Empire Ford in New Bedford – Service Department

$9.95 oil changes?! Here’s a look at Empire Ford of New Bedford’s service department – now open to 8pm on Tuesdays and Thursday. Oil changes are $9.95 between 5-8pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays! Call 888-693-0925 to make an appointment.




Foodie’s Guide to Regional Gastronomy: Dominican Republic’s Mofongo, Chimichurri and Pastelitos

Series Introduction (Move down if you’re familiar with the thread or don’t care)

In this series, we hope to highlight and showcase in as interesting a way as possible, the stories behind our favorite, mouth-watering local dishes. While we’ll focus on greater New Bedford and the South Coast, we will occasionally “travel” to places like Plymouth, Providence or even Boston. I will attempt to keep it light-hearted, fun and easy to read. While I can’t promise to keep you compelled and pull you along with prose – that would take a professional writer – I will promise to be liberal with the drool-inducing images of these dishes.

I grew up in a Sicilian household where everyone – man, woman, child – was participating in preparing meals. It was a “trick” to get everyone together, talking, laughing and of course, the occasional heated debate. Food was a huge part of our identity, where we came from, who we were. There was something special about the atmosphere that revolved around a meal that we prepared.

This is certainly not unique to an Italian or Sicilian household. Every ethnic group in the country has a proud culinary tradition that they grew up around. You can easily replace “Sicilian” with Irish, Vietnamese, Portuguese, Ethiopian, Greek or anything else. This is why food as a topic is always so popular. We humans love our food and that passion goes beyond the gustatory or taste – we crave the aromas, delight in the presentation, are fueled by the atmosphere, and relish – pardon the pun – discussion about our favorite dishes, restaurants or cuisines.

One thing that is often not discussed – is glossed over, or barely touched upon – is the history or background of these dishes. Now, to some, this conjures up the voice of the guy from the “dry eyes” commercial. The terms, for many, are synonymous with “boring,” “dull,” or “It’s time to go.” However, the background can be interesting, fun, or funny and it can be so without being facetious, dumbed-down or popular. I will make every attempt to maintain a fresh balance with those elements in this series.

As always, feedback is encouraged. Anecdotes are wanted. Discussion is paramount. Please join in!

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There are many cultures that have contributed their cuisine to greater New Bedford. While the most known are Portuguese and French-Canadian, the various Latin American cuisines from the Hispanic world when combined is one of the greatest contributors in the region and the nation, for that matter.

While the language may be shared (though some native Spanish speakers may accuse other nations of not actually speaking Spanish!) the cuisines can have some astounding, stark differences. Having said that, nations near each other geographically cam often have variations of one particular dish – often claiming to be the originators.

The Dominican Republic has a relatively large presence in greater New Bedford and has brought a number of mouth-watering dishes. The Caribbean island nation shares the island with Haiti and is east of Cuba and Jamaica. That will give you a sense of the influences on their cuisine which comes primarily from Spain, but also has strong influences from the indigenous Taino, the Congo in West Africa and Levantine Middle East.

While nothing is ever better than home cooking, there are restaurants in the region that either specialize or offer a few dishes: La Candela, Celia’s, El Caribe and Panchi’s here in New Bedford and the aptly named Dominican Restaurant and Latino in Fall River. I have eaten quite a bit at the first three places, never at the others. I’ve also eaten at restaurants around the country and been privileged enough to have eaten home-cooked Dominican food from co-workers while working throughout New Bedford.

Mofongo and Mofongo Relleno

I will state from the get-go that Mofongo is one of the greatest dishes ever created on this planet. While Mofongo is considered by the majority of the Spanish speaking world to be Puerto Rican, it is, in fact, a dish that has its roots in West Africa’s Fufu, and when combined with Spanish influences became common throughout the Carribean.

So, what is the manna, this food dropped from heaven, this dish so good every bite is life-changing? Its base is mashed and fried plantains seasoned with garlic, salt and oil, and throughout the Carribean that is about the only thing they agree on. Plantains are native to Asia but made their way to West Africa before the Carribean where they are a staple to both.

