If you have family in town and want to share Clover, we’ll be open on ...
This picture was from the root-washing station at Michael’s farm. Some of you have been asking ...
One of the most magical things about our trip to see our farmers in Hadley ...
If you’ve already signed up for your Winter CSA, read on to learn how your vegetables will ...
It’s 9am. I’ve gone through a couple different modes of transportation. A 4:30am Uber to ...
Just in time for this wintery weather, we’re bringing you the very first taste of ...
That’s the new Barismo El Bosque. Grown in Guatemala, roasted in Somerville. It tastes a little bit like green apple. Sort of a sweet puckering end to a really delicious, chocolatey cup. If you haven’t had it, stop by, we’re pouring at all locations. We asked Pete of Barismo what kind of donuts would pair well with that. So Enzo’s going to attempt a green apple glaze for our Coffee and Donuts event on December 5th.
There are only a few tickets left. Your ticket includes a coffee and two donuts. And most importantly, you’ll get to meet and talk to Pete, who buys and roasts coffee in a really revolutionary way.
Get yours before Thanksgiving, and you’ll have something to look forward to when you get back…
We work with two major distributers to get produce that we don’t have enough volume to justify sourcing directly from a farm. We were getting brussels from Czajkowski Farm through Russo’s, and then we started getting California brussels in instead. Chris called and talked to the folks at Russo’s and they said that no one has local brussel sprouts anymore. So with a heavy heart, we decided to pull the brussels sandwich from the menu.
Meanwhile, Ivan, a Harvard Crimson reporter, was doing a story on the demise of the brussels at Clover. Ayr talked to Ivan, who talked to Joe Czajkowski Farm, who said they still had brussels!
Chris called Russo’s again, they claimed they didn’t have them or couldn’t get them, so Chris called the farm…and they have 140 cases, with another week of harvesting left!
Chris talked to Costa (another distributor) and they are accepting a delivery from Czajkowski Farm tomorrow, so they are adding on 16 cases for us to have. Costa said that they weren’t buying the end of his brussels crop because the size is all over the place, small as marbles and big as bulbs. We’re going to look at it when it comes in on Friday (we’re closed Thursday) and make a decision. If we like the brussels, this may mean we extend the sandwich for a few more weeks.
We had a Jack’s Abby beer launch last Thursday. We launched Lashes, a Winter Seasonal lager. If you haven’t tried it, stop by CloverHSQ. We have it on tap.
I got a chance to chat with Sam, one of the brewers. He mentioned Valley Malt. Some of you may remember us talking about Valley Malt back in 2010. Andrea Stanley runs one of the only malt-houses in Massachusetts. They take locally grown grain and create malt. Brewers then purchase the malt through a program similar to a CSA, but for brewers.
Sam told me that they’re buying all local malt from Andrea at Valley Malt. He thinks Jack’s Abby might be Valley Malt’s largest account. This was really surprising to me. The local brewing revolution is more widespread than I thought. You can find Jack’s Abby in almost every package store in the area. You can drink them at Cheesecake Factory. And we’re going through a crazy amount of kegs here at Clover.
[Our next beer launch is coming up on 12/4: click here to mark your calendars for the launch of Aeronaut at Clover!]
If you have family in town and want to share Clover, we’ll be open on Thanksgiving for breakfast and lunch at CloverHSQ. Read on for hours at other locations…and a plug for a beer launch after Thanksgiving!
Wednesday 11/26: all locations open normal hours
Thursday 11/27: CloverHSQ open 7am-5pm, all other locations closed
Friday 11/28: all trucks closed, all restaurants open normal hours
*Check our locations tab at the top of this site to view hours for each location
When you return from Thanksgiving Break, mark your calendars! We’re working on a very special beer launch with a brand new brewery.
We were touring Blue Bottle’s roasting facilities in NYC the other day (I’ll post more on that shortly), and I noticed these interesting orbs at the back of the space. I asked about them and was told that they were a new tea brewing apparatus that Blue Bottle was testing. You might know I love tea. So I was obviously interested. I asked how they work and the staff sort of moaned. They said that basically they are “very expensive and break.”
