Thursday, May 31, 2012

Google and Zagat Introduce Google+ Local

Last September, we reported that Zagat had been acquired by Google, and today, the popular restaurant guide and the massive Internet-based company have launched a new program that will help viewers find information on local dining spots.

An email sent to us indicates that "Google+ Local" was rolled out today, with the program allowing Google+ users to access user reviews, photos, maps and other information (including food, decor, and service scores) on restaurants from the Zagat site, with the info being free to anyone who is a member of Google+. In addition, reviews of restaurants from folks who are in users' circles on Google+ will be placed at the top, above reviews from people who are not in their circles.

To learn more about the new Google+ Local program, please go to the link below:

Local - Now With a Dash of Zagat and a Sprinkle of Google+

[Earlier Article]
Zagat Survery Has Been Acquired by Google

Restaurants Coming to Melnea Cass Boulevard in Roxbury

A busy thoroughfare that cuts through the Roxbury section of Boston is going to be the site of a couple of mixed-use development projects, with the plans including the opening of new restaurants.

The Boston Globe is reporting that plans are in place for two projects along Melnea Cass Boulevard in the sections known as parcels 9 and 10 (between the Washington Street and Shawmut Avenue intersections). The article states that parcel 9 will include one or more restaurants, a hotel, homes, and a commercial and community building, while parcel 10 will include more restaurants, a supermarket, homes, and office space. (It appears that both projects will include stores as well.)

The article mentions that the two projects will serve as a gateway to Dudley Square, which is just west of the two parcels and has seen a good amount of redevelopment of late.

Update: Brighton Gourmet and Cellar Is Opening in Brighton's Oak Square Neighborhood

[Ed note: This article was updated on July 25, 2013 to reflect a name given for the place--and the fact that it is now open.]

A store that features specialty foods along with beer, wine, and liquor is going to be opening in Brighton.

The Boston Globe reports that the new shop--which does not seem to have a name yet--will open on Washington Street in the Oak Square section of this Boston neighborhood, taking over the space where Diskovery (a used music, book, and movie store) has been. Items such as cheese, pasta, cooking oils, sauces, and jams will be available at the upcoming place, and the shop may eventually have food and drink tastings as well, along with cooking classes.

Expect the store to be open by early September, according to the Globe.

[July 25, 2013 update: A new article in the Boston Globe says that the name of the store is Brighton Gourmet and Cellar, and that it is now open for business.]

The address for this new shop in Oak Square is 569 Washington Street, Brighton MA, 02135.

Farmstead Table Is Opening in Newton Centre

A new farm-to-table restaurant is going to be opening in Newton Centre, moving into the space where an Indian dining spot used to be.

The Zagat Buzz blog is reporting that Farmstead Table is planning to open on Union Street, taking over the former India Paradise spot. According to Zagat, the husband-and-wife team behind the upcoming eatery are looking to feature a contemporary take on "countryside New England" fare, with such dishes as roast chicken, braised short ribs, and lamb shank. The restaurant will have seating for 48, including 4 seats at the bar and 10 seats in the lounge, and an outdoor deck that will come later will have a capacity of 25. It appears that the interior of the dining spot will be rustic in nature, with antique furnishings and tables made from barn wood.

Expect Farmstead Table to open early in the summer, according to the Zagat blog.

[July 6 update: The Boston Globe reports that Farmstead Table is hoping to open during the first week of August.]

[August 3 update: The Newton Patch states that Farmstead Table is now open.]

The address for this new restaurant in Newton Centre is: Farmstead Table, 71 Union Street, Newton, MA, 02459.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

NECN's "Baby, You're the Best" Food Competition Is Up and Running

A regional cable news network has set up a food competition with 12 categories included, and the voting will take place for a good part of the spring and summer.

According to their website, NECN's "Baby, You're the Best" competition is currently in full swing, with voting on ice cream having just ended (the next featured vote is for pizza). Among the categories for best food in New England are best fried clams, donuts, hot dogs, chowder, cupcakes, and more. Results of the ice cream vote will be posted on Monday, June 4, with nominations for pizza closing on Sunday, June 3 (the pizza poll goes live on Monday, June 4, and wraps up on Wednesday, June 6). Other categories will follow over the coming days and weeks; as soon as NECN posts an exact schedule for the voting, we will post an update here.

The link below is where people can cast their votes.

Clear Conscience Cafe in Cambridge's Central Square to Close

One day after reporting that a restaurant between Harvard Square and Porter Square in Cambridge has closed, we now have word that another Cambridge dining spot from the same folks will be shutting down as well.

Cambridge Day is reporting that the Clear Conscience Cafe on Mass. Ave. in Central Square will be closing at the end of August. The article states that the eatery is shuttering because of rising rents, which is also causing the Harvest Co-op grocery store (which is behind the restaurant) to close as well, though the market will be moving across the street to a smaller space. It is not yet known what might be moving into the space that will be vacated by the cafe and the grocery store.

