--and is planning to open at least two more markets in the Boston area--is now looking at Boston itself.

The Boston Globe is reporting that the chief executive of Rochester-based Wegmans Food Markets is looking at several properties within the Boston city limits, stating that "We believe we belong in Boston, not just in the suburbs." No specific sites were mentioned, though the Globe speculates that any Wegmans that does open in the city would probably be similar to the model for the upcoming Chestnut Hill store, which will be approximately half the size of their typical markets (about 70,000 square feet). Wegmans also has a Burlington store in the works, with that one being more of a full-sized location.

[March 29 update: The Boston Globe is reporting that Wegmans is looking at locations in the Fenway and the South End, with the latter being the former Boston Herald site near the Southeast Expressway.]

The first Wegmans in the state opened in Northborough last October.

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

[Earlier Articles]
Wegmans Market to Open in Newton's Chestnut Hill Square
Wegmans Market Planning to Open in Burlington
Wegmans Market Is Opening in Northborough

Cooking for a Cause to Be Held in Boston March 30, 2012

A culinary event that helps support a Cambridge community center and social service agency is coming back to Boston once again, and as always, there will be food, drink, and entertainment offered.

The East End House website mentions that the 9th Annual Cooking for a Cause will be held on Friday, March 30 at the Seaport Hotel on the Boston waterfront, starting at 6:00 PM. Once again, the event will include food from local chefs and drinks from mixologists, along with craft beers, local wines, desserts, and coffee. A few of the chefs and mixologists who will be participating in the 2012 Cooking for a Cause include Jason Santos from Blue Inc., Andy Husbands from Tremont 647, Mary Dumont from Harvest, Nicole Lebedevitch from The Hawthorne, Dylan Black form Green Street, Kevin Martin from Eastern Standard, and many others. Music will be supplied by the Winiker Orchestra, and a live and silent auction will take place as well.

Tickets to the 2012 Cooking for a Cause event cost $125, with proceeds benefiting the East End House Community Center, which is a nonprofit, multi-service social service center that has been in existence since the 1800s.

For more information on the 9th Annual Cooking for a Cause, please go to the link below.

Former Owner of La Stanza Diva to Team Up with The Restaurant in Woburn

The person who ran a now-closed Italian restaurant in Woburn Center--and subsequently teamed up with a diner south of the downtown area--is going to be working with another Woburn eatery, with this one being a Greek place near where her original dining spot used to be.

Lynne Howell, who was the chef/owner of La Stanza Diva on Main Street and who also worked with Martinos Diner near the Winchester line, will soon be teaming up with The Restaurant on Main Street, focusing on upscale appetizers and a small dinner menu along with different wines. She will be doing a "happy hour" of sorts on Tuesdays and Wednesdays with free food items at The Restaurant's new bar, and a special menu that she created for the eatery will be available Thursday through Saturday with seasonal specialties offered.

Lynne's La Stanza Diva restaurant opened about 20 years ago in the northern part of Woburn, eventually moving to the center of the community until it closed in 2010. The dining spot focused on Northern Italian, Southern Italian, and Mediterranean fare.

The Restaurant is a place that our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants) has featured as a little-known eatery to go to for their inexpensive Greek fare. The review can be found at this link:

There doesn't appear to be a specific starting date for Lynne Howell at this point; as soon as we find out, we will post an update here.

The address for The Restaurant is: The Restaurant, 489 Main Street, Woburn, MA, 01801.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Minds Matter Boston Spring Soiree Coming to the South End April 14, 2012

An event featuring food, drink, and more is coming to the South End of Boston in April, and it will be raising money for a good cause.

The fourth annual Minds Matter Boston Spring Soiree is coming to the Cyclorama at the Boston Center for the Arts on Tremont Street on Saturday, April 14 starting at 9:00 PM, with cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and food/appetizers, live and silent auctions, and a live DJ and dancing all being part of the event. The soiree is going to be supporting Minds Matter Boston, a chapter of a nonprofit organization that helps inner-city and low-income students further their education beyond high school. Some of the vendors that will be participating in the event include Blue Ribbon BBQ, Kickass Cupcakes, Narragansett, Privateer, Allagash, Idle Hands, Legal Sea Foods, The Sausage Guy, and more.

