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Posts Tagged ‘dining’

More and more cities are adding mini parklets, pocket vegetable gardens, food trucks, and tiny outdoor businesses to their parks and playground amenities.

Sara Feijo writes for the Cambridge Chronicle, “Parking spots have always been reserved for cars and motorcycles, but that’s no longer the case in Cambridge. The city is now leasing them to restaurants for pop-up cafes. Tasty Burger in Harvard Square was the first to apply for the permit. …

” ‘It’s a cool idea, David Dubois, owner of Tasty Burger, said. …

” ‘The pop-up cafes work in places where the sidewalks don’t facilitate outdoor dining,’ said Katherine Watkins, city engineer for DPW. “It enables us to expand the outdoor program. We’re really excited to see this one go in.’ …

“Unlike outdoor dining, food is not sold in the pop-up café. Folks have to order food inside and then bring it outside. According to Iram Farooq, acting deputy director for the Community Development Department, pop-up cafes must be placed in locations where there is plenty of parking and they must be adjacent to the permitted business.” Read more.

There really are a lot of wasted mini spaces in cities and towns. I myself would like to see something other than weeds growing around the parking meters on Thoreau St. (Anyone want to go with me under cover of darkness and plant tomatoes there?)

Photo: Wicked Local / Sam Goresh
Cambridge restaurants may now lease ‘pop-up cafes’, where diners are invited to eat their take-out orders.

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I went to Manchester, New Hampshire, today for an event designed to bring bankers together with community and economic development people.

The panelists were pretty interesting. A woman from the NH Small Business Development Center talked about what it takes to put together a financing package and what sorts of entrepreneurs are a good investment. For example, people like Richard Tango-Lowy, who do their homework.

Tango-Lowy kept his IT job while he researched everything about fine chocolate, traveling extensively in France and Italy. Almost as soon as he opened Dancing Lion Chocolate, he was successful. He got a great review in the Boston Globe. He has no cash-flow problems. His only problem is keeping up with demand.

“The entrepreneur’s Mayan-style drinking chocolate, made with milk or water, is served in large painted bowls,” writes Kathleen Pierce in the Globe. “This driven chocolatier and Manchester resident is more than a little obsessed with cacao. He works with chocolate maker Alan McClure of Patric Chocolate in Columbia, Mo., to create a house-blend derived from Madagascar beans.

“Like a vintner, Tango-Lowy selects the chocolates that go into his tasting squares, bars, and candies, paying close attention to flavor profiles and how a particular bean enhances the moment. ‘I think about how long will it linger in your mouth. There are ones that hit the fragrant front and each piece evolves as you eat it,’ he says.

“When you discover that Tango-Lowy is a physicist, his approach to chocolate begins to make sense.” Read more.

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Yesterday’s NY Times Dining section had a delightful story about all the food being delivered to Occupy Wall Street. Donations have come from far and wide, and people have self-organized to distribute it and do the washing up. The story is here.

“Requests for food go out on Twitter and various Web sites sympathetic to the protesters. And somehow, in spontaneous waves, day after day, the food pours in. …

“Platters and utensils are washed on site. The soapy runoff slides into a gray-water system that’s said to draw impurities out through a small network of mulch-like filters. …

“Members of the [food] crew sometimes fail to show up in the morning because they were arrested the night before. (Then again, as many a chef will tell you, that happens in a lot of restaurants.)” …

“Telly Liberatos, 29, the owner of Liberatos Pizza on Cedar Street in the Financial District, said he has received orders from places like Germany, France, England, Italy and Greece, as well as every region of the United States.

“ ‘It’s been nonstop,’ he said. ‘The phones don’t stop ringing. People from California order the most at one time.’ Someone from the West Coast had called in the biggest delivery: he wanted 50 pizzas dispatched to the park.”

You might enjoy knowing that Asakiyume’s blog offers music suggestions for the 99 percent. Check it out. (I borrowed the picture from downtownmonks.blogspot.com.)

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