Crew Edition: Weekend Guide

This weekend is the world famous Head of the Charles Regatta.  It should be a perfect weekend for it, unlike that one year when it rained so hard they actually had to cancel it.  The scenery is just at it’s prime with the beautiful leaves.  Take a walk away from the Charles and for a stroll through the neighbourhoods or around Fresh Pond to really take it all in.  Then head back to the Charles to cheer on crew teams from around the world.

Of course, while you’re in Cambridge you may want to take in some sights and bites.  Here are a few suggestions.

10/22-10/24 (Cambridge) 52nd Head of the Charles Regatta. Raise Your Oars at a benefit for Community Rowing Inc. tonight, Friday, at the Lenox Hotel Hospitality tent.  There will be a VIP meet & greet with Olympians.  Sip on champagne and slurp up oysters, as you raise your oar at the live auction with items graciously donated by Head Of The Charles Sponsors and local organizations. This year will also include the inaugural Community Impact Award, presented by New Balance, which honors an individual achieving excellence in the sport of rowing and giving back to the New England Community. ($75 -$250)

Spend an Evening on the Charles Evening on the Charles presented by Chloé with dancing and drinks at the AttagerRow Main tent. ($50)

As for the races themselves, a full schedule can be found here and racing runs from 8AM-5PM on both Saturday and Sunday, October 22 & 23, 2016.

10/22 Fall Fair 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Cambridge) If you have little ones, head over to the Parent’s Nursery School Fall Fair. Enjoy live music, a puppet show, games, crafts, and delicious treats from the bake sale. A special visit from Boston’s Fresh Truck, a former school bus that has been transformed into a mobile produce market and interactive food education space, will be stopping by too! (Free)

10/22 Arsenal Project Natural Science Saturday 1:00 to 3:00p.m. (Watertown).  Children of all ages with their guardian can learn about The Creepy Side of Nature.

10/22 Trick or Treat at The Street  1:00 to 4:00 p.m. (Chestnut Hill) Gone are the days when Halloween is just one night, and if you have little ones it is a great alternative.  The Street is not too big and not too small so you can enjoy Trick-or-Treat stops from Showcase SuperLux to Star Market and everywhere in between! There will be : Face Painting with Art on The Spot, the POSE Photo Booth Fun + Pumpkin Patch, a Josh and The Jamtones Concert on The Green at 2 p.m and a Pooch Parade & Canine Costume Contest with Polkadog Bakery on The Green at 3 p.m.

10/22 Sing your hear out at Lift 200 Voices in Celebration 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. (Boston) Head to the Old South Church in Boston sing or listen.  This is a choral festival celebrating 200 years of Boston’s City Mission, featuring Donnell L. Patterson, Festival Choir Director, with Boston Children’s Chorus and community and church choirs from the Boston area, including Old South Church’s own Gospel Choir.  All are invited to participate in the mass choir. As a singer, your day will include a morning rehearsal, free time in Copley Square for lunch, and an afternoon rehearsal and concert. To participate, email OSC Gospel Choir Director and 200 Voices Committee Chair Tim Harbold at ($25+ suggested donation for audience members. $15+ suggested donation for participating singers.)

10/22 Tanzania Bitings 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. (Somerville) Step behind the camera of local photographer, Ken Rivard and see what this artist sees at the opening of the new photography show, Tanzania Bitings. See the new work, meet the artist and enjoy wine and Hors d’Oeuvres by Saloniki Greek, a restaurant opened and owned by Rivard’s wife, chef Jody Adams.

10/23 Pumpkin Carving ‘n Pints (Somerville) Aeronaut Brewing Co ($0-$100)

 (more coming soon…)

If you’re looking for tasty food this weekend then check out @Ohbabyboston on Instagram.  Scroll through the feed and click on anything that looks tasty to you. Then get some for yourself.

Lunch in Harvard Square: Beat Brasserie

Settle into Beat Brasserie for a little break.  It’s such a relaxing space you may need to stay for coffee and dessert…and then linger even longer. 

