Favorite Things

As with the Perspective page, the items on this list were published in The Bromberg LLC Perspective, a bi-monthly (as in, every other) email newsletter. This is where I display my humanity, my discriminating taste, and that certain je ne sais quoi and joie de vivre (didn’t he say Spanish major?). Enjoy!

RESTAURANTS

Angela’s Café, a very tasty, low-key Mexican restaurant located in East Boston. (9/2010)

Sichuan (yes, that is how they spell it) Gourmet, where customers enjoy really well prepared, flavorful food.  Now at four convenient Boston-area locations! (1/2011)

Oishii Too in Sudbury is my family’s favorite restaurant. The Crispy Sake Maki With Mango Sauce is arguably the restaurant’s signature dish, and one not to be missed! (3/2011)

Nashoba Brook Bakery in Concord has a nice array of tasty sandwiches and baked goods, for the more casual, lunchtime crowd. (3/2011)

The Franklin Café, in Boston’s South End, has excellent eats. This pub boasts incredibly friendly staff and food much better than typical pub faire. (5/2011)

Reasons to Be Cheerful, a dessert café in West Concord, has a couple dozen homemade ice creams with all ingredients carefully sourced, fancy-pants coffee, baked goods, crepes, friendly staff, and indoor and outdoor seating all make the name come true. West Concord is also resurging as a really nice shopping district. 110 Commonwealth Ave, Concord MA (7/2011)

Sesuit Harbor Café, in Dennis MA (Cape Cod), offers great waterside clam shack lunches. (7/2011)

Ocean House, in Dennis MA (Cape Cod), has excellent food served in front of a wall of windows right on the ocean. (7/2011)

Mary Chung’s in Cambridge’s Central Square has been a favorite of mine for 25 years ago. I still love the Suan La Chow Show (soup) and Hot Stuffed Eggplant. (9/2011)

Belle Isle Seafood in East Boston, enables you to enjoy great lobster rolls year ‘round. They are a classic: a dump of a place offering great clamshack eats – excellent fried clams, oysters, onion rings, etc. (9/2011)

The Elote Café in Sedona AZ, offers the more fanciful end of the Mexican food chain and killer margaritas.

Junnoon in Palo Alto CA serves up really yummy “eclectic Indian cuisine.”

Cuchi Cuchi in Cambridge MA will have you cooing about their “international straight-up small plates” (never to be confused with tapas!). (11/2011)

Hungry Mother, the highly-regarded Kendall Square (Cambridge) restaurant serves wonderful French-influenced Southern food. I loves me their killer shrimp and grits and succulent catfish. (3/2012)

In A Pickle, in Waltham, has tasty breakfast eats and a well-coordinated team working the grill. (5/2012)

The Royal India Bistro, in Lexington Center, has friendly staff, a cozy environment, and tender, succulent vittles. (5/2012)

The West Side Lounge in Cambridge, between Harvard and Porter Squares was a great, happenstance find. Much like The Franklin Café (detailed here May 2011), this place has a great vibe and very delicious food. I loved the paella, Lori loved the pumpkin ravioli, and we both enjoyed the martinis! (11/2012)

On a recent visit to California, we had a yummy meal at Reposado in Palo Alto. Upscale Mexican in an incredibly loud surrounding. We’re going to enjoy all the new dining opportunities resulting from W. Coast college, although we are disappointed that Junnoon is no more (at least in Palo Alto). (3/2013)

In-N-Out Burger is pretty darn good, too. There is also a certain mystique associated with In-N-Out for their secret menu. The in-store menu is quite brief, but folks in the know can ask for these items. Here’s the secret.. (3/2013)

A friend recently commented on how few restaurants stay really good for a long time. In the Boston area, many would name Rialto as one of the few. I only recently got there for the first time (not really a high-end restaurant guy, exception: Oishii Too), and I learned that Rialto’s reputation is well earned. They provided tasty, unpretentiously elegant food in a comfortable and calm setting. Can’t do much better than that. (5/2013)

