Coca-Cola Freestyle

Boloco, my favorite burrito place in Boston (wheat tortilla, brown rice, tofu — all standard) has replaced their old fountain soda machines with new Coca-Cola Freestyle machines.

Coca-Cola Freestyle machine

The machine works similar to machines that have been in my local 7/11 for a few years now — you pick a drink, and you can add one or more flavors to the base soda. So, if diet Coke with Orange is your thing — you can have it here.

The drink selections are pretty bland: all the usual Coke products, plus Dr Pepper. In some areas the machine has Mr Pibb instead of Dr Pepper.

I opted for Mello Yello Grape — a Mountain Dew-type drink, with grape flavoring. Its okay, but at the same time kind of sickly and sweet.

These machines are a nice idea, but I wish they’d offer something like Vitamin Water, or fruit juice as well.

On a more serious note: Killer Coke


Wahlburgers is the latest in a series of burger places to open up in and around Boston.

Yesterday, I headed down to Hingham, MA — about 13 miles south of Boston — to hit up one of the best named places I’ve been to in years.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Wahlberg family, there’s nine kids who grew up in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood, including Mark (aka Marky Mark), Donnie (who was in New Kids on the Block) and Robert — all of them are actors now, appearing in a whole slew of action movies and movies about Boston in the last decade or so. Most of the movies are decent, while their music can be forgiven for being late 80s, early 90s pop.

Firstly, it should be said that Hingham is a weird place. Half of it is like any other quiet New England place outside of Boston on a Saturday night, and half of it is a gentrified, yuppie shipyard affair, with a couple of huge, redundant malls called “Shoppes” and a Shipyard area, complete with a bunch of chain restaurants and brew pubs.

Wahlburgers is positioned well in this area, and was very busy for 9pm on a Saturday night.

The restaurant is split between sit-down service with what looked like a full bar, and counter service more akin to a typical fast food place. We chose to sit in the fast food area, and serve ourselves.

I ordered a portabella mushroom cap burger, fries, onion rings and a milkshake, which is called a frappe in New England.

The food was actually very good. The burger wasn’t as good as Tasty Burger, but the fries and onion rings were just as good and the special space (Wahlsauce) on the burger was excellent. The vanilla frappe was awesome.

The restaurant walls are covered in posters of the Wahlbergs various movie roles, while the food comes wrapped in a take on a Boston city map, showing a tiny area of the neighborhood they grew up in. The menu also reflects these roots, with burgers such as the Triple Decker (the house we grew up in) and the Double Decker (like our friends down the road) — sadly there was no such story for the portabella burger, that that was the “Vegetarian Choice” — the only real choice on the menu.

At the time I was surprised there weren’t audio/visual highlights from their music and film careers showing in the restaurant, but I could see how that might seem tacky.

The staff were all very welcoming and friendly, despite being rather busy.

I’d go again, especially if they opened up a place closer — perhaps in Dorchester?