The address for the Clear Conscience Cafe is: Clear Conscience Cafe, 581 Massachusetts Ave  Cambridge, MA, 02139. Their website can be found at

Thanks to Eater Boston for bringing this to our attention.

[Earlier Article]
Rafiki Bistro in Cambridge Has Closed

Anna's Walqueria to Be Held June 16, 2012

A group of Boston-area burrito spots is behind an upcoming half-marathon walking event once again, and the walk will include stops at their six locations (with the proceeds going to a good cause).

According to their event page, the 6th annual Anna's Walqueria will be held on Saturday, June 16 starting at 10:30 AM, with the 13-mile loop beginning at the location of Anna's Taqueria at 1412 Beacon Street in Brookline. The event is free of charge, and the food at each Anna's location will be free as well; Anna's will be making a $5 donation to The Home For Little Wanderers for each store that each participant goes to/eats at. The Anna's folks also encourage participants to make donations to the Boston-based charity (The Home For Little Wanderers is dedicated to ensuring the healthy emotional, mental, and social development of children at risk, their families, and communities).

For more information on the 2012 Anna's Walqueria, please go to the event link below:

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Highlights for the Week Ending May 25, 2012

Several stories and articles centering on the Boston-area restaurant scene came out over the past week, including a Jamaican food truck coming to Boston, a popular food magazine giving  recognition to a Brookline bakery, and a burger restaurant opening a new location in South Boston. In addition, our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants) included a featured review of a pizza place in Watertown, an updated review of a seafood spot in Quincy, and a photo of an Italian pastry from a bakery in Boston's North End .

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

Boston Restaurant Talk

Makin' Jamaican Food Truck Coming to Boston

Think Tank in Cambridge's Kendall Square Has Apparently Closed for Good

2012 Strawberry Dessert Festival Coming to the Boston Area in June

Saveur Includes Iggy's Among Its Picks of 20 Great American Bread Bakeries

Confirmed: Tasty Burger Is Coming to South Boston

Boston's Hidden Restaurants

New Review: Stella's Pizza in Watertown, MA

Photo: Chocolate Cannoli from Bova's Bakery in Boston, MA

Updated Review: Tony's Clam Shop in Quincy, MA

Question: Favorite Restaurants in Jamaica Plain?

Photo: Momos from Kathmandu Spice in Arlington, MA

SoulFire Is Opening a New Location in Brigham Circle

A BBQ spot in the Allston neighborhood of Boston is getting ready to open a second location, with this one being in a nearby section of the city.

According to a poster on Chowhound (and confirmed by the restaurant), SoulFire is planning to open on Huntington Avenue in the Brigham Circle/Mission Hill neighborhood of Boston, moving into the space where the Brigham Circle Diner used to be. Based on the menu at the original SoulFire (which is located on Harvard Avenue), expect the new outlet to offer such items as chili, macaroni and cheese, wings, corn dogs, pulled pork, brisket, fried catfish, ribs, fried chicken, rice and beans, collard greens, and corn bread.

[July 8 update: A post on the PigTrip BBQ Reviews Facebook page indicates that the new SoulFire may be opening tomorrow (Monday, July 9) for lunch.]

[July 9 update: The new SoulFire in Brigham Circle is now open.]

The address for this new barbecue restaurant in Brigham Circle is: SoulFire, 737 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA, 02115. The website for the original location can be found at

Mixx to Open in Boston's Fenway Neighborhood

A frozen yogurt shop that is located in Allston is getting ready to open a second outlet, with this one being within a short walk of Fenway Park.

According to their Facebook page, Mixx is opening a new location on Boylston Street, bringing to the Fenway neighborhood a place to get self-serve froyo with a wide variety of flavors and toppings available. Although a specific date has not yet been given for the new frozen yogurt shop, the Facebook post indicates that Mixx is planning to open sometime this summer.

Some of the flavors available at the original Mixx (which is on Brighton Avenue in Allston) include mango, cheesecake, coffee, raspberry, taro, green tea, and watermelon. A few of the toppings offered include aloe vera, brownie bites, yogurt chips, almonds, rainbow jimmies, graham cracker crumbs, and fruity pebbles.

[August 30 update: Mixx is one step closer to opening in the Fenway, as a post within the EveryBlock Boston site indicates that the frozen yogurt shop recently received a business license to operate.]

The address for this upcoming froyo place in the Fenway will be: Mixx, 1258 Boylston Street, Boston, MA, 02215. Their website can be found at

Bhindi Bazaar in Boston's Back Bay Has Closed

The intersection of Newbury Street and Mass. Ave. in Boston's Back Bay continues to empty out, as yet another restaurant in the block has shut its doors.