Of course I hadn’t left NYC before ordering a set on Amazon. They weren’t as expensive as I feared, and I ordered 3 to try out. We tested our current recipes and alternates. Turned out existing recipes were really tight. I made up a little nifty sheet telling staff how to use them and care for them. And I added something we don’t usually do when testing, a list to use to mark off how many uses they’ve seen. I want to know brew to break ratio to see if these are feasible.
They’re at work right now at our Harvard Square location. Check them out and tell us what you think. They fit right in line with the coffee rack, which is awesome. And really, I’ve never found anything that’s done such a killer job making tea sexy. You know poor tea, for one it’s not addictive like coffee. Two, it doesn’t come out of a steaming loud espresso machine, or from a careful pour-over set-up. Even the humble insulated coffee dispenser has mystery. Tea is normally a bag floating in water. So I welcome anything that will elevate our impression of tea. And the teas we’re buying and brewing are out of this world. They’re some of the best you can buy anywhere in the US. I’m hoping more customers get to try them if we use this apparatus. Tell us what you think.
(Yes, and I realize I very well may have jinxed our perfect record of no breaks by posting about how great these are. Let’s hope not.)
I have an intern who goes to Harvard (her name is also Lucia, so she goes by Lucia2). When we were first meeting about ideas, she told me we should do something to celebrate Harvard-Yale.
The cabbage soda isn’t a joke, or a diss for Yale. It’s arguably even more delicious than the cranberry punch.
We’ve been pretty quiet on HFI here. Sorry about that. We’ve been waiting for what seems like ages to get our construction permit. Our landlord waited over a month just to get the permit to install the storefront.
Well we’re getting closer. LL work is complete and we’re expecting our building permit shortly. So I thought I’d share a little video tour that shows the space pre-construction. This is going to look very different very quickly. It’s super exciting. We’ll give a series of video tours, like This Old House! And along the way I’ll post here about what it takes to get a restaurant up and running.
To start with I thought I’d share some basic timelines for those interested. I would have loved this sort of data when I was writing my Clover business plan. I’m including here the fastest we’ve ever done it and typical. We’ve had some worse than “typical” situations, but not many, so I’ll keep this simple:
- From finding a space we like to Letter of Intent (LOI): 1 day (fastest) – 1.5 months (typical)
- LOI to Lease: 1 month – 2 months
- Architectural Drawings: 3 weeks – 2 months (sometimes we begin this while still working lease, a risk but can speed things up)
- Engineer Drawings: 5 weeks – 3 months (this is brutally long, and cannot be done until after architectural drawings)
- Construction: 3 weeks – 6 weeks (we’re pretty fast here, many in our industry take longer)
- Pre open: 0 days – 2 weeks (we’re starting to play with longer pre-open periods. They cost us money, and keep you from great food, but they support a cleaner open and better more consistent operations from day 1)
So that’s a rough timeline. We typically budget a minimum of 6 months give or take for a new restaurant, though many take twice that time. For HFI we started this process late spring, so even though it feels like forever we’re actually sort of on time. And we got that 24 hour license : )
I have no shame. Thanks, American Apparel, for providing me with a stalk-colored onesie.
You can eat Brussels (the sandwich) for another week or so, before we switch to another immensely popular seasonal sandwich. Did someone say Pushpir?
Don’t worry though, the Brussels will remain at MIT year-round. You can thank me for that one too.
This picture was from the root-washing station at Michael’s farm. Some of you have been asking exactly what’s going to come in this winter CSA we’ve been talking about. This is a true deep-winter share. Every two weeks, you’ll get a bag with a total of between 10-12 pounds of certified-organic carrots, beets, radishes, turnips, parsnips, garlic, rutabaga, and potatoes grown by Michael Docter in Hadley, MA.
NEW THIS YEAR. You’ll also receive 1 package (of 12) fresh-made tortillas made from heirloom non-GMO corn harvested in Hadley and baked by Jorge at Mi Tierra Tortillas. These tortillas will be baked the morning of the share so they’ll arrive in Cambridge warm out of the oven.
Ray showed us a little side project: artichokes.
He didn’t grow these for customers, but for himself, just to see if it would work.
I was still having trouble believing this. Land so good that an artichoke will grow in Massachusetts? We’re still trying to persuade Ray to grow some for Clover for a 3pm special next year. In the meantime you can support Ray and Michael by joining their Winter Farm Share.