Established in 1939, the Sacco’s Bowling Family clung to its candlepin alleys in Somerville when its 18 other locations closed down. They let go when they saw Flatbread Company’s plan for the historic space: the bowling alleys would stay but the company would bring in a clay oven, which chefs now use to fire flatbread pizzas made with organic ingredients.
Amsterdam Falafelshop: A User’s Guide
Middle Eastern Cuisine | Do-It-Yourself Toppings | Vegetarian-Friendly
Fried-to-order falafel—crunchy on the outside, moist on the inside—are tossed into toasted pitas or bowls
More than 20 toppings made from scratch daily, including Middle Eastern salads, hummus, and fried eggplant, and sauces such as tahini, garlic cream, and cilantro-jalapeño
Frieten, or Dutch-style fries, are thick cut but fried twice for extra crispiness
What to Expect: Crush your balls. That’s the primary guideline for diners, who take warm falafel from the staff and head over to the toppings bar. The hulking balls take up a lot of room, so flattening the falafel first is suggested so you can really load your pita or bowl with toppings. The DIY meal fits with the eatery’s Euro sensibilities, with off-kilter decor collected from the Netherlands and the Internet, and fast food that’s healthier than the average burger joint.
Bowls are priced by weight, but falafel sandwiches are a fixed price. Opt for the latter if you’re expecting to have a hefty meal. You can even return to the toppings bar for extras as long as you use plastic cups.
An order of fries becomes a tasting experience when you dip them into fritesaus (Dutch-style mayo), creamy peanutsaus, and curry ketchup.
There are only 19 seats in this little shop, so be prepared to do takeout if you visit during the lunch rush or when Davis Square’s late-night denizens want a snack. (It’s open till midnight on Fridays and Saturdays.)
Have some leftover euros from your last vacation? Instead of ferreting them away in your Monopoly bank, use them to pay for your sandwich.
Rants and Raves
“Amsterdam Falafelshop has perfected the art of frying chickpeas and potatoes. … You have just eaten some of the best falafel outside the Middle East.” — Boston Globe
“One of the best restaurant bargains in Greater Boston boasts incredible French fries, mouth-watering sandwiches, and a toppings bar you’ve got to see to believe.” – Phantom Gourmet
It's been named one of the country’s hottest fast-casual chains by Zagat.
The Flatbread Company at Sacco's Bowl Haven: A User’s Guide
Gourmet Flatbread Pizza | Gluten-Free Options | Candlepin Bowling
Salad: organic veggies topped with homemade ginger-tamari vinaigrette
Flatbread: Mopsy’s Kalua Pork Pie with smoked free-range pork shoulder and mango barbecue sauce
Dessert: brownie sundae warmed in the wood-fired oven and served with Annabelle's
Natural Ice Cream
When to Go: Tuesday, when a portion of the flatbread sales goes towards helping local nonprofits.
While You’re Waiting: Go bowling! The restaurant's located in a candlepin-bowling alley, so why do anything else? The Sacco's family opened the alley in 1939, and operated it until The Flatbread Company took over.
All the flatbreads can be made with a gluten-free bread for an additional $4.50.
Don't worry if you don't have a bowling reservation—a few lanes are always reserved for walk-ins.
Couples who want a fun wedding reception that doesn't involve The Electric Slide can rent out the restaurant and alley.
"Whoever trains this cheerful, efficient, patient staff should write a manual." — Boston Globe
Named one of The 21 Best Places to Eat Pizza Right Now by Boston
When Keith Pooler was growing up, he planted and picked in his grandmother's garden and tended horses and chickens in his grandfather's barn. The day's hard work culminated in family dinners, where every member of the family cooked. So it’s hardly surprising that, as co-owner and chef at Bergamot, he shows an intense respect for his ingredients—he understands the labor needed to produce them.
Pooler’s front-of-house partner is Servio Garcia, who will greet you at the door of the cozy, caramel-toned dining room. Pooler and Garcia call their style "progressive American cuisine," which to them means combining the freshest local offerings with international ingredients. Peek into the kitchen and you might find sous-chef Dan Dazzinotti butchering his own meat to be turned into house-made charcuterie, or pastry chef Kelcey Rusch adding the finishing touches to the cranberry caramel and honeycomb of the Japanese yam tart with a dollop of butter pecan ice cream.
