where I've been.
One of the best ways to break out of a routine is to change your scenery. Whether in the middle of a hectic week or a busy month, eating, drinking or simply just enjoying somewhere new is one of my favorite things to do. Lately I've been traveling all over Massachusetts for both business and pleasure. Here are some of the greatest new spots I've discovered:
Poor Boy's Diner, Londonderry
P's sister recently added to her brood in the form of a sweet little piggie by the name of Peaches. After playing with her (and learning her favorite treat is Captain Crunch cereal), we found this spot on Foursquare and were so pleased that we did. While finding the entrance was a little sneaky (hint: don't follow signs for the highway), they have their own line of soda, a delicious onion string-like side known as "Tumbleweed" and frappes that will make you think summer is right around the corner.
It only felt right that one of my favorite city girls and I would welcome the newest sweet green location to Boston with a deliciously healthy lunch. With a menu that changes seasonally, sweetgreen whips up recipes for salads, grain bowls and beverages that pair perfectly with the weather and local purveyors of greens and other good earthly products. The prices are a little higher than your standard gran-and-go lunch but it's so worth it if you order ahead to skip the line.
Assembly Row, Somerville
I'm not often traveling by way of Somerville but when I do, Assembly Row is a one-stop-shop(s) for everything from coffee to Christmas Trees (kinda). But in all seriousness, this new neighborhood means more adidas, more beer, more movies & more factory stores for the greater Boston and I, for one, am truly thrilled about all the above.
Boston Public Market, Downtown Boston
While we're on the subject of shopping, Boston Public Market is another place to pick up a quick coffee, dinner or locally sourced good for the perfect gift. American Stonecraft provides the coasters for the Wolf Meadow Farm cheese plate you're going to craft and enjoy with a sandwich from Beantown Pastrami Company and the Union Square Donuts you plan to share. But it's more than that. Boston Public Market, "is an indoor, year round marketplace for locally sourced groceries and specialty agricultural products...from Massachusetts and New England." It also serves as the perfect place to pop into should your city wanderings occur during a sudden downpour.
Blue Moon Grill, Wakefield
When Sunday mornings result in delayed starts, the only thing to do is brunch. P & I are becoming professionals at finding fun eats all over the place and this spot was no different. I think I speak for both of us when I say that calling ahead is highly recommended, there is no shortage of options whether you are hoping for sweet or savory. In our case, we opted for both and shared an order of blueberry pancakes (for research purposes obviously).
Pintxo Pincho Tapas Bar, Woburn
Sometimes date night takes an unexpected turn and recently that involved P suggesting a tapas place before we caught a Saturday night movie. While I was impressed with his choice, I knew tapas was going to be a great idea given that oftentimes there's something on the menu for everyone. Per my expectations, the red sangria here was sweet and refreshing. This is another place we'd recommend calling ahead for as it filled up pretty quickly once we took our seats at the bar but the pincho de tortilla, pan con tomate and empanadillas de espinaca were a very festive way to start a night out.
Gateway City Arts, Holyoke
I visited this place on a work trip but it's definitely a spot to keep in your sights. Art gallery + event space + off-the-beaten-path brunch spot + cultural hub, Gateway City Arts is the capital of culture for downtown Holyoke. With live shows, co-working space and classes in the middle of Holyoke's Innovation District, I like to think this is the "art" of Holyoke.