Whether you’re a parent and have school-aged children, you are on a tight budget this week/month/year, or you are just not a night person, lunch out is the perfect replacement for dinner out.  Sometimes, you are happy with a yoghurt and some granola at your desk, but other times you need to step away from your desk and eat a proper lunch (which you should be doing every day even if it’s just your yoghurt and granola at a park bench).  Harvard Square’s Beat Brasserie, popular for it’s tasty and jamming brunches with live music is now also serving lunch during the week.  I was invited in to see what lunch has to offer and was reminded once again why I should thank my lucky stars that I get to live in this city.

These crab cake deviled eggs are delicious.  Worth a visit just for these and a quick drink. 

When I’m choosing a spot for lunch, there are a few things I want:

  • Good food (that’s a given)
  • A space where I can relax and enjoy a meal solo or with a friend.
  • A menu that is not filled with things I could or would make at home (and I like to cook so this can sometimes be a tough one).
  • Healthy options, just in case I don’t feel like indulging and so there is hope of finishing my work after.
  • A staff that is time conscious but also offers the option to linger.
  • Walking distance or parking options nearby
These are the best booths I’ve ever sat in.  I want one for my house. 

Let’s start with the space. If you’re a local you’ll remember heading down those steps to do some shopping, and now despite the inviting arrow, the is something about going downstairs into a space you can’t see from the street that creates a hesitation. Just get over it and head down those stairs!  You will enter a groovy space with just the right amount of hip to make it feel modern with a clear nod to the Beat era.  You’ll also enter a room that is bright and spacious.  Slide into one of the gorgeous soft, leather booths with a friend or some colleagues or settle into a seat at the bar for a solo lunch. If you have been on Pinterest lately, you know that macaramé is making a comeback and at Beat Brasserie they’re ahead of the curve (okay it’s just so totally 70’s but still) I got a kick out of walking through this totally 70’s “wall” of macramé and wooden beads on my way to wash my hands before lunch and found myself daydreaming about how to recreate their stone trough sink at home.

I had to share because: macramé and wooden beads.  How groovy is that?!

The staff is attentive and very friendly.  They know how to keep lunch moving along, but also respect any wishes to linger longer.  It’s a delicate balance that not everyone can master.  Getting to Beat Brasserie is pretty easy.  Harvard Square on a weekday morning is fairly accessible and there is often a metered spot available on the side streets or in a pinch you can park in one of the nearby garages.

An assortment of deliciousness.  The artichoke falafel are usually served on a bowl, but we went for the slow cooked Mexican pork shoulder for this Bowl Azteca. I’m glad we asked to try the falafel too because that’s what I want next time. It was crunchy and light.

Okay, now let’s get to the really important part:  the food.  I love a varied menu but they also make me nervous.  A menu that has a little of this and a little of that often risks having some hits and some misses.  So far, after having brunch and lunch at Beat Brasserie I haven’t been disappointed with anything.  Even their oysters were perfectly shucked, fresh, and they had  Scorton Creek Oysters, which I haven’t had before.

It is as cliché as the macramé beads but the hard thing about lunch at Beat Brasserie is deciding what to order.  I suggest you come often or come with friends and try it all.

Buffalo cauliflower from Beat Brasserie.  One of Harvard Square’s most crave-able appetizers.  Photo courtesy of Debbie Grubstein (A Little Bit About a Lot of Things)

I can’t come to Beat Brasserie without getting the buffalo cauliflower and, if I dare admit it “in print”, I actually almost never leave without an additional order of the spicy, day-glo orange cauliflower with blue cheese sauce and carrots and celery to go.

The Azteca bowl is one of the Earthly Delight Bowls.  It comes with Adobo spiced quinoa, tomatillow salsa, corn, squash, green beans, avocado and baby spinach.  Then you can add toppings from the menu (see below). 

