Italian sandwich

Izzy’s Restaurant: Cape Verdean Comfort

Food, service, consistency, cleanliness, and affordability, all contribute to people’s restaurant decisions from time to time. However, when you live in a town like New Bedford, a real sense of community and witnessing graceful acts of kindness can make all the difference.

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The Friendly Green Bean Coffee Making Machine

Always sunny in new bedford

For people on the go, it’s important to have that go-to spot for your coffee and breakfast accouterments.  Green Bean, the coffee shop on the corner of Purchase and Union offers warmth and comfort in its simple approach.

The sunny and tall space holds ample room to spread out, if you’re in need of a coffee shop campout.  With couches near the back entrance, some bar seating at the barista station, and tables throughout, it’s great if you’re flying solo or with a group.  Being that it’s a corner location, this is no secret to characters of all sorts, and makes a great place for people watching.

Beauty in the basics

What I truly appreciate about this business is its ability to offer products in a tasteful, no-frills way.  For under ten dollars I can walk out of there with a latte or fresh juice, and breakfast sandwich.  Some places tend to overdo the simple, while others sometimes skimp out, or slap it all together.  Green Bean finds that balance between quality and service in its most basic form.

On the menu

Egg Sandwich at Green Bean with Bacon and Avocado on Sourdough

The Egg Sandwich for $2.75 is offered with choice of bread.  I usually go with sourdough, and add on some bacon, and avocado for $1 each.  It’s nothing really to write home about, but that’s also what makes it so special.  You get what you get, and it’s done right.

Rawk Star at Green Bean

With my sandwich, I ordered a Rawk Star juice for $4.  Apple, carrot, spinach, orange, ginger and cucumber make up the concoction which produces the perfect zing to start the day.  If I had to be especially McSnobby, I’d say it could use a little turmeric.  Then again, that is what’s good about this place; nothing fancy in all the right ways.

They also offer all the classic coffee barista beverages, a variety of other breakfast sandwiches, lunch options, wraps, smoothies, shakes, salads, and baked goods with vegetarian options.

consistency is key

I’ve gone at least a dozen times over the past few months, and the only thing that has differed from visit to visit was the steamed milk latte art.  To sum it all up, I definitely recommend this local neighborhood coffee shop!

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Greasy Luck Brewery

Battle of the Brew Pubs Part 2: Greasy Luck Brewery

Whalers who prepared for their voyages in the mid 19th century (the height of yankee fleet whaling), must have had high advantageous hopes for returning packed to the gunwales with oil. Now in the teenage years of the 21st century (arguably the height of brew-pubs & craft brewing), my beer buddy and I head down to Greasy Luck Brewery where we hope to find redemption from our inauspicious encounter with Moby Dick Brewing Co.

Greasy Luck Brewery

Greasy Luck Brewery

The Brew

Saturday afternoon seemed like an easy time to grab a bite and a few beers, but it definitely could have gone better.  We were lucky enough to find the last two open seats at the bar before trying to order a few things. The Purchase Street Pale Ale was already spent, so we ordered a White Album IPA, and a Whaler Spout Coffee Porter. The IPA was a little dry and piny on the finish, reminiscent of a Dogfish Head.  The Coffee Porter was fantastic.  The coffee didn’t force an overly bitter sensation, and melded with the toasted flavor of the porter itself.  It was easy drinking, and full of flavor.

Greasy Luck Brewery

Whaler Spout Coffee Stout

The Starters

For an appetizer we ordered Buffalo Chicken Cracklings, but they too were 86’d, so we went for a cheese plate.  The menu reads, ” local cheese and meats, seasonal fruit, and toasted bread.”  What we ended up with was basically a Trader Joe’s special.  We had almonds, sliced apple, onion cheddar, smoked gouda, and a heaping pile of goat cheese.  Oh, and you know those little crackers shaped like butterflies?  Yeah, we got those too!  We also ordered a plate of wings, but the wings were nothing special.  Half the order were supposed to be dry with spices, but the kitchen forgot to season them. So sans spice, I just dunked them in ranch.

The main dish

For an entree I ordered the “Not So Classic Burger,” and my compadre picked another fish dish, the salmon.  To make a long story short, I ended up sending the entire plate back.  It wasn’t just that my burger was way overcooked.  They were apparently out of pickles, tomatoes, and they forgot the bacon.  The salt they used on the fries was course salt, and therefore unpalatable.  I asked them to at least re-fire an order of fries.  My friend’s ginger panko crusted salmon attracted no initial complaints.  However, the rice and vegetables were cold from being prepared too soon.

