Welcome back to AM Intel, a round-up of mini news bites to kick off the day.
What Happened Last Week?
The team behind the acclaimed Bar Mezzana in the South End will open a Tiki-inspired spot right across the street late this year. A downtown coffee shop closed and was quickly replaced by another coffee shop, which is serving Intelligentsia coffee and cheese pudding, and another coffee shop will open downtown as well. Spring briefly appeared, and some patios briefly opened. A classic local roast beef chain lost a location but may gain an airport one and a food truck. A classic local seafood chain is opening a second location of its poke-inspired casual offshoot. A closed Somerville beer garden will end up getting another season.
Plus: Keep an eye out for this contract brewer to open a South Shore taproom in the near future. Jamaica Plain’s Centre Street is full of incredible Caribbean food, and you should eat it all. And it’s time to nominate the best young rising stars in the hospitality industry for Eater’s annual Young Guns awards.
And from our national big sister, Eater.com: Tipping is a bad system that encourages racism, sexism, harassment, and exploitation. Instagram is ruining croissants. Chefs should think twice before putting their names on their restaurants.
Where to Eat “Spudboats” and Drink Lavender Lattes
The Briar Group has closed its young Kendall Square cafe, K2, but some of its menu items — including loaded baked potatoes called “spudboats” — are migrating over to sibling and neighbor Glass House (450 Kendall St., Kendall Square, Cambridge). Starting today, Glass House is serving breakfast from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekdays, offering a short menu that includes the ubiquitous avocado toast, as well as salmon toast, oatmeal, bagels, a breakfast burrito (also available as a bowl), an egg sandwich, and three types of spudboats. Some of K2’s caffeinated drinks are being reborn at Glass House’s breakfast service as well, including a lavender latte and the Hard Day — cola with a shot of espresso over ice.
I. Love. Bread.
The When Pigs Fly retail store has completed its move from one side of Somerville’s Davis Square to the other; it’s now open at 241 Elm St., serving up breads, cookies, and pretzels. As When Pigs Fly director of retail operations Fred Fleisher previously told Eater, the company had been in the original location on Highland Avenue for 10 years but found a “better, high-profile location with more foot traffic and parking” next to McKinnon’s Meat Market on the other side of the neighborhood.
Chalk Menu Superstar
The Boston Globe profiles Joan Aylward (@chalk_bos), the artist responsible for the impeccable chalk lettering at around 150 area restaurants, including Audubon, Lucky’s Lounge, Citizen Public House, and Tasty Burger. A couple years ago, Aylward, now 54, had a barely-used art degree and a couple decades of waiting tables under her belt. She was working as a server at the now-defunct Sam’s, experimenting with the restaurant’s chalkboards during down time, when Capo and Lincoln Tavern general manager Will Clark spotted her work one day and brought her in for some projects — and then everything snowballed. These days, she makes a full-time living from her art, counting the Celtics, Red Bull, and other giant brands among her clients, not to mention the ever-expanding restaurant roster.
One Thing You Should Eat Today
Boston has a growing obsession with Cajun-inspired boiled seafood, and the latest addition to the scene is a fun place for seafood boil newbies to dive in: Bootleg Special (400 Tremont St., South End, Boston). The new restaurant has that rustic/chic ambiance that’s all the rage these days (think deliberately aged walls paired with sparkling chandeliers), not to mention Instagram bait (neon “live nudes” signage pointing towards the bathroom). Take it all in, accept the bib and gloves, and dive into a bowl of seafood — try the shrimp with the Cajun-inspired “bootleg” sauce. Add in andouille sausage and potatoes for a solid meal.
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