Taste Of The South End

Recently I was invited to attend Taste of the South End, which is an annual fundraiser to benefit the AIDS Action Committee.

Founded in 1983, the organization was initially a committee of the Fenway Community Health Center, created to address the growing AIDS epidemic. In 2013, AIDS Action became part of Fenway Health.

AIDS Action remains the largest AIDS service organization in New England and leads the state’s Getting To Zero Coalition, which seeks to reduce the number of HIV infections to zero. It also operates a needle exchange that serves as an entry point to healthcare services for active substance users.

According to a press release for the event, the average client of AIDS Action has an annual income of less than $10,000. So the organization’s services are vital to keeping many people healthy, who might otherwise go without help.

This year was the 24th year that Taste of the South End has brought together food and wine lovers from Greater Boston for an unlimited sampling of more than 40 of the South End’s finest restaurants.

My friend and I were lucky enough to partake in the food sampling and enjoy the festive atmosphere.

Walking through the rows and rows of tables giving out samples was a lot to take in at once. We were both a bit overwhelmed by it all. So much good food and where should we start?

Without a plan, we dove in and started exercising our taste buds! Many of the samples were very generous portions. Especially the jerk chicken, macaroni and cheese, and barbecued chicken from Haley House Bakery Cafe. That was basically a full meal!

By the time we were ready to leave, we were both quite full — and had some new ideas of places to try in the future. I want to go to FoMu and have some more ice cream.

One of my favorite food samples was from Barcelona Wine Bar. It was spring vegetables cooked with potato and I was so busy eating it that I didn’t take a picture. But it was scrumptious and warmed my soul.

Approximately $160,000.00 was raised at the event. And that warms my soul too.

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Disclosure: Thank you to Taste of the South End for the two complimentary tickets!

Where Are You Drinking Your Coffee?


Are you drinking your coffee at home? Maybe you’re sipping your café au lait at a cozy neighborhood café? Like Caffeé Nero for instance.


I visited their South End location on Tremont Street last year and am just getting around to writing about it now. It’s a cute little spot. I really enjoyed it and had intended to return.


I’ll make it back there or to one of their other locations at some point. Have you been? Besides coffee they have plenty of sweets too.


I was reminded of Caffeé Nero after reading a Boston Globe article this morning. Apparently Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks had lower sales than expected this past week.

The writer wondered if it was because of higher prices or a bad national mood. Then further speculated.

The question now, she added, is where are people buying their coffee instead. “Are they driving people to McDonald’s, Cumberland Farms, or Speedway?”

Maybe the answer is simple. We have so many better alternatives.




Getting Your Falafel Fix In Boston: Pita

Picture of the front door, signage and street of Pita, a restaurant located in the South End area of Boston, that sells falafel.I love falafel far more than it loves me. Hummus is one of my favorite things to spread on a sandwich or use as a dip for a chip.

Chickpeas can do a number on my stomach, but I can’t resist them or foods made with them. So I have to eat them in moderation. Considering the health benefits and my love for them, it’s a shame that I cannot eat chickpeas to my heart’s content. But alas, it cannot be so.

So when I decide to treat myself to some falafel and more, I have found a place that gets it right every time: Pita.

While working in the Financial District, I used to go just around the corner from my building to Pita on Summer Street.

This week, I was meeting someone for lunch and she suggested we go to Pita on Albany Street in the South End. It’s right on the corner of Union Park Street and there is a cute little park across the street.

You can sit and look at the nice plants and flowers, while enjoying eating your meal outdoors in this lovely summer weather.

Colorful close up picture of daisies growing outside, from the park where I ate my falafel.There is metered parking in the area, if you are driving. So bring a few quarters. But be careful. I drove down Albany Street from Mass. Ave. and was not sure of the exact location.

If you are driving in that direction, turn around before you get to the corner of Union Park. If you don’t, you can get swept up in traffic.

I should have taken the left at the light to make the loop around to get back on Albany. Instead I ended up back on the Expressway! Not fun! At least I didn’t end up on the Pike!

Anyway, the food at Pita is delicious and reasonably priced. For lunch, I ordered a small side of tabouli, which is a very generous portion. I added two falafel to that and I was all set for my meal.

The one down side was the Moroccan mint tea, which was just okay. Not sure that I’d order it again. Other places where I have ordered it, you get a vary large portion and it is very minty and sweet. This was neither.

I tried taking a picture of my meal, but it was so sunny and there was such a glare that I couldn’t even see to take it. Anyway, I highly recommend Pita and know that I’ll be going again!