According to several sources (including Adam's Hospitality and Tourism Industry Blog), Bhindi Bazaar on Mass. Ave. is now closed, making this the third dining spot to shut down in that block over the past couple of months. In March, Island Hopper closed down, while in April, the Otherside Cafe shuttered. (A nearby J.P. Licks branch also recently closed, along with other businesses in the block, including a Best Buy.)

Bhindi Bazaar featured a mix of Indian fare, including Southern Indian dishes (dosas, utthapam), Northern Indian items (saagwala, korma, kadahi), and coastal specialties (xacuti, vindaloo). It was open for lunch and dinner seven days a week.

The address for this now-closed Indian restaurant in the Back Bay was: Bhindi Bazaar, 95 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA, 02115.

[Earlier Articles]
Island Hopper in Boston's Back Bay Is Closing
The Otherside Cafe in the Back Bay of Boston Is Closing (for Real This Time)

Rafiki Bistro in Cambridge Has Closed

A bistro between Cambridge's Harvard Square and Porter Square that featured mostly organic, healthy takes on Provencal fare has decided to call it a day.

According to their Facebook page, Rafiki Bistro on Mass. Ave. is now closed, with their last day of operation being this past Saturday. No specific reason for their closing was given, with the Facebook note simply saying "Last night [Saturday night] Rafiki Bistro closed its doors for the last time. To all our friends and loyal customers we say 'THANK YOU.'"

Rafiki Bistro first opened its doors in the spring of 2010, taking over the space where the Forest Cafe had been since the 1930s. The restaurant featured a mostly French and New American menu that included such items as mussels, crispy eggplant, fried calamari, a spring salad with duck egg, tuna tartare, coq au vin, crispy cod, statler chicken, and steak frites.

The address for this now-closed restaurant in Cambridge was: Rafiki Bistro, 1682 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA, 02138.

Blue Ribbon BBQ Opens a Trailer in Needham

A popular BBQ joint that has locations in Arlington and West Newton is opening a third spot today, with this one being a mobile restaurant.

According to their Facebook page, Blue Ribbon BBQ now has a trailer in Needham that is open on weekdays for lunch and dinner. The pit-smoked barbecue trailer, which is located on 2nd Avenue (just east of Route 128 and just south of Highland Avenue), offers many of the items found at its brick-and-mortar spots, including chopped pork and chopped beef sandwiches, brisket, ribs, sausage, cornbread, beans, potato salad, house-made sweet tea, and house-made lemonade.

Hours for the Blue Ribbon trailer are 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM Monday through Friday.

The address for this new mobile restaurant in Needham is: Blue Ribbon BBQ Trailer, 262 2nd Avenue. Needham, MA, 02494. More information on the place can be found at

Thanks to for bringing this to our attention.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Sterling's Is Opening in Boston's Financial District

It looks like a new restaurant and bar may be on its way to the Financial District of Boston.

The Boston Globe is reporting that Sterling's is planning to open on State Street, with the place looking to have a large outdoor patio (120 seats) and a possible closing time of 2:00 AM. The new spot is hoping to purchase a liquor license belonging to Ups N Downs, a bar in the Neponset section of Dorchester that was recently shut down after a violent fight over the winter.

The Boston Licensing Board will make a decision on the license for Sterling's on Thursday.

[May 30 update: A bit more information on Sterling's--an article from Grub Street Boston indicates that The Glynn Hospitality Group is apparently behind Sterling's. (This is the restaurant group that is behind The Black Rose, Brownstone, Clerys, Coogan's, Dillon's, Hurricane O'Reilly's, Jose McIntyre's, and The Purple Shamrock, along with the upcoming Grain Exchange.) The article states that Sterling's may be opening in mid-July.]

[March 12, 2013 update: Eater Boston mentions (via The Boston Herald) that Sterling's plans to open later this week. The Herald article also says that the new spot will have a 1960s-era theme (the name comes from the show "Mad Men") with its menu being influenced in part by Julia Child's cooking.]

[March 26, 2013 update: Sterling's is still not open, but Eater Boston says (via the restaurant's Facebook page) that the place appears to be very close, as they are "just waiting on some final high-five's from the decision makers."]

[April 26, 2013 update: According to a post on their Facebook page, Sterling's has opened.]

The address for this new restaurant and bar in the Financial District of Boston is: Sterling's, 60 State Street, Boston, MA, 02109.

Thanks to Eater Boston for bringing this to our attention.

Beachfire Restaurant and Bar in Hull Has Reopened

Last December, we reported that a South Shore restaurant and bar with some of the most spectacular views in the Boston area had closed its doors and was up for sale due at least in part to health issues facing the owner. Now it appears that the person behind the place is doing better, and the place is open once again.

According to its Facebook page, the Beachfire Restaurant and Bar on State Park Road (at the southern end of Nantasket Beach) opened back up late last week, with everything apparently being back in place. The waterfront spot, which first opened in mid-2010 (replacing the Ocean Club), had abruptly closed a little before Christmas of 2011 and was put on the market for $1.5 million.