A favorite Beat Brasserie option, which would probably allow you to eat here once a week without getting bored, are the Earthly Delight Bowls.  Take the local chain places that offer grain or rice bowls and cross them with one of your favourite local restaurants and you’ll get the Beat Brasserie bowls. They are fresher, have more variety, and you get to enjoy them in a relaxing restaurant booth not standing at a sticky bar table surrounded by sweaty Soul Cycle folks.  You choose either the: Bowl Azteca with adobo spiced quinoa (which I believe is gluten free), the Greek bowl with couscous, the Hippie Bowl with greens and sprouted seeds, the Baby Blue Bowl with spinach, bacon, and a blue cheese dressing, or the Life bowl with beets and other roots.  Each one has their own mix of vegetables and delicious dressings and that is just the base.  You then can add on a choice of artichoke falafel, roasted free-range chicken, seared salmon, seared shrimp, slow cooked pork shoulder, grilled skirt steak, or seared za’atar spiced ahi tuna.  We tried the pork shoulder on the Bowl Azteca and it was the perfect comfort food.  Keep it vegetarian by adding the artichoke falafel instead of the pork and you won’t be disappointed whether you follow a vegetarian diet or not.

Behold the burger with port aioli, crispy fried onions, fries and a choice of bacon (yes), and cheddar or gorgonzola.

I was craving a burger, but I was hesitant to order one, because I’m really picky about my beef patties.  The bun has to be just right (it was).  The burger meat has to have the right texture, I don’t like them too compressed or too mushy, (it was perfect and cooked just right). It also came with some of the best fries in town.

Oktoberfest is in full swing, but not everyone can pull it off.  (Skip the pretzels at Shake Shack but the beer steins are kind of fun).  The special at Beat Brasserie was an Oktoberfest plate with sausage (cooked in beer and seared to perfection) on a pretzel bun with sauerkraut, additional cabbage that was sweet and sour on the side, and a German potato salad.  I could have eaten that entire plate and I will go back again for more while it is still on the menu. The potato salad was a little dry but still a pretty good version of my favourite kind of potato salad (no mayo just mustard, vinegar, hard boiled eggs, and scallions).

Come in from the cold and enjoy a piping hot, sweet apple crisp topped with creamy cool vanilla ice cream. 

If you have a sweet tooth don’t leave without ordering dessert.  They apple crisp was very sweet but full of flavour nonetheless.  The chocolate mousse is light and airy and goes perfectly with a cappuccino if you have just a little time to linger and need a little sugar/caffeine boost before heading back out into the real world.

Servings are large so feel free to share, or take some home for dinner or lunch tomorrow.

Harvard Square and Harvard Yard are beautiful this time of year.  Take the T into the area, bike, walk, or drive in and take a stroll before or after lunch at Beat Brasserie and you’ll feel like you’re living in a New England postcard.

Bee Nice: Gather Chocolate from Harbor Sweets

Step into this delectable world of honey and chocolate.  Harbor Sweets’ Gather Chocolate supports the Pollinator Partnership.

I am not someone who has a sweet tooth, but I do enjoy a well-made chocolate or dessert.  What I mean by “not having a sweet tooth” is that I rarely crave sweets.  It doesn’t mean I don’t like them.  I just crave bread and salty bites more.  That means if I’m sharing a sweet treat on the blog it must be pretty delicious for me to take notice. If you’ve read A Guide to Chocolate in Boston you know I’m a fan of Harbor Sweets up in Salem.  It is a great road trip for visitors and the history in that building is something you can’t find many places in North America. Harbor Sweets sent me a box of their newest chocolates for review, and I was very impressed.  I think it is my favourite chocolate of theirs I have tasted so far.

Famous for their nautical, crunchy, Sweet Sloops, which can be found at gift and specialty shops in the area, I have always thought of Harbor Sweets as a nice local gift of pretty good chocolate.  They have some tough local competition though when it comes to high end boxes of chocolate.  Their latest box, however, is not only raising the bar they’ve also created a box that supports a cause that is very important to all of us (whether you know it or not).


