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In this new series, we are highlighting the names and faces of the people behind our favorite tour stops! This week, we interviewed Alan from Davis Square's Oat Shop. With one full year of business behind them, we can't be luckier that Oat Shop is in town. On our Davis Square, Somerville Food Tour we stop at Oat Shop and try out one of their many delicious and ever-changing oatmeal bowls, and we hope you join us!
22A College Avenue, Somerville
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!
Looking for plans this weekend in Boston (besides taking our food tour of course)?
We are excited about the Sustainable Business Network of Massachusetts (SBN) and their 8th Annual Boston Local Food Festival. Like our mission here at OTBPFoodTours, this local food festival celebrates all that is local, green, and fair.
Boston Local Food Festival is a free admission outdoor festival that showcases farmers, local restaurants, food trucks, specialty food producers, fisher folks, and organizations focusing on healthy food and fitness from New England. The festival also features lively Chef Demos, a Seafood Throwdown Competition, diverse music and performances, a family fun zone and more.
What's cool is that they're into education, too. Festival goers learn about the benefits of sustainably grown and produced food, can shop the market, eat delicious local restaurant food available for $8 or less, participate in fun, educational activities and exhibits, engage with top local chefs, and enjoy local music.
Insider tip: And what's neat is there's a bunch of awesome Davis Square-area businesses that are participating as vendors in the festival including: Curio Spice, Taco Party, Taza Chocolate, Nussli 118, and Q's Nuts. #obsessed bostonlocalfoodfestival.com/2017/09/take-food-tour-fun-way-support-local-food-vendors-year-round/Check out our blog post about it on their site here!
WHAT: 8th Annual Boston Local Food Festival
WHEN: Sunday, September 17, 2017, 11AM - 5PM
LOCATION: Rose Kennedy Greenway, Atlantic Avenue, Boston, MA (near Aquarium MBTA Stop)
PUBLIC TRANSIT: MBTA Blue Line Aquarium
Hope everyone's Labor Day weekends were fun! Sam and I wanted a warm weather getaway, and since the weather looked nice we headed out to Nantucket. Did you know "Nantucket" means "far away island" in Wampanoag? In all actuality, it's only a one hour fast ferry from the Cape. And definitely an enchanted island - we fell in love with it and can't wait for our next visit.
While at this magical place, we took a really fun bike tour with Nantucket By Bike. Our only complaint is that the "town view" tour wasn't hours longer.
Other Insider Tips:
The Juice Bar: With lines around the block for good reason, this is the best ice cream on the Island. Their homemade waffle cone bowls are perfect to share, and my favorite scoop was strawberry ice cream with dark chocolate chips. Mmm!
Seven Sea Street Inn: We loved this cozy B&B with yummy breakfasts, comfy beds, and quiet evenings although close to everything.
Town Pool: This extremely expensive retail shop has imaginative activities inside such as mini golf and a surprise photo opp downstairs.
B-ACK Yard BBQ: All the noms - definitely worth checking out (the baked beans, mac and cheese, and brisket were the best!)
Brotherhood of Thieves: cool patio and fresh food.
Boy are we happy to live within 3 miles of the Scoop 'N Scootery in Arlington, MA. Every Tuesday - Sunday from 3pm until 2am (gasp!), they will deliver incredible homemade sundaes to your door. Oh, yes, we are living in the age of glorious instant gratification. But even if you don't live that close, you could get sundae delivery even faster from Foodler or Grubhub.
On this particular Tuesday evening, Sam and I had a hankering for dessert while coming home from a meeting. I mean, we had to do a little "research" -- take one for the team, so to speak! Order minimums are $10 with a $1.50 delivery fee.
Within minutes, we were drooling over two scrumptious sundaes while both eyeing the Tums because we're over 30 hahaha. Both were incredible. We tried: the Cookie Monster: Cookie dough yogurt topped with chopped Oreos, chopped M&Ms and homemade whipped cream -- and added an extra marshmallow fluff core because, Somerville. And the incredibly decadent Fainted Pikachu: Frosted red velvet cake sandwiched between chocolate and cake batter ice cream topped with brownie bites and fudge. Neither disappointed, but we had to freeze more than half of each for the next day - not a bad problem to have.
Insider tip: Two mini sundaes are $14.50 which covers the order minimum and allows you to try two flavors more reasonably -- yum!!
Sam and I love a good live music show. One of our favorite places to go outside of Boston is Nashville where there's so much talent in that city from the Bluebird to the Listening Room Cafe, you can't go wrong! Around Boston, we love going to the Lizard Lounge, Club Passim, The Lilypad, and Oberon among other venues.
Insider tip: Right here in Somerville, at on one of our favorite stops on the food tour, a corner booth at Flatbread Pizza (45 Day St.) transforms into a local jam session! Check out Flatbread Somerville's live music Wednesday! More details on their Facebook page.