Authors Posts by Kelsey Perrett

Kelsey Perrett

Kelsey Perrett
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David Melly and Sheridan Wilbur each won a five-pound lobster.

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Winners David Melly, 21, of Newton and Sheridan Wilbur, 17, of North Smithfield, RI seemed hardly winded. Photo by John Zarba.

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By feet or by wheels, 1,600 racers crossed the finish line on Saturday. Photo by John Zarba.

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Chilmark Road Race winner David Melly enjoyed a scenic backdrop as he ran to the 5K finish line. Photo by John Zarba.

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Ben Bosworth, center, keeps pace with eventual winner David Melly (left) at the halfway point of the race. Photo by John Zarba.

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It was a crowded field at the start of the Chilmark Road Race Saturday morning. Photo by John Zarba.

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Hugh Wiseman, longtime race organizer, put the finishing touches on the finish line. Photo by John Zarba.

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Amelia and Tobias Russell Schaefer, of Edgartown, pose for a quick photo before the race begins. Photo by John Zarba.

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From left, Isabelle Hoch, Emma Corcoran , Tess Pellegrini and Isabelle Washkurak man the water station near the starting line. Photo by John Zarba.

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Sunny skies graced Saturday's 37th annual Chilmark Road Race. Photo by John Zarba.

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Boys 9-11 winner, nine year old Jack Lionette of Chilmark, at the finish. Photo by John Zarba.

More than 1,600 runners lined up on Middle Road in Chilmark at 10:30 am, Saturday morning for the 37th annual Chilmark Road Race. The ritualistic clapping at the starting line united runners in high adrenaline and high spirits, while the sun rose higher in the sky, transforming a chilly morning into a hot but beautiful day for a race.

The notoriously hilly section of Middle Road — heading up-Island from near Mermaid Farm toward Beetlebung Corner — makes for a difficult 5K, but runners are always encouraged by friendly faces on the sidelines, and sweeping views of the south shore.

This year’s winners in the were David Melly, 21, of Newton, a two-time winner, and Sheridan Wilbur, 17, of North Smithfield, RI.  Each first place finisher claimed the prize of a five pound lobster from Larsen’s. Mr. Melly finished at 15:43, followed by Ben Bosworth of Dorchester, MA in second place and Hugh Parker of New York in third. Ms. Wilbur came in at 18:26, with Kara Leonard of Providence, RI and Anne Preisig of Falmouth taking second and third in the ladies division.

Complete race results are available at coolrunning.com.

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The "Bananas Foster" sweet panini at BeeDees. — Photo by Kelsey Perrett

It’s August. We’re all busy. We all feel overworked and overtired. And we probably are, but in the spirit of “there’s always a bigger fish,” let’s consider this: at least four new restaurants have opened on Martha’s Vineyard in the past few weeks.

Anyone who has worked in food service — especially here, especially in summer — knows that the restaurant business is notoriously taxing. Long hours spent on tired feet in hot kitchens are already a hassle, but imagine doing it all from scratch in the busiest month of the year. Our brave friends at these new restaurants are marching fearlessly into August, reviving old haunts and adding new hotspots to the Island restaurant scene, maternally serving up food to strangers, some of whom have faces only a mother could love — and attitudes to match.

Truthfully, our servers and managers, hosts and cooks deserve culinary medals of honor. So take some time from your busy schedule and enjoy these newly opened spots. And don’t forget to tip your servers, and send compliments to the chef.

Veggie pizza by the slice at Isola.
Veggie pizza by the slice at Isola.

Isola: Back in the day (if you consider the 90s back in the day) Isola was the name of a Martha’s Vineyard restaurant owned by Todd and Olivia English, Glenn Close, Michael J. Fox, and Boston Bruins great Cam Neely. As of July 25, 2014, Isola (it’s Italian for island) is the name of the restaurant in Edgartown’s Post Office Square where Lattanzi’s used to be, owned by the Sullo family and featuring chef Max Eagan, all of Rocco’s fame. By day, Isola’s store front serves organic coffee, baked goods, pizza slices, and other lunch options. “I wanted to do a lot of raw foods,” said Gabrielle Sullo, manager of the store front. Healthy treat options, like the “amazeballs” are naturally dairy, sugar, grain, and gluten-free. When the bell tolls 5:30, the bar and restaurant open up for drinks and tasty Italian style entrées. “We’re getting busier as the word gets out,” said Gabrielle. “We’re definitely getting a lot of local business.”

Takeout window now open from 11 am to 7 pm. Bar and restaurant open for dinner every night from 5:30 to 10 pm. 774-549-9428.

Southwest style shrimp wrap from BeeDee's.
Southwest style shrimp wrap from BeeDee’s.

Bee Dees:

No offense to Pirate Jack’s Burger Shack, which used to grace this location on Oak Bluffs Avenue, but a peanut butter slathered bacon burger with fries isn’t exactly proper beach take-out. Pirate Jack’s replacement, Bee Dee’s, specializes in lighter fare, especially healthy to-go options such as salads, wraps, and paninis. The coolest part is they now deliver via tricycle to The Inkwell and Oak Bluffs Town Beach (Pay Beach), so sun soakers don’t even have to get off their sandy beach bums for lunch (order online at beedeesmv.com, or use their delivery app).

