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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Stoneforge Foxboro Restaurant To Close

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I just read in the Attleboro Sun Chronicle that the Stoneforge Foxboro restaurant in Foxboro, Mass., will close on Monday, June 28, to make way for a new restaurant and function space under the Christina's Functions business.


Attleboro Sun Chronicle reporter Rick Foster wrote an excellent piece (as usual -- one of the best reporters in eastern Massachusetts, in my opinion; impeccable note-taking skills!) on the impending closing, writing that Christina's Fireside Grill will take over the current restaurant, although in a smaller setting. Foster reports that the rest of the former Stoneforge space will be used for "additional wedding rehearsals, private and corporate functions." Christina's function facility building is connected to the site that has accommodated Stoneforge and its predecessors including the Funway Cafe.


We will miss the Stoneforge in its Foxboro location, but take comfort in knowing that the Stoneforge restaurants in Raynham, Easton and Dartmouth will continue to serve some great food, including some fantastic steak, seafood, gourmet pizzas and salads!


Here is Rick's article on the Stoneforge Foxboro: http://www.thesunchronicle.com/articles/2010/06/27/news/7600106.txt 

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Food Network Magazine Recognizes Six New England Breakfast Restaurants

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Congratulations to the six New England  restaurants that were chosen by Food Network Magazine for their great breakfasts!


The July/August 2010 Food Network Magazine edition features an appetizing article entitled "50 States, Fifty Breakfasts" with one breakfast place in each state getting a hearty mention --including a specialty dish.  Honors in Connecticut go to Kitchen Little, 135 Greenmanville Ave., in the lively seaport town of Mystic, for its "Portuguese Fisherman" dish -- scrambled eggs with ground chourico and linguica sausages and cheese accompanied by a "soft toasted and buttered Portuguese muffin." The best Maine breakfast goes to Boynton-McKay Food Co.,  at 30 Main St., in the idyllic mid-Maine coastal town of Camden, for fresh buttermilk pancakes. In Massachusetts, Craigie on Main Street at 853 Main St. in the academic city of Cambridge, (Harvard University, MIT) gets the notch for "airy cake doughnuts" (only made on Sundays). Top New Hampshire breakfast centers on the fantastic Littleton Diner in the heart of thriving downtown Littleton (145 Main St.), for the "Littleton Buckwheat Pancakes." The little state of Rhode Island comes up with a big breakfast winner at Jigger's Diner at 145 Main St. in posh and leafy East Greenwich, for its Johnnycakes. Last but not least is Vermont's Penny Cluse Cafe at 169 Cherry St. in the wonderful small city of Burlington (a college town beautifully situated on Lake Champlain), for its "Penny Cluse" -- biscuits enhanced by a herb creamy gravy of spinach, basil and parsley, and accompanied with two eggs any style and home fries.


Enough to make you hungry? Please go check out these places, and let us know what you think.  Additionally, we would like to also recommend the "10 Favorite Breakfast Places in New England" article at our New England Vacations Facebook Fan Page . We love breakfast while traveling New England, and are confident that you'll find "no egg" on this feature story!


In closing, we highly recommend picking up a copy of the July/August Food Network publication. In addition to its wonderful, aforementioned breakfast article, this edition is packed with some amazing-looking summer recipes. We'll be attempting to make the "crunchy lemonade chicken drumsticks" as soon as possible - yum!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

June Strawberry Picking in New England

Article and photo (Jane and Paul's Farm, Norfolk, Mass.) by Eric H.
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June is the best time to pick strawberries in New England, so we recommend finding a local farm stand that offers "pick-your-own-strawberries" before its too late for this year.


We picked some strawberries two days ago at Jane and Paul's Farm at Fruit St. in Norfolk, Mass. (Tel. 508-520-0812), where the crop was abundant and with some of the sweetest strawberries we've ever tasted.   Jane and Paul's is a great out-of-the-way place that makes for a nice day trip -- nice produce, small animal area, plants and and a relaxed, scenic setting.


Our Twitter list of New England farm stands  features updates from local farm stands, some of which "tweet" on strawberry-picking status. For example, Cider Hill Farm in Amesbury, Mass. (45 Fern Ave., Tel. 978-388-5525), reported yesterday that its strawberry picking status has been personally downgraded and that there's only about a week left to pick.


