Support Concord Restaurants, Cafes & Specialty Food Markets

One of the things we love most about our town is the fabulous array of independent restaurants and specialty food shops. Concord offers such a unique offering and wide variety of places to eat or buy delicious food.

  

  

      

As we head into late fall / winter, we have to remember to find ways to support these businesses so they can survive the pandemic.

 

Stock your pantry, stock your freezer, purchase gift cards, treat yourself or a neighbor to a take out meal, gather items for an outdoor picnic by the firepit.

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Mass Restaurant Association and SEATED have just announced plans to roll out The “Eat Out to Help Out MA” program will provide Bay State restaurant patrons with a 50 percent rebate on any check from full-service restaurants, for both on and off-premise dining, from Monday to Wednesday each week in November. Customers can reap their rewards by downloading a SEATED app (https://seatedapp.io).

Eat Out to Help Out is an initiative to help the Massachusetts restaurant industry.

It’s a replication of the Eat Out to Help Out initiative in the UK that generated millions of dollars of off-peak guest spend.

50 % rebate on any off-peak check

For the month of November, Seated will provide a 50% rebate on any check from a full-service in Massachusetts for dining experiences
enjoyed from Monday–Wednesday.

How Does a Guest Get Their Rebate?

  • Guests download Seated to discover
    participating restaurants.
  • Guests dine out and pay full
    price in the restaurant.
  • Guests return to Seated to submit their
    receipt and receive their rebate in the form
    of cash or credit at their favorite brand

The restaurants below are members of Massachusetts Restaurant Association:

  • THE COLONIAL INN
  • FIORELLA’S
  • SORRENTO’S

Take a look at all Concord has to offer:

CAFES & BAKERIES

Caffe Nero, Concord Teacakes, Dunkin’ Donuts, Haute Coffee, Nashoba Brook Bakery, Sally Ann’s, Starbucks, Verrill Farm

 

ASIAN

Asian Gourmet, Chang An, Karma, Sushi house

 

 

ITALIAN  & PIZZA

Comella’s, Dinos Farfalle, Fiorellas, New London Pizza, Paparazzi, Rossini’s, Sorrento’s, Walden pizza

   

MEXICAN

Adelita

AMERICAN & FARM to TABLE

80 Thoreau, Club Car Cafe, Helen’s, Liberty at the Colonial Inn, Main Streets Market & Cafe, Merchant’s Row at the Colonial Inn, Rapscallions, Salt Box Kitchen, The 99, Trail’s End, Twin Seafood, Woods Hill Table

 

SPECIALTY FOOD & FOOD MARKETS

The Concord Cheese Shop, Concord Market, Concord Provisions & Country Store, Crosby’s Market, Debra’s Natural Gourmet, Farfalle, Graem, New England Olive Oil, Nine Acre Corner, Priscilla’s Candy, Salt Box Kitchen, Twin Seafood, Verrill Farm

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ICE CREAM

Bedford Farms, Helen’s, Reasons to be Cheerful

WINE & LIQUOR STORES:

Concord Cheese Shop, Concord Market, Concord Provisions & Country Store, Crosby’s Market, Nine Acre Wines, Vintages Adventures in Wine, Walden Liquors, West Concord Liquor Store

 

 

The New York Times “At Home” section offers these suggestions on How to Support Independent Restaurants:

1. Eat as much takeout as possible.

Set aside a specific day to give yourself a treat and keep a local restaurant alive. Some restaurants are making frozen-food dishes and other pantry items — frozen enchiladas, dumplings, family-style meals — that will keep longer than any given night’s dinner, so be sure to ask even if they don’t advertise them. Many restaurants are also offering takeout drinks and cocktails.

2. Order straight from the restaurant.

While convenient, delivery apps like DoorDash and UberEats take a significant percentage of sales — up to 30 percent — and it is impossible to maintain a successful business model while using them exclusively, said Mrs. White of Everett and Jones. Instead of firing up an app, call your favorite restaurant and put in your order over the phone, or order directly from the restaurant’s website, if possible.

3. Pick up yourself, and pay cash.

If you can walk to the restaurant and pick up the food yourself, do so, and pay with cash. Is there a friend or family member you can help who can’t go out? Pick up a hot meal for them, too. In addition to getting some extra exercise, you’ll save the business the fees — usually about 2 percent of a purchase — charged by credit card companies.