“We’ve had a lot of enthusiastic response about the delivery,” said co-owner Barbara Ciccolini. “It’s something Oak Bluffs has needed for a while. We were longtime visitors to the Island, and we always had that argument about who was going to go to town to get food. We also wanted to fill that void of food that was fresh and not always fried.”

Create-your-own sandwich options are available for omnivores, herbivores, vegana-vores, and glutenfree-a-vores, as well as flavorful salad combinations that can be rolled into a wrap. It’s not all rabbit food though: sweet-toothed O.B. dwellers can try a sweet panini on sweet bread or pound cake, filled with a combination of chocolate, bananas, sweet preserves, and topped with vanilla bean ice cream and housemade sweet sauces such as caramel. Bee Dee’s is friendly to Islanders and vacationers alike, offering a 10 percent discount with an Oak Bluffs hotel room key, and 10 percent Wednesdays for Island employees.

Now serving lunch and dinner from 11 am to 9:30 pm. Breakfast available at 7:30 am Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. 508-338-2220; beedeesmv.com.

"Amazeballs" at Isola's take out store.
“Amazeballs” at Isola’s take out store.

Fishbones: This prime piece of real estate on Oak Bluffs Harbor was bought out by Santoro Hospitality Group, owners of The Lookout Tavern, earlier this year, and strollers along the harbor have been anxiously awaiting its revival.

Though the name and logo of the waterfront bar and grill haven’t changed, manager Lisa Hawkes says the new Fishbones has updated it all. Not just the building, but chef Justin Stenuis has helped reinvent the menu with a Caribbean twist on seafood. Items such as coconut shrimp and blackened mahi mahi with mango salsa made their debut at Fishbones for the July 26 season opening.

“It was hard finding staffing in the middle of the summer, and we wanted to complete the new kitchen and the new menu,” said Ms. Hawkes of the late-season opening. “But we wanted to make sure if we were going to do this, we were doing it right.”

Now serving lunch and dinner from 11 am to 10:30 pm (bar until 11). 508-696-8227; fishbonesgrille.com.

Jimmy Sea’s:

After a brief hiatus, Jimmy Sea’s returned on July 17 under new ownership, but with the same old beloved experience of eating pasta straight from a pan bigger than your head.

Chef Scotty, who has been with Jimmy Seas for almost 20 years, is still manning the kitchen. Specializing in seafood and Italian flavors, Jimmy Sea’s offers linguini, scampi, and ravioli dishes with shrimp, lobster, beef, chicken, and more with tomato, pesto, and cream bases.

They’ve also hopped on the gluten-free bandwagon with some of their pastas, and new this year, they are offering house special pastas every night. “It got busy instantly,” said manager Olga Brown. “But our crew caught on right away, and it’s been a pretty smooth start.”

Now open for dinner from 5 pm to 10 pm. 508-687-9702; jimmyseaspanpasta.com.

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Island Cove co-owner Mary Gosselin fires up fuel on the outdoor grill for hungry mini golfers. — Photo by Michael Cummo

Sometimes the most satisfying food comes from the most unexpected places. No,
I don’t mean the time that you late-night dumpster dived at Dunkin’ Donuts in college (though in my…I mean YOUR defense, they do pristinely package their still-fresh baked goods before disposing of them).

What I’m talking about is those hidden gems of food spots. Holes in the walls. Best kept secrets. Like finding out Tisbury Farm Market might be one of the best coffee spots on the Island: the coffee is hot and strong, the price is right, and there’s never a line. I was going to keep that tidbit to myself, but I’m offering it up as my reward to you for reading my column, and continuing to read it after I discuss dumpster food.

So here’s another one for you: go play mini-golf, and make sure you work up an appetite, because the grill at Island Cove Adventures in Vineyard Haven is heating up. This shady cabana-style food stand has been around since 2002, but few people realize that Island Cove’s menu ranges far beyond ice cream. Mary Gosselin, who owns Island Cove with her husband, Ray, has a long history with food. A nutrition major, Ms. Gosselin came to the Island after college, where she learned the choreographed art of short order cooking at Island restaurants such as the Dock Street Coffee Shop.

“I wanted to own a restaurant, my husband wanted to own a mini golf,” Ms. Gosselin said. She gave her husband the go-ahead, on the condition that “I don’t have to be involved.” As it turned out, getting involved opened opportunities Ms. Gosselin didn’t know existed. She had already decided that the hospital work available for a nutritionist was not for her.

Grilled chicken, onions, and peppers on flatbread with Mary's special marinade.
Grilled chicken, onions, and peppers on flatbread with Mary’s special marinade.

“I was the first person people met when they were diagnosed with medical conditions. I was dealing with 40-, 50-, 60-year-olds who were scared, sick, and I was taking away their comfort foods,” Ms. Gosselin said. So she turned her attention to preventing health issues instead. “I decided I wanted to work with children, because then we could avoid that scary conversation. I wanted to teach kids to like chicken and vegetables, and make good food that tastes good.”

The mini-golf business provided the window to working with children that Ms. Gosselin sought. “I like to cook for kids because they are so spontaneous. If they like it, they’ll tell you, if not, they will too,” Ms. Gosselin said. “Most kids can deal with grilled cheese or a hot dog, but I have a lot of kids that love my grilled chicken. I feel like that’s a personal win for a child to fall in love with chicken.”

