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We were absolutely THRILLED to be asked to participate in a WCVB TV5 Chronicle taping with co-anchor Shayna Seymour! This past week, we were honored to take Shayna on a Harvard Square Chocolate Tour. Stay tuned to watch the taping and let us know what you think (it's rumored to be debuting on Monday, August 27th so set your DVR!)
We were also excited to have gotten the notice of Babson's WIN Lab women's entrepreneurship accelerator. Our founder Lizzie is a Babson MBA alum and sat down with the WIN Lab to give advice to others prepping for their first TV interview. Read on to hear what she said below or by clicking here.
Reposted with permission from the WIN Lab blog:
Lizzie Bell, a Babson MBA alumna from the Class of 2011, launched Off The Beaten Path Food Tours in 2017, running food tours, chocolate tours, and trivia nights in foodie-fueled neighborhoods like Somerville, Cambridge, and Jamaica Plain. Each guided tour features a healthy dose of local history and the chance to try delectable cuisine from up to 7 local businesses, often meeting the owner themselves.
Recently, Lizzie met one of her entrepreneurial goals when WCVB TV5’s Chronicle news program gave her a call with an invitation to be featured on the show. After filming wrapped up, we sat down and asked Lizzie to share her top 5 tips on getting ready for the camera.
We're excited to see our Harvard Square Chocolate Tour featured on Chronicle WCVB TV5 on August 27, 2018. Save the date and tune in to let us know how we did!
We are having so much fun with our new Trivia Nights! Our first trivia location is at Remnant Brewing in Somerville's Bow Market in Union Square. The next one is Monday, June 25th and will repeat every other Monday this summer. Our host, Tara, is so much fun and also very seasoned so we are so lucky to have her!
Here's how our Off The Beaten Path trivia night works: there are three rounds. The first round is Local History, the second is Food, and the third is Beer trivia. There's an activity round in the middle and also a Restaurant Question at the end (guess the restaurant with 3 clues).
Can you answer any of these trivia questions from our first trivia night?
Local History Round:
1. A huge portion of Boston is built on landfill which is dirt used to make land where there is water, including most of where the airport is. Name at least two of the three islands that the current Boston Logan airport stands on.
2. In the early 20th century, which neighborhood of Boston was considered the second largest port of immigration after Ellis Island?
3. What sticky substance exploded out of a tank in 1919 in Boston, sending a 40-foot wave down the street, killing 21 people in a horrible tragedy?
4. What type of food was stored in Somerville's Old Powder House, which also stored the most gunpowder in Massachusetts at one point?
5. What is the official state berry of Massachusetts?
6. What famous Boston dessert is referred to as a "pie in cake's clothing"?
7. Name three micro-beer breweries in Somerville, MA?
8. What % alcohol by volume or ABV did Yuengling produce in order to remain open during prohibition?
9. What beer was called "The Champagne of Bottled Beers"?
See you on Monday! And please help us get the word out by sharing widely. All ages welcome, and if you don't drink beer they have delicious coffee drinks and kombucha.
1. The airport stands on what used to be 3 islands: Governor's Island, Bird Island, and Apple Island.
2. East Boston was the 2nd largest port of immigration, after Ellis Island. It was 2 days closer by boat from Europe, so many people went here instead of New York. That's why Boston is such a melting pot of cultures.
3. Molasses (not fluff)
5. Cranberry! It was designated as such in 1994, and Cranberry Juice is our official state beverage as of 1970.
6. The Boston Cream Pie
7. Remnant Brewery, Aeronaut Brewery, SlumBrew or Somerville Brewing Company, Winter Hill Brewing Company
8. 0.5% ABV
9. Miller High Life
HOW MANY DID YOU GET RIGHT!? Tell us!
We often think that our third founder of the food tour is our dog, Maddie. When we are exhausted from running a mile a minute to try to get the word out about our tours, it's Maddie who reminds us the importance of getting out of the house and taking a walk to clear our minds, stay curious, and have new perspective. Maddie's becoming a dignified old lady, at 6.5 years old, and so we wanted to give her a memorable summer trip. It was a lot harder to figure out large dog-friendly adventures than we originally thought. Here's some snippets from our recent May 2018 fun trip to Bar Harbor, Maine!
