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Canal Park at CambridgeSide!

Event Date: TUESDAY, JULY 11th 2017

Rain date: THURSDAY, JULY 13th 2017

5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Engage in one of the best food sampling events in the region featuring local restaurants, specialty foods, cheese, ice-cream, wine, beer, mocktails, coffee purveyors and entertainment.

Cambridge, MA– The 15th “Taste of Cambridge” is on the move! This year we are headed to Lechmere Canal Park at CambridgeSide. Enjoy spectacular food & drinks overlooking Canal Park, featuring beer and wine gardens, games, grills, craft beer, The Dirty Water Brass Band, Celebrity DJ Rich DiMare, a Mocktail Contest and dancing!

Highlights of this Year’s Annual Taste of Cambridge include:

This year, the whole event is VIP! We are offering a “Taste and Spirit” tier for $75, which includes all food, beverages, and 4 beer, wine or specialty cocktails.        

The “Taste” tier for $50 includes all food and non-alcoholic beverages (juices, teas, and specialty coffees). Children and Families are welcome! Get the ultimate Tasting Ticket for the under 12 set (accompanied by a parent):  Kids Tasting Tickets are available for $15.00 each for children 6 to 12; kids under six are free.

Mocktail contest! This year watch Cambridge mixologists compete to make the most innovative and best-tasting mocktail in the “Peoples Republic”. Local celebrity judges will decide the winner!

Best in Taste! Everyone gets a vote to elect the best “Taste” of Cambridge.  Your vote counts!

Feel good and do good!

Buy a ticket to this benefit and provide support to local Cambridge non-profits doing direct service work in Cambridge on alcohol and drug prevention.  The Taste of Cambridge helps to support multiple non-profit alcohol and drug prevention and treatment programs each year. This year’s recipients include: Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC), Caspar, Cambridge Camping Association, Cambridge Housing Assistance Fund, Paine Senior Services, and On the Rise.

The Taste of Cambridge (TOC) was founded by the Cambridge License Advisory Board (CLAB), a registered 501 c 3, and is produced by dedicated CLAB volunteers in partnership with the City of Cambridge. CLAB works year-round to prevent underage drinking and to educate and support liquor license holders. The TOC is primarily a charitable event! Our participating restaurants, sponsors, and volunteers present the best “Taste of” event to provide financial support to our beneficiaries!


Tickets can be purchased online at

Please note:  This is a charitable event and we do not issue ticket refunds.

In case of inclement weather we have a rain date of 7/13/17.


Many thanks to this years site sponsor, CambridgeSide for graciously hosting the 15th Annual Taste of Cambridge.  This year’s event has been graciously sponsored by: Anheuser-Busch, Bombay Sapphire, Cambridge Chamber of Commerce, Cambridge Office for Tourism, Cambridge Savings Bank, Cambridge Trust, CambridgeSide, Down the Road Brewery, Downeast Cider, East Cambridge Savings Bank, Farmer Willies Craft Ginger Beer, GoPuff, GrubHub, Irving House, Late July, Mad River Distillers, MIT, Olivia’s Organics, PEAK Event Services, Pegasystems, Privateer Rum, Purity Juice, Sparkling Ice, and Whole Foods

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Tags: beer, benefit, cambridge, cocktails, community, events, Food, tasting events, wine

East Cambridge has a new spot for cocktails and al fresco dining, just in time for patio season. Loyal Nine opened recently on Cambridge Street, and for someone like me who works in the area, it is a very welcome addition to the neighborhood.

First off, I loved the space. It’s bright and open and urban and a little bit gritty, in a good way. An expansive dining area makes way to a cafe and then out to a large patio, which was a total, delightful surprise.

Loyal Nine Cambridge

Loyal Nine’s concept is pretty cool too, reflecting our area’s colonial heritage in the menu. Local seafood is well-represented, and plates are made for sharing, which is the best way to discover a new restaurant.


We kicked off our meal with oysters with a tangy smoked porter vinegar. The oysters tasted of the sea, and the vinegar added that perfect zing.







oysters at Loyal Nine


Loyal Nine’s cocktail list is imaginative and had us wanting to try everything on it. The Bread & Breakfast, for a Manhattan lover who needs a coffee fix, had a perfect hint of coffee flavor to it. It was potent but smooth and delicious.


