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Sunday, November 27, 2016


turned into so much more.

Because I promoted Small Business Saturday on this blog, I decided to spend the day living what I believe...small business makes communities more interesting and unique and are deserving of support. 

Once I got my ass moving which seems to take longer these days, I headed to Walnut Street Café for my Saturday iced coffee.  Man, the place was packed so I needed an alternative plan. 

Friday I drove by Pho Minh Ky on Union St.  I've had Pho but I wanted some really delicious unbelievable Pho.  Pho Minh Ky was on my mind all night.  Side note...if I get something in my head that is important or if it is something I want to do, it stays there until it is satisfied.   Think Paris!

11:00...I decided it was time to try Pho.  No one was there when I arrived but it quickly filled out with quite the diverse crowd.  The staff was great.  The Pho Ga was so so delicious.  The large is gigantic for $7.95.  There was plenty left over.  I can only imagine what the extra-large looks like. 

I walked by Treasures Too and peeked in...lots of interesting items but nothing for me. 

Back to Walnut Street for an iced coffee. 

Next stop was Eva's Organic Butcher Shop in Middleton. -

Today I am preparing a Thanksgiving at home and needed some additional items.

Eva's is owned by Roberto and Barrianne Alonzo.  Roberto was born and raised in Argentina.  His family were commercial butchers from whom he learned his trade.

The quality of their meat is top notch and locally sourced.  I have been going to their Middleton shop since just about when they opened.  It is still good but it doesn't have the same feel as it did before they open their shops in Beverly and Marblehead. 

For dessert, who could resist Jeni's ice cream. 

Pamplemousse in Reading carries her products.  Here we go...Middleton to Reading.

Jeni started a small business in Ohio which has grown into a national business.  Her ice cream is unique (can you say goat cheese and fig ice cream - my favorite), uses well sourced ingredients and is delicious.  Downside is that it is very expensive so I only buy it on special occasions.  Today, I didn't buy any.  Pamplemousse had one of my favorite chocolate wines for dessert...Trentadue Chocolate Amore.  SOLD!  They also had a specific wine for a special Christmas present. 

The best surprise of the day...was the music of Ian Maksim at the White Horse Coffee House.  Ian was born and raised in Russia...St. Petersburg to be exact. 

I have no words for how incredible his concert was.  The show was an add on at a very small venue.  The evening concert was sold out so a 4:00 show was added...lucky for me.

He style is very unique.  He started out with some classical music (Bach) progressed to some Russian, French, Balkan and Irish tunes.  Not only did he play the cello but he sang.  He sang in Russian, French and English.  The Russian ballads were beautifully haunting.  He performed some original music and music of Sting and BB King.  The clip below does not even begin to capture how amazing his music is.

When Ian performs in a community, he hires a local musician.  Last night Fabio Pirozzolo, originally from Italy, accompanied on percussion.  He also sang 3 southern Italian ballads and chants.  The songs were from 3 different cities and sung in the local dialect.  I fell in love with his music.

A clip of Fabio follows:

Ian and Fabio had never performed together prior to Saturday night.  It seemed like they had been together forever.

I went to the White Horse Coffee House hoping for a fun evening of music.  It ended up being an amazing experience that blew me away.  Who knew a cellist could be this talented and perform such a wide range of music?

Oh and the White House staff recommended a spectacular French wine.  The plan had been to go to April's after the show but a couple of glasses of wine and an appetizer did the trick. 

How lucky is it to live in a community where you can get Vietnamese Pho, go to an Argentinian butcher and then hear musicians from Russia and Italy.  Learning about and exploring different cultures makes a life worth living.

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