Gather Chocolate is a flight of (the bumblebee)…no it’s a flight of chocolates that has more complex notes than some of Harbor Sweet’s other chocolates.  Most importantly, there is athe subtle note of local wildflower honey.   2.5% of the sale of Gather Chocolates supports the Pollinator Partnership.  The Pollinator Partnership is an advocate for best beekeeping practices for honeybee protection.

This delicious flight of chocolates is presented in a hexagonal box (reminiscent of a hive) and is a beautiful golden, honey-yellow on the outside.  Within the box, you (or the person who recieves these as a gift) will find a rich, smooth caramelized honey bonbon, an earthy pomegranate molasses bonbon, a tart sour cherry truffle, a crunchy and nutty cashew caramel bonbon. a tropical coconut cluster truffle, and a caramelized sesame crunch bonbon.  Each bonbon is made with dark chocolate that goes so well with the touch of honey.  A six piece box has one of each ($12.50).  A 12 piece box has two of each ($18.50).

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I recommend buying a box to keep in the house and nibble your way through this month.  As you bite into each one, see if you can taste all the hidden notes and pat yourself on the back for supporting the bees.

Gather Chocolates by Harbor Sweets.

For the full experience, stop by Harbor Sweets and pick up several boxes for friends and family as a nice surprise.  Harvor Sweets in located in its original historic red brick building at 85 Leavitt St. in Salem, MA.  Chocolate can also be bought online and shipped worldwide.

Weekend Guide: Mazes & Ice Cream Because: Fall in New England

Homecomings, Leaf Peeping
Apple Picking, Pumpkin Spice Lattés
Caramel Apples, Chai
Hay Mazes & Not Putting on the Heat
Wearing Boots and Scarves but Still Ordering Iced Coffee and Going Out for Ice Cream
We are New Englanders

10/14 BU Fringe Festival 7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m.(Boston)  You have fringe on your scarf and fringe on your boots, why not get some more fringe in your life and see what is new in the world of theatre and music? The Boston University Fringe Festival begins this Friday with Hydrogen Jukebox composed by Phillip Glass (not so new but still fringesque) a Libretto by Allen Ginsberg. ($7)

10/14 Impelling Forces– Jose Matteo Ballet Theatre  8 p.m. (Cambridge) Impelling Forces opens on Friday, October 14th and runs through October 30th.  If you want your Phillip Glass with movement instead of words, then sit down in the beautiful Sanctuary Theatre and take in this performance.  This program includes: Mozart Provoked set to Uri Caine’s interpretation of Mozart’s Sonata in C Major for Piano, 1796 set to Beethoven’s Cello Sonata No. 2 in G Minor and then Over and Over set to Philip Glass’ Symphony No. 2. Mr. Matteo’s work is always exciting and has a unique interpretation.  This program is sure to suck you into the inspirational world of Jose Matteo’s Ballet Theatre ($42)

10/15 Volante Farms Apple Pie Contest (Needham)  Stop by Volante Farms to pick up some apples on Friday and then bake your best pie and put it up against your fellow bakers’ best attempts on Saturday.  May the tastiest pie win!  Pies must be at Volante Farms by 11;45 on Saturday.  Registration ends Friday, October 14th.  To register send in your full name and phone number either in person with a cashier or via email to (free)

10/15 4:00 p.m.  Local Craft Spirits Festival (Somerville) Spend the afternoon tasting brews from craft distilleries, cider houses, meaderies, and other such beverage makers.  There will be food for $6 or less per serving (that’s what they said), live music, cocktail demos and more.  VIP tickets are available as well and they comes with early admission for VIPs starting at 3 p.m., a meal voucher and other such perks.  ($45/general admission $85/admission for 2, $75/VIP, $140/VIP for 2)

10/15 and 16 Wellfleet Oysterfest (Wellfleet)  This year’s Wellfleet Oysterfest is going to be a different kind of festival without raw shellfish.  There will still be shucking, and plenty of activities as well as delicious cooked menu items to indulge in.  The Wellfleet Oyster festival not just about the oyster eating it is about supporting the oyster farmers, so head on over and have a great weekend in Wellfleet.  ($10-$20/ children 12 and under free)

This weekend you might also want to check out some of these fun and fabulous mazes.