The Beachfire Restaurant and Bar features mostly a mix of seafood, classic American dishes, and pub grub.

The address for this reopened restaurant and bar at Nantasket Beach in Hull is: Beachfire Restaurant and Bar, 42 State Park Road, Hull, MA 02045.

[Earlier Article]
Beachfire Restaurant and Bar in Hull Closes, Goes Up for Sale

Gerard Farm in Framingham Is Opening Once Again

A popular lunch spot in Framingham that closed in late 2010 after being in business for 80 years is going to be opening back up.

The MetroWest Daily news is reporting that Gerard Farm on Water Street will soon open once again, as the place known for its turkey sandwiches has decided that the roadwork project in the area that caused it to close is now complete. It appears that few, if any changes will come to the spot, which features salads, home-style dinners, frozen pre-made meals, and ice cream in addition to its signature sandwiches.

Gerard Farm first opened back in 1931.

[June 18 update: A poster on the Chowhound site mentions that Gerard Farm is now open for business once again.]

The address for this eatery in Framingham is: Gerard Farm,  449 Water Street, Framingham, MA, 01701.

Pinkberry Opens in North Beverly

A chain of frozen yogurt shops that has been expanding through the Boston area over the past couple of years is opening its first North Shore location.

According to a flyer supplied by CBH Communications (via Facebook), Pinkberry is having a grand opening this evening in North Beverly, with free yogurt being served from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM at its new Enon Street (Route 1A) location. This is the seventh location to open in the Boston area, with other shops being found in Boston's Back Bay (2 of them), Cambridge's Harvard Square, Braintree, Hingham, and Wellesley.

Pinkberry features an array of different frozen yogurts, including chocolate, mango, and green tea, along with a variety of different toppings. Smoothies and fruit parfaits are also offered.

The address for the new Pinkberry in North Beverly is: Pinkberry, 23 Enon Street, Beverly, MA, 01915. The website for the Pinkberry chain can be found at

Gari Japanese Fusion Opens in Needham

The folks behind a Japanese restaurant in Brookline have just opened a second location in Needham.

According to their Facebook page, Gari Japanese Fusion is now open on Great Plain Avenue in the center of town, joining its other location on Harvard Street just south of Brookline's Coolidge Corner. Based on the menu at the Brookline restaurant, expect the new location in Needham to have both small plates and large dishes, along with soups, salads, sushi, and sashimi.

The original Gari in Brookline first opened in the winter of 2007.

The address for this new Japanese spot in Needham is: Gari Japanese Fusion, 1019 Great Plain Avenue, Needham, MA, 02492.

Kirby's Kitchen in Everett Has Closed

A week after we reported that a combination restaurant/market in Everett was going to revert back to its original concept due to what appeared to be struggles based on the economy and/or its location, it now looks like the place is closing.

According to a note on their Facebook page, Kirby's Kitchen on Broadway is now shuttered, with the post stating the following: "We'd like to thank all of our customers, from the bottom of our hearts, for your patronage!" The note goes on to say that the folks behind the eatery could be opening a new place at some point, as they are "stepping back and re-thinking our Business Strategy," finishing up by stating that "Hopefully we'll be back again soon."

Kirby's Kitchen first opened in January of this year, with the place being run by Bob Botchie from Myers + Chang on Washington Street in Boston's South End.

The address for this restaurant and market in Everett was: Kirby's Kitchen, 440 Broadway, Everett, MA, 02149.

Pesce Pazzo Ristorante e Bar Coming to Revere

A new Italian restaurant is coming to Revere, and it will be moving into a waterfront space that had been home to a branch of a now-closed family dining spot.

A job post on the Craigslist site indicates that Pesce Pazzo Ristorante e Bar will be opening on Route 1A, taking over the spot where the Mount Vernon restaurant used to be until closing in September of 2011. (The Lynnfield location of Mount Vernon also closed at the same time; the original in Somerville remains open.) Another post on The Artist Touch's Facebook page mentions that Pesce Pazzo will be an "upscale family style Italian restaurant" that will have a pizza oven along with a salad station, a bar, and a function area, while the Craigslist post states that the eatery will have more than 200 seats, with both indoor and outdoor bars.

No opening date has been given as of yet for Pesce Pazzo Ristorante e Bar; as soon as we find out when it might open, we will post an update here.

[July 2 update: According to their Twitter page, Pesce Pazzo Ristorante e Bar is now open.]

The address for this upcoming Italian restaurant in Revere is: Pesce Pazzo Ristorante e Bar, 543 N Shore Road (Route 1A), Revere, MA, 02151.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Banh Mi Ngon Is Opening in West Roxbury

A new takeout restaurant is coming to West Roxbury, and it will be featuring a variety of Vietnamese sandwiches.