Tickets to the 2012 Minds Matter Boston Spring Soiree cost $100 for general admission (VIP – $130) this month, $130/$160 in April, and $160/$200 at the door.

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

Punjabi Tadka Is Opening in Arlington Center

A new Indian restaurant is on its way to Arlington Center, moving into the space where a few Asian dining spots have been over the past several years.

The Arlington Patch reports that Punjabi Tadka is going to be opening in the former Midami space on Mass. Ave. Midami had closed in late 2011, about a year and a half after replacing Kayuga II, which in turn had replaced Asiana Grille. The Patch article mentions that the person behind the new Indian eatery also owns India Castle and Desi Dhaba in Cambridge, along with Kabab Corner in Medford. Expect Punjabi Tadka to have a "standard Indian menu," with the space remaining much like it was with Midami (no renovations will be done to the interior).

Punjabi Tadka should be open sometime within the next month, according to the Patch.

[August 6 update: The Arlington Patch states that Punjabi Tadka is now open.]

The address for this new restaurant in Arlington Center is: Punjabi Tadka, 444 Massachusetts Avenue, Arlington, MA 02474.

Naga in Cambridge Has Its Grand Opening Tonight

A brand new nightclub in Cambridge's Central Square neighborhood that happens to be part of a new restaurant is having a grand opening event tonight.

According to the Om Restaurant Facebook page, Naga will be featuring "multiple DJ's" at their grand opening this evening, with the Mass. Ave. spot--which is located in back of Moksa--featuring what will certainly be a night of drinking and dancing for many. Expect the new nightspot to soon be offering karaoke and live music as well, based on information from The Daily Candy.

Both Naga and Moksa (an Asian street food restaurant that opened earlier this month) reside in the Central Square Theatre building. The address is 450 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA, 02139. The website for Naga can be found at

[Earlier Article]
Moksa Is Opening in Cambridge's Central Square

The Paris Creperie's Eiffel Tourer Food Truck Is On the Way

A creperie in the Coolidge Corner section of Brookline is just about ready to have a brand new food truck hit the streets of the Boston area.

According to their Facebook page, the Paris Creperie on Harvard Street will have a food truck arriving in Brookline by the end of the week, with a note indicating that they will be at their street sites beginning late next week. An earlier post (with photos) from the Facebook page shows the name of the truck as being the "Eiffel Tourer."

Based on information from a Boston Globe article, it appears that the Eiffel Tourer food truck will be moving around the Rose Kennedy Greenway in downtown Boston, and a Brookline TAB article reports that the truck will also be in Brookline (possibly at St. Mary's Street at Commonwealth Avenue, Pleasant Street and Commonwealth Avenue, and/or Beacon and Washington streets).

[March 28 update: According to their Facebook page, the Eiffel Tourer truck will be at the following sites:

Mondays/Tuesdays/Wednesdays -- Boylston and Washington streets for breakfast and lunch, St. Mary's Street and Comm. Ave. for dinner
Thursdays -- City Hall Plaza in Boston for breakfast and lunch, St. Mary's Street and Comm. Ave. for dinner
Fridays -- Boston Public Library for breakfast, St. Mary's Street and Comm. Ave. for dinner
Saturdays -- Washington Square in Brookline for breakfast, catering operation for lunch and dinner
Sundays -- St. Mary's Street and Comm. Ave. for breakfast and lunch, catering operation for lunch and dinner

If any of this changes, we will post another update here.]

[April 5 update: According to the Paris Creperie website, the Eiffel Tourer food truck is up and running and will be at City Hall Plaza today, and they will be at the Boston Public Library tomorrow. As for Brookline, it will be another couple of weeks before they start showing up there.]

