Hailed as 1 of 11 coffee shops that “put Boston on the map,” according to the Boston Globe, Simon's Coffee Shop decided the only way to top itself was to literally put itself on the map again. Despite just opening, Simon’s Too looks a little more grown-up than its predecessor. Instead of playful orange walls, the coffee shop has exposed brick; instead of scrawling the menu items in multicolored chalk, the baristas print them carefully with white block letters. But Simon’s Too still has the same energy as the flagship location. And it still uses only local coffee, which is brewed from beans roasted in Arlington and Acton. Like a cartoon pie cooling on a windowsill, the coffee bean grinder entices guests with its deep aromas, luring patrons to the wooden counter to order one of the day’s available soups or a signature drink concocted by a La Marzocco espresso machine.
Harvest of India's modestly priced lunch buffet makes it a popular spot for students to stop for a meal between classes. Come dinnertime, though, it's on to entrees that span the whole of India, from South Indian dosas served with coconut chutney to Kashmiri goat meat marinated in tamarind and red chili.
“You can tell when somebody’s discovered [The Plough & Stars] for the first time. There’s this ‘glowing-ness’ about them.” Former Morphine saxophonist Dana Colley made this observation in a Boston Globe article, which chronicled the bar’s more-than-40-year history in Boston. Colley understands the magic of The Plough & Stars firsthand: he met his former bandmates here, and several other legends, such as Philip Roth and Bonnie Raitt, have passed through the pub. The tradition of live music continues with performances almost every night of the week. The staff provides their own accompaniment to these shows in the form of libations and food. Their menu covers lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch. Each dish—whether it’s a roasted half-chicken, baked mac 'n' cheese, or an Irish breakfast—comes from fresh, local produce, seafood, and meat. In the end, though, The Plough & Stars is much like a jewelry box that’s fired the dancer inside: it’s all about the music. Colley told the Globe, “It’s a pleasure to play here because everything you give the audience comes back, and that is the most important thing, as far as what this place means to me as a musician.”
Nestled between Central and Harvard Squares, Cancun Taqueria's simple, homey, sit-down eatery treats guests to plates of tacos, burritos, and fajitas made with fresh vegetables, savory pork al pastor and carnitas, fresh grilled salmon, and zesty chorizo. Diners quell morse code stomach rumble distress signals with hearty bowls of homemade pozole, or burritos stuffed with chicken and sirloin and ladled with chile verde and chile colorado.
Experienced framers Barry Stahl and Bob Clayton built Big Picture Framing from scratch in 2000, holding meetings around an old card table as construction roared around them. Today, framers at 15 area locations craft custom frames to display artwork, photographs, and record sleeves, and shadow boxes protect three-dimensional items such as ballet slippers, macaroni art, or a swarm of wasps. Patrons can dictate all design choices, choosing from metal and wooden frames in a multitude of colors and styles, or ask for recommendations from one of Big Picture Framing's resident experts. Big Picture Framing also stocks pre-framed art, prints, and posters to spruce up bare-walled homes or a drab doghouse.