A poster on the Chowhound site states that Banh Mi Ngon is planning to open on Centre Street, with a possible opening date of next Tuesday (May 29), depending on how final inspections go. Photos of the menu posted onto Chowhound indicate that the new eatery will offer appetizers, sandwiches, beverages, and desserts, with all items being under $5.00. Some of the sandwiches at Banh Mi Ngon include a classic banh mi as well as options that have meatballs, vegetables, rotisserie chicken, and grilled meat.

[May 30 update: Banh Mi Ngon is now open.]

The address for this new Vietnamese restaurant in West Roxbury is: Banh Mi Ngo, 1759 Centre Street, West Roxbury, MA, 02132.

Makin' Jamaican Food Truck Coming to the Boston Area

Yet another new food truck is on its way to the Boston area, and this one will be focusing on dishes from the Caribbean.

Eater Boston is reporting (via @BOSFoodTours) that Makin' Jamaican will soon be up and running somewhere in or around Boston. Little is known about the Jamaican truck at this point, though a Twitter post on their page indicates that their head chef is "hard at work perfecting some Jamaican specialties for the food truck."

Once it opens, Makin' Jamaican will be the first food truck in the Boston area to focus on Jamaican fare, though some trucks do offer dishes that are often found in the island nation (Silk Road BBQ, for instance, serves jerk chicken and curry goat stew).

[July 30 update: According to their website, the Makin' Jamaican food truck is now up and running from 4:00 PM to 10:00 PM on Commercial Street in Malden Center, across from the T stop. Their menu is not yet up on the website, but a couple of items mentioned on their Facebook page include coco bread and beef patties.]

The Twitter address for the upcoming Makin' Jamaican food truck can be found at

Zinga Frozen Yogurt Opens in Saugus

A chain of frozen yogurt spots that recently opened its first Boston location has just opened a second spot in the area.

The Daily Item reports that Zinga is now open on Route 1 in Saugus, joining a branch that opened in Boston's Kenmore Square neighborhood toward the end of 2011. The article indicates that the new frozen yogurt place, which opened on Tuesday, is s self-serve spot that features offers 12 flavors as well as 25 choices for toppings.

Zinga is a frozen yogurt franchise group that is based in Fairfax, VA. Currently, their Boston and Saugus locations are the only outlets in New England.

The address for this new frozen yogurt shop in Saugus is: Zinga, 621 Broadway (Route 1, Fellsway Plaza), Saugus, MA, 01906. Their website can be found at

Think Tank in Cambridge's Kendall Square Has Apparently Closed for Good

It looks like a restaurant in the Kendall Square section of Cambridge that has been the subject of rumors over the past several days may have closed its doors for good.

A reputable source tells us that Think Tank at One Kendall Square abruptly shuttered yesterday, with the restaurant's partnership apparently breaking up. Our source says that a sign in front says "Closed for Repairs," but it appears that Think Tank is no longer in operation.

Last week, Eater Boston wrote that the restaurant added an odd post onto their Facebook page, stating that Think Tank was not closing--the post was in response to a letter allegedly written by the restaurant's manager that said the eatery was going to be shutting down due to a "hostile takeover" that caused "irreparable harm." A post later that day by Eater Boston indicated that the restaurant was still open, with the managing partner stating that the letter was spreading "false information" and that it had been written by a "disgruntled former partner" who was apparently let go due to an issue concerning money losses.

Think Tank first opened in June of 2010, featuring food, drink, music, dancing, literature readings, trivia nights, and more.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Shojo Is Opening in Boston's Chinatown Neighborhood

[Ed note: This article was updated on May 23 to reflect some additional information given.]

A new Asian restaurant is coming to Boston, and it will be run by the folks behind a popular Chinese eatery.

A job post on the Craigslist site shows that Shojo is going to be opening in the Chinatown section of the city, with the post indicating that the new restaurant will feature a "young, vibrant, contemporary take on the food of Asia." The Boston Magazine Chowder blog clarifies the address of the place, which is incorrectly posted by directory websites--it will be at 11 Tyler Street, which is below China Pearl, a decades-old restaurant that happens to be behind the new place. Chowder mentions that Shojo will be an Asian tapas restaurant with a variety of beers, cocktails and sake offered, as well as traditional Asian liqueurs. The dining spot could be open by July 1.

[July 16 update: The Boston Magazine Chowder blog reports that Shojo is hoping to open a week from today (Monday, July 23).]

[August 1 update: According to their Facebook page, Shojo is now officially open.]

[August 2 update: Even though their Facebook page states that Shojo is officially open, it appears that their "grand opening" will be next week.]

[August 8 update: Today is the grand opening for Shojo.]

China Pearl also has a location in the Kam Man Marketplace on Quincy Avenue in Quincy.

The address for Shojo is: Shojo, 11 Tyler Street, Boston, MA, 02111.

Hot Harry's Fresh Burritos to Open in Boston

A California-style burrito place that is headquartered in the Berkshires is going to be opening a location in Boston.