The address for the Paris Creperie is 278 Harvard Street, Brookline, MA, 02446. Their website can be found at

Fill Belly's Restaurant in Jamaica Plain Is Closed for Renovations

It looks like a soul food restaurant in Jamaica Plain that opened last summer after starting out as a food truck is going to be shuttered for awhile.

According to their Facebook page, Fill Belly's Restaurant on Washington Street is going to be closed for renovations until June. There is little information as to the nature of the renovations, other than a note from the eatery that they will "be back, 100% stronger."

Fill Belly's began its existence as a food truck in the summer of 2010, with its brick-and-mortar restaurant opening in JP about a year later, featuring such dishes as bosilitos, chicken and waffles, macaroni and cheese, and fried chicken.

The address for Fill Belly's is: Fill Belly's Restaurant, 3381 Washington Street, Jamaica Plain, MA, 02130. Their Facebook page can be found at

The Barking Crab Makes Zagat's List of 10 Tackiest Restaurants in America

A popular restaurant guide has just come out with a list of tackiest restaurants in the America, and a Boston eatery just happens to be on the list.

According to Zagat, The Barking Crab has been included in the guide's list of "10 Tackiest Restaurants in the U.S." due in part to the "circus-like tent" and decor that "consists of fishing nets and wooden if you needed to be reminded you are eating at a seafood restaurant." The waterfront dining spot shares the honor with such places as Milon in Manhattan's East Village (where they do "their own Hindi Pop version of 'Happy Birthday'"), Casa Bonita in Denver (of South Park fame), Pinnacle Peak Steakhouse in San Dimas, CA (where ties are not allowed, and in fact get chopped off and pinned it to the wall), and both Bugaboo Creek and the Rainforest Cafe, which are two chains that may be familiar to Bostonians.

The Barking Crab is located at 88 Sleeper Street, which is near where Fort Point Channel meets Boston Harbor. They also have a location in Newport, RI.

For a complete list of restaurants on the list, please go to the Zagat link below.

The 10 Tackiest Restaurants in the U.S.

Thanks to Eater Boston for bringing this to our attention.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Update: Tomorrow's Hearing for Villa Mexico Has Been Canceled

[Ed note: This article was quickly updated due to some recent news just after it was posted. Thanks to Adam's Hospitality & Tourism Industry Blog for bringing this to our attention.]

A Mexican restaurant in Boston's Beacon Hill neighborhood is losing its home within a Cambridge Street Gas Station, and tomorrow there was supposed to be a Zoning Board of Appeal hearing at City Hall in the hopes that the dining spot would be able to move to a nearby space. The hearing, however, has been canceled, with a note from the restaurant stating that "we were notified of a letter sent by the building owner [abutters] on Grove Street shared with the Zoning Board. In it, they are asking for a dialogue so that we can reach a good neighbor agreement in regard to our move." The note goes on to say that "there is NO hearing for Villa Mexico Cafe tomorrow. We will defer, in the hopes of reaching a consensus with our community."

As soon as we receive more information from Villa Mexico, we will post another update here, but to repeat, there is no hearing on this issue at City Hall tomorrow morning.

For more information, please go to the link from Villa Mexico below.

NO HEARING: We've Been Asked to Defer

Villa Mexico's current address is 296 Cambridge Street, Boston, MA, 02114.

Highlights for the Week Ending March 23, 2012

A number of new stories and articles focusing on the Boston-area restaurant scene came out over the past week, including new food truck locations announced for Boston, a restaurant and bar returning to Allston, and a popular Irish pub near Faneuil Hall announcing its eventual closing. In addition, our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants) included a new photo slideshow of outdoor dining areas in the Boston area, a noteboard showing various restaurant/food events, and a review of a European-style eatery in Quincy.