Now, when it comes to things we foodies love, the word “juicy” is quintessential and pretty much describes everything that has ever been delicious. We need “juicy.” I will go into a cry-closet and not come out if something is dry. I will have temporary PTSD. The founding father Patrick Henry actually said “Give me juicy, or give me death.” and only through Chinese Whispers has his original historic statement been lost.

The plantains’ purpose is to absorb all the mouth-watering juiciness that comes from the meat and sauce that is poured over the top so we can enter foodie Nirvāṇa. An upside down bell is formed with the mashed plantains and then flipped onto a plate before being smothered with sauce and your choice of meat. The sauce is typically a chicken-based broth, garlic, olive oil, and the standard meat is chicken, shrimp or beef but can also be octopus, bacon, or chicharrón (pork cracklings).

In my opinion, the only thing better than that is the mofongo relleno or stuffed mofongo. Before flipping the shell you load it with sauce and filling, cap it off with more mashed plantain, flip it over and smother it with sauce and meat.

I have seen variations – mostly food stalls and food trucks – that leave the upside down bell in a plastic bowl and then they pour everything inside the “bell” and served.

Since we live in a melting pot of a community, I would love to see a fusion with Portuguese cuisine – a mofongo stuffed with shrimp Mozambique, pork Alentejana, or linguiça, anyone?

Pastelitos and Pasteles en Hojas

Pastelitos or Savory Turnovers are common not only throughout the Latin world but all over the world. You’d be hard pressed to find a culture that didn’t have some version, whether savory or sweet. Each culture has a different preference for the filling and even the name – pastelitos, pastelillo, pasteles, empanada, empanaditas, pastie, croquettes, dumpling, calzone, et al are used synonymously. Often the difference in a word is just the size or which preference a region or country has settled on.

Whatever you call them, planet earth and earthlings have a love affair with them. While they can be baked, they are typically fried to get the dough to be crispy and flaky and then stuffed with a delectable sauce and diced, chopped or ground beef, chicken or shrimp. Some can even have some melty, gooey cheese. My first foray into the Dominican version was simple ground beef and spices cooked by someone’s grandmother. If you have had one, you know that you really don’t need anything more than perfectly, lightly seasoned fresh ingredients and a crust that was fried until it was golden crisp. Simple ingredients, culinary works of art.

I have heard that some blasphemers will dip them in ketchup. If you witness evil in this form, please call your local police department and report it.

Pasteles en hojas is the use of grated plantains, on occasion cassava or potato, seasoned, mashed into a paste, shaped and stuffed with meat. They are then wrapped with a banana leaf and boiled. Sound familiar? Yes, it is akin to the famous Mexican tamale.

What makes these varieties of pasteles so popular beyond their tastiness are their utility: you can grab one on the go. Or if you are so predisposed, grab 2,3 or 8 on the go.

Chimichurri Dominicano or Chimi Hamburguesa

Like the pasteles, the Chimichurri Dominicano or Chimi Burger, is extremely popular among street vendors, trucks and stalls, perhaps even more so. There are even Chimi Trucks specializing in just this one iconic dish.

This sandwich is symbolic of much of Dominican cuisine – it takes the best of a few cultures and makes it their own. You have one part hamburger, one part Argentinian chimichurri, and one part Puerto Rico’s pan de agua bread. The meat is ground pork or beef, chimicurri is chopped garlic, fresh parsley and oregano, olive oil, vinegar, and a pinch or two of red pepper flakes, and the bread is a sort of baguette which is crispy on the outside and soft inside.

Like red sauce with Italians, each cook makes their own special recipe and hungry foodies all swear their favorite variation is best of all. As you well know, there is an astounding variety in Italian sauce with just tomatoes, salt, pepper and garlic which everyone claims is distinctly different and superior to everyone else’s. So you can imagine the variety and claims to superiority that the Chimi Burger comes with. In fact, just look at how zealous people can get in America when you ask them who makes the best burgers. A few ingredients prepared a particular way to differentiate it.