Having healthy choices at the mini-golf course was a given. Families were playing together, kids were powering up the rock wall, expending huge amounts of energy. Ms. Gosselin felt it necessary to provide them with the right fuel at the right price. In addition to burgers, dogs, and flatbread pizzas, there are vegetarian and gluten-free options such as fruit smoothies and a sweet potato black bean veggie burger. Prices range from $3.50 for a hot dog, to just under $7 for Mary’s specialty: chicken breast and veggies in a secret marinade, served atop a toasted flatbread.

“Everybody needs to eat, and we made a decision to keep it reasonable,” Ms. Gosselin said. “It’s hard to find good food at a reasonable price, especially in a venue like this. It’s what I would want to find if I were traveling with my family. What a surprise that I can have a veggie burger, or my child who’s gluten-free can join the family for dinner. And it tastes good.”

Island Cove manager Taylor Rasmussen holds out a "Dinosaur Crunch" ice cream cone covered in rainbow sprinkles.
Island Cove manager Taylor Rasmussen holds out a “Dinosaur Crunch” ice cream cone covered in rainbow sprinkles.

Ms. Gosselin says offering quality food and ice cream just adds to the positive family atmosphere. “It’s the only place I see families not texting,” she said. It instills the nostalgia for a perfect childhood vacation that Ms. Gosselin says families come back and thank her for year after year.

When I was a kid and went on vacation, my brother and I would always insist on playing mini-golf, mostly so we could beat each other with the putters behind my parents’ backs, or climb over the features into the appealing neon-blue ponds to fish out extra balls (also frowned upon). To bribe us into less-obnoxious behavior, my parents would dangle the possibility of ice cream in front of us. Looking back, a muggy night, a round of mini-golf, and a dripping ice cream cone defined what it meant to be a kid in summertime. Add to that a healthy meal, and a scramble up a rock wall, and you’ve got a real hole in one.

For more information, call 508-693-2611, visit islandcoveadventures.com, or look for Island Cove Adventures on Facebook.

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The 36th Annual Art Buchwald Possible Dreams Auction on July 27 will benefit Martha’s Vineyard Community Services.

Cambridge comedian and auctioneer Jimmy Tingle helped get the most out of each auctioned item at 2013's Possible Dreams auction. — File Photo by Ralph Stewart

The Possible Dreams Auction to benefit Martha’s Vineyard Community Services (MVCS) has changed a lot in recent years. The date, the venue, the auctioneer, even the name of the event — now the Art Buchwald Possible Dreams Auction, in honor of the longtime auctioneer who died in 2007 — have been reworked. That’s not to say different is bad. The team behind the highly anticipated auction is confident that the new direction leads towards a promising future.

For the second year in a row, the Possible Dreams auction will be held on a Sunday, July 27, at the Winnetu Oceanside Resort in Katama, featuring auctioneer and comedian Jimmy Tingle. Last year, this proved a winning combination, with the live auction raising approximately $213,000, and the event as a whole grossing about $450,000 between admissions, sponsorships, dinner, the live and silent auctions, and donations.

One of last year’s changes was moving the event from a Monday to a Sunday evening, in hopes of improving attendance by volunteers, MVCS staff, and weekend visitors. The auction drew a crowd of 450. The date of the event has also moved up from its traditional slot, the first week in August. On choosing this year’s date, auction co-chairman Liza May said, “This was the one weekend we found that there weren’t as many events piggybacked upon each other.”

Another recent change in venue moved the auction from its home of four years in Ocean Park to the Winnetu. “The Winnetu has been wonderful, The FARM Institute has been a huge donor of parking spaces. It’s just an idyllic spot down by the beach,” said Nell Coogan, director of development and community relations at MVCS.

Then of course, there is the return of funnyman Jimmy Tingle. “I was blown away that they would think of me in the vein of [the late] Art Buchwald, because I was a huge fan,” said Mr. Tingle. The Buchwald family was so pleased with Mr. Tingle’s performance last year that they sent him one of Mr. Buchwald’s famed auction hats, which Mr. Tingle hinted might make an appearance on Sunday.

“Anytime you’re doing something new, you’ve got to do your homework,” Mr. Tingle said, admitting he was a bit nervous the first time around. No stranger to the Vineyard, Mr. Tingle performed standup at The Hot Tin Roof and the Wintertide in the 1980s. He’s also performed at the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse, and shown his film “Jimmy Tingle’s American Dream” at the M.V. Film Center. “I’d done auction work in the past, and with Possible Dreams, the community is so into it and the cause is so great that people open their hearts and wallets a little more.”

The MVCS board acknowledges that Mr. Tingle’s humor has been a huge asset for the new direction they want to take Possible Dreams. “One of the biggest things we’re trying to do is add a little bit more levity,” Mr. Tingle continued. “It’s not just an auction for a serious cause, but it’s also about having fun and being entertained.” This year, Guinevere Cramer of Point B Realty will assist Mr. Tingle on stage to add a little local color.

Up for auction

The dynamics of the auction have changed slightly as well. Last year, a silent auction was added to the live auction to increase participation by businesses and bidders with lower budgets. “They like the idea that they can give back to their community too, on a smaller scale,” Ms. May said. This year, a raffle offers a third opportunity to win “dreams.”