Below are links to these and other items from the past week:

Boston Restaurant Talk

New Food Truck Locations Announced for Boston

Counter Culture Coffee Training Center Coming to Somerville

The Joshua Tree in Allston to Replace Barley Hall, Which Had Replaced The Joshua Tree

The 2012 Munch Madness Tournament Is On

The Purple Shamrock in Boston to Close

Boston's Hidden Restaurants

Slideshow: Ten Outdoor Dining Areas in the Boston Area

Noteboard for Various Restaurant/Food Events

Updated Review: Grumpy White's in Quincy, MA

Photo: Breakfast Plate from Jimmy's Broad Street Diner in Weymouth, MA

Blog Review: Cafe de Paris in Quincy, MA

A New Restaurant May Be On Its Way to Summer Street in the Fort Point Area

A few months after we first reported that a new restaurant may be coming to a warehouse on Summer Street in the Fort Point neighborhood of Boston, it appears that another new eatery may be opening in a warehouse on nearby Summer Street.

The Banker & Tradesman website is reporting that a new dining spot could be opening in an abandoned warehouse at 320 Summer Street that is going to be renovated into an office building. The article mentions that the space is "getting serious interest from restaurant operators" for the ground floor area that will be set aside for retail use. The warehouse building on Summer Street has been vacant for several years, according to Banker & Tradesman.

The Summer Street structure is about one block from another warehouse building at 381 Congress Street that might house a restaurant as well.

[Earlier Article]
A New Restaurant May Be Coming to Boston's Fort Point Neighborhood

Firehouse Subs Opens Its First New England Location in Danvers

Last spring, we reported that a Florida-based chain of quick-casual restaurants was going to be opening a number of locations in Massachusetts, with its first apparently being in the Back Bay of Boston. This turns out to be incorrect, as a North Shore community has beat out the Back Bay for the honors.

The Danvers Patch reports that Firehouse Subs has just opened at the Liberty Tree Mall in the plaza at Independence Way, making this the first branch to open not only in Massachusetts, but also in all of New England. The article states that as with all of the Firehouse locations, the new Danvers shop has various photos and memorabilia focusing on firefighting, including a mural showing a fire that happened at Danvers Town Hall during its refurbishment in 2009.

The Jacksonville-based chain first started out in the mid-1990s, being opened by two brothers who come from a long line of firefighters. The restaurants feature hot and cold subs, soups, salads, brownies, and cookies.

The address for this Danvers restaurant is: Firehouse Subs, 35 Independence Way, Danvers, MA, 01923. The website for the chain can be found at

[Earlier Article]
Firehouse Subs Looking to Open 69 Locations in the Boston Area

b.good Is Planning to Start Franchising

A local chain of restaurants that features "real" fast food is planning to franchise, with an eventual expansion outside the Boston area being a possibility.

The Harvard Crimson reports that b.good is looking to start franchising later this year, with the plan being to sell two franchises and open at least one new store before the end of 2012. The article also mentions that the Boston-based burger chain is hoping to have new locations outside of the region "after a few years."

b.good first started out in Boston's Back Bay in 2003, featuring such items as house-ground hamburgers, turkey burgers, veggie burgers, chicken sandwiches, handcut fries, and all-natural shakes. Locations can be found in downtown Boston, the Back Bay (3 of them), Cambridge's Harvard Square, Legacy Place in Dedham, the Burlington Marketplace in Burlington, and the Derby Street Shoppes in Hingham. The website for b.good is at

Friday, March 23, 2012

Cochon 555 to Be Held in Boston, March 25, 2012

A national competition that centers around pig-based dishes and wine is returning to Boston once again, with five local chefs competing.