The Business Review is reporting that Pittsfield-based Hot Harry's Fresh Burritos is planning to open a franchise somewhere in the city, with the Boston location becoming its ninth outlet. The article states that the small group of eateries, which first started out in 2004, is also looking to open a branch in Malta, NY. (Locations in the Northeast can currently be found in Pittsfield [two] and New York--Albany, East Greenbush, Latham, and Schenectady.)

[March 20, 2014 update: Based on a Licensing Board page within the City of Boston website, it appears that the Boston location of Hot Harry's Fresh Burritos will be at 11 Melnea Cass Boulevard in the Newmarket Square section of the city. (The address indicates that it may be moving into the space where a location of Quiznos used to be.)]

[June 19, 2015 update: A new Licensing Board page indicates that Hot Harry's Fresh Burritos has applied for a common victualler license to operate at the Newmarket Square address mentioned above, with the hearing taking place on June 24.]

In addition to burritos, Hot Harry's also offers nachos and tacos, and it has a breakfast menu along with a catering menu. Their website can be found at

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

2012 Strawberry Dessert Festival Coming to the Boston Area in June

A month-long festival that focuses on strawberries is on its way to the Boston area and elsewhere in Massachusetts.

An email from Comm Promo indicates that the 5th Annual Strawberry Dessert Festival will be held at participating restaurants and cafes starting June 1, with a variety of strawberry-themed creations that will help benefit Mass Farmers Markets (which will receive a portion of the proceeds raised). Eateries around the region will offer everything from traditional strawberry shortcake to a 5-course strawberry tasting menu and more. A few of the places that will take part in the event include Armsby Abbey in Worcester, The Beehive in Boston, Flora in Arlington, Highland Kitchen in Somerville, Oleana in Cambridge, Tastings in Foxboro, Vicki Lee's in Belmont, and many more spots.

For more information on the 2012 Strawberry Dessert Festival, please go to the link below.

Join us for the 5th annual Strawberry Dessert Festival!

Taste of Somerville to Be Held June 5, 2012

A culinary event returns to Somerville once again in June, and as always, a number of local restaurants will be participating.

An email sent by Kristen Elworthy (marketing and publicity consultant) indicates that Taste of Somerville 2012 will be held at the Holiday Inn on Washington Street on Tuesday, June 5 from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM, with samples of food, beer, wine, desserts and more offered. Some of the restaurants and food/drink purveyors that are taking part in the event include Amelia's Kitchen, Ball Square Fine Wines, Diva Indian Bistro, Eat At Jumbo's, El Potro, Foundry On Elm, The Independent, Kickass Cupcakes, Maya Sol, Mike's Restaurant, New England Coffee, PJ Ryans, Rudy's Cafe, and others.

Ticket to the 2012 Taste of Somerville cost $30 in advance ($35 at the door), with proceeds benefiting RESPOND, Inc., which is the second oldest domestic violence agency in the United States.

For more information on the 2012 Taste of Somerville, please go to the links below:

BoMA Is Opening in Boston's South End

A new restaurant is coming to the South End of Boston, moving into the space where an Indian dining spot had been, and before that, a Southeast Asian eatery.

The BosGuy site is reporting that the folks behind Bellino's in Wakefield and Bistro 20 in Sudbury are opening a new spot on Washington Street called BoMA. The article mentions that the new restaurant, which will be taking over the spot where Bombay Club and Pho Republique had resided, could be open sometime in July.

It is not yet known what kind of cuisine BoMA will offer, but based on Bellino's and Bistro 20, it may be a place for either Italian or American fare (or both).

[May 24 update: The Boston Globe states that BoMA will focus on American regional cuisine, with the menu changing depending on the season and the market.]

[October 15 update: Eater Boston posts that BoMA may be opening sometime around the middle of this week.]

[October 19 update: BosGuy reports that BoMA officially opens its doors today at 6:00 PM, though no reservations will be taken this evening.]

The address for this new restaurant in the South End is: BoMA, 1415 Washington Street, Boston, MA, 02118.

Saveur Includes Iggy's Among Its Picks of 20 Great American Bread Bakeries

A food and travel magazine has just come out with its picks for great bread bakeries in the United States, and a Cambridge bakery has made the list.

According to Saveur's website, Iggy's Bread of the World on Fawcett Street is one of 20 bread bakeries in America chosen, with the magazine stating that the husband-and-wife team behind the bakery "changed the Boston bread scene" when they first opened in Watertown in 1994. The article goes on to say that "their creations, from moist focaccia made from naturally leavened dough to hearty 7-Grain roll laced with wildflower honey, were revelations to locals raised on overly processed supermarket bread."

Other New England bakeries to make Saveur's list include Hungry Ghost Bread in Northampton, MA, Berkshire Mountain Bakery in Housatonic, MA, Seven Stars Bakery in Providence, RI, Standard Baking Company in Portland, ME, and Gerard's Breads of Tradition in Westford, VT.

