Try These Fluff Specials at Somerville Restaurants This Weekend
Though it’s now produced in Lynn, every Bostonian with a sweet tooth knows it’s Somerville that can claim marshmallow Fluff. The city celebrates the storied sticky stuff every year at “What the Fluff?” in Union Square, on the site where confectioner Archibald Query first concocted the gooey treat in 1917.
This Saturday, September 24, the 11th annual festival returns with a collegiate theme. Fluff U: A Sweet Education features the Flufferettes from Rogue Burlesque and more live performances, plus activities like Fluff jousting, Fluff musical chairs, Fluff hair ‘dos, and a Fluff Lick Off. (Yep.)
Beyond that challenge, there’s plenty of the marshmallow Fluff for those who want to eat some. There will be vendor booths set up throughout the festival, and Somerville bars and restaurants are even getting in on the sugar high. Below, here are the sweet treats to seek out during this year’s What The Fluff? Festival.
Sam Treadway is stirring up Campfire in the Square ($12), a decadent sipper of rye, cognac, vermouth, Cynar, cacao, and bitters, with torched Fluff on the rim. “It’s got the flavors of a dark chocolate manhattan but the aroma of marshmallows over the fire,” the bar owner says. Union Square’s speakeasy, tucked right in the midst of the Fluff Festival, opens at 3 p.m. on Saturday.
Open 3 p.m.-12 a.m. Saturday, September 24, 7 Sanborn Court, Union Square, Somerville, 617-718-0249, backbarunion.com.
Bantam Cider Co.
Bantam Cider is not only keeping its taproom—located on the edge of Union Square—open an extra hour on Saturday, the team is also having a little messy fun with Fluff, co-owner Dana Masterpolo says. Between 4-6 p.m., any pint of cider can come with a Fluff rim. The sweet treat comes at no extra charge with a full pour of any of Bantam’s flavors ($6), like the apple pie-like, spiced Americain, or the piquant Papi Chulo, a wild fermented cider with maple syrup and habanero chilis.
Open 1-9 p.m. on Saturday, September 24, 40 Merriam St., Somerville, 617-299-8600, bantamcider.com.
This spot at the epicenter of What the Fluff? is definitely getting in on the festivities. Executive chef Jonathan Kopacz is piling hand-cut sweet potato fries with Cabot cheddar and a spicy-sweet chorizo-Fluff glaze ($8). Beverage director Paulo Pereira’s Fluffed up cocktail is the Archibald ($10)—named for the illustrious Fluff creator—with marshmallow vodka, Jägermeister, coffee liqueur, and Fluff-coconut milk.
Open 11 a.m.-2 a.m. on Saturday, September 24, 70 Union Square, Somerville, 617-623-9211, brassunion.com.
Oktoberfest kicks off this week at Union Square’s bierhaus, but on Saturday only, chef Tim Wiechmann is “Flufferizing” a few of his German classics. For a spicy spin on Fluff, the mustard that accompanies the haus bretzel will be sweetened with the stuff. There are two dishes that pair marshmallow with apples: the reibekuchen, a German-style, shaved potato pancake, will be topped with Fluff and applesauce, and Fluff will also find its way into Wiechmann’s famous apfelstrudel. The bar will offer a frothy, Fluff float, too: Professor Flunkel is an original cocktail of Bärenjäger Honey liqueur and a scoop of Fluff, topped with Warsteiner dunkel, a smooth, dark beer from Munich.
Open noon-midnight on Saturday, September 24, 255 Washington St., Somerville, 617-776-9900, bronwynrestaurant.com.
Gaté Comme des Filles
In the back of a brewery in Union Square is a foods hub that’s home to this Parisian-style chocolatier. For her first-ever Fluff Festival in Union Square, Alexandra Whisnant is making chocolate “pots-de-Fluff,” a play on the classic French custard, as well as dark chocolate brownies with Fluff frosting. The chocolate-maker is still perfecting a Fluff-filled ganache recipe to possibly sell some special candies, too. Visit her production space to see what she comes up with.
Open 7-10 p.m. on Saturday, September 24 (Aeronaut Brewing Co. is open noon-12:30 a.m.), 14 Tyler St., Somerville, gatecommedesfilles.fr.
Gracie’s Ice Cream
The best little ice cream shop around always has a couple of Fluff flavors; owner Aaron Cohen thinks that in the neighborhood, only Market Basket goes through more Fluff than Gracie’s does each week. In addition to regularly rotating flavors like Chocolate Fluff, Fluffernutterbutter (peanut butter ice cream with crushed Nutter Butter cookies and a Fluff swirl), and S’Mores with Fluff, Gracie’s will also be scooping Smurf, a new, blueberry and Fluff ice cream during the festival. There are Fluff cones, too, and Cohen is tinkering with the perfect Fluff-inspired ice cream sandwich special, too. Everything will be available in the shop on Saturday until it runs out.
open 2:30-11 p.m. on Saturday, September 24, 22 Union Square, Somerville, 617-764-5294, graciesicecre.am.