According to the event's website, Cochon 555 will be held on Sunday, March 25 starting at 5:00 PM (4:00 PM for VIP) at the Mandarin Oriental in the Back Bay of Boston. Executive Chef Rachel Klein will be hosting the event, with the competing chefs including Jamie Bissonette of Coppa and Toro, Tim Cushman of O Ya, Barbara Lynch of Menton, Barry Maiden of Hungry Mother, and Steve "Nookie" Postal of Fenway Park, all of whom will create pork-based dishes for guests. Wines from Buty Winery, Elk Cove Vineyards, Syncline Wines, Sokol Blosser, Chehalem Wines, and K Vintners will be offered at the event, which also features special guests Rick Lemay of Lemay & Sons in Goffstown, NH (butcher demonstration), Matt Jennings of Farmstead in Providence (interactive tasting contest), and Joshua Smith of Tico in the Back Bay (Heritage BBQ whole hog family meal).

Judges and guests will pick the winner of the event, with that person going on to compete against others at the finale Grand Cochon in Aspen this June.

Tickets to Cochon 555 cost $125 per person for general admission ($200 for VIP).

For more information on the 2012 Cochon 555 event in Boston, please go to the link below.

Fenway Park to Be the Site of the World's Largest Toast

Fenway Park is gearing up for its 100th year in existence, and one event that is planned for the home of the Red Sox is a rather unusual one to say the least.

Grub Street Boston reports that Welch's Grape Juice is looking to get into the Guinness Book of World Records by giving everyone at the April 20 Sox/Yankees game a Welch's Sparking Grape Juice Cocktail, with the hopes that it can set the record for the world's largest toast in one venue. The website mentions that the current record for a toast is 27,126, which was set at a baseball game in Japan a couple of years ago. Since Fenway Park can hold more than 37,000 people, it seems that there is a good chance the record will fall next month in Beantown.

Welch's is based on Concord, MA, and recently celebrated an anniversary of its own (140 years in business).

New Food Truck Locations Announced for Boston

Food truck lovers in Boston will have several new locations to choose from this season, as the city has just announced an expansion of the food truck program.

The Boston Business Journal reports that new food truck locations will be coming to the Financial District, Chinatown, the Back Bay, and the South End for 2012, with trucks being at the following sites:

Financial District: Two trucks on the corner of Milk Street and Kilby Street
Chinatown: One truck across from the Registry of Motor Vehicles
Back Bay: Two trucks near Copley Square at Stuart Street and Trinity Place
South End: One truck at Tremont Street and Berkeley Street

The article also mentions that three food truck sites from last year are no longer in existence--two in Bay Village and one in the Financial District (at Milk Street on Post Office Square).

Met on Main, Sea Dog Pub to Open on Nantucket

Two very different restaurants that have branches in the Boston area are each planning an island location.

The Nantucket Inquirer and Mirror reports that Met on Main and the Sea Dog Pub are looking to open on Nantucket, with each recently receiving licenses by the Board of Selectmen this week. Met on Main will be opened by the group behind several upscale restaurants in and around Boston, including the Met Back Bay, the Metropolitan Club in Chestnut Hill and the Met Bar in Dedham and Natick, while the Sea Dog Pub will be opened by the Maine-based microbrewery of the same name that also has brewpubs in Woburn and Hull. The article mentions that both restaurants could be open before the summer season behind.

[June 18 update: The Sea Dog Pub is now open on Nantucket, while the Chowder blog from Boston Magazine reports that Met on Main will be opening next week.]

Met on Main will be taking over the Main Street space where the Even Keel Cafe used to be; the Sea Dog brew pub will move into the South Water Street spot where Cy's had been.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Counter Culture Coffee Training Center Coming to Somerville

A North Carolina-based coffee roaster and educator is getting ready to open a training center in Somerville.

The Boston Globe reports that Counter Culture Coffee will be opening a school on Somerville Avenue at the western edge of Union Square, taking over the space where Grand boutique used to be. The article states that when it opens this summer, the Somerville location of the Counter Culture Coffee training center will be the chain's first brick-and-mortar school in Massachusetts, with its other training centers being in New York City, Washington, D.C., Durham, NC, and Atlanta. The new training center will have a variety of equipment, including espresso machines, grinders, and handcrafted brewer wares, according to the Globe.

Counter Culture Coffee currently works with such Boston-area places as Espresso Royale, Journeyman Restaurant, Pavement Coffeehouse, and Render Coffee.

