Serving Belgian waffles with 12 toppings that can be combined in hundreds of ways, Zinneken’s has been offering a taste of Belgium in Cambridge’s Harvard Square since it opened in September 2011.
“The main goal of Zinneken’s was not only to introduce the very popular Belgian waffles from Belgium (which are different from the waffle people call ‘Belgian waffle’ in the US), but also to offer the best quality on the market when it comes to taste, texture and aroma. Our signature waffle, the “Liège waffle”, is made from a dough (not a batter) with encrusted beet pearls of sugar. It is a very popular item in Belgium that is usually eaten plain as a to-go snack,” wrote Nhon Ma, Co-founder & CEO of The Zinneken’s Group LLC, in an email to _The Phillipian_.
According to Ma, the most popular waffles at Zinneken’s are the “Fruit Delight,” which is topped with ripe strawberries, banana and dark Belgian chocolate, the “Sin,” which combines rich Nutella and banana and the “Zinneken’s,” which is lathered in Speculoos, a type of cookie butter spread.
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An intimate eatery located on Newbury Street, Piattini serves Italian cuisine made of fresh and simple ingredients.
According to their website, “[Piattini is] committed to using the finest ingredients like those [their] ancestors used to create the authentic flavors of yesterday while adding the creativity and diversity of today. [Piattini’s] ingredients are the freshest possible, arriving daily; you’ll notice the difference at your first bite.”
The word “piattini” means “small plate” in Italian and for appetizers, Piattini offers a variety of these small plates. Visitors can either try one or order several, allowing them to taste a range of flavors. These dishes include spinach gnocchi, veal ravioli and a bruschetta trio.
For lunchtime entrées, Piattini offers several salad, panini and pasta options. A highlight from the panini offerings is the pollo panini, which combines oven roasted chicken breast, pesto, artichoke hearts, romaine lettuce and tomatoes atop soft bread.
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## Flour Bakery + Café
At its three locations around Boston and its one space in Cambridge, Flour Bakery + Café offers high-quality versions of classic breakfast, lunch and dessert items.
“We have the best team in the world that are all committed to our goal of making sure every guest interaction, every pastry, every sandwich, every single thing that happens at Flour passes the Mom test: will it make Mom proud?” wrote Joanne Chang, Flour’s Pastry Chef and Owner, in an email to _The Phillipian_. “We aim to be the neighborhood hang out spot where you know us and we know you! We also have a mission of giving back to the neighborhoods we are in through food, service and monetary donations.”
For breakfast, Flour’s offerings include scones in three flavors (currant-spelt-oat, lemon ginger and cheddar scallion) as well as muffin cakes and “sticky, sticky buns.” For lunch, sandwich toppings range from hummus, Moroccan spiced carrots and spaghetti squash to roast chicken, mashed avocado and jicama, a Mexican yam. One of Flour’s several salads combines quinoa, tofu, roasted veggies, spinach, Portobello mushrooms and ginger-scallion dressing.
Flour’s dessert selections include traditional chocolate chip cookies and cupcakes, as well as elegant tarts, bite-sized “tartlettes” and chocolate cream, coconut cream and lemon meringue pies.
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## Life Alive
With colorful walls, fresh plants and comfortable seating, Life Alive is an “urban oasis” with three locations, including one in Cambridge’s Central Square. Life Alive serves its customers healthy meals, smoothies and juices made exclusively with organic ingredients that boast vitamins and nutrients.
“Life Alive Cafe is unique to other restaurants not only because of our health-building meals that are created from quality sourced and therapeutic ingredients, but also because of our sincere passion to foster a healthier community and embrace our guests through soulful service. When our guests experience our food, they notice how much better and regenerated they feel almost immediately,” wrote Laura Aldorisio, Communications Director for Life Alive, in an email to _The Phillipian_.
One of Life Alive’s most popular dishes is the “Goddess Bowl.” Filled with organic root vegetables, such as beets and carrots, greens, like broccoli and kale, and short grain brown rice lathered in Life Alive’s famous Ginger Nama Shoyu sauce, the Goddess Bowl is the cafe’s signature dish.
“The Goddess Bowl represents the core values of Life Alive: honoring the goodness and nourishment from our Mother Earth, the Goddess herself, Gaia,” wrote Aldorisio.
Highlights from the drinks menu includes the dessert-like “Elvis Alive” smoothie made with organic bananas, peanut butter, mineral-rich raw cocoa, coconut-based ice cream and rice milk, and the revitalizing “Jive Alive” juice, comprised of celery, kale, cucumber, ginger and lemon.
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## L.A. Burdick
Chocolate lovers will delight at the assortment of tasty treats at L.A. Burdick. Located in Boston’s bustling Back Bay, L.A. Burdick is both a retail chocolate store that sells boxes and gifts to go and a quaint café that serves snacks for on-site consumption.
“The unique European atmosphere that we try to capture in our Back Bay location is accentuated by the wonderful Swiss Chalet style building we were able to obtain. From there, we were able to build upon the unique building humbly sitting beneath the surrounding skyscrapers. The small European town feel of our store, coupled with our handmade, high quality chocolate and pastries seemed to gain momentum as a location not just for far away travelers, but the local offices scattered throughout the area,” wrote Cathy Watson, Director of Operations for L.A. Burdick, in an email to _The Phillipian_.
L.A. Burdick is known for their hand piped mice and penguins.
“Each whimsical chocolate has exceptional care taken into account to create their formation. Concerning the mice, we have milk, dark and white enrobed, each consisting of a specific dark ganache, orange, mocha and cinnamon. The ganache is hand-piped into the necessary shape, almonds are placed in the ganache for the ears, then each mouse is enrobed through a waterfall of chocolate. The eyes and nose are meticulously painted on each mouse, and after that the final component is added: the colorful silk tail,” said Watson.
L.A. Burdick’s most popular café item is Drinking Chocolate, which comes in three flavors: dark chocolate, milk chocolate and white chocolate. This extra-thick spin on hot chocolate is a mixture of coverture, a type of chocolate with extra cocoa butter, and steamed milk.