The 26 live auction items include big ticket getaways such as a trip to Greece, and the ever-popular gastronomical vacation in Italy, as well as a special surprise auction item. “It’s nice to see more Island-grown dreams in the mix,” said Ms. Coogan. This year, locally based dreams include a day of fishing, foraging, and cooking with Chris Fischer and Jennifer Clark, a poker tournament hosted by World Series of Poker finalist Jesse Sylvia, and a jam session with Jim Belushi at Alex’s Place.

The silent auction includes 55 items, such as sailing and lighthouse tours hosted by the M.V. Museum, a staycation at the Vineyard Square Hotel with gift cards to Edgartown restaurants, artwork, fitness packages, and practical items such as gas and propane.

Raffle tickets can win guests dinner for two at The Terrace and an overnight at The Charlotte Inn, a set of Stefanie Wolf jewelry, fishing trips, a home and garden package, gift cards, and more. Tickets are one for $10, or three for $25.

“There’s going to be something for everyone, whether it’s coming to see a great comedian, or to bid on the live auction or silent or raffle,” said Ms. May. “We want to include as many people as we can whether they live here full time, part time, or are just visiting.”

Community driven goals

“I’ve been blown away with the generosity on this Island,” said MVCS board member Sandy Pimentel. “I think they recognize the importance of Community Services.” All proceeds from the event will benefit Community Services, and projects within its programs, which include CONNECT to End Violence, Disability Services, Early Childhood Programs and The MV Family Center, The Island Counseling Center, and The Thrift Shop, also known as Chicken Alley. “This event fills in the bottom line of what we do,” said Ms. Coogan. “It’s a huge one for us.”

With this year’s profits, the MVCS team hopes to cover rent for the new Family Center in Vineyard Haven, and expand the disability services program. “One of our biggest initiatives is to start a crisis stabilization unit on the Island,” said Ms. Coogan. The unit would give people in a state of crisis an “extra step” between the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital Emergency Room, and an inpatient situation off-Island.

For Mr. Tingle, these positive and tangible goals are what makes the Possible Dreams auction special. He believes that Art Buchwald felt the same way. “He knew there were a lot of celebrities here, but he also lived here,” Mr. Tingle said. “He knew what it was like in the winter, and he knew the regular people who were making the Island work.”

Likely, the astute Mr. Buchwald also knew the challenges of a changing Island. “Change is always difficult, if you live on the Island you know that,” said Ms. Pimentel. “We’ve changed everything about the auction. But people love change once it happens.”

Possible Dreams auction, Sunday, July 27, 4–7 pm, Winnetu Oceanside Resort, Edgartown. Doors open at 3:45 pm. $25. 7:30 pm: Dinner at Lure Grill, $225 person. For more information, call 508-693-7900, ext. 229, or visit mvcommunityservices.com. To volunteer, call 617-834-3704.

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No plastic allowed at Porto Pizza. — Photo by Michael Cummo

I’m not a cash carrier. I find my funds flutter away much more quickly if they are withdrawn from my bank account in paper form. $20s quickly transform into $1s which fade away into lost poker games and eaten chocolate bars until my wallet is empty again anyway, so why fill it with cash to begin with? Because so many businesses on Martha’s Vineyard are cash only.

%&*$!@! is the sound I make in my head when I walk into a cash only business, forgetting I must hit an ATM before I can get a coffee or a slice of pizza. %&*$!@! is the sound many tourists make out-loud when they are tired and hungry, have just traveled for hours, are holding five pizzas and a squirming monkey in a poopy diaper, and NO they do not have any cash and NO they do not want to go find the nearest ATM. It’s a real pain in the %&*$!@!. So why do businesses bother?

There’s money saving to consider: businesses are required to pay a transaction fee for plastic, which can range from 1 to 6 percent of a purchase. Several businesses I spoke with, including Mocha Mott’s, Giordano’s, Porto Pizza, and Ben and Bill’s Chocolate Emporium, cited this charge as a deterrent for adopting card readers. All four managers and owners said the cash only policy was “simpler.” But it goes beyond that. Jirka Pavelka, owner of Porto Pizza, said he is trying to find a provider for his business to accept cards, but the service and the equipment are proving costly. “Different cards have different fees,” he said. “It’s an expensive process that we’re trying to find the best solution to.”

Carl Giordano, of Giordano’s Restaurant in Oak Bluffs, has been on both sides of a cash only business. While the take-out window of Gio’s is still cash only, the dining room section of the restaurant began accepting cards three years ago. “We’re trying to maintain an inexpensive family atmosphere,” Mr. Giordano said. “And we’re a seasonal business. In the dining room, when we began accepting cards, the extra percentage meant we had to raise our food prices. We already have the extra costs, being an Island, of food shipping, plus a town-imposed Oak Bluffs meal tax. I wouldn’t want to have to raise the cost of a slice of pizza any more.”

The hope is that some of those costs might be matched by customers spending more money paying with a debit or credit card. “Maybe they’re buying another bottle of wine that they wouldn’t have if they only had cash,” said Mr. Giordano, admitting that the cash only policy in the dining room might have deterred some customers, or limited their spending.

“The takeout window is a different animal,” Mr. Giordano said. His main reason for staying cash only at the takeout window is time saving. The line gets so busy, he said, that if everyone paid with a card, the printing and signing of receipts would inhibit the line from moving steadily.

Steady lines keep happy customers. But what about customers who find themselves lacking in cash? “It definitely annoys them,” said Kate Merges, a manager at Ben and Bill’s, “but I’ve never had a really horrible experience.”

