🤯 A cake the size of your face
Plus: 🛩️ New flights to Europe
It’s Thursday, Boston.
🤑 Want a dose of local drama? This family managed to scam the Mass. state lottery for $20 million. Unsurprisingly, their luck finally ran out. And then there’s me who feels guilty for taking a second free sample.
👀 What’s on tap today:
Climate planning → action
Flights to Paris and Dublin
Boston’s rat rating
Your favorite bar, but better
Image by Emily Schario. Illustration by Gia Orsino.
Welcome to this month’s edition of B-Side Certified. We asked readers which new restaurant they wanted our two cents on, and Sloane’s in Allston — a spot serving up comfort food with flair run by chef Sarah Wade — was one of their top picks.
So we grabbed dinner there earlier this week. Here’s what we thought:
🍸 Great news: The cocktail menu won’t break the bank. Finding a good cocktail under $17 in Boston feels like a game of Marco Polo, so we were pleased to see $12 to $14 drinks on the menu that weren’t just margaritas and vodka sodas.
🌟 The stars of the show: The pear pressure with spice-infused Tito’s, pear liqueur, lemon, and honey surprised this vodka-averse girl, managing to be a cozy fall drink without a lick of pumpkin or apple. But if you prefer a cocktail sans alcohol, the spicy panoma is a refreshing balance of the classic grapefruit and lime paloma flavors with a zesty boost from habanero honey.
🍔 Think elevated comfort food flavors with classic comfort food portions. Simply put: You will not leave hungry. The shareables are actually sharable, the side of curly fries will fill your entire plate, and the five-layer funfetti cake takes a small army to finish (pictured above).
🌟 The stars of the show: For apps, the savory cheese and onion popovers with honey butter were a delightful twist on a cheddar onion biscuit, but were light enough to not ruin your appetite. For mains, the showstopper Oklahoma onion burger felt like the lovechild of a pub patty and a Shake Shack stack: A thick and juicy patty, stacked with griddled onions, American cheese, zingy mustard, and crunchy pickles, all sandwiched together between a potato bun. It was everything you want in a fast food burger, but 10 times better.
Sleeper hit: We ordered the wild mushrooms with roasted tomato basil hummus to balance out the fries, but it ended up being one of our favorite dishes of the night. Wade could sell her comeback crackers alone and I would buy them.
VIBE & VALUE
✨ It’s a nice night out meets your favorite local bar. Finding the happy medium between a pricey small plates restaurant and a casual dive can be tricky around Boston, but Sloane’s has sniffed it out. There are big TVs behind the bar if you want to watch the game and eat wings, but also cozy corners to slip into for a date night. For two, we ordered three drinks, three apps, two entrees, and dessert (we were testing, OK!) for $115 before tip. But really, that order could easily feed four.
✅ The verdict? B-Side Certified. You can see the full menu and make a reservation here.
TOGETHER WITH SEAPORT
Come for the vibes, stay for the retail therapy
🛍️ Shop ‘til you drop at Boston’s newest shopping oasis in Seaport. The Superette is a delightful European-style retail space offering over 20 incredible experiences (with more to come) ranging from high-end fragrances to mind-blowing tacos. While you’re there, be sure to check out the latest fall scents at Aesop, discover your next pair of jeans at Rag & Bone, and prep for snowbird season at Faherty. The outdoor courtyard is open year-round and is continuously adding new experiences to offer perfect finds and little thrills.
Quick & dirty headlines
Image: David L. Ryan / The Boston Globe
🌎 Mass. is finally going from climate planning to action. Climate Chief Melissa Hoffer issued a gigundo report on Wednesday, outlining how the state can actually reach its ambitious climate goals by 2050. The several dozen recs cover everything from reducing the availability of short flights (like Boston to NYC), asking state vendors to disclose their greenhouse gas emissions, including climate change in public school curriculums, and focusing rebates on those who prioritize decarbonization and electrification. You can read the full report here.
🏛️ Big things are brewing in the City Council chambers. It was a busy Wednesday at City Hall as councilors passed a resolution asking the city to rename Faneuil Hall — currently named for 18th-century slave trader Peter Faneuil — a cause that grassroots organizers have been fighting for for years. That said, the final decision is ultimately up to Boston’s Public Facilities Commission. The council also voted to pass a controversial ordinance, making it easier for police to remove tent encampments from Mass. and Cass if the folks living in them are offered a place to stay and store their belongings.
🚌 November weekends are serving … shuttle buses. The MBTA rolled out its November service changes, including intermittent shutdowns across the Red, Orange, and Haverhill lines on weekends and weeknights to continue improvement work. The good news: The Haverhill shutdown is old news, there will always be shuttle buses, and most of the Red and Orange line shutdowns will only last two to four days. The not-so-good news: There are so many little shutdowns, we don’t have the word count to list them all. Take a look at the full list here.
✈️ Thinking about a European vacay? You’re in luck. JetBlue is expanding its European service to Dublin and Paris in Spring 2024. If you’re planning on heading to Dublin, the service will be seasonal, so make sure your trip is between March 13 and Sept. 30. But if you’re thinking of Paris, just make sure it’s after April 3, when its permanent service begins. And that’s all on top of their recent service additions to London and Amsterdam. Bonus: Service from JFK to Edinburgh starts soon, a good sign that we might see it at Logan.
— Written by Gia Orsino
🛩️ Do you think Boston should scale down flights to New York?
Let us know below!
ONE LAST THING
Boston’s rat rating
Illustration: Gia Orsino
Allstonians must be proud.
Boston has once again been ranked as one of America’s rattiest cities, coming in at No. 13 on Orkin’s annual rankings list, a spot we’ve held for the past few years. And may I say, as a former Allston resident, we’ve certainly earned it.
Watching the plight of Boston rats and the uproar they’ve caused over the past few years has been truly something else. These disgusting creatures have consistently made headlines in this city whether it be for the “rat-buffets” that gave them feasting grounds in late 2022 or their miraculous ability to not only survive, but thrive when their traditional food sources dwindled during COVID.
So here’s to another year of shockingly disgusting rat news.
— Written by Gia Orsino
🐀 Thanks for reading! We see you, Seattle, and we’re coming for No. 12 next year.
💜 The results are in: Thank you all so much for the b-day love yesterday. All your kind notes truly brought tears to our eyes, but maybe the best one called us “Literally the best thing since printed newspapers.”