Pathway Through Boston
Published: Thursday, May 3, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01
Sunshine is a rare commodity in the Bay State, so all excursions into the city in the glorious springtime must involve soaking in as much vitamin D as possible. Another seasonal benefit is that SoWa Open Market–“Boston’s original art and indie design market”–will open on May 6. Every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Back Bay is filled with artisans, fashion designers, farmers, craftsmen, food truck chefs, and the hundreds of Bostonians who peruse the market fairs. There are four distinct sections to SoWa (named because it is south of Washington Street): the vintage market, open market, famer’s market, and food truck court. The avant-garde food court features 21 different food trucks, ranging from BBQ Smith, to Boston Speed Dog, to the FroYo Truck, to Staff Meal trucks. The difficulty isn’t finding something to eat, it’s choosing just one plate (or three) to munch on while browsing.
SoWa is a truly unique venture in Boston that has been expanding since its conception in 2003, now being easily the largest outdoor shopping venue (also named one of the best in all of New England by Yankee Magazine) and also one dedicated to promoting new and upcoming artists, organic foods, and fledgling businesses. To demonstrate this dedication to quality and a small-business model, SoWa mandates in their farmer’s market that every vendor “will grow or process at least 80 percent of saleable items” and “will sell processed foods only from an approved licensed facility.”
The second best place to visit in the Back Bay (especially if walking around the SoWa tent city works up an appetite) is the boho-styled, scrumptious Beehive. Since SoWa is only open on Sundays, a trip to Beehive that same morning means that visitors will indulge in the restaurant’s live jazz Sunday brunch. Not only is Beehive’s food critically acclaimed and its atmosphere a modernized speakeasy, but also their jazz musicians are praised by The Boston Globe, The New York Times, Boston Magazine, and Downbeat Magazine. Because it is tucked away from the main streets of Boston (about a 15-minute walk from Copley, though only a few blocks from SoWa via Peter Park and Dwight Street), walk-in diners can still get a table at prime brunch hour with only about a 15-minute wait. Sweet and savory items nearly torture the palate (and certainly test stomach capacities) with classics like perfectly crisp challah French toast and new inventions like eggs Benedict with short rib. Although executive chef Rebecca Newell has experience at many other impressive restaurants in Boston (Aquitaine Bis and Union Bar and Grill, in particular), Beehive is her first head chef position, and she absolutely succeeds in creating a dinning experience that is “like a dance.”