Holiday Inn—Bunker Hill
No, the closest hotel to Union Square isn’t replacing its pillow with marshmallows or anything like that for the weekend. But executive chef Patrick Moore is preparing chocolate peanut butter Fluff truffles to mark this year’s festival. The Holiday Inn will have a vendor booth at the fair, selling individual “Fluffles,” if you will, for $1, and boxes for $4.
Available at What the Fluff?, 3-7 p.m., Union Square, Somerville.
Located in the heart of Union, this pub has three Fluff-infused specials. Start off with Fluff Life ($11), a drink with vodka, Fluff, peanut butter, and soda, from the mind of beverage director Lauren Vigdor. If you’re seeking something more substantial, executive chef Patrick Gilmartin has sweet potato fries topped with candied bacon and drizzled with Fluff ($8), and a S’mores parfait ($8).
Open 11 a.m.-2 a.m. on Saturday, September 24, 75 Union Square, Somerville, 617-440-6022, theindo.com.
Heat at Journeyman
Chef Tru Lang’s grilled Fluffernutter is the classic sandwich, elevated, with toasted Fluff, hazlenut and coriander praline, and house-made sourdough bread toasted over an open flame. Keep it in mind for post-festival Fluff cravings: It’s always available on the casual Heat menu, served every Monday-Wednesday night.
Open Monday-Wednesday, 5:30–10 p.m., 9 Sanborn Court, Somerville, 617-718-2333, heatsomerville.com.
The Juice Union
Even the healthy spots are getting in on the Fluff fun. The Fluffernutter “b’nice cream bowl” starts with frozen bananas, whipped into soft-serve consistency, incorporated with peanut butter and topped with Fluff and fresh fruit.
Open 8 a.m.-8 p.m. on Saturday, September 24, 23A Bow St., Union Square, Somerville, thejuiceunion.com.
If you’re lucky, you may find co-owner Katrina Jazayeri’s French macarons for sale when you visit her delightful new café. She won’t have them in store on Saturday, but she will make two varieties for the festival itself. Find Juliet’s booth for a chocolate version, filled with Fluff, as well as a peanut butter macaron with Fluff in the center.
Available at What the Fluff?, 3-7 p.m., Union Square, Somerville.
The Painted Burro
Just because What the Fluff? takes over Union Square doesn’t mean Somervillians in Davis Square don’t want a sugar high, too. The Painted Burro is happy to oblige with the churro s’more, a churro-style twist with toasted marshmallow Fluff, drizzled in Mexican chocolate ($9). The special is available all weekend long.
Open 5-11 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, 219 Elm St., Davis Square, Somerville, 617-776-0005, thepaintedburro.com.
The Rosebud American Kitchen + Bar
Like its sister cucina, the Rosebud is not letting the Fluff Festival pass it by. The former diner has a Fluffernutter milkshake special available now through Sunday, September 25. The $10 indulgence has vanilla ice cream spiked with Henry McKenna bourbon, peanut butter, and Fluff, and it’s garnished with a mini Fluffernutter sandwich. On Saturday, the bakery team will unveil a Nutella & Fluff pie, available by the slice for $6, or whole for $25.
Open daily 5 p.m.-1 a.m., 381 Summer St., Davis Square, Somerville, 617-629-9500, rosebudkitchen.com.
Somerville Brewing Company
The makers of Slumbrew celebrate Fluff every day at both their Ward Street and Assembly Row taprooms. The Ward Street brewery has free parking, and it’s less than a mile from Union Square. There, Fluff fans will find the Deconstructed Fluffernutter board, with mounds of Fluff and almond butter, pieces of Taza Chocolate, and crostini. At the American Fresh Beer Garden in Assembly Row, a Fluffernutter sandwich comes with almond butter on Iggy’s sourdough. Pro tip: Both pair well with Porter Square Porter.
Open 11 a.m.-midnight on Saturday, September 24, 15 Ward St., Somerville, 1-800-428-1150, slumbrew.com.
The Aeronaut Brewing Co. foods hub is also home to an amazing tasting menu experience. But on weekend nights, chefs Peter Ungár, Marcos Sanchez, and their team get a little more casual with $5 late-night bites. In honor of What the Fluff?, this weekend will bring a molasses tart with peanut butter custard, torched fluff, and caramelized banana ice cream.
Open 10:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. on Saturday, September 24 (Aeronaut Brewing Co. is open noon-12:30 a.m.), 14 Tyler St., Somerville, 617-299-6362, tastingcounter.com.
Union Square Donuts
Not only will the doughnut slingers reprise their popular Fluffanutta bismarck in the shop on Saturday ($4), they will also have Fluffanutta doughies ($2.75). These bite-sized fried dough balls are filled with the same peanut butter pastry cream that Fluffanutta fans love, and are topped with its Fluff glaze and crushed peanuts. The doughies have been available all month at the shop, and Saturday will be no exception. USD will also have them at a booth at the festival.
Open 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, September 24, 20 Bow St., Union Square, Somerville, 617-209-2257, unionsquaredonuts.com.