Check It Out

The first weekend of December brings a trio of cool spots to check out. Assuming you can get it.

Stage AE is the much-anticipated indoor-outdoor amphitheatre on the North Shore. The venue really lived up to the billing and beyond. It’s an intimate stage with standing room on the lower floor for patrons. On the upper floor, seats for those who pay a bit more. Just behind both viewing locations, there are bars serving all sorts of beverages and foods. There is even a private club for some patrons. And wait, it gets better. Wait until it warms up and they raise the garage door turning it into an outdoor venue.

The indoor stage at Stage AE. The floor in front is meant for patrons to stand, dance and enjoy

BRGR is just a play on the name of an American classic. The burger, served up with attitude, is th staple of the East Liberty location. We stopped in last night and found the place packed with people at 8:30pm on a Thursday. Inside, it has more of a lounge feel with big comfy chairs next to the tables used for dining. The crowd? A definite mix of people. We saw families and couples. People from age seven to seventy. Chef Brian Picarsic loves the fact that they can put different spins on the burger and served it up with what they call a spiked milk shake. ( No I didn’t try it. I was working ).

The dining floor at Salt of the Earth in Bloomfield. Communal dining

Last stop, Salt of the Earth. If you blink, you might miss the Penn Avenue location in Bloomfield. If not for the many cars parked out front and the small NACL logo lit outside, you wouldn’t even know it was a restaurant. Chef Kevin Sousa and company did this by design. They want a basic place to wine and dine, and thus the name. Inside, the menu is on a chalkboard on the side of the wall. There is not separation between the kitchen and the dining area. As for the seating, full house on this night with communal tables and benches. The idea is for diners to get to know one another while eating.

The food? Fresh, local and ever-changing. Frankly its tough to describe because it’s always changing and often you will find influences from different countries in a single dish.

Just three choices for your weekend that we think are worth “Checking Out”! For more choices, go to the “Community” page of  our website and see this weekend’s calendar of events.

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