Listen to your Belly…

28 Sep

Listen to your Belly…

If you’re reading the new, glossy Phoenix, chances are you are also a bit dedicated to local musical talent. But what about when the music runs out?  What’s left to nourish our souls?  Plenty, in this city…

Let’s face it; Boston and Cambridge combined have enough eateries to satisfy even the pickiest of grazers.  So how does one navigate this ginormous Gastro Ghetto?  Do we follow the sense of smell?  Perhaps jogging after the scents of burgers in Fenway; or cycling after the aromas of the Cheesecake Factory?

We think not.

Instead, try listening to your Belly.  Metaphorically and literally.

They say that music evokes in us a sense of nostalgia and intense emotion – unlike many other stimuli.  And there is no better way than to take the sound advice of early 90’s band, Belly, fronted by Boston-based (formerly Rhode Island) singer-songwriter and guitarist, Tanya Donelly.

It occurred to us that the tunes of Belly can be nourishment for the stomach as well as the soul.

Take the following playlist – and see where it might lead you…

  • Hot Burrito #1 – head to Anna’s Taqueria, first opened in 1995, it now has six locations.  Stop by and eat Mexican – the local way.  Check their website at: Music venues close by: Toad (Porter Square).
  • Sweet RideKick Ass Cupcakes located in Davis Square support local farmers and have the funkiest flavours around – including Green Monster (with a luxury stout cream frosting and centre); The Mojito (for those who like a drop of rum); and Limited Edition Lotus Blossom (lychee, lime and pear).  Catch their Sweet Ride (aka travellin’ truck) out on the streets of Boston, Cambridge and Somerville.  Website: Music venues close by: Johnny D’s (Davis Square); The Burren (Davis Square).
  • Feed The TreeJoshua Tree on Elm Street, Davis Sq. offers Mon – Fri Happy Hours with $1 small plates of grub; an enticing selection of American nosh including Pork Belly Skewers, Sweet Chili Short Ribs; as well as popular belly-fillers, Fish ‘n’ Chips; and Mexican-inspired favourites Nachos and Quesadillas.  Brunch is served on Saturday and Sunday between the hours of 10.30am – 2pm.  The bar itself is a lively sort of place – equally visited by sports fans as music fans as those who just want to enjoy good food, a beer and great company. Music venues close by: Somerville Theatre (Davis Square).
  • The BeesFollow the Honey just off Harvard Sq. in Cambridge, is committed to sharing all honey-inspired products with anyone who happens to curiously peep through their basement windows.  Supporting neighbouring and local independent businesses, this is an experience in itself – offering raw, untreated honey; honey-filled chocolate truffles; and they even stock local supplier Iggy’s Breads for you to slather your honey on.  Check out the rescued Happy Hive which now rests safely in the store.  Website at: Music venues close by: Club Passim (Harvard Square).
  • StarCafé Luna in Central Square boasts the Best Chai in Central.  Try it for yourself and see if it’s really true (“I hope it’s true…” – Seal My Fate – Belly).  Specialty salads; Flatbreads; and a varied selection of wines and beers to suit all tastes – and budgets.  Check their latest news at: Music venues close by: Cantab Lounge (Central Square).
  • Spaceman – Snuggling up closely to Harvard Square’s intimate music venue, Club Passim; this vegetarian eatery is popular with locals and music listeners – Veggie Planet is back in full business and offers a colourful and exotic menu including pizzas made by Haley House Bakery Cafe dough – which satisfies your appetite and sustains and supports a local cause to raise awareness of underemployed folks in the Roxbury, Jamaica Plain neighbourhood.  At almost 55 years old, Club Passim has been the heart and soul of the local music blood-stream, and we hope it continues along this vein for many years to come.  For food:   And for upcoming live music and show listings, head to:  Music venues close by: Club Passim (Harvard Square).
  • Full Moon, Empty Heart Full Moon Restaurant in Cambridge, caters for adults and kids alike (and those in that visceral space in between).  Conceived in 1997, it remains steadfast today and offers internationally-inspired dishes including Norway Eggs; Catalan and Spanish infused Grilled Chorizo; and this family-run business supports local causes, independent businesses and artists.  Their contact details can be located at:  Music venues close by: The Brattle Theatre (Harvard Square).
  • Slow Dog – It has to be Boston Super Dog with their anything-but-slow Speed Dog Truck; you can literally grab a Dog anywhere across the city.  Try the Charred Grilled Pastrimi; or if you’re feeling adventurous, the Tempura Battered Pickles.  Intrigued?  We are!  Check their location and opening hours at: Music venues close by: Midway Café (Jamaica Plain).
  • RedAddis Red Sea on Tremont Street was established in 1988 and now has two locations across Boston and Cambridge (Mass. Ave).  You would have to try hard to discover authentic Ethiopian cuisine apart from here.  With a welcoming and warm atmosphere, it’s a place to feel at home with good friends and food:  Music venues close by: The Lizard Lounge (Between Harvard Square and Porter).
  • SilverfishBarking Crab has restaurants here in Boston as well as Newport, Rhode Island.  With a tag line, reading: “Because everyone should have crabs!” it’s clear that they don’t worry about catching nasty infections from strangers – or from their name, madness, insanity or silliness.  Head to their establishment for a friendly vibe, amazing shellfish and seafood; and come out better (and fatter) for it.  Trust us.  Key Lime Pie and Chocolate Torte is a must-have.  Think clam-shack on stilts in the ocean – coupled with local and lively music – and you’re almost there.  Head to the waterfront and to their website: Music venues close by: Bank of America Pavilion.