The wonderful Brookdale Fruit Farm in Hollis, N.H., (130 Broad St., Tel. 603-465-2240) still offers strawberry picking (along with cherry and raspberry picking), according to its Web Site. Bishop's Orchard's at 1355 Boston Post Road in Guilford, Conn. (Tel. 203 453-2338), reported on June 21 that they  "are still open for PYO Strawberries, but not sure how much..."


If you known of a New England farm stand that still has a good crop of strawberries,  please feel free to leave a comment here. Thanks!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Farmers Market, Walpole, Mass., Held Every Wednesday 3-8 p.m. Through October

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The summer season brings us many opportunities in New England to visit Farmers Markets in some truly wonderful communities. A recent newcomer to the scene is the Walpole Farmers Market to be held every Wednesday, from 3:00 - 8:00 p.m., rain or shine, through October in downtown Walpole, Mass (municipal parking lot across from Stone Field).


A southwest Boston suburb, Walpole offers a nice small-town personality, thus, providing a nice setting for a Farmers Market.  The Walpole Farmers Market, according to Walpole's Economic Development Office, features locally-grown high quality and nutritious foods, including fresh fruits and vegetables, local artisan baked goods, teas, spices, and arts and craft items. The Farmers Market Committee encourages you to come back often as products change throughout the season.  


Whether a local resident, vacationer in Boston, or anyone else looking for a nice, inexpensive "staycation" day trip, this weekly event sounds like a great summer activity.  Plus, you're helping the local economy by supporting the hard-working farmers and other local vendors in the region.


If interested in volunteering at the Farmers Market or becoming a vendor, please contact Stephanie Mercandetti at (508) 660-7352 or smercandetti@walpole-ma.gov.



Related Walpole articles:
Travel Photo Essay of Walpole, Mass. 


Road Trip to Walpole


A Video Scene -- And Photos-- Of The Walpole Town Forest 


Scenes of New England Photo Gallery: Red Barn at Adams Farm, Walpole   


Raven's Nest Becomes An Instant Hometown Favorite Restaurant in Walpole


Butter Cafe and Bakery in Walpole Offers a Chef-Inspired Dimension to the Southwest Suburban Boston Dining Scene 


Jalapenos Grill Brings Dining Spice to Walpole with Authentic Mexican Cuisine 


The Wonderful Retro Feel of Dick and Jane’s General Store, Walpole 


Country Kitchen Donuts, Walpole


Visiting Bird Park in East Walpole 


Feature Article on Ever so Humble Pie Company, Walpole

Monday, June 21, 2010

Mayflower II in Plymouth, Mass., a Great Summer Vacation Landing Point

Article and photo by Eric H.
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Here it is the first day of summer in New England and, for many, the beginning of school summer vacation!


This summer, The Weekly New England Travel and Vacation Gazette will be featuring many well-known and hidden New England vacation attractions and destinations to help with your New England summer trip planning. We'll feature extended vacation ideas, as well as day trip and "stay cation" ideas. Always feel free to write the Weekly New England Travel and Vacation Gazette on your favorite things to do during the New England summer  vacation and we'll consider it for publication.


Today, we start things off by traveling to the Mayflower II in Plymouth, Mass.,  a true-to-life replica of the ship that landed the Pilgrims in America. Plymouth has many fantastic travel attractions -- mostly centering on the Pilgrims -- and the Mayflower II serves as a great start of an entertaining and educational day in the Plymouth area. Included on this tour are authentic sights and sounds of Pilgrim history and culture by visiting the various parts of the ship, and hearing the "story" from costumed tour guides. Located at lively Plymouth Harbor and just across from the legendary Plymouth Rock in the pleasing 11-acre Pilgrim Memorial State Park, the Mayflower II is indeed a great New England travel attraction to start off your summer vacation.


