Somerville Local First

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Thanksgiving Dinner: Made by Somerville

Nov 18 9:43 am

Yeah, trytophan’ll do that to you…

Ah yes, it’s Thanksgiving time again. For a lot of people, the holiday means time off work/school, football, and a delicious spread. For others, it means stress, stress, stress. Maybe you got stuck hosting more people than you can handle this year. Maybe you have to accommodate a few last minute moochers and tailgaters.

Or maybe you’re unable to make it home this year, and you’re just a little nostalgic for the holiday tradition. Or maybe you and the fam are just playing it low key this year.

Whatever your plans this year, the ‘Ville has countless options to ensure your Thanksgiving meal is stress-free and melancholy-free, minus none of the delectability. Check out these local Somerville businesses that are taking care of the food, so you don’t have to.


Open on Thanksgiving Day

Brunello Bistro is offering a no fuss, no muss traditional turkey dinner. Dig into all your favorites accompanying the bird, including mashed potatoes, squash, green beans, cranberry sauce, and apple and pumpkin pie – without the all day cooking undertaking. Or choose from the 4-course special menu for some of their more typical fare.

Dinner served 12pm-7pm, starting at $29.95/person ($14.95/child)

Pork pâté, poutine, pecan and chocolate ganache tart…croque-monsieur? This is how Thanksgiving should be! Foundry on Elm’s Chef Derek Clough sure isn’t serving your mama’s Thanksgiving meal – why not treat yourself to something a little gourmet this holiday. And don’t worry diehards, there’s a turkey dinner option on the menu – cider-brined and free range, of course.

Dinner served 12pm-8pm, prices vary. View the full holiday menu here

Not into the whole turkey thing? Or meat of any kind, for that matter? For the vegans and veggies with the unsympathetic families, you don’t have to starve this holiday. Head to True Bistro for a vegan Thanksgiving Day smorgasbord the likes of which you’ve never seen. Who knows? Their four course spread with options like chestnut-stuffed yuba roulade and vegan pumpkin cheesecake may just convert some of the nonbelievers.

Dinner served 2pm-8pm, $60/person, add $30 for wine pairings. By reservation only


Take-Out Options

Prefer to eat at home and catch the game? Or maybe you’re trying to fool everybody into thinking you are a turkey chef extraordinaire. Fair warning: if you choose Redbones to supply your Thanksgiving meal, they’ll all call your bluff. Only the BBQ masters themselves could serve up such a high caliber bird, slow smoked to perfection. You never knew turkey could be this moist! Don’t forget the fixin’s – choose from candied yams, garlic mashed potatoes, mac & cheese, collard greens, succotash corn pudding, and sweet potato and pecan pie.

Order by Monday, Nov. 21 for pickup on Wednesday, Nov. 23

JJ Gonson of Cuisine en Locale has gotten together with Kate Stillman of Stillman Farms to help you out with your last minute Thanksgiving needs. It’s not too late to order a bird you can feel good about – Stillman is offering fresh and frozen free range turkeys throughout the holiday season, and the En Locale crew is whipping up some premade sides, like cranberry maple sauce and winter squash mash. The full list can be found on the order form. There are several pickup options, but we recommend you head out to Stillman’s New Braintree on Sunday, where they’ll be offering a farm-cooked pre-Thanksgiving supper.

Sunday Supper, Nov. 20 @ 3pm, $25/person (kids eat free). Turkey pickup locations & dates listed here; sides can be delivered via Metro Pedal Power or picked up at the JP Farmers’ Market 11/22.

Save room for dessert! Petsi Pies is taking orders for just about every kind of pie you could want to finish off your Thanksgiving meal. With options like Apple Pear Cranberry, Brown Butter Pecan, and Mississippi Mud, you may find yourself going straight for dessert first. But hurry – preorders close tonight!

Order by Friday, Nov. 18 @ 7pm. Pickup on Tuesday, Nov. 22 or Wednesday, Nov. 23


If you find yourself not cooking dinner this year, why not spend part of the day volunteering? Many organizations need volunteers on and around Thanksgiving Day to help provide meals to those in need. In Somerville, the food pantries at the Elizabeth Peabody House and the Somerville Homeless Coalition hold annual Thanksgiving events. And if you can’t donate your time, donate a meal – food banks like the Greater Boston Food Bank hold food drives and turkey drives this time of year.