“There’s so many ATMs near these cash only businesses, especially on Main Street and Circuit Ave., that most people don’t find it to be a huge deal,” said Laura Gilman, a manager at Mocha Mott’s. Although some might argue that ATM fees can easily turn a $2 purchase into a $5 purchase for the customer.

Still, the cash only model remains popular among small businesses. It minimizes bookkeeping, prevents fraud, and allows businesses to receive payment on the spot without waiting for transactions to process. And, of course, the tip jar is more likely to fill up when folks receive change in cash.

But anyone who has seen the line spill out into the street from a cash only Circuit Avenue sandwich spot knows that even “small” businesses on the Vineyard don’t feel so small in the summertime. Perhaps it’s time businesses find an easier solution than memorizing directions to the nearest ATM.

Finding a solution

There’s a lot of ways for small businesses, even start-ups, to work around the cash-only dilemma. Nat’s Nook and Not Your Sugar Mamas in Vineyard Haven, for instance, have adopted card swiping systems that require little more than an iPad. The technology is constantly evolving. Cash-only businesses can even accept payment online and via mobile phones with tools like PayNearMe andElavon.

Let me be clear: I love many of these cash-only businesses. They are staples of our community and serve delicious food and drink. Card reader or no, I can’t imagine an Island without homefries at Dock Street, the buffalo chicken at Skinny’s Fat Sandwiches, ice cream at Mad Martha’s, pizza at Fella’s, La Choza burritos, or a Menemsha picnic from The Bite. Even the dance floor level of The Lampost requires cash. Personally, I think the walk to an ATM is worthwhile if it means getting delicious food or drink from one of these spots. But once in a while, a little food for thought is a healthy addition to any diet.

In the meantime, since we love our cash-only businesses so much, here’s a handy map to show you where you can find an ATM before you order.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported that the Menemsha Galley only takes cash. The popular eatery and ice cream stop with the million dollar harbor view also takes credit cards.

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Looks weird, tastes great: the Nobnocket Nectar from Tisberry. — Kelsey Perrett

This article was supposed to wait until August: what better time to talk about cold and refreshing drinks? But the humidity has been so oppressive the past couple of weeks that it seems the dog days of summer have come a bit early, and I’ve found myself drinking more smoothies than ever.

A "Mighty Green Monkey" from Blissed Out.
A “Mighty Green Monkey” from Blissed Out.

The great thing about smoothies in the hot weather is not just that they’re cold. Their liquid form is very easy to digest, so you don’t get that bloated food coma feeling while it’s already creeping on 80 percent humidity. They’re a great way to squeeze in servings of fruit and veggies (especially leafy greens), and they’re super easy to modify if you have dietary restrictions or intolerances (Hint: great ice cream replacement for the dairy-free crowd). Lots of Islanders favor smoothies as a quick-grab breakfast to sip on while stuck in traffic at the drawbridge. I’m a fan of the smoothie as an afternoon snack, a blood sugar and vitamin booster late in the day when I feel like crashing.

I recently bought a new blender. I splurged and got a Ninja, an impressive stack of whirling blades that could chop, process, pulse, or purée a diamond. I’ve been making all kinds of delicious treats. (My favorite: coconut milk, almond milk, a banana, almond butter, and a scoop of Not Your Sugar Mamas Be Cozy chocolate powder). The only problem with the blender is it appears to have a violent streak. Those samurai blades have already hacked my fingers to shreds on several occasions, and I’ve become rather wary of it.

For my own safety I’ve decided I’m only allowed to use (and wash) the blender under adult supervision. At the very least, with someone nearby to either drive me to the hospital or call an ambulance.

A Chocolate Almond Bliss "Milkshake" and Spinach & Mango smoothie from Not Your Sugar Mamas in Vineyard Haven.
A Chocolate Almond Bliss “Milkshake” and Spinach & Mango smoothie from Not Your Sugar Mamas in Vineyard Haven.

Luckily, we have so many great smoothie spots around the Island, I can get my fix while I learn how to fight a Ninja.

Blissed Out: When I told a certain Editor-in-Chief the price range of smoothies at Blissed Out, ($8-15) he exclaimed “What do you get, a puréed Filet Mignon?” That would be gross of course, but he was correct in assuming you pay for exceptional quality here. All the juices and smoothies are not only fresh, but made exclusively from organic, vegan ingredients that are free of dairy, gluten, and refined sugar. Try replacing your coffee with the “Mocha Maca Mashup” for an extra energy boost. Main Street, Vineyard Haven, or at the “Bliss Bus” at Eden on State Road, Vineyard Haven.

Not Your Sugar Mamas: While we’re on the topic of dairy, gluten, refined sugar free superfoods, it’s necessary to give a shout-out to Not Your Sugar Mamas in both Vineyard Haven and Edgartown. This year, they began delivering fruit smoothies and dairy free “milkshakes” that are just sweet enough, and remarkably good for you. I like the Chocolate Almond Bliss: raw cacao, almond butter, coconut, cashews, dates, and coconut water. The dates sweeten things up, and the cashews blend into a rich creamy texture. $13.95. Beach Road in Vineyard Haven; Winter Street in Edgartown.