Honorable Mentions

Chicharrón de pollo (or puerca) Dominicano or chunks of fried chicken which can be eaten alone or used as a filling or topping are incredibly popular. A dish that sounds strange is Spaghetti a la Dominicana – spaghetti cooked with…milk, garlic, onions, peppers, olives and oregano covered in a salami based tomato sauce. I’ve never had it, so can’t vouch for it.

Of course, you’d have to live under a rock to have never heard of or tried tostones which are sliced plantains fried, removed from the oil, slightly flattened and then fried again. Salt and/or lightly season, serve still warm and you have a delicious snack.

Sopa de mondongo is a diced tripe (cow stomach) slow-cooked soup with vegetables, celery, tomatoes, cabbage, carrots, onions, bell peppers, garlic and cilantro.

When it comes to desserts, the Dominican Republic makes a rice pudding (Arroz Con Leche) and Dulce de leche (with pineapple jam) that rivals anyone’s, but probably most popular and know the world over is Arepa a dense cornmeal and coconut cake. It is considered a “poor man’s” dish because of the common, few and simple ingredients (water, milk, sugar, egg, butter, cinnamon) and it is so easily made that kids often make it. Think of a moist cornbread with coconut and a hint of cinnamon added.

This was not meant to be an exhaustive list, so if I didn’t include something it is because I am unfamiliar with it.

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Do you have a favorite among these Dominican dishes? Or is your favorite not one that is mentioned? Do you make any of these dishes or know someone that does? Have a recipe? Let us know in the comments!




Azorean Maritime Heritage Society’s 2019 “Sails of Portugal” Wine and Food tasting, raffle for trip to the Azores and more, June 15

Enjoy a wide selection of wines, local beer, and food from the area’s restaurants. Get your raffle tickets for a chance to win a 6-night hotel and tour package in São Miguel Azores OR $1,000 in cash. 2nd prize: a party in a barrel (min. $500 value, complete with clam boil and much more!). You can also bid on a variety of fantastic silent auction items for $45/ticket.

This is AMHS’s major annual fundraiser. Proceeds this year go towards sending Team USA to the Azores for the 10th International Azorean Whaleboat Regatta, as well as boat maintenance and cultural programming.

Purchase your tickets from your favorite team member, at Luzo Auto (19 County St., New Bedford, MA), or online through the Sails of Portugal’s Eventbrite page.

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“Sails of Portugal” Wine and Food Tasting

New Bedford Whaling Museum – Harbor View Gallery
18 Johnny Cake Hill
New Bedford, MA 02740

Phone: 5089712780
Email: azoreanwhaleboats@gmail.com

WHEN:
Sat, June 15, 2019,
6:00 PM – 9:00 PM EDT

Website: azoreanmaritime.org/event/2019-sails-of-portugal-wine-food-tasting-2/
Facebook: facebook.com/AzoreanMaritimeHeritageSociety/
Facebook Event Page: facebook.com/events/1296047947418259




St. Anne’s Credit Union’s 25th Annual FREE Summer Concert featuring “The Sugarbabies,” June 29

Join us for our 25th Annual Summer Concert at Heritage State Park! Headlining this year’s show will be The Sugarbabies – a collective of musicians and performers from Berklee College of Music and a top-rated wedding and party band in New England for the last eight years!

Don’t miss this FREE fun-filled day on the Fall River Waterfront!

Saturday, June 29

• 4:00 – 5:00 The Mike Moran Band with Special Guest Bobby Justin
• 5:30 – 7:30 The Sugarbabies

Plus, enter to win prizes and participate in activities for all ages throughout the day:

• Characters – Spiderman & Minnie Mouse
• Balloon Animal Artist
• Glitter Tattoos
• Face Painting
• Caricature Artist
• Games with prizes!
• Giveaways and more!