Greasy Luck Brewery

Not So Classic Burger

Greasy Luck Brewery

Ginger Panko Encrusted Salmon


In theory this place has a little of everything to offer, but in practice?  Lets just say they really need to keep practicing!  Like the first brewery, there is potential here too, and it seems to continuously bring in a crowd.  But do they want to improve?  I’m not so sure.  It might be another case of, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”  This ship will continue to float; until it doesn’t.

When the smoke cleared

On the high seas of Brew Pubs, neither Moby Dick, nor Greasy Luck qualify to represent any fleet, or earn the title of Captain.  Though in a head-to-head battle, I would have to give the upper hand to Moby Dick Brewing Co.  The operation itself is sound, and less adjustments would need to be made in order to trim into a commanding brew pub presence.  You have to know what you’re getting though.  The fact that they don’t use local fresh cod for their fish & chips will always make them feel like an outsider to me.

*Read Scruffy’s full review of Moby Dick Brewing Co. here.

Battle of the Brew Pubs Part 1 Moby Dick Brewing Co.

Battle of the Brew Pubs – Part 1. Moby Dick Brewing Co.

The smell of steamed mussels played the perfect aromatic welcome for a friend and I as we sought food and shelter from a stormy coastal evening. The newly opened Moby Dick Brewing Co. on Water Street functioned as a well-oiled machine pumping out pints and entrees at a rhythmic pace. But if you find yourself in the same wet shoes, don’t expect any white whales.

Beer Sampler at Moby Dick Brewing Co.

The Brew

We pulled up a couple of stools, and my buddy didn’t hesitate to order a beer sampler. I went straight for the nitro stout. The beers were distinct enough to differentiate between varieties of IPAs and lagers. My Stove Boat Stout was smooth and creamy, with some roasted flavor, but too soft to award any boldness to. This is what the beers had in common. Moby D’s also produces a Double IPA, and it is by trait strong and bold, but only if it’s never held against another Double IPA. The flavors are there, and the colors and beautiful. Some tannins, the citrus, a little nuttiness, and bitters, but in a cutthroat whaling town named after one of the tallest tales of all, I like to be able to chew on my grog!

Mussels appetizer at Moby Dick Brewing Co.

The Starters

The aforementioned steamed mussels were enticing enough to order, and ended up being the highlight. The fresh mollusks basked in a rich broth, so we asked for rolls to soak some up. There were only eight mussels, but they were worth it. An order of tangy and mildly spicy wings accompanied the mussels, but nothing to write home about.

Wings appetizer at Moby Dick Brewing Co.

The Main Dish

For an entrée I ordered monkfish. My partner in dine had the classic fish & chips. Monkfish shrinks tremendously when cooked, and is best prepared when its high water content is taken into consideration. At Moby D’s, it was grilled. Leaving the monkfish to sear only caused it to soak up char flavor while drying out. Beneath the fish was a bed of sautéed greens and smashed potatoes with capers and pink peppercorns. My buddy’s fish & chips had their own surprise.

Monkfish entree at Moby Dick Brewing Co.

Unbeknown to me at the time, my friend had some extensive experience identifying fish. So when his fish & chips arrived at the counter, he was supremely disappointed with the previously frozen Pacific Cod sitting in front of him instead of the beer batter haddock still advertised on their website. When the friendly and attentive bartender checked on us, my friend requested they ask the chef if it was Pacific Cod. When she returned to confirm my buddy’s claim, the news seemed to travel down the bar like loose lips on a ship.

To Be Continued…

My friend’s fish filets reduced to mush before he could get to them all, as I reconstituted my monkfish with the juice of my sautéed greens. Our location less than 1000 feet from one of the largest commercial fishing fleets in the world magnified our let down.  Declining the dessert offer marked the end of a visit to Moby D’s, but there’s still hope on the horizon as I look to another New Bedford brewery.

Whaler's Roll whalers tavern

A Whaler’s Lobster Roll at Whaler’s Tavern

On a cold winter’s day just after the New Bedford Whaling Museum held its 21st annual Moby Dick Marathon, I popped into the Whaler’s Tavern for a bite and a brew.

Whalers Tavern

Some nights you just want to get down with some bar food, and this was one of those nights! Now before I begin with the scrutiny, let me give you a little back-history. I grew up eating around the South Bay in Northern California. Among the many fine establishments and fast food joints alike, was the In-N-Out Burger (INOB). Back in those days, the one and only INOB around used to hand cut their fries for every order. They were fresh. They were good naked, with ketchup, or even dunked in a shake! It was great! This paved the way for my  fry snobbery that is displayed here with some reserve.