None of the restaurants I’ve tried anew recently are true stand-outs, but in the category of much better than a sharp stick in the eye we have Mu Lan (Taiwanese, Waltham), AKA Bistro (French-Japanese fusion, Lincoln), and Sakurabana (sushi, Boston). I do, however, really like the gluten-free cookies from Glutenus Minimus (Belmont). (7/2013)

Instead of a restaurant, this time I’m going to mention a catering service, Juliana’s Catering and Events. I have now twice attended in-home events where really good food was prepared on-site by “Chef Nick” Chunias. I recommend it highly for those events when you want to focus on your guests, not cooking and clean-up! (1/2014)

One of Lori’s (wife) and my long-time go-to restaurants is Thai Moon, in Arlington Center. It’s informal, very reasonable prices, with tasty eats. Notable: it’s the only restaurant where Lori likes Crab Rangoon. (I know that’s a Thai dish, but they do it well.) I’m partial to the Seafood Noodles or the Noodles Kee Mao. (3/2014)

Rino’s Place, East Boston. When I was a mere lad growing up just outside of New York City, “ethnic” food involved either what now constitutes bad Chinese food, or Italian food. Rino’s Place is one of those really good Italian restaurants. No pretense, but not a dive. It’s much more than spaghetti and meatballs, but not wild-eyed and out there. Really good. Really really good. Oh, and if you’re GF like me, bring your own pasta and they’ll cook it for you. (5/2014)

For those of you who find yourself on Cape Cod anytime soon, here’s a link to our vacation restaurant summary. Read it and eat. (7/2014)

Giving shout-outs to a couple Boston area breakfast shops, The Breakfast Club on Western Ave in Allston, and Fresco on Chapel Street in Needham. For us, it starts with how well does the establishment understand and deliver on “well done” home fries and bacon? Both of these places did great on these basics and many other more interesting concoctions. Major thumbs-up. (9/2014)

One reason being an empty nester doesn’t stink: ease of travel. No worries of leaving teenagers at home unsupervised (not that they’d do anything we’d disapprove of…). One recent trip was to the Nashville area, visiting good friends in Murfreesboro. Two places of note: Five Senses Dining has really imaginative combinations and tasty food and drink creations. Millers Grocery is a classic Southern country joint that has lots of gluten-laden, yummy food. (12/2014)

Back at home we’ve hit two places with small-plate / tapas-style menus, both upscale but not over the top, with both requiring reservations made well in advance. The two restaurants are Bondir Concord and Alden & Harlow (Harvard Sq). An interesting lesson for me with both is how the menus strike me as a bit hey-look-what-we-found-growing-out-here-and-it-isn’t-poisonous, but the execution was really very good, and my moderately refined palate was very happy. (12/2014)

Blue Moon Grill in Wakefield offers the best gluten-free pancakes along with the rest of the excellent and varied breakfast menu. Call before you go and put your name in, or plan on waiting. (7/2015)

Lincoln Tavern and Restaurant in South Boston is a neighborhood joint populated by a lively, young crowd (my young suburban mindset obviously serves me well). The food is American but not basic, with some wood fire-grilled specialties. We loved it and will be back. (7/2015)

Books

Rework, by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, founders of the successful software company 37signals (Basecamp, Highrise, Campfire…). This book of quick-hit, two-page soapbox speeches is a compelling business philosophy and practice guidebook. (7/2011)

Accounting books are not my usual source of entertainment, but Greg Crabtree’s Simple Numbers, Straight Talk, Big Profits! Is both understandable and instructive. Targeting companies with $1-5MM in revenue, this book is a very practical, readable, and helpful resource. (9/2012)

Small Giants (Companies That Choose to Be Great Instead of Big), by Bo Burlingham, Editor-at-Large of Inc. Magazine. This book describes roughly a dozen companies where management decided to focus on personally satisfying business goals over pure growth. (11/2012)