The Boys & Girls Club of Fall River will be selling snacks, and additional refreshments and food will also be available for purchase at the event. Please note that parking is limited near the waterfront, so we are offering FREE parking and shuttle services:

• Parking* – Borden & Remington Corporation – 63 Water St.
• Shuttle service including a handicap van will be available every 10 minutes starting at 3:30PM

Check our website for upcoming events and updates.

Sponsored in cooperation with WSAR and the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation. * St. Anne’s Credit Union is not responsible for vehicles or contents left in vehicles.




Nerds To Go offers cyber-security, repairs, IT solutions and everything in between for individual and small businesses

In the land of computer repair and service, the only way to differentiate oneself from the masses is to excel: do a better job than the rest, provide superior customer service, and offer an affordable, fair price. There is no way to live in the modern world without safe, secure, stable communication – through our smartphones, tablets and computers. From residents to small businesses, it’s vital to the day to day functioning and any disruption can have a significant impact.

One of the biggest errors a business can make is the bad practice of hiring their own Information Technology (I.T.). Many others will outsource their providers, often from another region or nation altogether. If you work in the financial service industry (accounting, personal finance, etc.), legal services (business law attorneys, and their office staff), or as a medical service provider that is a serious risk that can have heavy financial repercussions.

After spending 25 years in the I.T. field, Taunton resident, veteran and owner of “Nerds To Go,” John Danahey decided to put his vast knowledge, expertise and passion together in a venture and struck out on his own in June 2018. After his daughter was born in the summer of 2017, he felt that spending an average of 3 hours a day during a commute was going to take quality time from her. Family was too important.

The corporate I.T. world’s loss is boon for the region: Danahey has certifications from the SANS Institute, Bryant College, Arizona State University, the Disaster Recovery Institute International, and currently enrolled in the M.S. Systems Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Furthermore, he has worked in all types of environments from small start-ups to Fortune 1000 companies, managed data centers, data center relocations, corporate disaster recovery preparedness and exercises, enterprise software deployments, and software development organizations.

Combined with staff qualifications which include degrees from New England Institute of Technology, and several Apple and other certifications we get a world-class company that is staffed by experts in security, backup and restore, small and medium-sized businesses enterprise-class data protection and a number of other areas.



We are Nerds To Go, and we are data protection experts. Let us help you and your business eliminate your risks!

Danahey wants to separate himself from the highly competitive market and his decades of experience within the industry have taught him what those weaknesses are. In addition, he feels that there are many segments of the I.T. market that are neglected one of those is in-home service and another in-store service. Most companies want nothing to do with we “little” people since there aren’t large profits to be made. Danahey and staff bring the industry from the corporate world to our homes and shops offering service to all in a broadly encompassing manner.

“I have witnessed just how bad customer service can be in I.T. organizations and we will never hire anyone who believes that the customer is an inconvenience. We at NerdsToGo know that the customer is at the center of our world and they should be our most important consideration in everything,” said John.

Community Liaison Director Mitch Zucker feels that what separates Nerds To Go from the competition is their emphasis on focus on cybersecurity and helping small businesses to better protect themselves through firewalls and ongoing management of their servers and networks. Also their proactive maintenance which adds tremendous value to their clients by preventing unnecessary downtime.

Most companies have an approach whereby they address issues and problems as they arise while the staff at Nerds To Go feel that that is an outdated approach. Waiting until the damage has been done hurts the customer. Why not do as much as possible to prevent and use tackling issues as a secondary option?


No need to fear the Hard Drive Horror Show, if you work with Nerds To Go.

Showing their heart, desire to help the local community, and their flexible ability to customize to a client’s needs, Nerds To Go recently completed a project for a blind client. Being cut off from the benefits that those of us who have our sight reap, they built a system allowing her to have those same benefits using voice commands and then trained her on how to use it. Read her father’s touching letter in the photo album below.

If you own a business and want a glimpse at what they do each “First Friday” of the month they offer a FREE small business networking strategy session that also includes tips on developing your “pitch”, and how to get the most out of your “social media” presence.

