The Boston Globe takes a look at how some Massachusetts Chinese restaurants “came to embrace tiki kitsch” over the years — from pupu platters to flaming drinks — like the defunct Aku-Aku Islander in Worcester, Luau Hale in Lenox, South Pacific in Newton, and more, not to mention the still-going-strong Kowloon in Saugus. This Chinese-Polynesian fusion traces back to the 1930s, writes Gabriella Gershenson, courtesy of “California tiki dens” Don the Beachcomber and Trader Vic’s, the latter of which expanded to Boston eventually. Within two or three decades, “Chinese and Polynesian food in Massachusetts were practically interchangeable.”
Separately, the Globe rounds up five worthy remaining destinations among this group, where you can “indulge your pupu and Mai Tai longings,” including Lynnfield’s Bali Hai, Dedham’s Tahiti, and more.
Table Talk Pies — those adorable little snack pies in apple, cherry, blueberry, and more — have been around since 1924, and last week, the company opened its first retail shop/cafe in more than 20 years, reports MassLive. Located at 153 Green St. in Worcester, the cafe sells four- and eight-inch pies (including discounted “thrift pies,” which might have incorrect packaging or some other small error in appearance), along with optional add-ons: a scoop of ice cream or a slice of cheddar cheese. Coffee, tea, and hot chocolate are available as well. Open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, except for Tuesdays and Sundays (closed on both days).
Piles of Pasta
Both The Boston Globe and Boston Magazine have been in an Italian food state of mind lately, dropping big dining guides in recent days. From the Globe: 15 of the best restaurants in the neighborhood, from Galleria Umberto to Neptune Oyster; where to find the best desserts, including cannoli; and where to buy everything, from bread and pasta to wine and beyond. Plus, there’s a look at the North End’s history and how it became Boston’s “Little Italy.”
Meanwhile, Boston Magazine provides a list of 14 of the best restaurants in the neighborhood (crossover between the two publications’ lists: Bricco, The Daily Catch, Mamma Maria, Neptune Oyster, Prezza, Taranta); four places to get perfect pizza; hidden-gem markets to up your Italian cooking game at home; the best Italian sub, cappuccino, and ricotta cannoli; and local athlete top picks. Plus, some history.
Meanwhile, in Maine
Portland’s got a couple new openings, reports Portland Food Map. There’s a new location of Other Side Delicatessen (the new one is as at 235 Vaughan St. in Portland’s West End; the original is at 164 Veranda St.), serving up deli sandwiches, charcuterie by the pound, prepared meals, pasta, and more. Today is opening day.
Plus, a new cafe called Coffee Me Up opened yesterday at 221 Cumberland Ave., serving coffee, baklava, and more.
And in Providence
Providence, Rhode Island got a new bagel shop over the weekend — Providence Bagel (695 North Main St.) On the menu: bagels, spreads, bagel sandwiches, a variety of coffees and teas, salads, soups, and baked goods.
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