What to Eat (and Drink) This Weekend in Boston

Koala Hugs, an Italian grinder croissant (!), Irene Li's chili crisp-tofu bun at Eventide, and more.


Springdale Beer new look

Photo by Alex Wilking

Chef Dave Punch’s Party Snacks at Springdale Beer Co.

A worthy reason to head west on Friday night: Springdale Beer Co. is having itself a birthday party. The Jack’s Abby offshoot opened three years ago, and to celebrate, it’s undergone a full-scale branding refresh, and it’s launching a brand-new, year-round flagship IPA. Be among the first to try Springdale IPA at the Friday night fête. But if you need another excuse to head to Framingham, know that Sycamore, Buttonwood, and Little Big Diner chef Dave Punch is bringing the snacks. The party is free to attend (RSVPs are requested), and there will be plenty of vintage beers available for purchase. But $10 also gets you a flight of four Springdale beers paired with Punch’s bites, like that new IPA paired with Gastro’s smoked maple-IPA wurst on a King’s Hawaiian sweet bun with spicy pineapple jam. The first 50 people to go for the pairing flight will receive a special Springdale 3rd anniversary glass, too. Cheers to three years!

Springdale Turns 3, Friday, Jan. 17, 5-11:30 p.m., Barrel Room, 102 Clinton St., Framingham, 774-777-5430, springdalebeer.com, Eventbrite.

Photo courtesy of Maca Boston / Photo courtesy of Exhibit ‘A’ Brewery

More Delicious Ways to Help Australia

While a bit of rain brought some reprieve to certain areas of Australia this week, the unprecedented bushfires that have been ravaging large swaths of the country will still require a lot of recovery efforts. Luckily, Bostonians can help. In addition to the epic, sold-out Boston Barbie for Bushfire Support and the other fundraisers we told you about last week, here are a few new treats supporting the people, land, and animals of Australia. Bow Market’s macaron shop, Maca, has teamed up with neighbor Gracie’s Ice Cream to offer Koala Hugs through the weekend. An adorable koala-shaped macaron atop a slice of Gracie’s ice cream pie, 100 percent of sales of Koala Hugs will go to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) to support injured wildlife, as well as future efforts to restore their forest homes once the fires subside.

To help with a beer in hand, look for a new double IPA from Exhibit ‘A’ Brewing Company called Wandering Thoughts. Made with two Australian-grown hop varieties—Vic Secret and Ella—the beer was made in partnership with distributor Willamette Valley Hops and grower Hop Products Australia, which donated a portion of the bittering buds so that Exhibit ‘A’ can, in turn, donate $1 from every four-pack or pint sold to the Victorian Bushfire Appeal. Since announcing the fundraiser earlier this week, Exhibit ‘A’ distributor, Atlantic Beverage Distributors, has stepped up to donate an additional $1 from each case of Wandering Thoughts sold through the month of February. Nice! Visit your favorite local beer shop, or the Framingham brewery, to pick up some this weekend, and look for it on draft, as well.

Night Shift Brewery has also made a beer For the Land Down Under—and that’s what it’s called. For the Land Down Under is a double IPA made with Australian-grown Topaz and Vic Secret hops, plus a citrusy dry-hopped addition of Citra for extra juiciness. The beer hits both locations of Night Shift on Saturday, Jan. 18, and $1 from every pour and four-pack sold will be donated to WIRES, Australia’s largest wildlife rescue organization.

Chef Brian Mercury’s Italian grinder croissant is part of a Cafe Beatrice preview pop-up in Cambridge this weekend. / Photo courtesy of Puritan & Co.

Italian Grinder Croissants and More From the Future Café Beatrice

Ahead of opening up at the new East Cambridge development Cambridge Crossing, the Puritan & Co. team is introducing sister-spot Café Beatrice to the neighborhood on Saturday, Jan. 18, and Saturday, Jan. 25. Executive pastry chef Brian Mercury is hosting a pop-up bakery next door to Puritan & Co., with a lineup of future Café Beatrice breakfast sandwiches, sweets, and savory bites, like his Italian grinder croissant. You heard us. Italian. Grinder. Croissant. The takeout-only café pop-up is open each Saturday from 10 a.m.-1 p.m., with breakfast sandwiches and sweets available form 10 a.m.-noon, and savory and sweet bites on from noon-1 p.m.

Café Beatrice Pop-Up, Saturdays, Jan. 18 and 25, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., 1164 Cambridge St., Cambridge, puritancambridge.com.

Red's Best fish market at the Boston Public Market

Red’s Best fish market at the Boston Public Market. / Photo by Wayne Goldstein

Clams!

How about cooking up some clams this weekend? The local delicacy is easy to make at home by steaming or stir-frying, and the pros at Red’s Best are here to help. Fresh littleneck clams are on sale all weekend long at the Boston Public Market seafood shop.

Boston Public Market, 100 Hanover St., Boston, 857.930.4831, redsbest.com.

Mei Mei chef Irene Li created a chili crisp-tofu bun with maple aioli for Eventide Fenway in January. / Photo courtesy of Eventide Fenway

Chef Irene Li’s Eventide Bun

The January Bun of the Month is here at Eventide Fenway, and it’s a fun one: Mei Mei chef Irene Li brings us chili crisp-tofu with pickled cabbage, celery, and maple aioli, tucked into Eventide’s iconic steamed bun. As always, the special supports a local charity, and Li is donating hers to Haley House, a South End non-profit that empowers and connects people, and builds and strengthens communities, through food. Chef Li’s chili crisp-tofu bun is on the Eventide Fenway menu throughout January.

1321 Boylston St., Boston, 617-545-1060, eventideoysterco.com.

trina's starlite

Biscuits and gravy at Trina’s Starlite Lounge. / Photo courtesy of Trina’s

BONUS: Monday Brunch for MLK Day

For some folks, this is a long weekend, in honor of the great Martin Luther King, Jr. Consider spending the holiday in service to others, as the late civil rights activist would have likely encouraged. But you also gotta eat, so consider the elusive Monday brunch. Boylston Street stalwart Abe & Louie’s has its brunch menu on this Monday, Jan. 20, as do nearby spots Atlantic Fish Co. and Joe’s American Bar & Grill (locations on Newbury Street and Atlantic Ave.). In Somerville, brunch favorite Rosebud American Kitchen & Bar is doing a special third day of #Rosebrunch this weekend in honor of the holiday; and of course, Trina’s Starlite Lounge is a Monday brunch mainstay. You could also take this Monday holiday as an opportunity to check out one of our brunch-every-day buddies like Lincoln Tavern in Southie, Deep Ellum in Allston, and both locations of Lone Star Taco Bar (Allston and Cambridge); or get reflective at your favorite coffeeshop. One more idea: One of Boston’s newest Black-owned restaurants, M & M BBQ at Dorchester Brewing Co., is hosting a lunchtime, grand opening party on MLK Day. Enjoy the day!