A sweet and simple local hay maze that isn’t scary or too difficult and even the littlest tyke enjoy it is the maze at Wilson Farm. (Thursdays 12:30 -5:00 p.m., Fridays 3-5, Saturday/Sunday 11 a.m.- 5 p.m.

At the other end of the spectrum is the giant Big Papi tribute Maze at Davis Mega Maze.  This is a corn maze rather than a hay maze.  It is open day and night.  (children 5-12/$16.95, Adults & children 13+ $19.95)

One of our family favourites and great for those who get a bit claustrophobic, is the hay maze at Parlee Farms that you go on top of instead of im between walls of hay.

In addition to hay mazes, apple picking, and switching out our summer wardrobe for our winter one, there is one thing that New Englanders enjoy year-round and that is ice cream.  A few new places to check out this fall are:  Hi B3ar Ice Cream Roll, Honeycomb Creamery, Forge Ice Cream BarFomu in the South End, and The Parlor Ice Cream Co.







A Delicious 88 Acres: Nut-Free Snacking

“He eats like a bird.” is often said with a scrunched-up nose and a bit of a snarl.  With 88 Acres though, eating like a bird is a good thing especially if you can find a bag of their incredibly addictive, smart, and delicious chocolate and sea salt seednola.

88 Acres is an interesting company.  I first came across them picking up some bars for my daughter at the South End Buttery. She fell in love with the chocolate sea salt bars and I fell in love with the apple ginger bars.  I then learned that 88 Acres Bars are locally made and that was a bonus for me.  So far they had a lot going for them:

  • locally made
  • delicious and a good texture (no one likes biting into those ‘cardboard’ bars that taste like sawdust)
  • our favourite kind of flavours: chocolate sea salt, apple ginger, triple berry

Then, I found out that one of the company’s goals was to create nut free products because the co-founder, Nicole Ledoux’s true love, Rob, is allergic to nuts. Although we are not a nut-free family, we have many friends who are.  It is nice to have friends over for a play date and have a nut free, totally safe option to offer them for snack time.

Recently, I was sent a few bars as samples and this mystery bag of something called seednola.  I have to admit I was a little hesitant to try something out of a bag from a company that usually makes things in bars. I now see how silly that was.  The seednola is a fabulous sweet treat that my daughter loves for snack after school with some yoghurt or just plain in a bowl.  The brilliant thing about the 88 Acres Seednola is that it is made from the scraps of the bars; genius!!


Weekend Guide: Indigenous People’s Day

Call it what you like, this weekend is a long weekend.  The leaves are actually glowing with reds, yellows and oranges and the orchards are our destinations du jour. Oktoberfests are brewing left right and center and we’ve got so many new cider houses and breweries in the area that there is plenty to celebrate.

10/7 12-4p.m. (Cambridge) F#@k Slider Friday’s at Bukowski’s Tavern.  Start the weekend off right with a quick lunch date with your spouse that’s what all the hip parents are doing these days.  No babysitter needed if the kids are in school and you’re still functional because you haven’t had to go through the witching hour yet.  Chef Brian Poe’s teaching you the abc’s of burgers with versions made with antelope, bison and camel.  ($10/$15 with beer pairings)

10/7 8 p.m. (Boston) The Hunger with Anthony Bourdain.  There are a few tickets still left to hear Anthony Bourdain at Symphony Hall on Friday.  I say hear because they are blocked view seats, but really I could happily spend an evening just listening to Bourdain’s stories.  ($50-$250 VIP)