[September 7 update: Eater Boston mentions that Counter Culture Coffee will be having an open house on Saturday, September 15 at its new Somerville training center.]

The address for this coffee training center will be: Counter Culture Coffee, 374 Somerville Avenue, Somerville, MA, 02143.

My Cousin's Place Opens in Boston's North End

A new restaurant has come to the North End of Boston, moving into the space where a coffee shop used to be. reports that My Cousin's Place is now open on Hanover Street (just east of the Paul Revere Mall), taking over the former Contrada's spot. The new eatery is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with coffee, bagels, muffins, salads, sandwiches, and more offered. According to their Facebook page, prices for items are generally under $10, and the place is open from 6:00 AM to 9:00 PM seven days a week.

The address for this new restaurant in the North End is: My Cousin's Place, 396 Hanover Street, Boston, MA, 02113. Their Facebook page can be found at

The Joshua Tree in Allston Is Replacing Barley Hall, Which Had Replaced The Joshua Tree

A restaurant and sports bar in Allston that closed last year to make way for a new dining spot from the same people is returning to the space once again.

Universal Hub reports that The Joshua Tree is planning to reopen on Commonwealth Avenue, moving into the space where Barley Hall has been since last August. The article mentions that the owners of Barley Hall go before the Boston Licensing Board next yesterday to request permission for the name change back to The Joshua Tree, so if all goes as planned, there will soon be two Joshua Trees in the Boston area once again (the other being in Somerville's Davis Square).

[April 5 update: According to their Facebook page, Barley Hall is now officially The Joshua Tree once again.]

The address for Barley Hall/Joshua Tree is 1314 Commonwealth Avenue, Allston, MA, 02134. The website for The Joshua Tree in Somerville can be found at

[Earlier Article]
Barley Hall to Replace The Joshua Tree in Allston

New Balance World Headquarters Plans in Brighton Include Restaurants

A Brighton-based footwear manufacturer released plans this week for a new world headquarters, and it includes the possibility of a number of dining spots.

The Boston Globe reports that New Balance is looking to have at least four new buildings constructed off of Guest Street in Brighton, with one building being its actual headquarters and the other three being a hotel, sports facility, and office complex. The article mentions that the headquarters and office complex would include restaurants and the sports facility may have some as well, and it can probably be assumed that the hotel would have at least one eatery.

The current New Balance headquarters can be found at 20 Guest Street, which is just east of Market Street and just south of the Mass. Pike near Soldiers Field Road.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Update: Is Wahlburgers Expanding into Britain and Ireland?

[Ed note: This article was updated on March 21 to reflect conflicting reports in response to what Mark Wahlberg said to the Metro.]

A burger restaurant on the South Shore that has a couple of well-known celebrity brothers behind it could be expanding (if one of the brothers is to be believed), with the new locations being a good distance east of the Boston area.

An interview with actor and former pop star Mark Wahlberg in the London-based Metro indicates that plans are apparently in place for Wahlburgers in Hingham to expand overseas, with the Dorchester native stating that they are "opening a bunch of them in Britain and Ireland this year." But a Boston Business Journal article seems to put this rumor on hold at the very least, as the folks behind Wahlburgers have apparently talked about both expanding in Boston and overseas, with the vice president of operations focusing only on the Boston expansion in the article. Earlier this month we reported that Wahlburgers, which is also owned by chef/restaurateur Paul Wahlberg and actor/former pop star Donnie Wahlberg, may be looking to open a new location in the Fenway area as well, with the recent Business Journal article indicating that the Back Bay and the waterfront are possibilities as well.

The Metro article also quotes Mark Wahlberg as saying that the Hingham eatery is making "$17,000 a day."

The address for Wahlburgers in Hingham is: Wahlburgers, 19 Shipyard Drive, Hingham, MA, 02043.

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

[Earlier Article]
Is Wahlburgers Coming to Boston's Fenway Neighborhood?

