Amid the clattering pins and spirited cheers that echo across Boston Bowl's lanes, Jack Torchetti never lets his attention drift from his three stainless steel tanks. As the brewmaster for Deadwood Cafe and Brewery—the entertainment complex's site for quick eats and frosty drafts—Jack ensures that the taps constantly flow with five different beers, all of which he creates on the premises. The selection includes everything from a stout made using four varieties of malt to a pilsner made with Liberty and East Kent Golding hops. Growlers are available as well as pints and pitchers, allowing patrons to enjoy their beer at home or at the nearest crazy straw factory.
While ordering a beer from the counter, customers can snag a quick bite from the café's menu of classic comfort foods. In addition to wood-smoked St. Louis-style ribs that fall off the bone, the cooks grill Angus burgers, load down sandwiches with Boar's Head deli meats, and glaze wings with piquant buffalo sauce. The menu also includes a handful of Italian-inspired dishes, namely 10 different pizzas and calzones stuffed with everything from thin-sliced ham and cheese to baby spinach, onions, and feta.
Pan Asia summons guests into its sleek yet casual atmosphere with oceanic lighting, mounted TVs, and its star: a menu of Chinese, Japanese, and Thai recipes. Nests of lo mein noodles cradle tender slices of shrimp, beef, roast pork, and chicken, and five styles of Thai curries—including the Indian-influenced massaman—transform coconut milk into liquid heat, warming tongues with infusions of classic spices. Representing the artful cuisine of Japan, paper-thin sheaths of seaweed enfold rice and raw fish to create sushi varieties that include spicy salmon maki and boston maki, a roll of yellowtail, crab stick, avocado, scallions, and tobiko.
Sea-foam-green lights illuminate the underside of the counter at the sushi bar, making the legs of guests look as though they’re underwater or ailed with the asparagus disease. Bright-green shafts of bamboo shoot from floor to ceiling from a bed of dried river rocks, obscuring the intimately lit restaurant from the bright lights of the takeout lobby.:m]]
The flat-screen televisions and long wooden bar at Freeport Tavern might mark it as just another pub, but the wood-fired grill in the kitchen tells a different story. With it, chefs bake Italian-style thin-crust pizzas or sear smoky flavor into marinated choice-certified Angus beef steak tips. They also grill burger patties, fish filets, and chunks of New England lobster, then stuff them into sandwiches served with hand-cut fries. They pair their pastiche of New England eats with a constant stream of entertainment, whether it’s the latest local NBA and NHL action on the TVs, trivia on Tuesday nights, or performances by DJs and live musicians held Wednesday through Saturday nights. As soon as the DJ packs up on Sundays, the tireless chefs begin whipping up the brunch buffet, complete with a salad and dessert bar and omelette station.
When festival founder Anne-Marie Aigner first noticed the burgeoning food-truck scenes on the West Coast and the Midwest, her prescient mind foresaw that the tide would make its way to New England. In order to cultivate the nascent movement, she founded her food-truck-festival tour to bring dozens of trucks' eclectic wares to locales outside of Boston. Already scoring mentions in Boston and Worcester Mag in its first year, the festival has featured such four-wheeled kitchens as Redbones BBQ and Roxy's Grilled Cheese. Aigner hopes to sustain the food-truck industry beyond the festival's inaugural year by attracting interest throughout the region and motivating grassroots support for the mobile culinary spots and their future descendants, sandwich-slinging helicopters.
No, he wasn't born in Sicily. In fact—according to a 2011 article in the Boston Globe—Doug Ferriman started out in the pizza business without even knowing how to make dough. But he learned fast, besting 120 competitors and two Italian chefs to take second place at the International Pizza Challenge later that year. Ferriman is also one of only two people to have won the International Pizza Expo's Pizza of the Year honor more than once, in 2004 and 2007, according to trade magazine Pizza Today. Finally, in the 2013 competition, Ferriman won first in the non-traditional category in the northeast region.
Today, Ferriman brings his dough tossing know-how to Crazy Dough's Pizza, which he co-owns with his wife, Melissa. Their labor-of-love-turned-small-business-success-story, which has been documented in media outlets such as the Boston Business Journal, can be explained by their commitment to quality ingredients and diverse recipes. Their chefs start with a solid pizza foundation of North Dakota flour, vine-ripened California plum tomatoes, and Wisconsin cheese. Next, they transform raw dough into three pizza types: pan-baked, rectangular sicilian pies; hearty brick-oven rounds; or their specialty fire-grilled pizzas, cooked to a crispy, smoky finish on an open-flame hickory grill.
Finally, guests can choose from a huge selection of off-the-wall toppings and signature combinations, such as cheeseburger bacon or potato bacon cheddar. The shops also attract guests with $5 Pabst Blue Ribbon pitchers, calzones, and Crazy Dough Bowls—salads whose bread-bowl exterior can be eaten or worn as a savory hat.