Grin and Beer It

On its Facebook page today, JP Scottish spot The Haven announced that it will launch the summer ale of the Portland, ME-based NOTCH on Thursday. [Haven FB]

(Photo by Flickr user M. Lubinski)

Stunt Sandwiches: Worth the Outrage?

Born and bred Bostonians share several things in common: a covetous talent for parallel parking, a fond remembrance of eighth-inning stretches sans “Sweet Caroline,” and a nostalgia for family meals at Friendly’s. The ice cream parlor-cum-restaurant chain used to dominate our state’s landscape, providing convenient respite for parents and their picky-eating offspring, but has faded from our collective memories after financial troubles forced the shuttering of many outlets in recent years.

But score one for publicity plays. Today the Herald weighs in on the restaurant’s latest menu offering: the Ultimate Grilled Cheese BurgerMelt, a stunt sandwich consisting of a grilled Black Angus burger negotiated between — wait for it — two whole grilled-cheese sandwiches. At an eye-popping 1160 calories, the BurgerMelt makes KFC’s Double Down (540 calories) look like a spinach-tortilla veggie wrap.

Predictable as always, the folks at the Center for Science in the Public Interest have weighed in, declaring apoplectically that the restaurant chain should be “shut down by the health department” for introducing the BurgerMelt to its menu. 

We have a different take. If this admittedly obscene Dagwood causes people to sit up and once again take notice of a long-forgotten local institution, we say amen. Besides, no one is suggesting a three-BurgerMelt-a-day diet take the place of a 40-30-30 meal plan; a single serving, split between friends, is enough to satiate both appetite and curiosity. Just skip the Jumbo Fronions. [Herald]

A Little Taste of Something

The city’s food calendar has lately been dominated by city-centric samplers. Cave Cibum reports on Sunday’s Taste of Allston, which offered an eclectic array of wildly varying ethnic offerings that she calls “a little jarring” but nonetheless “fun.” Next up tonight: the alfresco Taste of Cambridge, featuring noshes from more than 50 area restaurants. And finally, on tap for tomorrow is Taste of Beacon Hill, a more sedate event inside the Liberty Hotel offering up bites from 26 local eateries [CC,ToC, ToBH].

Dbar Partners Pair Up for Midscale Back Bay Eatery

The Mass. Ave. end of the Back Bay offers dining options both high (Clio, L’Espalier) and low (Bhindi Bazaar), but few options in between. Brian Piccini and Chris Coombs of Dorchester’s Dbar are looking to change that with the late-summer opening of Deuxave in the long-empty Panificio space. Coombs describes the pending menu as “nouvelle French,” with ingredients skewing both seasonal and local. Anyone who’s slurped Coombs’ Dbar gazpacho made from his rooftop garden tomatoes knows to take seriously his localvore creds. [Dishing]

Dining out isn’t about playing “gotcha” with a restaurant. It’s about eating good food, in a happy space, with good friends and conversation. If you care about all of the above, give feedback to the chef before sharing it with the community.