• The B-Side
  • Posts
  • 👀🥗 Sweetgreen’s enemy has entered the chat

👀🥗 Sweetgreen’s enemy has entered the chat

Plus: 🤑 Pi Day deals

It’s Thursday, Boston.

🍕 It’s also Pi Day! To celebrate our favorite irrational number, Blaze Pizza is offering reward members any 11-inch pizza for just $3.14 in-store (you can sign up to become a member for free here). And there are a lot more Pi Day deals where that came from.

👀 What’s on tap today:

  • Healey’s pot pardons

  • A BU strike is brewing

  • Kowloon in California

Up first…

B-SIDE CERTIFIED

The Lineup’s line up

Image: Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff. Illustration: Gia Orsino.

We’re back with another edition of B-Side Certified, where we give you our two cents on a new local opening. This time, we tackled The Lineup, a fast-casual food hall made up of five restaurants designed for Downtown office workers that’s the brainchild of Michelin-starred chef John Fraser.

Here’s what we thought:

FOOD & VALUE

Editor’s note: We ordered one meal from every stall that was around the same price, if not less, than our typical $14 Sweetgreen lunch order.

🍔 Big Grin ain’t a salad, but it’s certainly soul-nourishing. We got a signature smash burger and fries from this classic American-style “burger and bun” spot for only $8.25. Topped with tomato, pickles, melted beef tallow onions, cheese, and special sauce, this burger was flavorful, juicy, and simply a 10/10. No notes. If you’re gonna get a burger for lunch, let it be this one. Buuut next time, we’d pass on their organic grilled chicken sandwich. It was meh.

🍕 Gatto Pazzo transported us to Italy. At The Lineup’s Italian-inspired pizza and sandwich shop, we got a Neapolitan-style margherita pizza for $11.50 that tasted as good as what you’d probably pay $20 at a restaurant for. It was light, the sauce and mozzarella were fresh, the crust was perfectly charred, and we ended up with leftovers.

🥗 IRIS Mezze is what CAVA aspires to be. This is The Lineup’s Mediterranean option, and for $12.50 we got a saffron yogurt chicken grain bowl, topped with tomato, cucumber, red onion, chickpeas, olives, dolmas, and roasted red pepper feta. It was fresh, flavorful, tangy, and gave elevated salad-bowl vibes. It could also probably feed two.

🌯 Ariana was solid, but we’d probably still get Chipotle. We grabbed a build-your-own burrito with beans, rice, guac, salsa, sweet potato, and chorizo-spiced tofu for $9.75 from the “Mexi-Cali,” veggie-forward spot. But it left much to be desired. The burrito was a little heavy and not particularly flavorful (we mostly tasted black beans), and the side of guac needed a heavy squeeze of lime.

Day Shift was the perfect pick-me-up. This “all day-café” offers breakfast sandwiches, smoothies, coffee, and doughnuts. The coffee? Solid. The cookies n’ cream doughnut? Superb. And the $12 porchetta sandwich with caramelized onions and fennel-rosemary aioli was the sleeper hit of the day, despite an overall beigey appearance.

OVERALL EXPERIENCE

👍 It’s a solid option for a lunchtime bite. You’ll generally spend less compared to other fast-casual lunch spots, and the quality is superior. Our only minor note is that many of the options aren’t as light or veggie-forward as we know many people crave. 

The verdict? B-Side certified.

TOGETHER WITH THE WIC NUTRITION PROGRAM

A healthy diet? In this economy? 

🥗🥬🥕 Turn that dream into a reality. Thanks to the Women, Infants, and Children Nutrition Program (WIC), you and your kids can savor nutritious meals without breaking the bank. Check your eligibility online (if you’re a Mass. resident and a new or soon-to-be mom) and get access to personalized meal guidance, free healthy foods, breastfeeding support, health care referrals, and much more. Apply today and don’t let budget constraints dictate your plate. 

