This past weekend, after an afternoon spent wandering around a very muddy Ames Nowell State Park, I stopped by Lynwood Cafe in Randolph for some bar pizza.
I know very little about South Shore bar pizza, which is defined by a thin, almost cracker-like crust, and smothered with sharp cheese that extends to the very edges of the pie. Last week, I tweeted a request for bar pizza spots, and was rewarded with dozens of recommendations, Lynwood being one of the most frequently named. I ordered a cheese and sausage — I needed to establish a baseline the first time around — and waited, ravenous, while takeout order after takeout order passed by in front of me. When the pizza finally arrived, I nearly inhaled the thing, though I didn’t fail to notice that the cheese was perfectly browned, the sauce wildly rich, and the crust exactly what I was craving. One very good bar pizza down, and I’m already a fan.
This weekend is a great weekend for bar pizza. It’s also a great weekend for margaritas, new coffee shops, and getting to know a couple of up-and-coming Dorchester restaurants. Here are a few ideas for eating and drinking around Boston (and the South Shore) over the next few days, and let me know where you love to eat bar pizza in the comments below.
1. Channel summer with a margarita
I keep reminding myself that this winter has been fairly mild, that spring and summer are right around the corner. But on days when temps are in the teens, it takes a little convincing. So while I’m as exhausted as everyone else is hearing about national food and drink days, I’m using National Margarita Day (Saturday) to channel some summer vibes and take advantage of a few deals around the city. The Painted Burro in Somerville and Burro Bar in Brookline and the South End will kick things off a day early on Friday, pitting two new margaritas against each other in a flight that will be available throughout the weekend — vote for your favorite and you’ll receive a voucher for a free iced coffee horchata to be used on your next visit. At Back Bay’s OAK Long Bar + Kitchen, the folks at Don Julio will lead a free tequila tasting session from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.; stick around for $1 churros served with spiced Mexican hot chocolate caramel from OAK’s pastry chef, Lindsay LeBlanc, plus $10 margarita specials. And at Lolita Cocina & Tequila Bar‘s Fort Point location, ordering one of their margaritas before 5 p.m. on Saturday will get you a free taco (choose from chicken, vegetable, or al pastor).
2. Celebrate Dorchester’s exciting newcomers
Though it’s been in soft open for a couple of weeks, fusion newcomer 50Kitchen will finally host a grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony on Sunday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., welcoming guests to its Fields Corner home. Chef and Dorchester native Anthony Caldwell developed a menu that creatively merges Southern and Asian American cuisine, resulting in dishes like jambalaya egg rolls, kimchi and collard greens, and smoked banh mi with a Southern twist. Want a sneak peek at another Dorchester newcomer? On Thursday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., Tanám in Somerville’s Bow Market will host the team at Comfort Kitchen, an upcoming cafe and restaurant opening in Upham’s Corner that will celebrate global comfort food of the Diaspora. À la carte items are available from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., while a DJ set kicks off at 9 p.m. It’s all part of Tanám’s February Melanin Magic, a Thursday series celebrating Black creation and innovation.
3. Shake up your coffee routine
Maybe it’s because I’m wired on my morning coffee while writing this, but I feel like Boston’s coffee game has been given a jolt lately. There’s the new Monumental Market in Jamaica Plain that opened last week, a combination cafe/bakery/record shop that serves really great coffee from El Colombiano Coffee. MOD Espresso — a new espresso bar inside, oddly enough, South End home furnishings store Modern Relik — offers some truly inventive coffee mocktails. There’s the cold brew old fashioned with ginger bitters, demerara simple syrup, and an orange twist, and an earl grey tea spritz with blood orange and orange blossom water (they also serve a menu of standard coffee concoctions). And if you want to go the actual cocktail route, there’s a new drink at Committee in the Seaport called the Yiayia’s Coffee, a nutty, herbal drink made with Nonino amaro, almond milk, ouzo, and Mr. Black, an Australian cold brew liqueur.
4. Dive into the world of South Shore bar pizza
Ok, so about my South Shore bar pizza revelation. After I tweeted my request for recommendations, I heard from dozens of people who had their own favorite spots: Poopsie’s (what a name!) in Pembroke, Lynwood Cafe, Town Spa Pizza in Stoughton, The Venus Cafe in Whitman. I learned about “laced edges” and bar pizza sold out of a garage. I’ve only started my journey, but I’m all in. Recently, Kerry Byrne of KJB Trending Hospitality created the South Shore Bar Pizza Social Club on Facebook, a resource for bar pizza diehards. I highly recommend joining the group — it’s been a great resource for bar pizza amateurs like myself who want to learn more about where to find the good stuff. And as I’ve discovered, there are a lot of places to find the good stuff.
5. Stay out a little later this weekend
Boston’s late night dining scene is still a work in progress, as any hunger-driven Google search at 11 p.m. will show. Shout-out to all the restaurants saving the day, er, night, by leaving their kitchens open until 1 a.m, 2 a.m., and even 3 a.m. (thanks, Peach Farm!). I highlighted a few spots on Boston.com’s latest Instagram Q&A (tune in next week when I answer more of your questions), including Little Donkey in Cambridge, which launches its new Donkey After Dark late night menu on Thursday and will be available Thursdays from 11 p.m. to midnight and Fridays and Saturdays from 11:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Order munchies like the cheesy Donkey Burger, a fried chicken sandwich, tonkatsu ramen, and cookie dough. I’d also recommend reading this great Boston Globe piece about South Street Diner, where writer Diti Kohli details her overnight experience at Boston’s 24-hour diner.