When it comes to computer repairs, business data security services, IT services, diagnosing slow or frozen computers/phones/tablets/printers, networking needs, data backup and recovery, virus protection and removal, and everything in between Nerds To Go is the region’s go-to source. That includes PCs, MAC and even gaming consoles! Their quick response, expertise, and experience is invaluable and by making their service fair and affordable it is available to all even the resident at home.

If you are a current client and “refer a friend” who becomes a client you receive discounts on services. They also frequently offer promotions. Want to see what people who have used their services are saying? You can see testimonials here.

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Nerds To Go

63 Tremont St., Unit A
Taunton, Massachusetts

Call: (508) 659-4640 or 1-800-390-NERD

Monday-Friday: 9:00am-6:00pm
Saturday: 10:00am-2:00pm
Sunday: CLOSED

Facebook: facebook.com/NerdsToGoTauntonMA
Website: nerdstogo.com/location/taunton-ma/




The Donut Factory’s refreshing fruit drinks (New Bedford)

Love refreshing fruit drinks? Here’s a look at some of the offerings at The Donut Factory at 102 Rockdale Ave. in New Bedford.




dNB Burgers, Donut Factory, The Baker – big winners at Taste of Southcoast

The Donut Factory, The Baker and dNB Burgers each took home two awards. The winners of the 13th Annual Taste of Southcoast in New Bedford were:

People’s Choice Food
1st Place dNB Burgers
2nd Place Ella’s Wood Burning Oven Restaurant
3rd Place Cafe Restaurante Algarve

People’s Choice Dessert
1st Place The Baker – New Bedford
2nd Place Dough Fairhaven
3rd Place The Donut Factory

People’s Choice Best Chain Restaurant
1st Place Texas Roadhouse – N. Dartmouth
2nd Place 110 Grill
3rd Place Applebee’s Grill + Bar

People’s Choice Best Table Presentation
1st Place The Donut Factory
2nd Place The Baker
3rd Place dNB Burgers




Acushnet Farmers Market at Stone Bridge Farm opens for the season on June 1

The Acushnet Farmer’s Market at Stone Bridge Farm invites you to come checks an amazing assortment of vendors this season! Bring the family and meet up with friends. Great selection of vendors, music on the porch, cooking demos, cooked to order breakfast or lunch at the food truck.

We realize the importance of a venue for farmers and customers alike to connect with fresh produce, prepared foods and crafts. The market is more than just a place to buy fresh produce and handcrafted products. It acts as a vibrant gathering place for friends and family. We remain grateful for our community’s support.

Opening on the first Saturday in June through the last Saturday in September and open rain or shine, 9:00am to 1:00pm with ample off street parking.

Farmers Market Nutrition program coupons accepted. (WIC and Senior coupons) We are a SNAP authorized market.

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Acushnet Farmers Market

186 Leonard St
Acushnet, Massachusetts
Phone: (508) 951-1551
Email: eventsonthefarm@gmail.com

Saturdays: 10:00am-2:00pm
June through September, Starting June 2nd!

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Facebook Event Page: facebook.com/events/407700516748554
Facebook Page: facebook.com/AcushnetFarmersMarket/
Website: http://acushnetfarmersmarket.com/

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The Medeiros Law Firm to serve as Title Sponsor of 2019 JA Golf Championship

Junior Achievement of Southern Massachusetts announces that The Medeiros Law Firm will act as the Title Sponsor for the 22nd Annual JA IRONMAN Golf Championship with a $10,000 donation to support JA’s free financial literacy, career readiness, and entrepreneurship education programs across Southern Massachusetts.

Ryan M. Medeiros, Esq. – founder and sole owner of The Medeiros Law Firm – is from New Bedford and graduated from New Bedford High School before going on to receive his B.A. in Corporate Systems from Boston College and J.D. from the University of Massachusetts School of Law – Dartmouth.

