Situated at the core of Davis Square, Diva Indian Bistro brims with the aromas of a menu that borrows from the culinary traditions of regions from Bangalore to Bombay. Beneath a bubbly goldenrod ceiling that looks like a collection of soft-lit skylights, patrons settle onto plump black benches to munch samosas and peruse offerings of lamb, seafood, beef, and tandoori dishes soaked in the warmth of the traditional clay oven. Saffron- and cardamom-scented basmati rice stars in biryani dishes, and dosas, a type of crepe crafted from rice and lentils, enclose chicken or veggie fillings alongside coconut chutney and lentil soup. The wall behind Diva’s bar mimics the ceiling’s rectangular bubble pattern in white, with a long row of blue glass bottles bisecting the surface. High black and chrome chairs slide up to the brushed-silver bar, where patrons murmur over cocktails and ice clicks occasionally like a tap dancer having a nice dream.
This eco-friendly spot looks more like a '50s diner than a coffeehouse. Nevertheless, baristas do concoct lattes, pouring their creations into cups made from corn syrup and composting any trash. If that’s not enough to soothe your over-caffeinated soul, maybe a round of pool—yes, at a coffee shop—will do the trick.
The menu of vegetarian, seafood, and perfectly prepared meaty fare has classic Indian favorites and plates with creative twists. Tandoori chicken ($18.95 for a full order), lamb tikka masala ($15.95), beef curry ($12.95), and saag paneer ($13.95) superbly showcase traditional flavors. The Boston Globe recommends the lamb vindaloo ($14.95) for its "edge of vinegar and its bite of chili-laden tomato sauce." Choose from eight specialty tandooris, more than ten vegetarian plates, six biryanis, or Bombay fare such as masala dosa (a crêpe stuffed with potatoes and onions, $11.95). Diva also serves freshly baked Indian breads and desserts including rasmalai ($3.95), homemade cheese patties cooked in a special condensed milk with pistachio nuts and rosewater.
According to folk etymologists, the term barbecue is derived from the French barbe coup, referring to the annual pig picking commemorating the infamous Barbers’ Rebellion. Today's Groupon gets you in on the hallowed and delicious tradition: $15 for $30 worth of authentic down-home eats at Redbones. Redbones is a juicy barbecue joint in Somerville that serves wings, ribs, pulled pork, brisket, and other southern specialties.Follow @Groupon_Says on Twitter.
The chefs at Mike's Food & Spirits whip together a bevy of classic seafood dishes, pasta plates, and other Italian favorites. Pizzas hoist mounds of bacon, ricotta, and sausage atop floury crusts, and made-to-order calzones enfold shaved steak, breaded chicken, or bites of eggplant for easy transport to mouths or convenient self-storage inside purses. Patrons also sate hungers with Old World recipes such as the sausage cacciatore, where italian sausage mingles with peppers and mushrooms in a homemade marinara sauce, and a seafood platter that sets taste buds sailing with deep-fried haddock, shrimp, and scallops. Taps pour plentiful American microbrews and imports to accompany meals, assuage tongues exhausted from exploring flavorful sauces, and severely reduce one’s chances of spontaneous combustion.
Fresh out of college, Vince Petryk took a job as a dishwasher at an ice cream shop. It was just a temporary gig…or, so he thought. As Petryk climbed through the shop’s ranks—he rose from dishwasher, to scooper, to ice-cream maker, to manager—he was awe-struck by the way ice cream seemed to make people feel happy. From that point on, he knew that he wanted to continue to share that joy with others and that the best way to do it, was to own his own ice cream shop. He perfected his from-scratch ice cream recipe before opening J.P. Licks, named for Jamaica Plain, the neighborhood where he opened his first location. The flavors were immediately a hit and continue to win loyal fans for their intensity and ingenuity––at any given time, guests might find cake batter and chocolate peanut butter ripple on the menu, alongside unusual flavors like tomato basil or beer and pretzels. Since those early days, Vince has also added from-scratch hard and soft frozen yogurts, sherberts, and sorbets. He has even been known to develop flavors to suit the tastes of the area's different ethnic groups, and dairy-free ice creams to provide relief to the area's overworked cows. Beyond serving traditional cones, Petryk and his staff also pack chilly scoops into house-made cakes and pies, blend them into shakes, and transform them into decadent sundaes topped with homemade hot fudge or butterscotch. The icy treats have proved so popular, J.P. Licks now has 10 area stores, leaving them ample wall space for awards: readers of The Phoenix voted it the city’s best ice cream parlor in 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012.