Black Friday: Shop Well, Eat Well

Truth be told, I would not be caught dead shopping on Black Friday, because I have the luxury of being a stay at home mom so I can shop any other time during the week and I have the flaw of becoming hostile and a tad bit cranky when I shop in a crowd.  When I wasn’t a stay at home parent, I shopped in eccentric places…you can find great gifts at CVS, the cultural survival bazaar has many great finds and isn’t crowded compared to the mall, and this year we’re getting crafty and creative with gifts that we’ll assemble and/or make at home (more on that in a later article).

If you are headed to the mall and let’s face it you’ll have to make a day of it, then here are some great nearby food options for you.

If you are going to the The Mall at Chestnut Hill then you can grab a pre-shopping bite or a mid-day bite at these nearby restaurants and eating spots:  Bakers’ BestLa Rotisserie (If you can handle more roasted poultry.), Rosie’s Bakery (I don’t think they have sandwiches at this one, but may have soup.), Johnny’s Luncheonette (I’m sure there will be a crowd.), and Union Street among others.

If you are going to the Cambridgeside Galleria then you can sit and grab a bite at these eateries: Aceituna Cafe, and Boca Grande and Cambridge Brewing Company.

If you are headed to the Burlington Mall you can stop in Lexington at:  The Upper Crust PizzeriaVia LagoLexx Restaurant (Not sure if the kids will do so well here, but you know your kids best.), The Cheesecake Factory (Some people love if and others hate it.  I think it’s decent.  Call in an order to go while you shop or the kids play and find a  table in the food court or a little seating area and have a picnic.  I love the food at Gourmet India in the food court.  It’s probably some of the best food court food you can buy around here.  If you want to go fast food, Chik-fil-A has a more than decent salad with fresher and tastier than expected vegetables.  I’ve been recently introduced to Chik-fil-A, which always scared me because of the name and the strange cow mascot, but I’ve added their salad to my “go-to” list when I’m at the mall.  The chicken is a bit too salty and “seasoned” for my taste, but the kids don’t seem to mind and I don’t mind feeding it to them every once in a while.  Just remember to refill their Sigg bottles or sippy cups at the water fountain before you leave.  The e-bar at Nordstroms also has some decent sandwiches that you can eat at the tables just outside the store.

Last but not least on the mall front, if you are headed to Wayside Commons in Burlington there is my husband’s go-to fast food place Fresh City.  I have been to The Ginger Pad twice and really enjoyed it both times.  There is also Not Your Average Joe’s which is an easy choice with the kids (although mine are huge Japanese food fans so we prefer Ginger Pad).

If you’re headed to Harvard Square there are so many options:  Darwin’s, Hi Rise Pie Company, L.A. BurdickHenrietta’s Table, and so much more.  Here are two comprehensive lists:  The Appian and theLunch in Harvard Square blog.   If you don’t go to Henrietta’s on Friday, then it’s worth heading over there on Saturday for the tree lighting.  We usually go outside for the singing and then get too cold so we go into Henrietta’s for a great meal and watch them light the tree from the lively, warm interior of the restaurant.

If you’re shopping along Mass. Ave, between Harvard and Porter Square you can try out the new spot in Porter Square:  Zing! PizzaChangsho for Chinese food, WraproStone Hearth Pizza CompanySugar and Spice, and the Porter Exchange is a goldmine for quick yummy eats. Porter exchange eateries include:  Kotobukiya Sushi Bar (My daughter and I go there as often as we can.), Cafe Mami, Tampopo, Japonaise Bakery, Ittyo Restaurant, Sappora Ramen, Chocho’s, and Blue Fin among others.

Bon shopping & bon appetit.  ttyl your BFF (Boston Family Foodie)

For more info: Use your senses.  Smell spices and flavours in the air.  Look for places that aren’t empty and seem populated by people who care about what they’re eating.  Feel it out but don’t be afraid to take a risk.

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