Mayflower II
State Pier, Plymouth, MA
Tel. (508) 746-1622


Related Plymouth, Mass., and summer articles and resources: 
Visiting Downtown Plymouth
The Boston-Plymouth Newsletter 
Woods Seafood at Plymouth Harbor 
John Alden Gift Shop, Plymouth Harbor
Where to Stay in Plymouth
30 Fun Things to Do in the Good Old New England Summer Time 

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Get Updates from Museums in New England

Article by Eric H. Photo of Museum of Fine Art Boston, courtesy of MOTT (MassVacation)
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We have been building a Twitter list of museums in New England. With 34 listed so far and growing, we think you'll find a great variety, including the New England Aquarium,  Boston Museum of Science, Mark Twain House, the Shelburne Museum, Currier Museum and Paul Revere House.

When logging onto this list, you'll find the latest updates, calendar of events, and perspectives from the museums. It true "live-time reporting" as once a museum sends a twitter message, you'll be able to read it instantly. We feel it is an especially useful tool in finding out more about each place -- great for your trip-planning. If you can't find what you're looking for, however, each museum has its web site included in its profile so you can find out more information.

Please check back in often as many of these museums update frequently. Let us know what you think of the list and if you know of any others that are on Twitter that we can include in this section.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Joan and Ed's Deli, Natick, Mass., to Close After June 20, 2010

Article by Eric H.    Bookmark and Share


I read the sad news on the Joan and Ed's Deli Web Site today that its famous and beloved Natick, Mass., New York style delicatessen will close its doors after June 20, 2010. How sad, just goes to show that our favorite restaurants, for the most part, do not live forever.

Joan and Ed stated on their Web Site that the "economic conditions have made it impossible to go on... Joan & Ed will begin an early retirement." We wish them the best -- what nice, nice people and what fantastic breakfast, lunch, dinner and desserts they have brought to us through the years. I was always impressed, too, how Joan and Ed would walk around the restaurant and talk with customers. This wasn't some forced, fake interaction, the way you see at some other local restaurants. They were the real deal, sort of like your nice grandma and grandpa with considerable culinary talents and vision deciding to open up a restaurant.

Joan and Ed's has been in business for more than 33 years. Formerly located in Shopper's World in Framingham (with beginnings in 1977), Joan and Ed's eventually moved, in 1994, to the Sherwood Plaza in Natick. The entrance was most interesting and unique with Judaica gifts, the lively deli counter (always bustling) and the huge display cases of desserts. They had quite a few "personalities" working at the restaurant, including the loud, affable, pony-tailed man at the deli counter and waitresses that could converse with the best of them  while always giving extra special attention to the many kids who would rather skip the meal and get right to the dessert.

We will greatly miss the "Jewish" comfort food and yummy desserts. Some dishes I will greatly miss: cheese kugel, latkes (potato pancakes), meat knishes, the Turkey Crier (Turkey, Swiss, onion, and tomato and Russian dressing), lean pastrami, chicken stew and meatloaf. Actually, I could go on and on but you get the picture -- this was homemade food at its finest and with an upkeep in quality that belied its generic strip mall location.

Although I am not a sugar fiend, I must say that the thing I'll miss the most at Joan and Ed's are the desserts. The fresh apple strudel, eclairs, blueberry pie, chocolate cake and strawberry cheesecake --amongst the myriad of other incredible treats -- always served as a staple of our dining experiences here.

People say that New York City delis are the best in the country and that places like Boston couldn't compare. Sometimes, I wonder, though, if we took Joan and Ed's deli selections, put them in a New York deli, and didn't tell anyone about the switch if they would know the difference. Bottom line: Joan and Ed's really set a high standard in Jewish deli food, and they are to be commended for making us dining customers happy through the years. Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you!

Whale Watching in Gloucester, Mass.



Article by Eric H.Bookmark and Share


Whale watching has been a favorite New England travel attraction for many years. I remember taking my first whale watching tour about 30 years ago in Gloucester, Mass., and the memories are permanent. At first scary, the experience turned out to be safe and, ultimately, educational and fun. To see whales within very close proximity truly shows their enormity, nothing like the cartoons or other sights of whales on television (at least way back then, on our 19-inch Zenith television). Plus, it's just great to be out on the water in the good old New England summer time!