Attorney Medeiros said, “As a New Bedford-native and an entrepreneur, I’m happy to support Junior Achievement in their efforts to bring financial literacy, career readiness, and entrepreneurship programs to the SouthCoast. I know firsthand how important these skills are in the business world and I’m pleased to be in a position to support our local community through Junior Achievement.”

President of Junior Achievement of Southern Massachusetts Jeffrey Pelletier said, “We are deeply grateful for Ryan Medeiros and The Medeiros Law Firm’s support which will help us bring JA’s life-changing programs to thousands of students across the region again this year. Ryan is a great example of a local entrepreneur who is committed to his community and his generosity will go far for our local students. ”

The IRONMAN Golf Championship is Junior Achievement of Southern Massachusetts’ largest fundraising event each year. To be held on Monday, June 3rd at the prestigious Bay Club in Mattapoisett, this year’s event will include 36 holes of championship golf; breakfast, lunch, and an awards dinner; and great prizes for performance in golf and fundraising. If you would like to learn more about supporting JA through this great event as an individual golfer or corporate sponsor, please contact Junior Achievement of Southern Massachusetts’ Events and Development Manager, Nicole Nault at Nicole.Nault@ja.org.

The Medeiros Law Firm (TMLF) is a solo-practice, business law firm providing individuals, small businesses, nonprofits, and other entrepreneurs with legal services related to entity startups, asset protection, and other transactional matters. The firm utilizes advanced law practice software and technology to help facilitate collaboration and correspondences between Attorney Medeiros and his clients. As a result, TMLF can better provide clients with efficient legal services and a more personalized overall experience. TMLF proudly serves the greater Boston area, including the South Shore and South Coast. To learn more, please visit www.themedeiroslawfirm.com or call (617) 302-2690.

Junior Achievement of Southern Massachusetts is a nonprofit organization dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their futures, and make smart academic and economic choices. JA inspires and prepares young people to succeed in a global economy through their free K-12 education programs which focus on the key content areas of financial literacy, career readiness, and entrepreneurship. This year Junior Achievement of Southern Massachusetts will impact nearly 7,000 local students. To learn more, please visit www.jasouthernma.org.

For more information or to sign up, please contact Nicole at nicole.nault@ja.org or 508-997-6536. You can also sign up now by downloading the registration form or submitting the online form.

WHEN:
Monday, June 3, 2019 at 7:30AM–7:00PM

WHERE:
The Bay Club at Mattapoisett
63 County Rd.
Mattapoisett, Massachusetts 02739

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Junior Achievement of Southern Massachusetts

128 Union Street, Suite 304
New Bedford, MA 02740
Phone: 508.997.6536
EMail: jeffrey.pelletier@ja.org
Website: jasouthernma.org
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JA.SouthernMA/
Facebook Event Page: facebook.com/events/409827226250301




Mattapoisett Wellness Center to host FREE “Client Appreciation Day” with treatments, raffle, discounts, Hors d’ oeuvres and more, May 19

Please Join Us For a FREE CLIENT APPRECIATION DAY! Enjoy Hors d’ oeuvres & refreshments and exclusive “event only” discounts on products and gift certificates. Raffle prizes with proceeds to benefit the New Bedford Wellness Initiative. Bring a friend for more chances to win!

Not a client? We welcome you with open arms! This day would be a wonderful way to meet our practitioners. Remember to bring a friend to increase your chances to win more prizes.

We are grateful for everyone who supports our businesses as clients, referrals and business partners. We hope you can come and enjoy a day of promoting self-care and meeting our practitioners by experiencing their mini sessions.

Complimentary mini treatments:

• Stress-Fix Sensory Experiences
• Chair Massages
• Reflexology
• Acupuncture and More!

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WHERE:
Mattapoisett Wellness Center – Mindful Medicine
76 County Road
Mattapoisett, Massachusetts 02739

Facebook Event Page

WHEN:
Sunday, May 19, 2019
12:00pm – 4:00pm

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