What to Eat (and Drink) This Weekend
Try Cambridge's new bloody Mary bar; a funky, fruity, beer-washed cheese that's perfect for the holidays, and more.
The Automatic’s Bloody Mary Bar
Highland Fried opens tonight in Inman Square, but just because East Coast Grill is officially gone forever doesn’t mean an epic bloody Mary bar is gone from Cambridge. At ECG founder Chris Schlesinger’s newest venture, his business partner “Cousin” Dave Cagle launches a new, spicy spread this Saturday, along with a new weekend lunch menu. The bloody Mary bar will be constantly changing, but expect charred tomato juice, Cousin Dave’s bloody mix, and clamato juice with accoutrements like fresh horseradish, of course; wasabi, pickled okra, dill spears, bacon, Slim Jims, savory vegetable-infused vodkas, like celery, and green pepper; and more for your own DIY drink. The weekend lunch menu will add “a breakfasty egg special” that changes every weekend day to the Automatic’s typical mid-day offerings. And to kick things off this weekend only, two specials start at noon and run til they’re out: Saturday features a North Carolina-style pig pickin’ lunch, with a whole-roasted hog, N.C. slaw, baked beans, and corn bread for $14. On Sunday, it’s Schlesinger’s famous paella. “It’s actually a perfect time to launch weekend lunch at The Automatic because the holidays can be so stressful,” Cagle says. “We hope folks will come on by stretch out and relax and have a really good time.”
Saturdays and Sundays beginning December 16, 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m., 50 Hampshire St., Kendall Square, Cambridge, theautomaticbar.com.
Soft Serve Ice Cream
Sure, it’s 25 degrees, but this is New England! In all honesty, I ended a meal at the Smoke Shop Seaport this week with chocolate magic-shelled, almond brittle- and sea salt-flecked waffle bowl of vanilla soft serve, and I have not stopped thinking about it. The new location of Andy Husbands’ barbecue joint has a trio of soft-serve sundaes alongside Kenny’s butter cake for dessert—something different from the Kendall Square original. The soft serve trend is one of the best things that happened in 2017: Eventide Fenway debuted a delightful program in Boston, reminiscent of Portland sister spot the Honey Paw’s; the winter special there is eggnog, topped with an adorable gingerbread man. Blackbird Doughnuts will always make you a soft serve sandwich with one of its doughnuts. Roxy’s A4cade does sprinkle-topped cups and cones. Jason Santos’ two new sister restaurants, Buttermilk & Bourbon and Citrus & Salt, spin some up… C’mon. You know you want soft serve this weekend.
The Smoke Shop BBQ, 343 Congress St., Fort Point, Boston, 617-261-7427, thesmokeshopbbq.com.
Raspberry Fields-Washed Harbison Cheese
The world-renowned Cellars at Jasper Hill love collaborating with other artisans—they’ve done a Cambridge Brewing Co. Imaginary Day-washed Willoughby, for example. This week, a beer-washed Harbison cheese debuted at Lamplighter Brewing Co. The soft-ripened, spoonable cheese is “woodsy and sweet, balanced with lemon, mustard, and vegetal flavors.” Per the Vermont creamery, it pairs well with oaked white wine, a barrel-aged sour beer, and fruit mostarda—sounds like a perfect match for a Raspberry Fields Wild Ale wash and pairing—the beer is wild fermented in oak barrels with raspberries. The $15 wheel is for sale at the brewery.
284 Broadway, Cambridge, 617-945-0450, lamplighterbrewing.com.
Dorchester Brewing Co. is leading a festive bar crawl through its ’hood on Saturday. Your $40 ticket gets you a punch card to fill out—and a glass to fill with DBCo. beer—at Lower Mills Tavern, Ashmont Grill, the Blarney Stone, the Harp + Bard, and the brewery. After the crawl, head back to the brewery for a Yuletide Celebration: The Angry Donut will be there starting at 1 p.m., Keytar Bear (!!!) plays from 2-4 p.m., and the Ashmont Grill is coming by with food for purchase from 3-6 p.m. A portion of the day’s proceeds are going to College Bound Dorchester and Greater Ashmont Main Street’s campaign for Revitalizing Peabody Square. Pub crawl tickets include five beers, and must be purchased in advance. Don’t want to crawl? The party at the brewery doesn’t have a cover.
Yuletide Celebration, Saturday, Dec. 16, 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m., Dorchester Brewing Co., 1250 Massachusetts Ave., Dorchester, 617-514-0900, dorchesterbrewing.com.
The new, veggie-centric pop-up Littleburg returns to the Local Fare this Saturday. Oleana cook Graham Boswell is serving up his signature vegan patty—a mix of seitan, chickpeas, mirepoix, and more—his tomato-and-lentil pide (a Turkish flatbread), and more “veggie magic.” The former Taco Party baker promises some dessert magic, too. Cash is encouraged for these a la carte options, and so is taking it to go, as seating is limited at the Arlington shop.
Bonus: If It Snows…
Get ready for everyone’s favorite part of winter: #OpenInBOS specials! I noticed a few surfacing during last Saturday’s beautiful snowfall, like Drink’s annual Tom & Jerry, $2 beers at Juliet, a #snowflight of sake at Cambridge’s new Momi Nonmi, and hot honey-buttered rum at Sweet Cheeks (which is actually a winter-long special). Snow is possible tonight and Sunday night, so bundle up, and keep an eye on Instagram for snowy specials. It is truly the most wonderful time of the year.