10/8 -10/9 (Hull) Fall Beach days are fun and if the weather is iffy you can still enjoy a stroll, and the sound of the waves. Then pop into The Paragon Carousel for a ride back in time.  The Carousel has been in operation for more than 80 years. Built in 1928 by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company, it boasts four rows of 66 intricately carved horses and two rare Roman chariots. The carousel is decorated with 35 original paintings, 36 cherubs and 18 goddesses who look down while a Wurlitzer Band Organ fills the air with music. The Paragon carousel is one of less than 100 “Grand” carousels remaining in the U.S. and is the only attraction left of the Paragon Park amusement park on Nantasket Beach that closed in 1985. The antique amusement is a lasting reminder of the “Golden Age” of Hull, MA, when the town was teeming with thousands of visitors each day in the summer for decades. The Carousel now attracts upwards of 100,000 visitors each summer.

10/7 – 10/9 (Somerville/Cambridge) If you haven’t been to HONK! Fest yet, it is worth checking out. Loud instruments, loud people and loud ideas roam the streets with concerts, parades and spectacles of all sorts.

10/8-10/9 (Wareham) Cranberry Harvest Celebration. Step into a New England postcard at the A.D. Makepeace Cranberry Harvest Celebration.

10/8 12-4 (Allston/Brighton) Harvard Community Football Day Free tickets to the Harvard/Cornell football game for all Cambridge and Allston/Brighton residents.

10/8-10/9 (Brookline) Puppet Showplace Theatre presents Puss in Boots by Perry Alley Theatre.

10/9 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. (Cambridge) Oktoberfest at Beat Brasserie. Beat Brasserie has the music, the fare, and the outfits to boot.  Celebrate the season in Harvard Square’s “pop up” Bavarian Beer Hall aka Beat Brasserie.

10/10 12-4 (Boston) Columbus Park Fall Festival is a great way to celebrate Columbus Day in Boston.  Enjoy the crisp fall air, get into the city, and have fun as  a family.

10/10 (Cambridge) Bruce Springsteen at the Harvard Coop (SOLD OUT)

Stay home and read all day together in a pillow fort, in a tent in the backyard, or under blankets on a couch.

Bake. Stock your freezer with meals for the month.

Go for a hike or a walk around the neighborhood.

Craft. Pick one of the many Pinterest pins you saved to your boards.

Ballerinas and Tacos

Today is World Ballet Day but it is also National Taco Day so clearly if you live in the US the only thing to do today is to take a ballet class or buy tickets for a ballet, and then go out for tacos.

From now until October 30th Margaritas Mexican Restaurant’s Taco Gigante, a whopping 12-inch, 2lb colossal taco filled to the brim and $2 from every Taco Gigante sold will be donated to national charity, Team IMPACT.  Team IMPACT works to provide a life-changing experience for children with chronic & terminal illness. The children are “Drafted” to join their favorite college sports team – the child joins the team & the student athletes join the child’s support team.

Today some Margaritas locations are hosting the Battle of the Badges, where the men and woman of local police and fire compete to complete the Taco Gigante. The first team to conquer the Gigante gets $250 donated to the charity of their choice plus a free taco party for their department. The losing team will also get a donation of $100 to the charity of their choice.


World Ballet Day

Boston Ballet Principals Paulo Arrais and sAnaïs Chalendard

World Ballet Day Live started in 2015 and it has been a great way for ballet companies and ballet dancers in training around the world to connect.  Catch some of World Ballet Day Live this year today, October 4th!

As someone who found a lot of joy in dancing since I was a little kid and now again as an adult, I look forward to this chance to step inside professional studios around the world.

On the blog I’ve written about Boston Ballet, because they are the company that I get to see perform the most and despite my rocky start with Boston Ballet years ago (when it was nothing close to the company that it is today) Boston Ballet is now one of my favourite companies to watch.  Last year my daughter and I were also able to see a really interesting and moving performance by Prometheus Dance.

