If the name wasn’t enough of a clue, a close-to-empty donut case at 11 a.m. reveals the main draw of Linda's Donuts. Owner John, who has handcrafted donuts at Linda’s since 1982, rolls and shapes dough in the back while his wife, son, and daughter work the front of house, greeting customers, taking orders, and complimenting sock choices.
Customers line up for flavors such as chocolate-glazed and honey-dipped, waiting to dunk them into steaming cups of coffee while catching up on work using the shop’s free WiFi. After the donuts run out, customers turn to hearty sandwiches and burgers for lunch.
Confectioner Deana Martin and the sugar magicians at Wildflour conjure daily-baked desserts from local ingredients, a craft they demonstrate to knowledge-hungry students. Couples or solo apprentices explore the process of creating chocolate treats that run the confectionary gamut from truffle fillings to tempered chocolate to cocoa-dust fog. While dipping and decorating the luxurious spheres, daring digits can indulge an experimental curiosity by coating other sweet treats in chocolate, such as fruit or bags of sugar. Classes run Thursdays at 7 p.m. and Saturdays at 10 a.m. and are limited to a maximum of 15 participants to prevent chocolate bunnies from being munched into extinction.
Take your taste buds on a surprise date—they'll think you're going to grab a smoothie at the mall when you're actually taking them on a whirlwind tour of the flavors of Lebanon and Armenia, courtesy of Basha Café. With this deal, $20 gets you $50 worth of Middle Eastern food, drinks, hookah service, and entertainment ranging from belly dancing to belly singing (also known as karaoke). Follow @Groupon_Says on Twitter.
Lilly’s Cafe & French Bakery owners Alex and Susan sate sweet and savory cravings with a lineup of deli-style sandwiches, pastries, and renowned specialty cakes. Lunchtime trips to Lilly's replenish flagging bodies like a puff of nutrient-rich steam with hearty deli sandwiches prepared with fresh ingredients including Boar's Head meats and cheeses. The mediterranean-chicken sandwich ($6.95) harks back to sunlit walks under Roman arches with a full complement of hummus, roasted red peppers, and lemon oregano on focaccia. Pastry lovers can select from a bouquet of croissants and sweets such as specialty red velvet cupcakes or miniature cheesecakes.
Heirloom Coffee possesses a magic door to Southeast Asia, specifically Vietnam—or at least that’s how it seems as they endlessly stock their shelves with the country and region’s best coffees. Their coffee reaches nearly every US state and territory, a feat achieved by shooting the bags of beans out of a huge circus cannon. Out of their red-trimmed office in Medford, the coffee connoisseurs also educate the public on brewing their beverages through detailed seminars that span coffee’s history and culture before diving into a hands-on brewing and tasting lesson with take-home samples and equipment.
The mingled scents of coffee and fresh-baked donuts greet visitors at Verna's Coffee & Donut Shop, whose baked creations were named Best Donuts Around Boston by CBS Boston. Amid sage-green walls, visitors lean over a glass case that displays traditional glazed donuts and pert jelly donuts infused with cherry or strawberry filling. A pot of coffee stands at the ready to perk up tired eyes, much like a sentry who yells, "Wake up, there's a bear behind you!"
Lauded by Daily Candy for accommodating raw and vegan diners, Prana Restaurant balances native temperatures with mouthwatering flavors in organic and gluten-free dishes. After being greeted by fresh hair streaming through wide-flung windows, diners dip flora-favoring taste buds into garlic, veggie, or fig balsamic pizza on naan crust ($10). Chefs trade off gluten-rich pasta for ribbons of zucchini in the pesto primavera entree, served raw or slightly warm with spinach, a seasonal garden medley, and almond-and-cashew cream sauce ($16). Chard leaves or chia-seed shells trump humdrum tortillas in a lunchtime burrito that bulges to bursting with vegetables, beans, guacamole, sour cream, and salsa ($12). Refuel after fatigue-inducing feasts or all-night model-UN deliberations by chugging a coconut-rich SuperCharger smoothie tinged with cacao, dates, and cashews ($9.75).