Hello, friends. On January 4, 2021 when I celebrated Pop.Bop.Shop. turning 12 (wowza) I shared that this year I will deepen my focus on supporting small, independent businesses.
To further that commitment, I made a New Year's resolution to share a list every single month with fresh ways for you to help local favorites stay alive during these challenging times. If you've been a reader for a while, you know when something makes it onto the resolutions list, it's serious!
There are a few big moments coming up - the Super Bowl, Valentine's Day - so many of this month's suggestions spotlight businesses offering specials or new products for these occasions. Let's jump right in!
1. Super Bowl Takeout Specials at Sweet Cheeks Q - I'm not a big football person, but I've always loved Super Bowl Sunday for one reason and one reason only: unlimited snacks, dips and apps.
This year, chef Tiffani Faison and her team at Sweet Cheeks Q in Boston's Fenway neighborhood are offering six different takeout specials, including nacho kits, buffalo wings, ribs, fried chicken and an epic "Super Bowl Supper" that includes biscuits, pulled pork, pulled chicken, BBQ chopped brisket, coleslaw, potato salad, BBQ beans and mac & cheese. I just drooled typing that.
Click here to view the full menu and place your order.
2. Heart-Shaped Ice Cream Cakes from Honeycomb Creamery - If you've never been to Honeycomb Creamery on Mass. Ave. in Cambridge, you are missing out on some of the most unique and delicious ice cream flavors on earth.
This year, for Valentine's Day, they are making heart-shaped ice cream cakes. Each one has layers of chocolate cake, dark chocolate ice cream and homemade raspberry jam, topped with raspberry whipped cream. They are also offering a vegan version!
You can place your pre-order right here.
All I have to say to this ice cream cake is, "Be mine?"
3. Ice Cream Sundae Kit for Two from Sofra Bakery - I am incredibly lucky to live just a few minutes from Sofra Bakery, a place I frequent at least once a week. I love their Red Dragon ice tea, their citrus-glazed morning bun, their hot pepper labne and beet dips - I could go on and on.
For Valentine's Day this year they are offering a few specials, including a sundae kit for two. It includes a pint of salted butter caramel ice cream (you had me at hello), hot fudge, chocolate sprinkle mosaic cake, tahini caramel popcorn and brown sugar marshmallows.
Just when I thought I could not love them more! Peruse the full Valentine's Day menu here.
4. At-Home Baking Boxes from Flour Bakery - To me, chef Joanne Chang is a Boston icon. She's the magician behind Flour Bakery and the co-owner of Myers + Chang, one of the most delicious restaurants on the planet (that happens to be in the South End).
During the pandemic, Joanne and team have gotten incredibly creative and developed at-home baking kits that allow you to easily make some of her most famous recipes. I'm obsessed with the Oreo kit and the raspberry pop-tart kit.
For Valentine's Day, you can also order the Decorate your own heart cookies kit, which comes with eight sugar cookies, royal icing frosting, piping bags and decorating instructions.
5. Delicious Junk Food from Earnest Drinks & Gracie's Ice Cream - I was already a big fan of Gracie's Ice Cream in Union Square in Somerville and a few weeks ago, the same owner opened a restaurant in Kendall Square in Cambridge called Earnest Drinks. It was a gutsy move (to open during the pandemic), but lucky for all of us the food, drink and dessert menus are unreal.
You can also find pints of Gracie's ice cream at Broadway Marketplace, Formaggio and Pemberton Market in Cambridge, Dave's Fresh Pasta in Somerville and Concord Market in Concord.
Let's help Aaron (the owner of both spots) have a great start to 2021!
There you have it. Five fantastic Boston spots that deserve your business this month.
In case you were wondering, yes, I am doing a Valentine's Day gift guide. That will go live next week! More local love to come in that list too.
*Honeycomb Creamery image courtesy of @honeycombcreamery on Instagram, Flour Bakery image courtesy of Flour Bakery and Earnest Drinks photo courtesy of Earnest Drinks. All other photography by Molly Galler.