Wings and Fries

After perusing the Whaler’s Tavern menu for a few minutes I ordered a plate of buffalo wings, and some truffle parmesan fries…to start. The wings were great. They were plump and juicy as advertised, cooked perfectly, and had a good coating of sauce. The fries on the other hand didn’t really have any truffle essence to them, and turned out to be your basic, run-of-the-mill frozen fry I’m impartially against, yet have come to accept as just the way it is these days. With the wings and fries side-by-side, I expected more of a balance, but the fries were incomparable. That aside, all other aspects were high points.

The Great Lobster Roll

Once I washed down my appetizers, I ordered another pint, from their great rotating draft selection, and asked for a “Monsta” lobster roll with a side of mac and cheese.   When my plate arrived, this thing did not disappoint! Unlike most lobster rolls, the Whaler’s Roll, as I like to call it, was not mixed into a lobster salad. Instead, huge chunks of chopped tail, claw, and knuckle meat were laid upon a golden toasted brioche roll. You could have as big, or as small of a bite as you desired. It’s the way a lobster roll, or any seafood dish in New England should be.

Whaler's Roll

The mac and cheese was hot, gooey, and comforting. It isn’t offered as a starter or entrée on the menu, but the staff seemed friendly enough to accommodate any appetite. Had I not already consumed my fill, I may have asked for another side of it.

So if you’re a family who just strolled out of the museum, or a mariner who is hitting the dock for the first time in a month, I would recommend grabbing a bite and a brew at the Whaler’s Tavern.

@Food of New Bedford

Burger by dnb, photo by Kev Patrick Nunes. Bring your own appetite.

Burger by dnb, photo by Kev Patrick Nunes. Bring your own appetite.

There are times when I’d just like to knock Kev Patrick Nunes on his ass.

Like when it’s midnight and a picture of a pepperoni pizza from Ma Raffa’s pops up in my Instagram feed. Or when I’m stuck in a meeting and “BOOM!” – there’s a spicy meat pie from Celia’s…so close yet so far away.

For those readers who may also be followers, you know by now I’m referring to Kev’s @foodofnewbedford Instagram account. Just launched within the month, the well-traveled (and well-fed) Nunes has been hitting eateries around town and posting some great food photography for everyone to savor.

As of this writing, @foodofnewbedford already has 163 followers signing up for its mission. That would be to spotlight food made locally in and around New Bedford, Massachusetts.

It’s not just food porn – the mission statement explains that it’s an effort to drive customers to these fantastic establishments and valued small businesses. And, to help people eat more delicious food.

So, when I’m staring at a hot bowl of munchupa from Angelo’s Orchid Diner on a freezing winter evening – well past closing time for the restaurant – I quickly forgive Kev and salute his sense of duty. “I’m inspired and focused to expose New Bedford’s unique cuisine to our residents and outside consumers,” he wrote to me. And adds, “We’re just getting started,” teasing some future plans.

Grassroots Love

In a connected, Wi-Fi, social media world, it’s folks like him who take the initiative to share and disseminate information who are helping to propel our community forward. It’s easy to rage against globalization or wallow in a mythical past – but better to feel the burn of the here and now in New Bedford.

Our locally owned eateries mean something big to our city. They help define us – as well as feed us and employ us and all other sorts of good things. Going grassroots with the love like @foodofnewbedford does fulfills the promise of this social media age.

Kev Patrick Nunes and so many others are guided by better angels and use the tools of tomorrow to build the future – not Twitter it down. And anything that furthers a foodie and dining culture here is definitely helping to move the ball forward. Follow @foodofnewbedford here and get inspired.

And hungry. Sure, you may want to strangle Nunes during a blizzard this winter when a plate of corned beef hash over home fries from The Boat pings onto your smartphone. But trust me, that urge will pass as soon as your butt claims a booth seat after the streets are plowed.

Linguica Rolls and Ham & Cheese Croissants from The Baker; photo by Kev Patrick Nunes.

Linguica Rolls and Ham & Cheese Croissants from The Baker; photo by Kev Patrick Nunes.


A Not-So-Yankee Potluck

Last Friday Groundwork! held it’s holiday potluck: Employees, members and guests brought their culinary skills together for a celebratory tour-de-food featuring dishes from all over. Our new resident critic Scruffy McFoodsnob is here with the review in case you missed the grub fest.

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