If you are looking to whale watch these days on the North Shore of Massachusetts, 7 Seas Whale Watch is one of the highest regarded. A family-run business for 26 years, 7 Seas Whale Watch offers "a more sophisticated narration about the whales, their habitat, and the importance of preserving the ocean environment than with anyone else." Although whales aren't as plentiful as in the past, Gloucester, in relative terms, is a breeding ground, giving you one of the best chances in New England to view whales.

With a new vessel (fully licensed and U.S. Coast Guard certified vessel equipped with the latest in navigation and safety equipment) and knowledge of the whaling grounds -- courtesy of a marine biologist and other naturalists -- 7 Seas has been drawing local raves from several people we have known through the years for its professional and entertaining presentation. Its business seems to be mentioned every time in conversation about whales. We're looking forward to going this summer, hope to see some whales, and, overall, have a whale of a good time!

By the way, 7 Seas is located next to the Gloucester House restaurant, one of my personal favorite seafood restaurants in New England. With great inner harbor water views, lobster and other North Atlantic seafood selections (as well as a fantastic New England clam chowder!), the Gloucester House has become a New England seafood dining tradition. They have really updated the place through the years, making it a nicer dining experience now than it has ever been before.

We'll follow up with a personalized write-up on 7 Seas. If you have been on 7 Seas or any other New England whale watch, please feel free to write your experiences here!

Seven Seas Whale Watch , 63 Rogers St., Gloucester, MA. Tel. 1-888-283-1776

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Free 2010 New England Travel Summer Newsletter Now Online

Article and photo (Short Sands Beach, York Beach, Maine) by Eric H.
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It's hard to believe we arrived here so quickly but summer vacation is now upon us in New England. Trip planning is in full motion, en route to more instant memories in our unique region.

With that in mind, we have online -- and hot off the press -- our free 2010 New England Travel Summer Newsletter. Chock full of valuable New England travel information and colorful photos,  we write from a local perspective.  Thus, we recommend to you places we personally visit and enjoy immensely. As lifelong New Englanders, we have a feel -- and true love -- for the area. So, we not only present to you lots of information but also a great deal of passion for New England that we hope will inspire you to explore our great states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.

Enjoy the newsletter and have a great summer!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Old-Time Boston/New England Ad Jingles and Slogans



Article by Eric H.
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Thought we'd take some time out from New England trip-planning information this morning to reflect on the warm memories of local television and radio ad jingles and slogans from yesteryear.

Remember...
Bradlee's department store with the ad singers stating that chipper, know-it-all inventory manager "Mrs. B is Buying?"

The 1960s-style "In Crowd" swing-like jingle of Dave Dinger Ford in Braintree, Mass., asking "How does Dinger do it?"

The Thompson's Clam Bar (Harwichport, Mass.) jingle, "We're going to Thompson's Clam Bar 'cause that's where the very best clams are!"

The faint and anemic-sounding,  semi-muted tropical-like jingle for the Island Queen (the ferry from Falmouth to Martha's Vineyard)?

Whalom Park (now-closed amusement park in Lunenberg, Mass.) for "A whale of a time?"

The Filene's department store jingle that spelled out "F-I-L-E-N-E-S?"

Barbo's Furniture (Burlington, Mass.), a classic car radio ad jingle, with the memorable easy-listening sung line, "Barbo's, Barbo's.. the furniture you can live with happily ever after?"

Christo's Greek-American restaurant in Brockton, Mass., with its "Home of the Greek salad king" slogan (still is, to this very day!)?

And, of course, the over-the-top "There's a Lot to Like About Lowell" jingle, extolling the incredible virtues of that Massachusetts city?

Please feel free to share your memories of Boston/New England ad jingles by posting a comment here!

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Best Shopping in New England

Article and photo (Brown and Hopkins Country Store, Chepachet, R.I.) by Eric H.
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Following up on our recent Shop Local, Buy Local New England! posting, we have also updated out Best Shopping in New England article.  Here we include our top picks for New England country and general stores, mom and pop shops, outlet shopping, indoor malls, open air shopping centers and shopping-friendly historic urban districts in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.  It's really amazing the diverse offerings of shopping available in New England!

As always, we welcome your feedback on your favorite shopping destinations in New England. Feel free to post here or send us an email through VisitingNewEngland.com.

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