The team's creativity and attention to detail won it a place in the heart of Boston’s culinary community from the start. Naming Bergamot one of Boston's 50 Best Restaurants in 2012, Boston Magazine wrote, "Sophistication abounds here: a dash of rooibos syrup rounding out a cocktail, a hint of smoke in a creamy cauliflower soup..." A 2010 Boston Globe review raved about everything from the “spectacular” bread service and “very good” savory dishes to the "scrupulous, obsessive" work of wine director Kai Gagnon, whose nectar "always comes out at the right temperature — even when it's a red by the glass." The Boston Globe followed up on the restaurant in 2014 with another positive review, noting "it hasn’t lost a step." For those who opt for pairings, Gagnon will be glad to match a Greek wine with a piece of striped bass or recommend a juice-box to bring with leftovers for lunch.
All of your favorite grocery items are waiting for you at L P Market in Somerville so head on over and pick them up.
Pick up some noodles from L P Market and create a tasty pasta dish for lunch or dinner.
Find a shorter path to dinner when you take control of your prep time by investing in frozen foods.
For that bowl of crunchy goodness, cereal is a winner for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!
Spruce up your meals with a variety of seasonings and spices on hand.
Feeling hungry? Heat up a tasty and affordable TV dinner from here and enjoy the convenience of a quick meal.
For breads, cookies, cakes, and pies that will blow your mind, are couple extra sweet ingredients are kitchen must-haves.
Planning a barbecue? Check out the selection of meat inventory here and go home with a range of tender meats.
Grab a loaf of bread from L P Market and make your sandwich just the way you like it.
For dairy lovers out there, this store does dairy right, so make sure to pick up some on your next trip.
Packed with essential nutrients, be sure to try walk away with some delicious fish for dinner.
Stock up on tasty canned goods from L P Market and quickly pull together last-minute dinner ideas.
Feeling hungry and creative? Fix up a tasty meal or salad with some oil and vinegar from here.
The drinks available here are a great way to restore your body's natural balance, so start sipping.
Take care of your thirst quickly with a bottle of refreshing water from L P Market.
It'll be hard to just have one slice when you order one of L P Market's freshly baked pizzas.
Stay healthy on the regular with the produce available here. It's super fresh and can be used with any meal.
Sip on the caffeinated treats offered by L P Market's impressive coffee and tea connection.
Enjoy a small, bite-sized snack from L P Market and cure your hunger pains.
Parking is plentiful, so visitors can feel free to bring their vehicles.
Fresh food that lasts longer is just asking to be bought. Find it at Somerville's L P Market.
Dine at Orleans Bar and Restaurant for game-day specials and a fun atmosphere.
Healthy food is in, as it should be, so come here for a tasty, low-fat and gluten-free bite.
Orleans Bar and Restaurant is fully loaded with TVs for your viewing pleasure.
Youngsters are more than welcome to join mom and dad at this restaurant.
Make the most of the warm summer months by dining outdoors in Orleans Bar and Restaurant's beautiful outdoor seating area.
Large groups will appreciate Orleans Bar and Restaurant for its ability to seat them quickly.
Live music is often featured for guests' enjoyment.
Those searching for a quiet dinner scene may have better luck elsewhere, as the restaurant tends to get rather noisy.
You may want to reserve your table for a weeknight visit since the crowds can be more intense during that part of the week.
Can't find your khakis? No problem! Throw on a pair of your most comfortable jeans and you'll blend right in at Orleans Bar and Restaurant.
The restaurant has catering services as well.
Always five minutes behind schedule? Pick up your food to go instead.
Bring your car to dinner and easily find a space in the area — street parking is available, as is a nearby lot.
Orleans Bar and Restaurant provides ample space for bikers to store their bikes.
An average meal at Orleans Bar and Restaurant will set you back about $30.
The restaurant's got you covered whether you're hungry for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, but die-hard fans always opt for an evening meal.
Bring a friend and enjoy the game at Orleans Bar and Restaurant!
There's a classic American dish waiting to be made for you at Orleans Bar and Restaurant.
So round up your friends and head over to Orleans Bar and Restaurant for a casual American meal.
For an exceptional menu of American food that is highly-rated by all who try it, call Orleans Bar and Restaurant today.
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.
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 Scott
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.
Fiona’s rating: 3.5/5 stars
Good for: date night, family dinner, lunch, spice lovers, adventurous eaters
Alcohol: beer and wine only
Outdoor seating: no
Photos by Fiona Coxe