If you know (or are) someone 16-24 years old, you want to know about David DeLong. Dave is a fellow Concordian, a friend, and a smart, professional researcher of talent management, of people and their workplaces. While much of his work focuses on established employees, he’s jumped to the junior end of the employee funnel with his latest, Graduate to a Great Job. Stated simply: I’ve read the book and I recommend it – you’ll be glad Dave applied his grown-up skills to this topic. (5/2013)

I recently read the book Give and Take by Adam Grant. This well-written book describes the differences between Givers, Matchers, and Takers, and why folks so often underestimate the success achieved by Givers. Mr. Grant also provides practical advice on giving; it’s not about giving all the time in every direction. It’s a very interesting and worthwhile read. (1/2014)

Decisive by Chip and Dan Heath. This very readable and practical write-up is a very worthwhile read. It’s easy to imagine using their WRAP methodology – Widen Options, Reality-Test Assumptions, Attain Distance, and Prepare to be Wrong – to drive smarter decisions. (Thank you to Chris Bond of Murphy Business for his enthusiastic recommendation of this book.) (7/2014)

Professional Development

Selling Consulting Services, a modular, online training about sales and marketing of professional services; offered by RainToday. (9/2010)

DIALOG, where assembled groups of business leaders meet monthly in a peer advisory format; offered by the Smaller Business Association of New England. (9/2010)

Michael Katz’s Likeable Expert is an e-newsletter about marketing for solo professionals. A very entertaining and informative read. (9/2011)

Business Fundamentals Bootcamp is a twice-yearly event benefiting CEO’s and CXO’s of early and growth stage companies. I attended the October session, and, simply put, it was the best education and networking event I’ve attended in the past four years. (11/2011)

A tip ‘o the cap to the folks working at Interise. “Interise stimulates economic revitalization in lower income communities. We provide a diverse group of small business owners with entrepreneurial education, new networks, and access to markets. Our community creates jobs, grows businesses, and develops community leaders.” I’ve been volunteering with Interise for about a year, and recently sat as a panelist observing StreetWise MBA students’ final presentations. (The SWMBA is Interise’s central offering.) Hearing what the students learned, feeling how important this knowledge is to them, and knowing the many potential benefits of raising skill levels made for a special evening, one well designed and well executed by the talented Interise staff. (5/2013)

Bloggers

Dan Rockwell. Interesting, brief (≤ 300 words), and always highly commented posts about leadership. (1/2011)

The Responsible Manager, by the late C.K. Prahalad, is still my favorite single blog post. (3/2011)

Beauty All Around Us. Bromberg LLC is a family business, so it is with great pride that I share a link to this “related” and terrific photo journal website, I know the photographer to be very skilled – in fact she is the official photographer for The Bromberg LLC Perspective – and I’m very proud to be her husband. Check out her work! (5/2011)

No surprise I love this blog post. Don’t all businesses need a gray-haired COO? (They’d better. I dyed my hair for this job.) Best sentence: “…consider bringing in an experienced COO who shares the vision for the company and empowers the founding CEO to continue bold, visionary leadership, but has complementary skills to help manage a more mature company.” (3/2013)

I was thrilled to be invited by Kerri Salls to be interviewed on her radio program, Exit This Way, on the Internet radio channel UR Business Network. We had a really good conversation. You can read about it, and hear our melodious voices by clicking here. Also please check out other interviews Kerri has conducted (several with readers of this newsletter!). (3/2014)

Personal Favorites

Massage Therapy: When I can’t get to the beach, I find a Thai or Deep Tissue massage to be a wonderful way to relax. My therapist of choice is Samantha Baker. Samantha is based in West Concord, and can be reached at samantha_yogini@yahoo.com or 978.505.1016. She also offers Swedish massage, is a Reiki practitioner, and teaches yoga. (5/2011)