Tisberry: Traditional fruit and yogurt smoothies are the obvious choice at this froyo hotspot, but the dairy isn’t a must. They recently converted their other smoothies into almond milk blends. I usually enjoy a veggie boost with the refreshing, gingery Nobnocket Nectar, but lately I’ve been eying the PB&J smoothie: Strawberry, raspberry, banana, peanut butter, almond milk, and apple juice. Woah. Prices range from about $5.95 to $6.95. Cromwell Lane, Vineyard Haven.

Y Cafe: Sweet and simple, the Y Cafe at the YMCA of M.V. in Oak Bluffs offers few smoothie choices, but they do each well. The best part about the Y is its convenient location in a traffic-free zone near the roundabout. The cafe is open to the public, and it’s a great spot to stop if you’re not quite headed into any town. Plus, they make healthy post-workout snacks. The strawberry banana blends fruit with yogurt and soy milk, as does the tropical blend, which is a combo of banana, pineapple, mango, and orange. $5 for a small, $7 for a large. Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road, Oak Bluffs.

Morning Glory: The farmstand at Morning Glory no longer hosts its smoothie bar, but fret not, they are bottling smoothies (and juices) for the super-on-the-run. Using ingredients inspired by the seasonal harvest, mixed with organic yogurt and milk, and a banana to hold it all together, the staff at Morning Glory delivers the freshest bottled smoothies around (so ditch those Naked bottled sludges). Right now they are offering strawberry and nectarine, peach, and pear flavors. They also hope to revive their popular Green and Good smoothie soon: banana, strawberry, kale, and cucumber or orange juice. $6.95 pint. Meshacket Road, Edgartown.

Tocco Puro: Remember that talk about a smoothie as breakfast? Tocco Puro in Edgartown does it perfectly with their “Morning Smoothie.” It comes in a variety of flavors, but central to every Morning Smoothie is oats and protein powder, which will fill up even the heartiest bacon and eggs fan for only $5.95. South Water Street, Edgartown.

Beetlebung: There are a lot of great smoothies using coffee out there, but Beetlebung (in Oak Bluffs and Menemsha) has realized the perfect pairing for a real fruit smoothie is green tea. It’s crisp, refreshing, and blends into organic lowfat yogurt or soy milk surprisingly well. Choose from strawberry, strawberry-banana, mango, or mango-banana. $5.26 for a small; $5.79 for a large. Basin Road, Menemsha, or Circuit Avenue, Oak Bluffs.

Espresso Love: Like the two aforementioned cafes, Espresso Love is known for their coffee drinks, but they also offer up three styles of fresh fruit smoothies, all priced at $6.50. Their green smoothie blends baby spinach, banana, apple, almonds, and almond milk, but you can skip the leafy greens for a berry or peach smoothie, too. Church Street, Edgartown.

I also encourage you to practice the ancient art of smoothie-making at home. Just remember to keep calm in the face of danger and never, ever, lose sight of your opponent under a sinkful of soapy water.

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Tarragon Chicken Salad, Fella's Take Out, West Tisbury. — Kaylea Moore

Nothing ruins a good beach day like hunger. Okay, there’s rain. Sunburns. Shark attacks. But let us not stray down the path of cynicism. My point is, a long leisurely day on the beach is made much better by food. And what better food for a picnic than a sandwich?

Compact, easy to transport, easy to eat, delicious: it’s almost as if sandwiches were made for the beach. That can’t be why they’re called SAND-wiches, can it? (Actually, they are named for John Montagu, the fourth Earl of Sandwich…but I’m boring myself now.) Here are some of my favorite sandwiches for some of your favorite beaches.

Edgartown: Whether you’re headed to Left Fork or Right, stop first at the Katama General Store, which offers quick and easy prepared foods, including sandwiches, straight from their coolers.

Oak Bluffs: If you’re beaching it in Oak Bluffs, you pretty much have all the restaurants on Circuit Avenue, Kennebec, and the harbor to choose from. One local favorite is Humphreys, for monster sized sandwiches on freshly baked bread of your choice. I’m partial to their version of the Gobbler — turkey, cranberry sauce, and Thanksgiving stuffing on warm whole wheat bread.

Vineyard Haven: Really the only public beach choices in Vineyard Haven are Owen Park Beach and Tashmoo, but sandwich choices are aplenty. Best bet? Waterside Market on Main Street. Their toasty ciabatta bread holds up their dense sandwiches quite nicely, and it’s just a short walk from Owen Park. My favorite is the Farmhouse: chicken, bacon, onion jam, pecan goat cheese, and fresh spinach.

Up Island: The opposite of V.H.:many beaches, fewer dining options. It all depends where you’re headed, or where you’re lucky enough to get a beach pass. Lambert’s Cove? Fella’s Take Out take’s care of classic sandwich cravings. Their chicken salad, mixed with the crisp herbal flavor of tarragon, is great for a hot day. Otherwise, the Cronig’s deli also offers sandwiches to go, along with other prepared foods. (Stock up on fruit, chips, drinks, and other beach snacks here too).

Heading farther up Island? Stop at 7a Foods for a sandwich that usually contains a surprise ingredient, like blueberries or marcona almonds. I can’t say enough about the Liz Lemon sandwich: hot, housemade pastrami, turkey, swiss, coleslaw, russian dressing, and potato chips on rye. The genius of Tina Fey embodied in sandwich form.