CITY

Quick & dirty headlines

Image: Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff

🥦 Gov. Maura Healey’s blanket pot pardon proposal is officially here. If approved, the plan will pardon adult, state-level misdemeanor possession convictions, and in many cases (but notably, not all), automatically erase them from criminal records. This move is expected to help hundreds of thousands of people —  disproportionately people of color — whose records have made it hard for them to find housing, work, and get further education. Next steps? It has to be approved by the Governor’s Council, which looks to be a slam-dunk. 

A grad student strike’s a-brewing at BU. On Tuesday night, unionized BU grad student workers announced that a whopping 90% of them voted to authorize a strike. Their main issue? In classic Boston fashion, the wages are too low and the cost of living is too high (most funding for grad students ranges from $25K-$45k a year while Boston’s cost of living is just over $46k). Plus, BU hasn’t met their demands for dental insurance coverage and workload protections. Stay tuned. 

🚲 Bluebikes are getting a price hike. Starting April 1 (just in time for spring weather!), Bluebike prices will be slightly increased for some memberships. For price hikes, think: $133.50 for the yearly membership (up from $129) or $30.50 for the monthly membership (up from $29). They’re also changing the structure of their overage fees to charge riders smaller fees by the minute (max 25 cents) instead of larger ones by the half-hour (max $4) for overtime rides, depending on your plan. Welp, at least Ebike rates will stay the same.

🍹 Get ready for a sip-girl summer. Craft Food Halls is slated to open its 10th Mass. location in Studio Allston Hotel which (apparently) will be the country’s first sous-vide food hall. In addition to its food, the indoor/outdoor space will host events and live music, not to mention its wall of self-serve beer, wine and cocktail taps. Plus, Mighty Squirrel Brewery is opening their new, second location in Fenway today, and they’re celebrating with a new line of spiked … smoothies? We might stick with Cloud Candy.

QUICK QUESTION

🤔 Should folks with a simple marijuana possession charge be pardoned?

Let us know below!

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

MEDIA SPONSORSHIP

Embrace your authenticity

The B-Side is thrilled to be a sponsor of the 2024 WISE Summit. WISE, or Women’s Interdisciplinary Society of Entrepreneurship, is a student-led group at Northeastern University that aims to empower women and under-represented genders on their unique paths to entrepreneurship. This year’s WISE Summit, “Embracing Authenticity,” will be an extravaganza of speakers, workshops, keynotes, lightning talks, and a panel. This year’s summit will take place on March 23 at 8 a.m., and you can get your ticket for just $25 with code BWISE — but hurry, because only the first 25 members will get this discount! See you there!

ONE LAST THING

Kowloon in California

Image: Barry Chin/Globe Staff. Illustration: Gia Orsino.

Would you pay $219 for Chinese food from Kowloon? It may sound wild, but for many Chinese food-enthusiasts who’ve left Mass., the price is well worth it to get a taste of New England-style Chinese food (which yes, is very much a real thing that’s near-impossible to find anywhere else).

Noticing the out-of-state market, Weymouth resident Jim Lawlor created a delivery service that can send food from classic spots like Kowloon and Tahiti literally anywhere in the country … for upwards of $150 and a three-week shipping time. Of course.

Lawlor went to great pains to perfect the art of shipping the food with dry ice (and finding the perfect way to reheat it), and as out-there as it seems, it looks like it paid off, the initial reviews are glowing.

— Written by Gia Orsino and Emily Schario

🥟 Thanks for reading! IDK about this one, but apparently, there’s a market of over 18,000 people for it.

💜 Special shoutout to today’s sponsor, the WIC Nutrition Program, for supporting local journalism and helping families in Massachusetts maintain a healthy lifestyle. 

🚚 The results are in: The majority of B-Siders said that they’re not sure about leaving Boston, but it’s always on the table. That said, almost 48% of readers say they’re planning to leave Boston in the next five years. One reader said: “I LOVE Boston, but it does not love my wallet.”

💃 Keep up with us @BostonBSide on IG, TikTok, and Twitter. Send comments and suggestions to [email protected] or [email protected].