This year, I hope to find time to see performances from some of the other local, smaller, but also very talented and creative companies in New England this year such as Jose Matteo’s Ballet TheatreJose Matteo’s Ballet Theatre (where I used to dance until my daughter was born 12 years ago).  This year, we also had the chance to see The National Ballet of Canada in Toronto, which was a real treat and then again the National Ballet of Canada while they were in New York City at Lincoln Center for their version of Shakespeare’s A Winter’s Tale.

If you want to go to the ballet this year or just about any performance in Boston here are some tips and tricks to get tickets and discounts.


For more on ballets and other of my favourite performances check this posts out.

The littlest dancers. Boston Ballet students learning their first position. Boston Ballet teacher Luciano Aimar is amazingly engaging for the youngest ballet students, keeping them moving and learning throughout their class.


Welcome to The Weekend: Boston September 30-October 2nd

The weekend is here and so is fall in full force.  Hopefully you spent the end of your week well caffeinated with National Coffee Day.  Now here are some options for the weekend.

Friday, September 30th

9/30 5-9 p.m. (Watertown) Arts & Drafts at the Arsenal Center

Arts and Drafts is an evening of live music, brews and the chance to be creative all on the beautiful grounds of the Arsenal on the Charles! Live music will be drummed up by Nemes, Gold Blood & Associates, and Dirty Bangs, brews will be served from Downeast Cider and Aeronaut Brewing  and food will be available from The Sausage Guy.  There will be tie dye and Hula Hooping lessons from Ballroom in Boston as well as games and prizes from Radio 92.9Tickets available here or call 617-923-0100 x8302 ($30 includes a commemorative t-shirt and one beverage token 21+)

 9/30 3:00 -3:40 p.m. (Boston) Toddler Yoga at Cou Cou in the South End

 Start the weekend off with a little toddler zen time for children 2-4 years old.  Check out Cou Cou’s entire calendar of events because they have several activities for toddlers, parents and babies all year long.

9/30 & 10/1 5:30 – 11:00 p.m./1-7p.m. (Boston) Harpoon Brewery Octoberfest

I love Harpoon Brewery.  It’s a fabulous space with great beer and pretzels that live up to their instagram shot. Harpoon Octoberfest will be celebrated with beer, bratwursts,  dancing, and more! This year marks 27 years of Octoberfest at Harpoon Brewery. ($25)

Saturday/Sunday October 1-2

10/1 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. (Boston) Let’s Talk About Food Festival

Stop by Copely Square to watch some of the area’s favourite chefs in action.  Topics covered include:

  • Fun With Family Dinner: Cooking With the Kids

  • Recipes From Afar: How Immigrant Cooks Impact the American Kitchen

  • Farming our Seafood: Aquaculture Leaders in New England

  • Citizen Eaters: Your Influence on the Food We Buy, Eat, and Grow

  • Baking the Old-Fashioned Way: Family Recipes from the Brass Sisters

  • Buying Meat: What You Need to Know

10/1 10/2 10a.m.-4 p.m.(Boylston) American Craft Festival at Tower Hill Botanic Garden

The juried craft show features work by ceramicists, jewelers, woodworkers, metal workers, glass blowers, painters, printmakers, leather workers and fiber artists.

While you are there stroll the botanic gardens and visit Patrick Dougherty’s Stickworks. ($12 adults/ $9 seniors/$7 youth 6-18yrs)

10/1 3-7p.m. (Somerville) AgriCultural Festival

Farmers and Artists gather in Somerville at 10 Poplar Street the site of ArtFarm to celebrate urban agriculture and the arts.