To serve another good cause (provided that you are ever able to eat again after Thursday), join Groundwork Somerville at The Independent for their annual Maple Syrup Brunch Fundraiser on Saturday, Dec. 3, 10am-4pm. 20% of the proceeds will go to GWS’s Somerville Maple Syrup Project . The theme ingredient of the day is…you guessed it: maple syrup, complete with maple-inspired cocktails. Just call it Death by Syrup. Reservations highly recommended.


Redbones Pig Pickin’ – Y’all can have the pig whole ‘n’ eat it too!

Jul 29 12:00 am

If the recent heat wave wasn’t enough to make you feel like you’d been transported à la Dorothy to the magical land of The Deep South, a jaunt to Chester St. this Monday at 6pm just may be enough to make you wish you had. The south sure knows how to do the summer barbecue right, but despair not Somervillians! You need not get swept away in a tornado to experience this festive, finger-lickin’ feast – our very own Redbones will be holding its 10th annual Pig Pickin’ and Fundraiser!

Redbones Pig Rig

The most crucial part of slow smoking the hog juuust right: waiting!

Vegetarians beware, as we walk you through a traditional pig pickin’ done right at Redbones. The art of the pig roast is a 24 hour affair, music to the ears of all you slow foodies. The pit master will light up the rig Sunday night before the event, slowly smoking the whole hogs before carving them up, so they retain all their natural savory flavor. The Southern pig roast is traditionally a very social event, one meant to assemble the entire community due to the time and effort that go into it. Keeping this in mind, Redbones slow roasts the hogs outside of the restaurant, from start to finish, so that passersby can engage in the process and meet the pit master. As people gather, the anticipation builds until the pinnacle moment when the smoker is at long last released, and the hogs emerge, smoked to perfection. Are your mouths watering yet?

Aside from the whole hogs, Redbones will be serving up all the fixin’s: slaw, corn on the cob, greens, corn bread, watermelon, your choice of beer, lemonade, or iced tea, as well as extra servings of your favorite parts – loins, butts, and bellies! And of course, what would a pig pickin’ be without some entertainment! This barbecue-gone-block party will feature Somerville’s very own New Orleans-style street band, The Second Line Social Aid and Pleasure Society Brass Band, as well as other local acts.

Now, if ALL that doesn’t have you convinced this will be a rousing good time, come to support the cause – benefit the Somerville Homeless Coalition, providing housing and supportive services to the area homeless population since 1985.

So be sure to join the Redbones crew in front of the store on Chester St. on Monday, August 1 (rain date: August 8 ) from 6-9pm! $25 (only $5 for the kiddies under 10!) will get you a beverage, all the sides, and a healthy helping of slow-smoked pork right off the bone; no need to call ahead, just bring your self – hungry!

Redbones 14th Annual Bike Party & Benefit

Jun 01 2:30 pm

The 14th Annual Bike Party and Benefit for MassBike and the New England Mountain Bike Association (NEMBA) at Redbones is almost here! On June 6th, bike, walk or drive to Redbones in Davis Square to celebrate and support cycling with two advocacy groups and a block party outside the restaurant that includes great food, drink, live music and an amazing raffle.

Date: Monday, June 6   (rain date: June 13)

Ride By for the Biggest Bike Party of the year!

Time: 5 - 9 pm, raffle drawing @ 7:30 pm

Place: Redbones, 55 Chester Street, Somerville

Information: 617.628.2200 &

Entertainment: Live music by The SAPS - Second Line Social Aid & Pleasure Society Brass Band: We aim to please if the cause is true and the time is right.

Tickets: $15.00 includes bicycle valet parking, a Redbones sandwich, soft drink or beer & a raffle ticket.   All tickets purchased on site. No advance sales.

Additional raffle tickets: 1 for $2.00 & 3 for $5.00

Proceeds from entry & raffle ticket sales go to: MassBike & NEMBA

Sponsors & Raffle Prizes:
The Grand Prize, a custom made cargo bike, is being donated by returning lead sponsor, Alternative Needs Transportation (ANT).   Many additional sponsors have donated awesome prizes for the raffle including  bikes, gear & lots of swag.