4. Tip well.

A large restaurant may be able to afford servers to cater to people seated outside, but a smaller restaurant might only be able to staff a cook and a front-of-house person to pack and take orders. Many customers are tipping less, or not at all, because they perceive this to be a lower level of service than they are accustomed to when going out, said Alice Liu, who grew up in Manhattan’s Chinatown and helps run Grand Tea Imports, her family’s multigenerational tea and import business. Remember that restaurant employees are working hard to provide you with a dining experience during an unprecedented time, and at a higher risk of exposure to themselves. A healthy tip is a way to show your appreciation.

5. Shop at markets and stores in your community, too.

So much of a neighborhood like Chinatown depends upon foot traffic. You can buy groceries and fresh produce, gifts and kitchenware as well as restaurant meals. Think about other items you might normally buy elsewhere or online, and consider purchasing from the individual small businesses around you.

6. Purchase gift cards.

Ask your restaurant if it offers gift cards or gift certificates. Many businesses now allow online or emailed gift certificates where they might have accepted only paper options in the past. It’s a good way to support a restaurant while giving a welcome pick-you-up to someone else.

7. Ask how you can help.

If you have time and skills to donate, offer them. Community organizations have been helping restaurants build their outdoor dining infrastructure with volunteer programs; consider joining a program like New York’s Assembly for Chinatown. Ask if you can help by setting up GoFundMe donation pages or building simple online presences for these businesses, for whom technology can be an obstacle. “As customers, you can encourage mom-and-pop owners and see if you can help them navigate things online or on social media, especially in Chinatown or older, non-English speaking communities,” Ms. Liu said.

“Technology is one thing that can really help you in this time,” added Mrs. White.

 

 

Weekend Outing Ideas

ROCKPORT, MA

In just one hour you can get to the charming coastal town of Rockport, Massachusetts where you’ll find scenic views, delightful shops and an abundance of fabulous galleries.

Wear comfortable shoes so you can walk along rocks on the jetty or take steps down to the beach.

 

Work up an appetite and then grab a lobster roll or clam chowder, followed by ice cream or candy at various spots in town.

 

Find our inner artist – visit Motif #1 and see why artists call this fish shack “Motif #1″n i, an inspiration for so many artists over the years. Rockport has an abundance of benches located around harbor which will allow you to sit down and sketch the famous shack or just sit admire the beauty of the harbor.

Motif Number 1, located on Bradley Wharf in Rockport, Massachusetts, is a replica of a former fishing shack well known to students of art and art history as “the most often-painted building in America.” Wikipedia

Read the story behind it in New Englnd Today, Travel

                     

 

Read about more things to do and see in Rockport – such as walking tours, the Headlands, Cape Ann Light Station, Bearskin Neck, Dogtown Tours, Babson Word Rocks, fishing charters, Loblolly Cove, Sandy Bay Historical Society & Museum and much more.

 

BOSTON SEAPORT / FAN PIER

     

In the mood for an urban adventure? How about Boston Seaport / Fan Pier area? If you haven’t been there lately, you’ll be in for a wonderful surprise. There is so much to see and do – day or night and no shortage of delicious dining options.

   

Stroll along Harbor Walk which encircles the 21 acres of Fan Pier.

        

Pop into a Museum  – Take your pick – Institute for Contemporary Art (shown below), Boston Children’s Museum. Boston Fire Museum, Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum – to name a few…

   

Grab a bite at a fabulous restaurant / cafe or take it to go and enjoy your meal while sitting on one of the hundreds of places to sit along Harbor Walk.

   

You won’t be disappointed. The views can’t be beat!

I Scream, You Scream, We all Scream for Ice Cream!

New Englanders love ice cream…. and no better place to get it than right here in Concord & Carlisle!

Check these businesses for open hours & carryout options.

Bedford Farms, 68 Thoreau Street, Concord

         

 

Helen’s Restaurant, 17 Main Street, Concord

   

 

Reasons to Be Cheerful   10 Commonwealth Avenue Concord

 

 

Trail’s End, 97 Lowell Road, Concord

 

Kimball’s in Carlisle    343 Bedford Road (Rte 225) in Carlisle

 

 

Or try to make at home….

“How to Make Ice Cream from Scratch” from GoldCoast Ice Cream 

Check out the Gold Coast Ice Cream website for delicious recipes & instructions for automatic ice cream makers, manual ice cream makers, freezer method, plastic bag method and milkshake makers. This website also provides all sorts of interesting  information on storing ice cream, nutritional facts and how to make waffle cones.