10/1 12-3 p.m.(Cambridge) Customer Appreciation Day at Pemberton Farms

Stop by one of my favourite Cambridge shops for Customer Appreciation Day.  Pemberton Farms is a great place to shop for just about anything from prepared foods, to cheeses, beer, water, and plants for your garden as well. Pemberton Farms will have some of their tastiest products available to sample throughout the day as vendors share their products.(Free )

10/1 4 p.m. (Wellesley) Enough Said: What’s Gone Wrong with the Language of American Politics

The timing couldn’t be better and the question can’t be asked enough.  Head over to Wellesley Books to hear Mark Thompson, President and CEO of The New York Times Company speak about his book.  (Free)

10/1 (Boston) Gilded Fest: Music, Technology & Innovation

Pick up some tickets online and then head over to the Lawn on D for Gilded Fest.  Get a workout in, play some games, listen to some music and fill your day with an assortment of music, tech and innovation.  ($26.06-$36.35)

10/2 2-5 p.m. (Boston) Create Boston

Chefs and artists collaborate to create a unique experience. Tavern Road puts together an incredible night of artist showing their work, music, along with creative chefs and cocktail crafters.  ($50.02/$80.12)

Did you know?!

Art week Boston begins on Friday, September 30th.

Hub Week concludes this weekend.

Friday, September 30th is National Mulled Cider day.  Head to Wilson Farm to pick up a jug of cider.  Even better, head over to Carlson Orchards and get some from the source.  If they still have them, pick up  a case of their cider juice boxes for your child’s lunch boxes this month.  Then get some of Williams Sonoma’s mulling spices.  They are so good!

October 1st is National Pumpkin Spice Day.  Find out how to upgrade your boring PSL here.

Five Ways to Go Above and Beyond the Pumpkin Spice Latte: National Coffee Day Upgrade

Okay, so my headline is misleading. I admit it.  Only two of these are coffee drinks but I wanted to throw one in for the tea-lovers too.  Yes, you noticed the other two don’t even have pumpkin anything.  Let’s face it a good pumpkin jam (yes I said jam) latté is worth all the hype but really, how much pumpkin anything does one need in one’s life. So here they are: two ways to upgrade your PSL fix, one tea that hits the pumpkin spice spot, and a couple of coffee cocktails because coffee and a cocktail in one is all that and a bale of hay.

The Pumpkin Jam Latté, Sofra (Cambridge, MA)

If you open my pantry you will find a jar of Sofra’s pumpkin jam stashed away in there all year round. It is sweet, smooth, and perfectly spiced.  I love it on toast, on pancakes and when I stop in at Sofra Bakery & Café in Cambridge, I like it in my coffee.  The Sofra pumpkin jam latté must be experienced at least once every fall. NB It is pretty delicious so even former PSL naysayers may become addicted.

Affogato with Autumn Spice Ice Cream, Rancatore’s  (Lexington, MA)

Put on your flannel shirt, your chunky boots, and your favourite fall scarf and strut into Ranc’s ice cream shop for a true taste of New England fall in a cup.  Order the affogato with Autumn Spice ice cream and you will get a generous scoop of the Autumn Spice ice cream topped with a rich Barissmo espresso and then let the two together, hot coffee and creamy cool ice cream, work their magic.

Pumpkin Chai with Pumpkin Agave David’s Tea (Multiple locations – Harvard Square Opening Friday, Sept. 30th)

Upgrade your chai tea by getting a Pumpkin Chai tea at David’s Tea.  You can have it steeped as a latté or as a tea.  Then to boost the quintessential “fall” factor, have it slightly sweetened with a little pumpkin agave.  If you can’t make it to a store, then turn your kitchen into a tea house and order everything you need online.

Affogato with House Made Coffee Whiskey, Kirkland Tap & Trotter (Cambridge, MA)

Affogato at Rancatore’s on a busy weekday afternoon is a great pick me up.  At the end of a long week though,what you really want is a spiked affogato after a tasty Kirkland Tap & Trotter meal.  KT&T has a delicious brunch and Sunday-Thursday 5:30-6:30 kids eat free (and the kids’ food here is amazing). While kids enjoy their dessert you can enjoy an affogato which is served with a shot of KT&T’s coffee whiskey.

The Revolver, Sycamore (Newton)

Another cocktail to consider this national coffee day is Sycamore’s revolver which is made with cold brew coffee, espresso liqueuer and mole bitters. Now that sounds killer!

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