Ignite! A fire and street food festival after dark

On August 9, 2013, in Latest News, by The Somerville Times

tiger 13Saturday, August 10, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., the Somerville Arts Council will transform Union Square into a bustling outdoor night market featuring the food of local restaurants, including Casa B, Ebi Suchi and Taqueria La Mexicana.

Fire throwers, street performers and craftsters will populate the plaza, and there will be interactive food-themed activities. This night of global gastronomy should heat up the square considerably.


24 Responses to “Ignite! A fire and street food festival after dark”

  1. Ray Spitzer says:

    Does he have fire on his face? Looks like it…

  2. Bostom says:

    I trust Somerville’s Inspectional Services folks did their job and DIDN’T find what Boston’s inspector’s did as reported last week in an August 3 story from the GLOBE:

    “…41 percent of these (food) trucks have been cited for food safety violations that put their customers at risk of food poisoning, according to a Globe review of all inspection records since the vast majority of the trucks arrived in the city two years ago.

    On nine occasions in the two-year period, the inspections uncovered such severe infractions that the truck’s permit was suspended for up to a week until the problems could be corrected.

    Roxy’s Gourmet Grilled Cheese, which was featured in 2011 on a Food Network reality show, had the permit for one of its trucks suspended twice, in April 2012 and this past January. Inspectors found french fries that were partially cooked in oil and stored at room temperature, and a busted refrigerator.

    The Dining Car similarly had its permit yanked twice since last August, after it failed to provide water for employees to wash their hands, did not keep its chicken cold enough, and neglected to wash its produce before loading it on the truck.

    The Taco Truck, Benny’s Crepe Cafe, a Clover truck, and Roxy’s were also cited in the past 13 months for providing no water for hand-washing, inspectors reported. And Chubby Chickpea Mobile, in addition to not having hot water during an April 2012 inspection, did not keep its cooked chicken and falafel warm enough. All resumed operations after fixing the violations.”

    The article goes on at much greater length for those of you interested in avoiding some potential GI upsets: from personal experience I can tell you that salmonella is not your friend. Read the whole story at:

  3. Su says:

    I cannot understand when food trucks became cool or hip. And why we are going out of our way to promote them, especially when we have restaurants that are hurting. Food trucks are good enough for Somerville, but not Olive Garden? Really?

  4. MarketMan says:

    Su: I don’t disagree with you. Food trucks are not cool or hip in my opinion. But one issue I have with Olive Garden is that it isn’t a local business.

  5. don'tunderstand says:

    never understood this. we’re all about the environment, city employees drive around in a car that looks like an oversized beer can. then we bring in these noisy, energy-wasting, nightmares. How much fuel/propane/whatever do they waste sitting for hours cooking overrated food? don’t start about the rodent attraction…….and they screw local businesses with their ability to move around and not have to pay a lot of expenses that come with an actual location.

  6. Su says:

    MarketMan, Olive Garden was used to illustrate the disparity between what business is considered ‘good’ and what is not. But why does it matter if Olive Garden is a ‘local business’? Local businesses are great, but that shouldn’t matter. What the mayor said was that Olive Garden was not the type of restaurant that deserved to be in Assembly Square (i.e., not ‘good enough’), although we seem to be fine with food trucks and dancing horses.

  7. gregtowne says:

    MarketMan, do you think the olive garden recruits its employees from out of state?

    while not a “local” company it most certainly would hire locally. It’s affordable italian fare, a nice clean place an entire family could visit without breaking the bank and full of “local”employees.

  8. MarketMan says:

    Su: Point taken on disparity and I agree. Our city shouldn’t be making judgement calls.. our residents should by deciding to give them business or not.

    Su & gregtowne: Why does local matter? I understand that jobs are local, and that is a good thing. But all the revenue and profit isn’t kept local. Local business do more to boost the local economy than chain businesses do, especially if they are corporate run. A restaurant can be locally owned and not break the bank. It just happens to be that the ones setting up in many parts of our city are on the pricier side of things, but that’s mainly based on rents and the demands of people eating out.

  9. A.Moore says:

    I don’t think a person trying to start up a family style eating place at a reasonable price can be done with the real estate prices as they are here. It is going to take a chain to do it. That is a lot of money to come up with. The city has a variety of people and a need for family style places will fit in here as well as the trendy places. So many are eating at family style places outside the city as we have one place(correct me if I am wrong) and that is the Mount Vernon which can accomodate large family dining. A bit more than it would cost at an Olive Garden. I know many older people in the city and they get together at the Olive Garden for 2 or 3 generations to eat together and they do this fairly often. I have never been in one but it looks like this or something similar would be good here. Years ago Ming Toy was where a lot of families dined because they had the setup where they could do that at a decent price. Eventually our family gatherings were done outside of this city as there really is no family style place for large groups. I am going to the Mount Vernon this weekend for a family gathering because of the space to accomodate us plus they have parking. If the Olive Garden was here I would still go there because a lot of my family would not want Italian style food. Food trucks I haven’t tried one yet and not sure I will.

