In Boston, a sunny day is not complete without a delicious meal or cocktail on the patio. Of course, man’s best friend loves the warm weather as well, but not every place allows pooches to hang out with the patrons. Here are three spots that have their welcome mats and doggie treats ready to go. The Terrace at Tamo Bistro & Bar | 1 Seaport Ln. All summer long, the Seaport Hotel’s Tamo Terrace welcomes furry friends for Cocktails and Canines, held on Wednesdays through August from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. They roll out the red carpet with plenty of fresh and organic dog treats, plus a delightful selection of human-only cocktails. The Yard at the Liberty Hotel | 215 Charles St. The Yard at the Liberty Hotel hosts Yappier Hour every Wednesday night from April through October. From 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., enjoy a cocktail from the full bar while your dog sips a pup-tini. A snack menu from Clink seals the deal, though the comfy couches certainly don’t hurt. Flour Bakery + Cafe | 1595 Washington St. Of course, it’s easy enough to create your own puppy picnic by taking advantage of the patio spaces all around Boston. Start the day off right with a latte and a sticky bun at the South End location of Flour, where dogs can sun out on the patio. Still hungry? Check out Groupon’s latest deals on restaurants in Boston.Read More
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This article is part of Amanda Maguire’s Vegan Guide to Boston, which profiles Boston’s best vegan products and businesses. One of the biggest concerns in going vegan is the prospect of having to give up your favorite comfort foods: the baked macaroni and cheese, the burgers with all the toppings, the old-fashioned milk shakes too thick to drink with a straw. Fear not, because Veggie Galaxy Diner & Vegan Bakery (450 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge) has you covered. Owned by Adam Penn, Veggie Galaxy serves up plant-based meals that will take you right back to your childhood. Well, assuming your childhood included delicious meals made from scratch, right down to the burger buns and ketchup. I paid a visit to Veggie Galaxy to chat with Penn about his epic diner food and what makes it so noteworthy. GROUPON: What is Veggie Galaxy's best-selling menu item? ADAM PENN: Our best-selling item since the beginning has been the Kendall Square Burger. [Editor’s note: It’s a black-bean or mushroom-chickpea burger topped with beer-battered onion rings, roasted red pepper purée, roasted garlic mayo, and baby arugula.] G: Could you tell us a little about the inspiration behind this dish and whether you initially expected it to be so popular? AP: As a vegetarian/vegan diner, we knew from the beginning that there would always be some tension regarding … healthy food versus traditional comfort food. The Kendall Burger, topped with giant deep-fried onion rings, was our nod to the comfort food side of things, and it quickly became clear that that's what most of our customers are looking for. We still try to provide some healthy options as well, but most of our customers come to us because we're first and foremost a diner. G: Are there any new menu additions you're particularly excited about? I noticed you offer Blue Plate Specials each week. AP: Our most recent weekly Blue Plate Special is vegan chicken and waffles. It [was] a customer request a while back, and we finally got around to doing it. It's been more popular than we even imagined, so we extended it to a second week and are now planning to put it on our late-night menu. … We also recently added a Meatless Monday meatball sub, which is one of my personal favorites. G: What makes Veggie Galaxy's food taste like home? AP: Pretty much everything is prepared from scratch, including items that people at home would normally just buy from the grocery store, like our condiments, our seitan, and our burger buns. So, in our opinion, it's better than home. G: Why did you opt to go plant-based with your menu and strictly vegan with your baked goods? AP: The reasons for going vegetarian and vegan are pretty well known at this point, and it's not something we like to preach about. We're providing vegetarians and vegans the opportunity to enjoy classic diner foods without the meat. While we do have dairy and eggs on the menu, pretty much anything can be made vegan. We wanted to make sure vegans could enjoy our desserts, too, so we left the eggs and dairy out of those altogether. G: What has been your best moment as a business owner at Veggie Galaxy? AP: I don't know if I can point to one best moment. When we have a full dining room of happy customers, I can look back on all the effort that has been put in to get to this point and feel content in knowing that we're doing exactly what we set out to do. G: When you're not making french toast stuffed with vanilla-nut vegan cream cheese, grilled corned-beef seitan reubens, and lemon meringue pie (my personal favorite), what are you cooking at home? AP: Neither my wife nor I are really cooks. When we do cook, we keep it simple—herbed roasted vegetables over couscous is a favorite. I'm personally a big fan of pasta, so pasta and veggie meatballs are a favorite of mine. Though I have to admit that at home, as opposed to at the restaurant, we just buy the meatballs from the store. Still hungry? Check out Groupon’s latest deals on vegetarian restaurants in Boston. Photos: Aaron ScottRead More
Though it had one of the quietest openings in recent history, Korean restaurant Seoul (156 Cambridge St.) is already making a name for itself. Its extensive menu of traditional Korean cuisine makes it a rarity for the area and a welcome addition to Beacon Hill. Seoul has taken over the the space where Ma Soba used to be, and the owners obviously knew that major changes to the interior were just not needed. Still, the space somehow appears even larger than it did before, especially with floor-to-ceiling windows that push out to let in pleasant summer breezes. The decor is fresh and minimal, which keeps the spotlight on the food and its intricate flavors. Seoul’s menu is divided into standard categories of appetizers and entrees, but it is written primarily in Korean with only the dish names translated into English. Luckily, the friendly, attentive servers are adept at guiding patrons through the menu and the different options available for each dish. To further customize each plate, banchan—a collection of small condiments—are delivered to each table and rotate for variety. My personal favorite was the kimchi, whose perfect blend of spice and tangy vinegar made it a great accompaniment to the already flavorful dishes. To start, I had the scallion pancake, which was absolutely fantastic. Served on a cast-iron dish sizzling with heat, it was browned to perfection and chock-full of scallions for maximum flavor. The cake itself was light and not greasy despite its sizzle. The exterior was crunchy, while the insides were bursting with light onion flavor and gentle heat from the spicy kimchi that I elected to add. Personalization may be one of the best parts of this dish—you have the option to add different proteins or extra spice, if you so desire. I wanted to eat every single bite of this, and it’s enormous. The japche quickly became another of my favorites here: vermicelli is stir-fried with lots of vegetables, soy sauce, and a bit of sweetness—and, in my case once again, some extra heat (though diners can also request it mild). As a spice lover, I thought it could have been a tad hotter, but it had a great kick that mingled with the umami and sweet flavors. The noodles were perfectly cooked and held the sauce well, whereas the vegetables and chicken (beef, tofu and seafood are also available) added textural contrasts to complete the dish. With its large menu of traditional, customizable dishes, Seoul has been making its mark on the Boston restaurant scene as the new go-to spot for Korean food. Though it’s definitely still stretching its legs, I see great things for Seoul. Quick Stats Fiona’s rating: 3.5/5 stars Price: $$ Good for: date night, family dinner, lunch, spice lovers, adventurous eaters Alcohol: beer and wine only Outdoor seating: no Photos by Fiona CoxeRead More