Balance Rock Inn
We cannot recommend this Inn highly enough! Right on the shore walking path, this gorgeous mansion was just the perfect place to feel pampered, and they couldn't have been more welcoming to us and our great dane. When we arrived, we were given a tour of the place and they had left a wonderful gift bag for Maddie on our bed with two doggie blankets and a lobster shaped doggie treat which she absolutely loved! Our room was spacious (#105 is highly recommended) and had a wonderful fireplace that all of us enjoyed, a gorgeous view of the pool and water, easy access to a lawn and outdoor patio, and even a jacuzzi and sauna inside which were quite a treat. The folks there were tremendous and so friendly. The home cooked breakfasts each morning were delicious, and we especially enjoyed the piano music and homemade chocolate chip cookies in the afternoon as well as the bowl of apples that were so helpful as we returned exhausted from our hikes. The bed was incredibly comfortable, and our dog was extremely happy in this new environment. We cannot wait to return next year! Highly recommended for all visitors, dogs or no dogs, this is a fantastic place to stay. 5+ stars!!
Hiking Acadia National Park
Before you enter the park, make sure you have enough water and snacks and also gas for your car! We had stopped by the Welcome Center in Bar Harbor to get some information about hiking with our dog, but the folks inside the Park had more detailed maps for us. So we'd recommend going straight to the Acadia National Park Info Center and purchasing your parking pass ($25 for 7-days in the minimum). Unfortunately they do not let dogs into the building, so one of us waited outside with Maddie. Our favorite hikes were two trails behind the Wild Gardens (although we had a weird wild turkey encounter!) and the Ocean Path from Sand Beach to Oyster Point. Dogs are always on leash and not allowed in certain areas including the water, so definitely note their restrictions. Definitely our collapsible water bowl and a separate water bottle came in handy for Maddie who was extremely thirsty. We walked about 4 miles a day with her, and she would come back to the hotel after and rest for a while, so happy!
A Sweet Treat at MDI Ice Cream!
Our hotel had given us a list of dog-friendly places that was put together by a great pet store in town called Bark Harbor which was really helpful. Not every place in town was on the list, and so we had to ask at every spot before we entered. For the most part, shops were very dog friendly, and we had quite a shopper on our hands.
I'd say the happiest stop for Maddie was at MDI Ice Cream where they treated her like a queen. She got to eat three scoops of their dog-friendly sweet cream ice cream in a wide bowl just for her. Maddie's first ice cream experience was A+! And Obama loves this place, too. You can't go wrong with their incredible flavors and high quality.
Walking To Bar Island
If you're looking for a less strenuous hike that's a blast to do right around 5-7pm (check the tides), check out the walk to bar island from Bar Harbor town. There's a sand bar here that's quite extensive, and it takes about 20 minutes to walk across or more if you're very leisurely. As you can see, you can walk across with anything on your feet from flip flops to shoes because there's more gravel than water, and you can also drive but I think that is a bit silly! We enjoyed watching kayakers and other families on our stroll, and smelling that ocean air is just divine.
Besides shopping, Bar Harbor has some delicious eats, and lucky for us there were lots of dog-friendly places. One night we just got calzones delivered to our room because we were too tired to venture out, but we did enjoy some memorable meals with Maddie.
Notable Eats: Stewman's Lobster Pound had the best virgin cape codders that were a huge highlight (thanks for the refills!) as we were super parched coming back from Bar Island. They also had delicious eats! Across the street they own Paddy's Pub which has a wide patio that's great for dogs. There we munched on a yummy lobster roll and reuben sandwich. Over by MDI Ice Cream, we really loved Peekytoe Provisions where the haddock sandwich was a stand out. Unfortunately the patio at Jordan Pond House was closed for renovations this month, but we do imagine that their yummy (albeit small and $4!) popovers would be fun to eat alongside your pup. We also noticed a fun Maine Foodie Tour happening and visited Bar Harbor Popcorn, which was delicious, but Maddie couldn't go in. Delicious fudge was also found and quickly eaten on Bar Harbor's Main Streets. So much fun shopping and eating!
