Last week was all about pancakes. This week we’re boiling down sap to make syrup. This weather is throwing all the sugar shacks for a loop. You can travel out to “beyond the ‘burbs” in just about any direction and find a sugar shack. It just depends how far you want to go, and most importantly what’s nearby for a meal before heading home.
Save the date for Drumlin Farm’s popular pancake breakfast. March 11th and 12th from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.. You need to reserve your time in advance. Then, enjoy the farm. Visit the farm babies and explore the exhibits, go for a stroll around the farm or just hang out and dig in the dirt for a while. Important note for parents: they will be serving my all time favourite coffee Karma Coffee #caffeinebonus!
You can see the sugar shack in action and visit the animals any day of the week it doesn’t have to be on pancake breakfast day. Try to find the tapped trees, see the sugar shack set up (the sugar shack may not be open every day but sometimes you get a peek inside). Then, if you need to stop for lunch somewhere here are some great options in Concord.
For the food lovers and more adventurous eaters, breakfast, lunch or dinner at Saltbox Kitchen is not to be missed. Quick and easy on the way home options are pizza at Sorrento’s in Concord or a stop at the Trail’s End Café in Lincoln.
You can order Maynard Maple syrup via the Facebook page. Ron Kay taps his trees and some of his neighbors trees too to get enough sap for his small batch syrup production. If you’re swinging by to pick up a few jars, then on the way home you can stop at The Brook Kitchen and Tap.
Natick Community Organic Farm has sugaring tours on Saturdays at 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. Tours are $7 each (backpack babies are free) and last 45 minutes to an hour. Get lunch after at Jack’s Abbey Craft Lagers. They have delicious pizza and the beer to go with it as well as Polar Fountain Sodas, Spindrift Sodas, Simpson Springs Birch Beer, Cream Soda and Rootbeer from Easton, MA and chocolate milk for the non-beer drinkers. Jack’s Abby is spacious and has great long beer hall type tables so there is plenty of room for the whole family. If you’re more in the mood for breakfast plan to eat at Station 5 Grille or Frescafé.
Out in Pepperell is Boggastowe Farm. Call ahead to see if they are boiling down or just pop by to pick up some maple syrup and take a peek at the sugar shack. Then, plan a fancy meal out as a family at Gibbet Hill Grill their kids menu includes a 5 oz hanger steak as well as the picky palate favourites such as pasta plan, grilled cheese sandwiches, chicken fingers and macaroni and cheese. The grown up menu is pretty impressive and you may want to find an excuse to drive out this way more often. If you are still wearing your workout pants and favourite holey sweatshirt, then you may want to go more casual and stop by Johnson’s Restaurant and Dairy Bar.
Stay in Town: Somerville
If your weekend schedule doesn’t have room for a trip out to the suburbs you are in luck. In Somerville, Saturday, May 11th will be The Growing Center‘s Annual Maple Syrup Boil Down from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. You can stop by early and then head to Kirkland Tap and Trotter or The Biscuit for lunch. On the other hand, if you wake up with your stomach growling then head to brunch first and then pop over to The Growing Center to see the results of the boil down.