Ethnic Food Market Tour brochure - Somerville


Ethnic Food Market Tour brochure - Somerville
and the Somerville
Arts Council
ArtsUnion is designed to boost the cultural economic
development of Union Square, Somerville. The Somerville
Arts Council and the Mayor’s Office of Strategic Planning
and Community Development created ArtsUnion, in
partnership with ArtSomerville, Brickbottom Artists Association, Washington Street Art Center, the Somerville
Historic Preservation Commission, the Somerville Chamber of Commerce, Somerville Open Studios and Union
Square Main Streets.
Through funding from the
Massachusetts Cultural
Council’s John and Abigail
Adams Program and the City
of Somerville, ArtsUnion
cultivates and promotes the
square’s diverse artist and
business communities. During 2006, ArtsUnion presented
a series of cultural events/performances and conducted
12 craft markets. Through the end of the year and into
2007, ArtsUnion will present a tour of Union Square ethnic
markets; install streetscape furniture and lightscape
projects; and begin to implement the work surrounding a
zoning/regulation review to further support the arts and
distinct character of the square.
The Somerville Arts Council works on a grass roots level to
create imaginative and resourceful programming that is
accessible to all of the City’s residents—with a focus on
reaching youth and families. The Somerville Arts Council
has been cited by the MCC as a statewide leader, and has
received the Commonwealth Award, which recognizes
excellence in the arts,
humanities and sciences.
The Arts Council is run by a
small professional staff and a
volunteer board. Many of our
programs are made possible
by the dedication of many
community volunteers.
Union Square
In addition to ArtsUnion, the Somerville Arts
Council organizes these other programs:
Art in a Garden is a free summer arts and environ-
Sherman Cafe
257 Washington Street
Bukkyung, Inc.
9A Union Square
71 Union Square
ArtBeat is our annual multi-media arts festival in Davis
Caesar’s Pizza and Subs
401 Somerville Ave.
Sunny’s Deli
40 Bow St.
Books of Hope is a 10-month creative writing and
Dunkin Donuts
282 Somerville Ave.
Taqueria La Mexicana
247 Washington St.
Illuminations Tour is our trolley tour celebrating
El Potro Mexican Grill
61 Union Square
Union Square Pizza
63 Union Square
Great Thai Chef
255 Washington Ave.
Wu Chon Restaurant
290 Somerville Ave.
The Independent
75 Union Square
India Palace
23 Union Square
Machu Picchu
307 Somerville Ave.
Mama Gina’s
19 Union Square
Mandarin Chinese
7 Union Square
29 Bow St.
New Asia
328 Somerville Ave.
Red House Restaurant
24 Union Square
Clubs // Pubs
P.A.’s Lounge
345 Somerville Ave.
Sally O’Briens
335 Somerville Ave.
Tir na Nog
366A Somerville Ave.
70 Union Square
mental program held outdoors at the Community Growing
Center during July and August. It is open to children ages
6 to 12.
Square highlighting local artists of all kinds and attracting
up to 10,000 people to Davis Square each July.
teen empowerment project held at the Mystic Activity
Somerville's extraordinary holiday light displays.
LCC Grant Program is our annual grant program,
with funding from the MCC. Each fall, we provide grants
to local individuals and organizations that support artists
and arts programming within the community.
Mystic River Mural Project is a summer art and
environmental program in which teens explore the Mystic
River and help to create a large, ongoing mural located on
Mystic Avenue near 1-93.
Windows Art Project (WAP) is a visual arts
exhibition that turns a city square into a sidewalk art
gallery by using storefront windows and outdoor locales.
Since 1996, WAP started out in Davis Square but now
occurs in Union Square.
Ethnic Market
Union Square
Union Square’s numerous markets offer
a wealth of culinary delights. These
small markets are not only ethnically
diverse—ranging from Brazilian to
Bengali—they serve a surprisingly
broad clientele, as well. Take a tour of
the shops highlighted in this brochure
and discover
the diversity
and essence of
Union Square!
Make a Donation — Every bit helps!