Mason Jar Ice Cream Recipe (from delish.com)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1  1/2 TB granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tspn pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

DIRECTIONS

Pour cream, sugar, vanilla and salt into a 16 ounce mason jar and secure tightly with a lid. Shake the mason jar until the cream thickens and almost doubles in size, 4 to 5 minutes. It should be opaque and easily coat the back of a wooden spoon.

Freeze for 3 hours, or until hardened. Scoop out ice cream with a spoon and serve with your favorite ice cream toppings.

The New York Times offers the “Only Ice Cream Recipe You’ll Ever Need”:

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • cup sugar
  • teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • Your choice of flavoring (see note)

DIRECTIONS:

In a small pot, simmer heavy cream, milk, sugar and salt until sugar completely dissolves, about 5 minutes. Remove pot from heat. In a separate bowl, whisk yolks. Whisking constantly, slowly whisk about a third of the hot cream into the yolks, then whisk the yolk mixture back into the pot with the cream. Return pot to medium-low heat and gently cook until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (about 170 degrees on an instant-read thermometer).

Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Cool mixture to room temperature. Cover and chill at least 4 hours or overnight. Churn in an ice cream machine according to manufacturers’ instructions. Serve directly from the machine for soft serve, or store in freezer until needed.

SOME FUN FACTS ABOUT OUR FAVORITE FROZEN TREAT:

Did you know?

There’s a Simple Trick to Help Brain Freeze… The real word for brain freeze is sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia. But you can keep calling it brain freeze or frozen headache.
What is brain freeze? In simple terms, you have temperature sensors on the roof of your mouth. When cold objects hit it before your body has time to process, your nerves send a message to your brain that signal heat loss.
This is what brings on that massive headache halfway through eating your ice cream.
To combat brain freeze, hold your tongue against the roof of your mouth. This will help warm your sensors and get your brain out of panic mode.

We Know How Many Licks it Takes to Get Through a Scoop
The magic number is 50.
We’re just jealous we weren’t the person who got to do the taste test to get that data!

 

Ice Cream Sundaes Were Actually Made For Sundays
There are two competing stories about the invention of the ice cream sundae. Here is the most popular one.
Ice cream sodas were a popular drink you could buy at the local soda shop. However, religious laws forbade shop owners from selling them on Sundays because people were not allowed to indulge in the sugary treats on the Sabbath.
The owner of Ed Berners’ Ice Cream Parlor, Edward Berners, decided to get around this law. One day, he served a customer ice cream soda without the actual soda part, so it was just ice cream and syrup.
Soon, the concoction was sold on Sundays as an alternative to ice cream sodas. However, it became so popular it was sold every day. Berners changed the spelling to “sundae” to avoid associating it with the holy Sabbath.

 

Which Came First: Chocolate or Vanilla?
If you thought the answer was vanilla, you’re wrong. Chocolate was actually invented first.
We generally assume that vanilla ice cream came first because it’s the common base that creates many other flavors. However, it wasn’t always that way.

 

Ice Cream Used to be a Luxury
Back in the day, ice cream was seen as a luxurious dessert that only the elite could enjoy. It was considered rare and exotic, and remained this way until the late 1800s.
The elite and rich upper-class society members were the only ones who could afford the imported ingredients and the cold storage.
These were also the days before the commercialization and manufacturing of ice cream. Therefore, it wasn’t as easy to get for everyone, which led to the exclusivity.

There is an Ice Cream Fruit in Hawaii
That’s right. There’s a Hawaiian fruit that tastes exactly like vanilla ice cream. It’s called the inga feuillei, but locals call it the ice cream bean.
It grows on perennial trees in hot climates, and it is enjoyed in many different ways by locals.

*Fun facts from stanpacnet.com

Enjoy some ice cream, today!

 

Day Trip: Hudson for full day of fun

Start your day with a bike or hike along the Assabet River Rail Trail, 9.2 mile section of the trail is paved and open to the public, with 13 parking lots along the way.

     

The Assabet River Rail Trail, Inc. (ARRT) is a non-profit organization formed for the purpose of promoting the creation of a multi-use recreational rail trail passes through the communities of Marlborough, Hudson, Stow, Maynard and Acton. The trail is built along the abandoned rail bed of the former Marlborough Branch RR, which was active between 1853 and 1980.