The 2012 Munch Madness Tournament Is On

A restaurant tournament that is loosely based on the NCAA's March Madness has returned to Boston.

The Boston Globe's Munch Madness 2012 competition is now up and running, with 64 local dining spots facing off against each other to see which one is the city's best. The bracket includes many restaurants that were part of last year's competition, along with some newcomers to the tourney. Last year, Hungry Mother in Cambridge defeated the East Coast Grill (also in Cambridge), with the other two to make the final four being Ten Tables in Jamaica Plain and Craigie on Main in Cambridge.

Round 1 voting will take place today and tomorrow, with Rounds 2 through 4 running through the next several days. The Final Four will be on March 29-30, with the championship being March 31-April 1. The winner will be announced on April 4.

For more information--including the initial matchups and the results of each round--please go to the Boston Globe link below.

[March 29 update: The Final Four are now in place for Munch Madness, with Hungry Mother (Cambridge) facing Highland Kitchen (Somerville) and Craigie on Main (Cambridge) facing Eastern Standard (Boston) in this round. (Please go to the Boston Globe link above for the results of each round so far.)]

[April 1 update: The Championship Round is taking place right now between Hungry Mother and Craigie on Main (both in Cambridge), with voting finishing up by the end of today (results will be announced on April 4).]

[April 4 update: Hungry Mother has won the 2012 Munch Madness tournament.]

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Coolidge Corner No Longer Included in Brookline Food Truck Pilot Program

As we reported earlier, Brookline will soon see food trucks coming to its community, but there apparently won't be any in one of its busiest neighborhoods, at least for now.

The Brookline TAB is reporting that the John Street site in Coolidge Corner has been taken off the shelf, due at least in part to the concern of neighbors about the potential sounds and smells of the trucks being a disruption to the neighborhood. The article mentions that because of John Street no longer being one of Brookline's food truck sites, two vendors--BBQsmith and Bon Me--will apparently no longer be setting up shop in the community. If the program seems to be working out, however, the possibility does exist that Coolidge Corner could possibly have a food truck site later in the season, according to the TAB.

[Earlier Article]
Food Truck Pilot Program Planned for Brookline

Enlightenment Ales Gets Ready to Bring Its Beer to the Boston Area

The "nanobrewery" trend looks to be continuing in the Boston area, as yet another little brewery is getting ready to bring its beers to local restaurants and bars.

The Boston Magazine Chowder blog reports that Enlightenment Ales is selling batches of its beers to such spots as Deep Ellum, Eastern Standard, L'Espalier, Atwoods, and Russell House Tavern, with the beers being offered sometime in early June. The Chowder blog mentions that the Somerville-based nanobrewery will be offering a beverage called "biere de champagne," which will likely have a bright, dry, and delicate flavor and a high alcohol content (possibly around 11%).

The person behind Enlightenment Ales--Ben Howe--is also a bartender and waiter at the Cambridge Brewing Company in Kendall Square.

A couple of other nanobreweries are currently up and running in the Boston area, including Idle Hands Craft Ales and Night Shift Brewing, both of which are based in Everett.

The website for Enlightenment Ales is at

[Earlier Articles]
Idle Hands Craft Ales Has Officially Launched Its Beers
Night Shift Brewing Is Getting Ready to Debut Their Beers

Taste Quincy Restaurant Week to Be Held March 25-30, 2012

It looks like another "restaurant week" is returning to the Boston area once again later this month.

According to their website, Taste Quincy Restaurant Week will be held from Sunday, March 25 to Friday, March 30, with a number of local dining spots participating, including Alba Deli, Basta Pasta, China Pearl, Fuji 1546, Granite Street Cafe, O'Brien's Bakery, Unchained Pizza, Villa Rosa, and more. Some of the deals offered include a "lunch for two" deal for $10 or $15 (depending on the restaurant) and a "dinner for two" deal for $20 or $30, along with some more specific deals.

