Friday, August 17, 2007
Everybodys working for the weekend
Nice, Friday at last. A young mans mind turns to barbecue. I am lucky that I live in a part of Boston known as Roslindale. Roslindale is one of those places that in the 80's and 90's was in pretty rough shape (the area adjacent to it, where my mother grew up, Hyde Park still is sadly), it had a run down feel to it, the parks were neglected, and small businesses had moved on to more lucrative locations. In the late 90's our democratic mayor (I mention this because I find it hard to believe a republican mayor would take this approach to stimulate business, i.e., spend some money) started a program called Boston's Main Streets. This was sort of a take on the 'broken window' theory of urban development, that is, clean up the area, take care of the parks, fix the 'broken windows', and give low interest loans to the existing storefronts targeted specifically at upgrading their facades and show windows. The results? Roslindale square (a scant two blocks from my house) is now the jewel of the Main Streets program, the square is a lovely triangle shaped park, surrounded by funky cool little businesses and restaurants. There are no less than five bakeries in the square, one at the end of my street even, and one of the best Italian restaurants outside of Boston's north end (our Italian American neighborhood). Why am I telling you this, well, it all goes back to barbecue don't it? In the square is a small butcher shop, Tony's Italian Market. The fellow who runs it, Tony, looks to be in his late 60's and is still going strong. One of the most amazing things about this place is when you order hamburger, Tony will grind it for you on the spot from hand cut choice sirloin. You have not lived until you have had a burger made with this stuff, it's texture when cooked is smooth and soft, yet still with enough tooth to feel like your eating a burger, and the flavor is so...so...meaty and good that you feel criminal spoiling it with condiments. He handmakes his own italian sausage, which admittadly most supermarkets will do as well, but let me tell you, his recipe has been perfected, he is at the apex of his career, this is not supermarket sausage. In fact, if you don't make it there by 10am, well, no sausage for you. I intend to be there at 7am. Wish me luck.