Support Somerville Arts Council programming by
making a tax-deductable donation:
Somerville Arts Council
50 Evergreen Ave.
Somerville, MA 02145
Special thanks go out to: Sharon Wolfson, who sheparded this
project and conducted interviews; Steven Derocher for brochure
design; Claudia Pato Carvalho and Pauline Lim who helped with
outreach to specific markets; Rosie Gill for fact checking,
Mano5 for photography, and, of course, to the generous
business owners within the Square for sharing stories about
their markets.
Mayor Joseph Curtatone
In the back kitchen of Capone’s, a
machine dubbed “the Extruder” is
hard at work pumping out anywhere
between 200 - 300 pounds of fresh
pasta per day. Over twenty specialty pastas are available, including
such enticing flavors as saffron, wild mushroom, squid ink and
Jennifer’s favorite: rosemary and garlic. Pair any one of these pastas
with Capone’s homemade sauces (ask for the pairing chart, which
recommends delicious combos). Most of the recipes at Capone’s were
handed down from Al Capone’s mother, Nina, or developed by Al
Casa de
At this Brazilian-style butcher, you’ll find not only meat, but Brazilian
staples and sweets, such as Garoto chocolates and a Brazilian candy
called Passoquinha, made of peanuts. Casa de Carnes also sells
juices and juice concentrates made of Acerola, also known as
Barbados Cherry, a tropical fruit-bearing shrub or small tree, native to
the West Indies and northern South America. Edson is investing in a
specific fruit concentrate called Polpa de Pequi. Pequi is native fruit
from the Brazilian Cerrado, a vast tropical savanna eco-region in
central Brazil.
380 Somerville Avenue
Owners: Rokeya & Jahangir Kabir
From: Chittagong, Bangladesh
Open since: 2006
Somerville Avenue
prices. Eduardo estimates that
they sell 1,000 bags of rice each
week. Check out their selection of
spices, which includes numerous
varieties of chili powder, including
chile mulato, chile ancho, chile
poblano and guajillo. Small tubs of
spices sell for less than two
dollars! Surprisingly, La Internacional Foods also sells Jamaican Jerk
sauce at a steady clip.
Most customers hail from:
Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, India
and the Middle East
What you’ll find: Halal meat (which
undergoes a special butchering
process according to Islamic law),
goat, fish, tahini, couscous, spices,
rice, teas and sweets
Recommended dish: Keski (small
fish) fried with potatoes, green chiles, onions and oil
Hours: 10am – 10pm daily
On average, Rokeya sells three whole goats per day (that’s 100 pounds!),
fresh from New Hampshire. They also sell many pounds of beef and chicken
for parties and BBQs. In the back of the store, freezers are stocked with sixty
different fish, shipped from Bangladesh and Thailand. Ask Rokeya or Jahangir
to pull out the four-foot long, 30-pound fish called Lakka, which requires many
hours to cook. Bangladesh is predominantly Muslim, so the food at Halal
Market varies quite a bit from the Little India market across the street. For
instance, Muslims eat beef, whereas Hindus do not. Hence, you’ll find beef at
Halal Market—along with Middle Eastern items with Arabic packaging.
38 Bow Street
Owner: Edson Nascimento
Born: Goiana, Brazil
Open since: 1999
Most customers hail from: Brazil
What you’ll find: Meat
Recommended dish: Linguica
Hours: 8am – 8pm daily
14 Bow Street
Owners: Al Capone & Jennifer Hegarty
From: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Open since: 1985
Most customers are: Locals & restaurants
What you’ll find: Fresh pasta, home made sauces, prepared
meals, dessert, cheese.
Recommended dish: Cured
meats with olive oil and fresh bread
Hours: Mon – Fri, 8am – 6pm;
Sat, 10am – 5pm; Sunday, closed
Capone’s Foods
77A Bow Street
Owners: Dipti and Umesh Mistri
From: Mumbai, India
Open since: 1983
Most customers hail from: Bangladesh, Pakistan and India,
primarily the Punjab region
What you’ll find: Spices, rice, fresh produce, samosas
Recommended dish: Ladu (round sweet balls made of wheat,
lentils, ghee and sugar)
Hours: 10am – 9pm daily
In addition to fresh produce, Basmati rice, and over 30 types of frozen and
powdered curries, this store sells audio tapes, dresses and jewelry. It also
has a wide selection of newly-released Bollywood movies—many with
English subtitles. Little India shoppers will also find everything for Diwali,
the Hindu New Year. If you’re lucky enough to find both Dipti and Umesh
working at the same time, Dipti can be persuaded to paint your hands with
henna in traditional Indian designs (while Umesh runs the store).