To see the complete list of bread bakeries picked by Saveur, please go to the link below.

20 Great American Bread Bakeries

O-Sha (a New Thai and Japanese Restaurant) to Open in Watertown

A new Asian restaurant is coming to Watertown, moving into the space where a Thai eatery had been.

Notes from a Watertown licensing board meeting indicate that O-Sha is going to be opening on Arsenal Street, taking over the former Tantawan spot (Tantawan closed last spring). The notes show that the new restaurant will focus on Thai and Japanese fare, and that the manager of the spot comes from Oishii, which is a popular sushi bar in Chestnut Hill. It appears that O-Sha will have seating for approximately 50 and may be open for lunch and dinner, though alcohol will apparently not be available at the eatery.

The address for this upcoming restaurant in Watertown will be: O-Sha, 356 Arsenal Street, Watertown, MA 02472. Their website (which is currently under construction) will be at

Tossed to Open in Boston's Financial District

Two years ago, we mentioned that a small chain of quick-casual dining spots that offers made-to-order salads was looking to open a second spot somewhere in the Boston area, with the city's Financial District being one possible location for it. Now we have confirmation that this is indeed where the new outlet will be setting up shop.

MarketWatch is reporting that Tossed will be opening at One Post Office Square in the heart of the Financial District, joining another location that resides at the Prudential Center in the Back Bay. The article states that the owner of the Pru franchise of Tossed is also behind the upcoming Post Office Square branch, and that he has acquired the rights to other future Boston-area locations.

In addition to salads, the Florida-based Tossed chain features soups, crepe wraps, sandwiches, melts, smoothies, and cookies. Their website can be found at

[Earlier Article]
Tossed May Be Opening a Second Location in Boston or Cambridge

Monday, May 21, 2012

Concord Prime and Fish Closes; Owner to Open M.F. Dulock Pasture-Raised Meats in Somerville

A meat and fish market in Concord has closed its doors, with the owner deciding to open a new shop closer to Boston.

A post on the indiegogo website mentions that the person behind the now-shuttered Concord Prime and Fish on Thoreau Street is planning on opening M.F. Dulock Pasture-Raised Meats in Somerville. The butcher shop, which will be located on Highland Avenue (between Davis Square and City Hall), will focus on fresh, pasture-raised meats from small-scale local farmers, purchased from the farmers at a fair price. An article from Eater Boston indicates that M.F. Dulock Pasture-Raised Meats could be open by late summer.

Concord Prime and Fish closed earlier this month.

[July 31 update: Eater Boston reports that M.F. Dulock Pasture-Raised Meats is hoping to open sometime in mid-August.]

[August 28 update: UrbanDaddy states that M.F. Dulock Pasture-Raised Meats plans to open in Somerville a week from today (Tuesday, September 4).]

The address for this upcoming butcher shop in Somerville is: M.F. Dulock Pasture-Raised Meats, 201 Highland Avenue, Somerville, MA, 02143.

Tasty Burger Is Opening in South Boston

[Ed note: This article was edited on May 22 to reflect confirmation that the restaurant is indeed coming to South Boston.]

A burger restaurant in Boston's Fenway neighborhood that is going to be opening a second location in the Harvard Square section of Cambridge is opening a third branch in South Boston, based on an article from an online neighborhood magazine.

The Caught in Southie site is reporting that Tasty Burger is planning to open in the former Boathouse ice cream space at the corner of L Street and East 4th Street, with the post stating that the eatery might be open in about a month. We are still trying to confirm this, though it does appear that Tasty Burger has been interested in coming to this Boston neighborhood, with an earlier post from Caught in Southie mentioning that Tasty Burger had apparently been looking at the nearby Thomas W Cox Electric Company space at the corner of L Street and East Broadway.

[May 22 update: The Boston Globe confirms that Tasty Burger will be opening at the corner of L Street and East 4th Street in Southie, with the new location being a "walk-up" rather than a full-service sit-down restaurant.]

[August 3 update: The Boston Globe is now reporting that Tasty Burger has gotten the green light from the the city’s Licensing Board to open in South Boston, but only as a takeout spot with no outdoor patio.]

[September 15 update: According to their Facebook page, the new Tasty Burger in South Boston opens today at lunchtime.]

The original Tasty Burger can be found on Boylston Street near Fenway Park, with the upcoming Cambridge outlet coming to JFK Street in the heart of Harvard Square. Their website can be found at

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

Highlights for the Week Ending May 18, 2012

A number of stories and articles focusing on the Boston-area restaurant scene came out over the past week, including a popular food show (briefly) coming to Boston, a combination restaurant/market in downtown Boston being replaced by another combination restaurant/market, and a floating restaurant possibly coming to the Boston waterfront. In addition, our sister site (Boston's Hidden Restaurants) included an updated review of an Irish pub in Cambridge, a blog post about Instagram, and a photo of a popular Indian dish from a restaurant in Dorchester.