Try Brunch, Lunch or Dinner at a fabulous spot – The Rail Trail Flatbread Co. in downtown Hudson, 33 Main Street. Be sure to make reservations. Open Sunday – Thursday: 11:30-9Pm, Friday & Saturday: 11:30-10PM.

Read about this wonderful establishment and how they have grown and adapted during the pandemic. Here is a brief description from their website:

Although delicious wood fired flatbread pizza is the champion on our menu it’s just the beginning -we are a family friendly restaurant offering unique spins on new american comfort food classics like burgers, poutine, tacos and mac and cheese to name  a few..  some of our most popular items were developed by thinking about the food we crave and the places we’ve been. We believe food should be fun and approachable for everyone and never, ever too serious. Our friends brew some really creative craft beers.  we have twenty taps and a selection of bottles and cans.

Besides what were cooking in the kitchen and pouring behind the bar we’re proud to tell you that we’re an “open book management” company. Open book management empowers all of our team members to understand how our business works, have a say in how our company is run and share with us when we hit our goals. our team is what makes us special and we hope you feel it when you come visit us.

 

Indoor and patio options available – dining guests will have temperature monitored on arrival.

   

They offer appetizers such as wings, ribs, roasted veggies & calamari, Salads, Bowls, fabulous Flatbreads, Burgers and much more.

The patio is a fabulous spot to enjoy your meal.

 

Cap off your delicious meal with New City Microcreamery Ice Cream, same owner. You can pick up a pint as you leave Rail Trail Flatbread Co. (there is a case in front of store with about a number of flavors) or walk across the street and check out the Microcreamery and pick among all the yummy flavors. We loved the Salted Oreo!

   

Finish off your day – or save for another day… at Animal Adventures Family Zoo & Rescue Center, 336 Sugar Road, Bolton

Open 7 days a week, 10am-5pm

Come see and learn about animals such as Wallaby, Porcupine, Emu, Armadillos, Skunk, Opossum, alligators, snakes and other small reptiles, mammals, and amphibians!

They offer Daily Live Animal Presentations each day at 11am, 1pm and 3pm with the zookeepers  – during this 25 minute session you will learn about their rescue animals and you even get to touch and interact with them!

A number of tour options, encounters and classes are available such as:

  •  90- minute Private Tour
  • 2 hour guided Extreme Tour for just your group
  • Extreme Tour w/ the Owner, Dr. Ed Laquidara
  • Cat Connection
  • Owl Connection
  • Animal Encounter
  • Reptile Tour
  • Zookeeper for a Day
  • Animal Classes – learn about the fox, owl or cats
  •  Birthday Parties
  •  Summer Special – Book an After Hours Tour for regular prices! 

    Email: Info@AnimalAdventures.net

Have a great day!

Day Trip: Bike along the Nashua River Rail Trail

Grab your bikes and bikes racks and head to Ayer or Groton.  Park your car (in one of the suggested parking lots below) and explore the great outdoors along this 11 mile bike trail that connects Ayer, MA to Nashua, NH.  The trail is also open to walking, dogwalking (leash) rollerblading and horseback riding. The trail is a former railroad right of way that travels 11 miles through the towns of Ayer, Groton, Pepperell and Dunstable. The 10-foot wide paved surface is ideal for cyclists.

Pack a picnic and stop in this lovely meadow in Groton, along the way.

Stop in Pepperell for this fabulous food truck or a scoop of ice cream from Charlotte’s Cozy Kitchen & Rail Trail Ice Cream, just steps from the rail trail.

 

   

View the trail map online

Parking areas for access to the trail are located in Ayer, Groton, and Dunstable.

Ayer Center parking lot

Closed for construction.  For more information visit  https://www.ayer.ma.us/commuter-parking

Groton Center parking (Court Street 10-15 spaces)

Take I-495 north or south to exit 31, then Rte. 119 west approximately seven miles to Groton Center. Take left at Station Ave. to the on-street parking area beside the trail.

Groton Sand Hill Road parking (10-15 gravel spaces)

Take I-495 north or south to exit 31, then Rte. 119 west approximately ten miles. Take a right on Nod Road and right on Sand Hill Road. Follow Sand Hill Road to parking area on the right after crossing rail trail.

Dunstable state line parking (10 gravel spaces)

Take Rte. 3 to Exit 35, then Rte. 113 west beyond Dunstable Center. Take right on Hollis Street to New Hampshire state line. Parking is on the left.

Enjoy!!