  • Untitled and Unsung – No Name Restaurant on Boston’s Waterfront serves fresh clams, lobster, chowder and everything in between.  Unpretentious; unrivalled location and with a history behind spanning back to 1917; No Name Restaurant is a less wacky alternative to Barking Crab.  Check their website for interesting facts, menus and a history lesson (all this and more) – Music venues close by: Bank of America Pavilion.

  • Diamond Rib Cage – Fenway Park’s Sweet Cheeks has restrooms with framed photos of Marilyn Monroe, Blondie and Elvis – not to mention toilet brush warmers.  But enough of the toilet humour – it might put you off your grub.  The food here is big, meaty and goes down great with a local beer.  Rustic, beefy tables and bar-stools litter the barn-like space, and old Americana power-ballads fill the air.  Go to: Music venues close by: Fenway Park (Fenway).
  • Think About Your TroublesThinking Cup located just off Boston Common is the place to go if you want to free yourself of technology; internal clutter and replace it with tea – lots of it – and conversation.  Throw a few cupcakes into the equation and Stumptown Coffee (originally established in Portland, Oregon) – and you’ll feel almost human again. Music venues close by: The Orpheum Theatre (Boston Common area).
  • Baby’s Arm – This city has numerous kid-friendly restaurants, but you would do much worse than to check out Davis Square’s Flatbread which also happens to conveniently be attached to a bowling alley, too.  With ten locations outside of Boston, it has gained a reputation for simple, honest, wood-fired flatbreads served in an informal, vibrant surrounding.  The ideal place to take the kids for a birthday party; or the adults for a beer-‘n’-pizza night.  Fun and friendly staff to boot.  Have a look for yourself: Music venues close by: The Davis Theatre (Davis Square).
  • John Dark – Finally reopened for business after its summer closure for refurbishment, Harvard Square’s John Harvard Brewery & Ale House has been serving locally brewed beers for over twenty years.  Born out of part myth, partial history – this brewery does justice to a renowned scholar; celebrating literature, Shakespeare and a legacy of craft beer.  The food is traditional, homely and substantial – check it out:

  • GepettoMiracle of Science on Massachusetts Avenue serves up dishes by their corresponding chemical element – in a great location and staffed by zesty kind of folk – ‘geek chic’ is their aim in life.  Suits us! Alternatively, for a slightly less tenuous link to Belly’s ‘Gepetto’ – you could head to Pinocchio’s Pizza and Subs in Harvard Square.  Serving up pizza and subs for over thirty years – they do a mean Sicilian Slice –

  • Judas Mon CoeurPetite Robert Bistro off Kenmore Square offers true French cuisine, under the trustful guidance of Brittany-Born chef.  Building on the authentic notion of a ‘Bistro’ which is a place where, historically, workers went to dine on a budget – this French-inspired bistro is a tucked-away place worth discovering.  With a courtyard and a varied menu – this is a lovely place to spend a warm evening (best wait until spring, then!)  Music venues close by: House of Blues (Fenway Park).
  • AngelThe Parish Café takes its name from an admired author and book, Love in the Time of Cholera.  But don’t let that put you off.  Keeping it simple – working with good, local, honest ingredients – it’s the place to go if you are looking for a hearty kind of sandwich to fill a gap in your belly.  Locations in South End and Back Bay.  Website here:

  • Every WordTrident Booksellers and Café is situated on infamous Newbury Street just a few streets parallel with the Charles River.  Catch a free Cooking Demo whilst nibbling on a homemade flapjack or slurping down a bowl of Noodle Ramen.  Eclectic and inviting – you’ll be welcome, just as the next person will be:

Let your ears find the music that will find the food that will fill your belly – and nourish your soul.

Local bands – local grub – local music venues – it’s all about the local.



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