Bread and Breakfast


We feasted on a good portion of the menu and enjoyed every single bite.







savory supperArostook Savory Supper – Potatoes, Onions, and Salt Pork with a Soft Egg – This little crock of comfort was full of flavor and warmth. The runny egg brought it all together.


Grilled Pork Ribs with Chestnuts and Molasses – We heard from a few sources that the ribs were a must-try, and I was glad we went for them. They were perfectly cooked, meaty, tender, fall-off-the-bone, and smoky sweet.

Scituate Lobster braised with mead

Scituate Lobster Braised with Hickory Nuts and Mead – Sigh. Perfectly cooked lobster was presented in a rich, honey-scented sauce, served with grilled bread for soaking up every last bit of deliciousness.

sea salt and vinegar chips with finnian haddie mousse

Salt & Vinegar Chips with Finnian Haddie Mousse – If there are chips on a menu, I have to try them. These were light and crispy with the perfect touch of salt, served with a light, fluffy smoked fish type mousse. Divine.

grilled clam and pickled ramps


A giant grilled clam chilled with pickled ramps provided tender clam meat with a nice contrast of vinegar-y ramps.



beet salad

Harvard Beets with Charred Cabbage, Cultured Cream, and Barley – This  was a nice light course with great bite from the beets and barley.   I love beet salads and this one was definitely a winner.


chocolate sourdough brewis By the time we got to the dessert menu  we were full but tempted by the interesting options. We went for the Chocolate Sourdough Brewis, a delectable bread pudding like dessert with chocolate and caramel sauces and different brittles. This was my dream dessert, not too sweet, chewy, chocolate-y and divine. I paired it with a perfect espresso. After smelling the fresh coffee throughout dinner, I had to have some. It meant I was bouncing off the walls until midnight, but it was well worth it for the smooth, rich flavor. i will dream of this espresso.

espresso Loyal Nine


Loyal Nine is doing lots of great things over in East Cambridge, and I can’t wait to go back. Our one negative was that we thought plates were a little small for the price, but the quality, creativity, and expertise is all there, making us want to return to eat the rest of the menu.

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Tags: cambridge, cocktails, Dining out, east cambridge, Food, Restaurants

Traffic. Snow. Traffic. Gray. Slush, Repeat.

If you live in the Boston area, that pretty much sums up your life lately. Our regular 30 minute commute has turned into two hours. It’s nearly impossible to walk down a street, to park anywhere, even to see out our first floor windows after all of this snow.

I work in East Cambridge, and for almost two years, I have been wanting to eat at The Helmand.  I heard so many great things, and yet we just never made a point to get there. That is, until last week on one of the days Boston was in total gridlock.

It took my husband almost two hours from Harvard Square to East Cambridge, around four miles. It was cold and slippery, and warm, spiced Afghani food sounded perfect. It was.

The Helmand is bright, beautiful, and cozy. Everyone who works there is welcoming, kind, and knowledgeable.


The Helmand

The blue and yellow plates brought a little sunshine to our evening.

The Helmand

We had a really hard time deciding on what to order, so we decided on a few appetizers. Always a pumpkin lover, I had to have the Kaddo.

Sweet baby pumpkin topped with a rich and tangy garlic yogurt was heaven. I feel like this dish is pretty healthy and full of vitamins too, so it wasn’t too much of a splurge, not like the boxes of Cheez-its I have been downing during blizzards, anyway.

pumpkin in garlic sauce

Warm, pillowy bread with a variety of sauces, gave us something to use as a scoop for our yummy pumpkin. sauces at the helmand


Aushak, Afghan ravioli filled with leeks and scallions, served on yogurt-mint topped with ground beef sauce, was a hearty plate full of flavor and warmth. I loved that the food at the Helmand was spiced in a way that was warm but not burning off your tongue.


For my entree I went with Bowlani, brick oven baked twin pastry shells, one filled with leeks and scallions the other filled with spiced potatoes. garnished with yogurt and mint. Again, these were full of warmth and spices, comforting, filling, and just delicious.

The Helmand was an utter delight and a much-needed bright spot in a series of dreary days. We’re trying our best to eat healthy and exercise, but this winter has made that a challenge. I am definitely feeling seasonal blues, and going out a couple of times a week seems to help.

I recommend a visit to the Helmand if you want a taste from afar without getting on a delayed flight. In the meantime, please send us warm weather.

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Tags: Afghani food, cambridge, Dining out, Food, Helmand, Restaurants

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