Date Night Sans Dog at the Reading Room Restaurant
On the same shore path as The Balance Rock Inn is the famous Bar Harbor Inn that's known for its yellow umbrellas. I had stayed there years ago and was dismayed to learn that they don't allow large dogs like Maddie. But clearly we were happy at The Balance Rock Inn, and I would be so happy there even if we didn't have a dog with us. That said, the Reading Room at the Bar Harbor Inn is incredibly worth it if you can leave your doggie alone for a few hours. We greatly enjoyed the views, surf and turf (they let me do lobster claws instead of tail thank you!), and scrumptious blueberry pie for dessert. A must try if you're in the area for a special night out.
What other places would you recommend to visit with your dog? We'd love to hear from you!
Have a wonderful summer!
Lizzie, Sam, and Maddie
Our Boston Neighborhood Food Tours and Chocolate Tours run year-round. Visit www.offthebeatenpathfoodtours.com for more information and to book a tour today.
Beer and food, food and beer. What a perfect pairing!
We are excited to attend the upcoming Small Business Network's Hyperlocal Craft Brew Festival on June 16, 2018 in Cambridge. So much so that we put together a brief history of Boston brewing and our top picks for where to try these delicious brews in a blog post.
Read on here for our thoughts on the subject. Will we see you on June 16th? Or maybe this weekend for a fun neighborhood food tour where you can support local small businesses?
Lizzie and Sam
We are excited to start a new Off The Beaten Path Food Tours Lowell, MA Food Tour later this year. In today's blog post, we sat down with Timna from the blog Life as a Maven to learn more about her great city, Lowell. Timna is based in Lowell and has lots of expert tips on where to go when visiting this vibrant area. Learn more from Life as a Maven:
Lowell is one place that never gets boring. From its rich, cultural history to the culinary diversity there is much that this city offers. Living here for so long I have had a chance to explore and learn about the city and sharing this with you is truly an honor. The more people that understand what Lowell has to offer in terms of adventure the more we are here to welcome you and help you along those adventures.
Being a food, travel & lifestyle blogger I pride myself on knowing a little bit of everything about my city yet still know I have much to learn. What I can share with you is my love for the culinary scene here in Lowell and some history gems that you may not know.
(Off The Beaten Path Food Tours side-note: We are lucky to stop at El Potro's Somerville location on our Union Square Food Tour!)
I hope to write again soon for you all and I hope you truly enjoyed the snippet of Lowell I offered you here.
Life as a Maven
Thank you, Life as a Maven, for this incredible tips on Lowell! We look forward to announcing the start of our new Food Tour later this summer but in the meantime, please check out these hot spots.
Boston has a TON of candy and chocolate history.
Did you know that Baker's chocolate was actually named for Dr. James Baker from Dorchester, Massachusetts in the 1700's? He had the perfect last name for this baking products company!
And those little Valentine's Day Sweethearts candies originated from the New England Candy Company (NECCO) that was started in Boston as well.
You may see the Schrafft's building in Charlestown from the highway. Yup, it was a chocolate, candy, and cake company until the 1960's.
All this chocolate manufacturing talk, and Somerville comes to mind -- right? No?? Well Taza Chocolate has grown from a tiny bean to bar operation to a huge globally sold chocolate-making company, and they OFFER TOURS OF THEIR AMAZING CHOCOLATE FACTORY RIGHT IN SOMERVILLE!! Yes!!
Tours run every day from Tuesday - Sunday, and you should definitely register in advance online because they often sell out. Sam and I have been on their tours multiple times and are just *obsessed* with their Stone Ground chocolate, made in the style of Mexican chocolate where they grind cacao beans using hand-carved granite millstones.
Taza also has a brand new cocoa classroom where they do unique tasting panels and offer a host of kid-friendly story-time chocolate events that are sure to intrigue and wow. Check out their tour website for full information.
Insider Tip: Best of all, if you can't make it out to Taza for a tour, try their chocolate on our Off The Beaten Path food tour in Somerville -- we love to give out samples of Taza whenever possible because we believe full-heartedly in their delicious, homegrown stone-ground discs of chocolately goodness, and we will never waiver!