If you’re up as far as Chilmark, better stop at the Chilmark General Store. There’s no turning back from here. Heading to Lucy, Squibby, Philbin, or beyond, you’ll want rations. For extra endurance, choose the “Road Race,” named for Chilmark’s Middle Road 5K, stuffed with roasted chicken, avocado, house-made romesco sauce, aioli, basil, and arugula on ciabatta.

And enjoy

Mission accomplished, you have the perfect sandwich for your perfect beach day. Don’t eat it in the car before you get to the beach. Do eat it before the bread gets soggy and the mayo turns. Protect it from sand and seagulls. Share with friends. Ignore that silly “wait 20 minutes before swimming” rule, and have a blast.

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Artist Chris Roberts-Antieau brings New Orleans funk to an Edgartown pop-up.

"Constellations." — Antieau Gallery

Chris Roberts-Antieau calls me from a cemetery, somewhere in her home state of Michigan. A storm knocked out her power and cell reception the previous evening, but she is still jovial. She laughs. She has found a way to communicate with me, even though it meant traveling through a rather dismal place.

"Dad on a Hill."
“Dad on a Hill.”

Ms. Roberts-Antieau is the owner, and artist, at Edgartown’s newest pop-up, The Antieau Gallery on North Water Street. Her work includes mixed media sculptures, and colorful, folk art inspired fabric work. Rest assured, these are not your grandmother’s quilts.

Like many young women, Ms. Roberts-Antieau first learned to sew in seventh grade home economics class. “I’ve always been drawn to fabric,” said the artist, who first tried channeling her creative impulses into clothing design. “That was horrible,” she admits. “I burnt out on that pretty quickly.” One day, a friend recommended that she try framing some of her fabric-applique designs, and – voila! – a style was born.

“It’s basically an old quilting technique,” Ms. Roberts-Antieau said of her applique work. “It’s cut fabric sewn onto a fabric background. I sometimes do up to four or five layers.” She also uses machine embroidery, which she describes as “basically drawing with a sewing machine.” Her newest works involve “scribbling with different color thread, so you get sort of a painting effect.”

The result is an homage to the American quilting tradition, a nod to folk art inspired subjects like birds roosting in a tree among stars. In one work, a stone-faced man with a guitar looks straight ahead. It is unclear whether he is ignoring the temptresses surrounding the frame, or if he has already submitted to them. Other pieces appear to be tapestries of advice: “Anything can kill you” reads one quilt work, depicting several of the more comical ways to meet your maker. Another advises what to do “in case of fire.”

There is a decidedly dark undercurrent ripping through the joyously colorful works, but Ms. Roberts-Antieau still makes it hard to keep a straight face. Her snowglobe collection, for instance, takes the beauty and innocence of a delicate child’s toy, and places it inside disastrous scenes of murders and chimpanzee attacks. On display now is a diorama-like dollhouse depicting the rooms of the Clutter house, where a family of four was murdered in 1959 in Kansas. (If you haven’t read Capote’s “In Cold Blood,” put down this article and go do it.) “Even with the dark pieces, people laugh,” said gallery director Heidi Henrick. “They find the humor in either the absurdity or reality of it.”

"The Blues Saved My Life."
“The Blues Saved My Life.”

“As an artist, you need to explore all aspects of the human existence, the dark and the light side,” Ms. Roberts-Antieau explained. “I’m intrigued by both, by joy and sadness. I kind of do whatever I want. Hopefully all artists are able to do that — that’s kind of the point.”

The Edgartown pop-up is the second Antieau Gallery in the United States. Ms. Roberts-Antieau opened the first, in New Orleans, as a pop-up opportunity after displaying her work at Jazz Fest in 2010. The gallery has since become a staple in the New Orleans art scene.

“New Orleans is one of those places you sort of fall in love with,” Ms. Roberts-Antieau said. “The Vineyard has a lot of the same properties as New Orleans. It’s a great mix of people, it’s down to earth, it’s a very similar vibe, with its own flavor.”

The New Orleans style has percolated into Ms. Roberts-Antieau’s work in more ways than one. The colors, the themes, the subject matter: there’s a music to it that’s part jangling ragtime and part bittersweet delta blues. The Big Easy has also worked its way into the way Ms. Roberts-Antieau and Ms. Henrick run their gallery. “We’re trying to bring a little bit of New Orleans to Martha’s Vineyard,” Ms. Roberts-Antieau said. No quiet wine and cheese receptions here. The Antieau Gallery will host Pabst Blue Ribbon sponsored live music bashes all summer, along with special New Orleans guests that may include spoken word poetry and a brass band.

The whole gallery, the work, the vibe, is wonderfully unpretentious, one of those refreshing reminders that life is for the living. Just like laughing in a graveyard.

Opening Reception: Friday, July 11, 6 pm. Music by  Jeremy Berlin and Randy Eckert. Antieau Gallery is located at 11 N. Summer St. in Edgartown. For more information, call 508-627-7471 or email heidi@antieaugallery.com.

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The move to Saturday night necessitated by a brush with Hurricane Arthur did little to dim the crowds or their enthusiasm. The arrival of clear, dry air provided perfect conditions.
Each burst in the dark night sky brought a chorus of “ooohs” from the crowd. And when it was all done, there was applause.