  10. frank gargano says:

    Well let me say something about somerville if I may are mayor thinks its his town and dose what he wants and let’s in who he wants just look at his family another one on a tax payer in the same family if you are not blood or in with him you will never get a city job I have put in for so so many and could do the job 110% and don’t ever get a interview that tells you something about him and when I talk to people in city hall they tell me all the jobs that get posted are all ready taken they just have to post it so they don’t get in trouble its time for a new person to run city hall and play by the rules and not make rules as we go I can only hope he dose not be are next governor because he is a old dog and you can’t. Change him in his ways not to get off of the story as long as a restaurant wants to open and has money to do so let them and tell them they need to have at least 50% of people that live in somerville to work there at all time from start to finish I should run for his job I know for a thing or too I would do a much better job that he is doing to get somerville people to work like me out of a job for a long time o yes I can get a $7 a hour job but after rent child support food ins and bills I am in the hole every month we need companies to come in and pay people at start at least $15 a hour and even at that its not much after taxes I can go on for ever but I will stop here have a nice day everyone

  11. A. Moore says:

    Frank, I don’t think the hiring laws allow for companies to hire people in a city because they live there because they have to. It sort of would be nice but it is not legal as far as I know. If I am wrong someone will correct me. I do agree on the mayor thinking it is his city which is why I refer to him as ceo. Getting a decent pay is not easy. The company needs to make money and offer goods or services at a reasonable price. I gave up having employees mayself as it costs too much to hire someone even at a low pay. As much as I would have liked to. Govener? Big NOO.

  12. Mary says:

    A Moore, like you, all of our immediate and extended family outings go outside of the city. We do it for the same reasons you state: affordability, space, and parking. The city could be bringing in so much more tax revenue, but instead will let properties like the Winter Hill Star Market sit vacant for years, and become an eyesore, rather than let a family-oriented retail or food establishment go there. And the mayor has the nerve to write his weekly op ed piece in this paper talking about how he wants to attract more families to the city. He should begin by not pushing them out.

  13. Jose says:

    I think if we are going to hire Somerville residents for Somerville jobs, it should begin at City Hall.

  14. MarketMan says:

    A.Moore and Mary: Extended family outings are a little different than immediate family outings. I don’t know how big your extended families are, but most restaurants cannot easily accommodate large groups. But that’s a separate (yet related) argument than affordability.

  15. A. Moore says:

    I am talking maybe 8 to 10 people for us. And the others I talked to are larger and smaller groups. I know my crowd won’t like the trendy places here or the barroom scenes. Just so called normal food. It’s not so much the food to me as an affordable place for family to get together.

  16. MarketMan says:

    I’ve been to some affordable Salvadorean restaurants in East Somerville. To me, that’s normal food. :-)

  17. Villenous says:

    If you can’t find an affordable place for your family to eat in Somerville, you’re not trying very hard. Throw a rock and you’ll hit one.

  18. sharon says:

    Villenous, please name a few that are affordable, and nice enough for a family dinner………

  19. Hungry says:


    In Union Sq alone –

    La Hacienda
    Cantina la Mexicana
    Ebi Sushi
    El Potro
    The Independent
    Machu Picchu

    You can’t use your applebees coupon at any of them and they don’t have buy one get one entrees, but all of them make great places to go with the family.

  20. MarketMan says:

    Machu Picchu Charcoal Chicken and Grill have whole grilled chicken dinners that can feed a family of 4-5 for under $40, if I remember correctly.

  21. A. Moore says:

    None of those would work for my crowd. Not sure about the Independant, haven’t been in there for maybe 25 to 30 years ago. Was more like the typical Somerville barroom type of place back then. If it is brick on the sidewalks that won’t work since both of my parents took falls on the brick crosswalks they won’t go near them. The 99 or Mount Vernon is more there fare. I took them once to Friday’s years ago and they could find nothing on the menu they would like. Plus parking is so much easier which is a huge plus.

  22. Ron Newman says:

    Fasika on Broadway in East Somerville can accommodate a pretty large crowd. (I was in one there, a month or two ago)

  23. no says:

    the 99, Mt. Vernon, Hacienda are the only ones I consider family and budget friendly. Forget Union Square, as part of being family friendly is being able to invite my cousin in Medford, or gramma in Arlington to join us. so parking has become huge. if you need HP access, you’re down to 99 and Mt. Vernon. The Independent is a little out of most family budgets.

  24. Marie says:

    Parking in Union Square or Davis Square is a huge issue. I avoid it. I also don’t like eating with the kiddos in what I consider primarily a bar that serves food. Also, places like the Independent are too pricey for a family with kids. I don’t care for Mexican food, and there are far too many of them here now. You don’t understand that what people want are simple, basic, inexpensive menus, once that almost anyone in your group can find something they’ll like.

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