For a complete list of sponsors, please click here.


Bike Party Background:

Previously held in May during Bike to Work Week, the party moved to June three years ago to benefit from warmer weather, additional daylight, and more cyclists on the road for the season. The June date has proved to be a popular choice, attracting more people and proceeds every year - each of the last two, over $11,000 was divided between MassBike and NEMBA.

Redbones first Bike Party was conceived in tandem with Redbones free Bicycle Valet parking introduced in 1996.  Robert Gregory, co-owner of Redbones and a mountain biker initiated the valet parking for the cyclists who ride to the restaurant, as well as other destinations in Davis Square.   Success of the parking lead to the Redbones Rib Rider, a custom designed cargo bike from ANT, used for free dinner delivery in neighborhoods surrounding the restaurant.
Fifteen years later, the party is eagerly anticipated by cyclists, sponsors, and beneficiaries alike.

For more information regarding NEMBA or MassBike, please visit their websites.

Redbones, 55 Chester Street, Davis Square, Somerville, is open 7 days for lunch, dinner, and late night dining plus Sunday brunch.  Redbones is known for its authentic, real pit barbecue, carefully chosen selection of draft and bottled beer and full bar.  Take out, delivery and catering available.


Pig Pickin’ - A Model of Community Partnership

Aug 09 11:21 am

by Clay Adamczyk

There’s something to be said about a local business that seizes the responsibility and opportunity to really give back to the community in which it operates. It’s commendable, for one, but it’s also a necessity and a reality that sometimes goes unnoticed. It’s something that Redbones owner Robert Gregory calls a real “win-win.” For nine years now, Gregory has offered his Davis Square barbecue restaurant to fill the street with good food, good music, good people, and all for a great cause.

The sound of the SAPS fills the streets.

One August Monday a year, Gregory and Redbones play host to a traditional southern pig pickin’. The smoke pits are fired up, corn bread is baked, watermelon sliced, bluegrass a blazing, and the masses of locals & families gather for the fun. And all of this is to support the Somerville Homeless Coalition (SHC). Mark Alston-Follansbee, the Executive Director of the SHC, describes Redbones as “just incredible community partners.” Each year, the SHC is responsible for raising $600,000 of their $3million budget annually, which Alston-Follansbee points out isn’t easy. 100% of all proceeds generated from the Pig Pickin’ go directly to the SHC, and on top of that, Redbones donates the food costs–most of which comes from local farms. Last year’s barbecue raised over $6,000 for the organization, but as Redbones’ head of marketing a PR, Anne Cushman, said, “[the amount] pretty much goes up every year.” On August 2nd of this year’s roast, Redbones raised the bar, donating over $9,000 to the cause.

Seasoned Pit Master, Bobby “Pie” Curry adds the sauce.

“A lot of people talk about being helpful to the community, Redbones does it.” said Alston-Follansbee. “We’re really grateful. Any time anybody needs something, and they ask for it, [Gregory] gives it freely.” In additional to the annual pig pickin’, the SHC holds a fundraiser dinner in April, with all food donated by, who else, Redbones.

Though everyone asked only had the highest remarks for Gregory and his work, the pit master himself is on the modest side responding with a simple “I think it’s great,” when asked about this years results. “We were trying to think of an event to do to benefit the Somerville Homeless Coalition,” Gregory added when describing the Pig Pickin’s origin. “We just thought this would be fun.”

Robert Gregory picks the first pig to the delight of hungry onlookers.

The fun is what it all comes down to in the end, and is almost as important as the benefit itself. Eyes lit up when the first pig was lifted from the smoker where it has been slow cooking since the night before. The people dance and clap along with the music, in which each band–the Good Time String Band, the SAPS, and the Spring Hill Rounders–has generously donated their time to perform. And by the end, when everyone is happy and fed, a dribble of bbq sauce can be seen at the corner of every smile.

Somerville children Andy, age 5 (left), and Christopher, age 7 (right) enjoy their food and a souvenir.

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