For more information on the 2012 Taste Quincy Restaurant Week (including complete details on what each restaurant is offering), please go to the link below.

Life Alive Is Opening in Salem

A cafe with locations in Cambridge and Lowell that focuses on healthy, organic food is going to be opening a third location, with this one being on the North Shore.

According to their website, Life Alive is planning to open a restaurant on Essex Street in Salem (about midway between Route 114 and Washington Street), with an anticipated opening date sometime this spring. Expect the new location to have such items as soups, salads, wraps, hot entrees, and smoothies, with the focus being on vegetarian, vegan, macrobiotic, raw, and gluten-free foods.

[May 10 update: The new Life Alive in Salem is now open.]

The original Life Alive first opened on Middle Street in Lowell in 2004, with the Cambridge location opening in the fall of 2010.

The address for this new restaurant in Salem is: Life Alive, 281 Essex Street, Salem, MA, 01970. Their website can be found at

2012 Food Vendor Lineup for the Rose Kennedy Greenway in Boston

The 2012 food vendor lineup for Boston's Rose Kennedy Greenway has just been announced, and it will include a mix of new and returning trucks, trailers, kiosks, and carts. Based on an article from Grub Street Boston, some of the new foods offered this year on the Greenway will be Greek items, grilled cheese, and tacos. The list of vendors for 2012 is as follows, according to Grub Street (mostly listed from south to north):

Kickass Cupcakes, in Dewey Square and Chinatown Park
BBQ Smith, in Dewey Square
Bon Me, in Dewey Square
Clover Food Lab, in Dewey Square
Lefty's Silver Cart, in Dewey Square Park
Renula's Greek Kitchen, in Dewey Square Park
Roxy's Grilled Cheese, across from Rowes Wharf Plaza and in Chinatown Park
Yo Taco, across from Rowes Wharf Plaza
Silk Road BBQ, in Rowes Wharf Plaza
Beantown Franks 'n Spuds, at Rings Fountain by Milk Street
Grilled Cheese Nation, across from Rings Fountain by Milk Street
Boston Pushcart, near the Carousel and Harbor Islands Pavilion
Culinary Cruisers, near the Carousel and Harbor Islands Pavilion
Anthem, on the Freedom Trail in the North End Parks
Boston Harbor Ice Cream Company, various locations
Equal Exchange Free Range Cafe, various locations

As soon as we hear about some opening dates for the vendors, we will post an update here.

[March 20 update: The Boston Magazine Chowder blog mentions that some of the vendors will be up and running on May 1, with all of them being in place by Memorial Day.]

Monday, March 19, 2012

Eugene O'Neill's Is Opening in Jamaica Plain

A new Irish pub is coming to the Forest Hills area of Jamaica Plain, and the same folks who are behind this place are also behind an existing Irish pub southwest of the city as well as an upcoming Irish pub nearby.

Eater Boston reports that Eugene O'Neill's is opening on Washington Street, with information from Universal Hub indicating that the new spot will be moving into the space where a barber shop used to be--and next door to Tonic, a martini bar with a different owner that will be moving into the former Griffin's Cafe space. Universal Hub mentions that Eugene O'Neill's (see following note about name change) will be owned by the team that runs Napper Tandy's in Norwood; note that a source indicates Eugene O'Neill's was supposed to have been called Napper Tandy's as well (hence the reference to it in the Universal Hub article), though an upcoming pub in Roslindale from the same people will have that name instead.

Eater Boston says that Eugene O'Neill's should be open in the next five to six weeks.

[September 17 update: A phone call placed to Napper Tandy's in Norwood indicates that Eugene O'Neill's opened its doors today. (Thanks to one of our readers for letting us know about this.)]

The address for this new pub in Jamaica Plain is: Eugene O'Neill's, 3700 Washington Street, Jamaica Plain, MA, 02130.

[Earlier Articles]
Owners of Napper Tandy's in Norwood to Open a New Irish Pub in Roslindale
Tonic to Open in Jamaica Plain