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

Boston Restaurant Talk

Top Chef Is (Briefly) Heading to Boston Next Week

Bina Osteria and Bina Alimentari in Boston Have Closed; Sip and Avery Provision to Replace Them

Breads 'n Bits of Ireland in Melrose to Close

Is Boston Going to Be Getting a Floating Restaurant?

Cambridge Brewing Wins CHOW's "Best Brewpub in America" Voting Competition

Boston's Hidden Restaurants

Updated Review: Spirit Bar and Restaurant in Cambridge, MA

Photo: Baby Back Ribs from the Eagle Brook Saloon in Norfolk, MA

Blog Post: Instagram and Boston's Hidden Restaurants

Question: Favorite Restaurants in Waltham?

Photo: Chicken Tikka Masala from Shanti in Dorchester, MA

Brunello Bistro in Somerville to Become Brunello Brazilian Steakhouse and Buffet

A cafe-style eatery in Somerville that morphed into more of an upscale European-style dining spot a couple of years ago is changing its concept once again, this time becoming a Brazilian steakhouse and buffet place.

According to their website, Brunello Bistro on Broadway in the Winter Hill section of the city is soon going to be replaced by Brunello Brazilian Steakhouse and Buffet, though no specific opening date has been given. A poster on the Chowhound site mentions that the dining spot is currently closed for renovations, with a note out front telling customers to "check back in a few weeks."

[May 21 update: Eater Boston is reporting that Brunello Brazilian Steakhouse and Buffet plans to open on Friday, June 1.]

Brunello Bistro first opened in the spring of 2010, having changed over from Bread and Company, which was a cafe operated by the same folks. It appears that based on the name, the same people will also apparently be behind the upcoming Brunello Brazilian Steakhouse and Buffet.

The address for this soon-to-open restaurant in Somerville's Winter Hill neighborhood is: Brunello Brazilian Steakhouse and Buffet, 349 Broadway, Somerville, MA 02145. The website for the now-closed Brunello Bistro is at:

Sea Grille To Go Opens on the Boston Waterfront

A restaurant within a waterfront hotel in the heart of Boston has just added an outdoor takeout spot for lunch-goers.

The Somerville Patch reports that the Rowes Wharf Sea Grille within the Boston Harbor Hotel has opened Sea Grille to Go, a kiosk on the lower terrace behind the hotel along the water (and the Harborwalk) that features mostly lighter fare, including freshly-made soups, salads and sandwiches. A few of the items available at the new takeout spot include clam chowder, a fish sandwich, grilled jumbo all-beef hot dogs, and more, as well as a variety of desserts and drinks. Some outdoor seating for Sea Grille to Go is available on the lower terrace.

A photo of the new eatery can be seen at this link (from the Boston Harbor Hotel's Twitter page): Photo of Sea Grille to Go

Sea Grille to Go is open from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM seven days a week.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Update: Acropolis in Needham Has Closed

[Ed note: This article was updated on May 20, as we have confirmed that this restaurant has indeed shut down.]

A Greek restaurant in Needham has closed its doors after being in business for a little more than a year.

A poster on the Chowhound site mentioned yesterday that an email was received stating that Acropolis on Highland Avenue is closing. A call placed to the restaurant this afternoon indicates that their number is no longer in service, though the phone appeared to be working earlier today (no one was answering, however). [May 20 update: An email that we received after this article was written indicated that the restaurant has already shuttered, and the Chowhounder above posted the aforementioned email from Acropolis, which shows that the place closed "due to high operating costs etc."]

Acropolis first opened in March of 2011, featuring such items as gyros, souvlaki, stuffed grape leaves, and moussaka. The restaurant had taken over the space where Gabriella's Bistro, Euro Taste, and Firebird's all had been.

The address for Acropolis was: Acropolis, 1257 Highland Avenue, Needham, MA, 02492.

Guy Fieri Rolls Through East Boston

Earlier this week, we reported that Food Network host Guy Fieri was back in Boston, checking out several Boston-area restaurants, including Cutty's in Brookline yesterday. Today, it looks like he is spending his time in a neighborhood of Boston that is known for its many dining spots.

Based on a photo posted on his Twitter page, the host of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives went to Italian Express Pizzeria on Sumner Street (apparently with Mayor Menino) as well as a possible trip to Angela's Cafe on Lexington Street, based on an article from Eater Boston as well as general posts on the Twitter site. Eater Boston also mentions that Fieri may also be going to (or may have already gone to) Yankee Lobster on the South Boston waterfront.

Both of the East Boston restaurants that Guy Fieri went to (if he did indeed go to Angela's Cafe) have been featured on Boston's Hidden Restaurants, which is our sister site. The reviews can be found below:

If any of you have seen Guy Fieri out and about in the Boston area this week, please let us know (links to photos would be very welcome).

[Earlier Article]
Guy Fieri of "Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives" Is Filming at Cutty's in Brookline