New Bombay
Bombay Market
318 Somerville Avenue
Owners: Eduardo & Nora Cabrera
From: Guatemala
Open since: 1989
Most customers hail from: Haiti and
Central and South America
What you’ll find: Plantains, rice, spices, fish
& produce from Costa Rica & Columbia
Recommended dish: Guatemalan tortillas,
rice and beans, Jamaican jerk sauce
Hours: Mon – Sat, 8am – 9pm; Sunday,
9am – 7pm
359 Somerville Avenue
Owners: Mohammad Nurpasha
and Mohammad Khukon
From: Sylhet, Bangladesh
Open since: 2002
Most customers hail from: Nepal
What you’ll find: Spices, lentils,
Recommended dish: Chicken Biryani or Hilsa (fish from Bangladesh)
Hours: 9:30am – 9:30pm daily
Customers come from as far away as Waltham, Mattapan and Malden for
the store’s broad selection of Latin American and Haitian goods—and great
Hailing from Sylhet, Bangladesh, the Pashas came to Cambridge by way of
New York in 1998. Try making Tahera’s (wife of Nurpasha) favorite Bengali
dish of hilsa (the national fish of Bangladesh) with onion, garlic, tumeric,
chile powder, mustard and curry—all of which you can buy at New
Bombay Market! Check out their refrigerators in the front of the store,
where you’ll find fresh exotic greens and intriguing drinks to go (wine
and beer included). The market also has many frozen fish in storage
and a fabulous, exotic tea selection.
Acucar && Brazilian
Brazilian Buffet
Pao de
de Acucar
57 Union Square
Owner: Eduardo Rosa
From: Rio de Janeiro
Open since: 2006
Most customers hail from: Brazil
What you’ll find: Cured meats for
feijoada, Açaí (superfruit from
Brazil’s rain forests), mounted
cows heads, perfume and soccer shirts
Recommended dish: Cheese bread & coxinha (chicken dumplings)
Hours: 6:30am – midnight daily
Eduardo estimates that he sells two hundred coxinha (cheese
dumplings) a day! The store sells the ingredients to make feijoada, a
Brazilian specialty that originally made its way to Bahia, in eastern
Brazil, from Africa. It’s made from cow and pork meat—Eduardo
prepares his by salting the meats every few days—collard greens,
yucca flour and white rice. Typically, Brazilians savor this infamous,
heavy dish every Saturday, accompanied by an orange, to aid in
digestion. Eduardo is known throughout the community for cooking
feijoada for 500 people at church functions.
Reliable Market
45 Union Square
Owner: Jim Park
From: Seoul, South Korea
Open since: 1982
Most customers hail from:
Korea, Japan, China, and
United States
What you’ll find: Bulgoki
(thinly-sliced beef or pork marinated in salty/sweet sauce),
bulgoki sauce, prepared kimchee pancakes (made with spicy
cabbage), seaweed laver for sushi, frozen gyoza (dumplings)
Hours: Sun, 10am – 7pm; Mon, 10am – 8pm; Tue-Sat, 9:30am – 8pm
Shopping at the Reliable Market is like a vicarious trip to Asia. The
shelves here are laden with exotic products with labels in many Asian
languages. You can get Thai curry pastes, canned kimchee, Korean
liqueurs, great rice cookers and a good selection of tea pots. Their
produce is inexpensive and fresh. They always supply fresh Asian
staples such as daikon radish, scallions, ginger, tofu, and Asian pears.
Definitely check out the pastry machine in the back of the store, which
makes Deli Manjoo, a delectable Korean pastry with a chocolate filling.