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The Local Smoke smoker is the perfect machine for cooking barbeque slow and low, and initiating good times. — Tim Laursen

The Fourth of July is arguably the biggest barbeque day of the year in America. For those fortunate enough to have the holiday, or maybe even a long weekend off, there’s a pretty standard way to pass the day that includes praying for sunshine, lounging on a beach or boat, fireworks, and of course, throwing meat on a grill. In every group of family or friends, there’s usually a designated grillmaster that aces it every time. Otherwise, it’s some dopey dad in a Kiss the Cook apron, who serves up charred burgers with raw centers every time. This article is for that guy. Because some of the best pitmasters on the Island are about to drop their BBQ knowledge. And if even that fails, one of them offers takeout.

A pig pile at Smoke 'N Bones: Memphis ribs, 1/2 chicken, pulled pork, cornbread, and beans
A pig pile at Smoke ‘N Bones: Memphis ribs, 1/2 chicken, pulled pork, cornbread, and beans

“Slow and low, that is the tempo,” insisted my good friends The Beastie Boys. They may have been talking about the beat behind their rhymes, but the same applies to good barbeque. Really great smoked barbeque can take hours to perfect. According to Tim Laursen of Local Smoke, it’s all about “patience, good fire control, and understanding the heat source.”

Local Smoke, which debuted their local BBQ creations at the Ag Fair in 2010, is comprised of  Mr. Laursen, a sculptor/musician, and farmer/stonemason Everett Whiting. Mr. Whiting’s family has been holding roasts for generations, but Laursen said, “it’s sort of a vacation for us to become pitmasters.”

Local Smoke raises their own pigs and they use chicken from Whippoorwill Farm, Cleveland Farm, or The Good Farm. They are also big fans of local lamb, and beef ribs. “People should try beef ribs,” Mr. Laursen said. “They’re nicely marbleized and have giant bones.”

Mssrs. Laursen and Whiting use an old-fashioned smoker to maintain the correct temperature, slow cooking the meat for hours, sometimes half a day. The smoker, which has a firebox built in, runs the smoke through chambers to cool it to the ideal temp of 190 to 240 degrees. They use a paprika-based dry rub of 15 spices before the meat hits the fire, then baste it. “I’ve experimented with injecting beer and moisture,” Laursen said. “I’ve also been working on a vinegar based sauce — I love that tangy after-splash.” But overall, Laursen said, the idea is to keep it simple: “The flavor the dry oak wood imparts is unique in itself.”

While an old-fashioned slow cooker is awesome, it’s not essential to good BBQ. A charcoal fire will do the trick. Here are Laursen’s tips for the home chef cooking pork butt, shoulder, or ribs:

“Let the charcoal get grey before you cook. Identify the hottest part of the fire, move the heat to one side, move your meat to the other side, and put the lid on. You also want to keep a tin foil tray underneath with water for moisture. Cook it low and slow. Don’t touch it, don’t poke it with a knife or cut it open. Once you put it on, let it be, so it develops a nice crust. We’re talking surface temps of 600 to 900 degrees: charcoal burns hot, so it’s about keeping the meat from burning while it cooks slowly. Be patient. Leave them for the first hour, hour and a half, before turning.”

Chicken and ribs get their glaze on the grill at Smoke 'N Bones.
Chicken and ribs get their glaze on the grill at Smoke ‘N Bones.

Okay, so let’s say something goes horribly wrong. The freight vessel delivering all the  charcoal to the Island gets commandeered by pirates. Or, your drunken slob of a friend topples into the grill, knocking all of the meat into the fire. What do you do? You do what Islanders do every day they want good barbeque: call up Smoke ‘N Bones.

Owner Stewart Robinson says 40 to 60 percent of the business at his Oak Bluffs restaurant comes from takeout, so don’t be ashamed. They also run a huge catering business. All their meat is treated to a dry rub, marinated, and smoked for four to seven hours at a low heat. “We’re one of the only spots in New England that does a real Southern style barbeque.” Mr. Robinson said. His chef is straight out of North Carolina, so you know it’s true.

Mr. Robinson added, “We use only the best cuts of meat, we don’t fool around here.”

Offerings include all the staples, such as baby backs, pulled pork and chicken, and brisket. One of the most popular sides is “Stewart’s World Famous Onion Rings,” which aren’t at all greasy. There’s also a great kids menu.

As far as grilling at home goes, Mr. Robinson noted that “everyone has their own style.” Everyone has their own favorites too. Edgartown Meat and Fish Market prepares great marinated meats and kabobs that are as simple as picking up and placing on a grill. Soigne is a good place to snag sides. Black Sheep does cured and smoked meats in addition to awesome cheeses. Reliable Market and Shiretown Meats have butcheries. It’s always optimal to check farm stands for local meat too. I got some killer ribs from Blackwater Farm last week. There are as many options on the Island as there are people.

Mr. Laursen told me that he recently visited Prospect Park in Brooklyn, while scores of families were out barbecuing. There were Armenians, Russians, African Americans, South Americans, all with meat sizzling away on a grill. Each smoke cloud smelled a little different, each style unique, but it was all based on the same idea.

“Barbeque is an equalizer,” Mr. Laursen said. “It’s simple, and timeless. It brings everyone together. It’s a complicated world, everyone’s lives are different, but when they’re standing next to a barbeque, it’s pretty universal what you’re supposed to do: relax, enjoy company, knowing there will be food. That’s what summer’s all about.” Now what could be more American than that?