Mortgage Broker: Over the past 20 years, including recently, I’ve financed and refinanced mortgages through Ito Rodi and Mortgage Master. Ito and his team offer highly competitive rates and have always made the process very easy with great customer service. (11/2011)

Music: While I’ve always been partial to rock, blues, and R&B music, this acoustic performance by Wing and Hollow is beautifully played and sung. Check it out and enjoy three minutes of musical bliss. Wing & Hollow / YouTube (5/2012)

Dog: Cooper, the dog you see gracing many of the Bromberg LLC photos, is my first-ever pet, and part of our family for over five years now. We’ve spoiled him (well, I suppose all dogs smell to some extent), but what we get in return is very cool. (2/2012)

Vaca: It’s July, which means I recently returned from our annual two-week pilgrimage to Cape Cod. Once again, we had a wonderful time, in part because it was two weeks unplugged. No email, no phone, no tv (well, except for the Spain-Italy UEFA final).

The benefits of disconnecting cannot be overstated. Yes, as the start of the vacation draws near, apprehension rises over what might happen while I’m away. All I can do is prep clients (or earlier in my career, colleagues) for the range of potentials, and then let those competent individuals stand in as needed.

I can honestly say that no crisis requiring my attention has taken place during more than a dozen, two-week unplugged vacations. And for me, the time to alternately reflect and not think has proven very beneficial. You gotta try it! (7/2012)

Santa Cruz, CA: During our time in California after leaving Andy in the Bay Area, Lori and I particularly enjoyed the oceanside town of Santa Cruz. I’m sure it helped going off-season, but the great scenery, good walking and biking trails, and tasty food were excellent complements to the generally laid-back vibe. An excellent choice for a low-key escape. (9/2012)

The New York Yankees. ‘Nuff said. (Ooh, playing with fire, Jeremy?). (Always)

The University of California Santa Cruz team name: The Banana Slugs.

Vince Wilfork, defensive lineman on the New England Patriots. Vince is an unbelievable athlete, especially given his size (much more than 300 lbs). And he drives a Freightliner pick-up truck. How cool is that? (11/2012)

I’ve been testing out a new (for me) smartphone app called Waze, a “community-based traffic and navigation app.” Information from other Wazers results in real-time heads-up (e.g., police one mile ahead on the right, road construction) and automatic re-routing for shorter travel time. Me likey so far. (7/2013)

The Multiple Listing Service (MLS): In past newsletters I’ve written about selling our home. We posted on the MLS last Friday night, and accepted an offer to buy our house about 18-20 hours later. Not too shabby. (3/2014)

My Tire Guys. Shop-at-home tire purchase and installation? Yes indeed, and done really well by this mobile tire service based out of Needham. Literally, I ordered tires online at The Tire Rack, the tires were shipped to My Tire Guys, they drove to my house and swapped out tires, wheels, etc. right there in the driveway. Cost is on par with going out to get it done, which makes this an excellent deal. Loved it. (5/2014)

Solo’s Electronic Pet Door. Thinking back, longingly, on the house we just sold, this was one of the best features of our renovation (along with the “vacant / occupied” door lock on the downstairs bathroom). If you want a cool, modern, and easy way to enable your pet to go in and out of the house, you’ll love this too. (7/2014)

Dealing with the ravages of not-such-old age pisses me off. One of the latest attempts to combat it is my new Varidesk. This sturdy tabletop unit makes it very easy to adjust the desk between sitting and standing heights. Also, a downloadable app provides an automated reminder to get my butt out of the chair. (9/2014)

If you are prewired to go old school, check out Field Notes. These 3.5” x 5.5”, 48-page notebooks are perfect fitting into those pockets into which iPhone 6’s no longer fit. (I made that up.) They are much easier for writing quick notes than applying opposable thumbs to a smartphone keypad! (9/2014)

Kevin Carr, owner at Movement as Medicine and trainer at Mike Boyle Strength & Conditioning, has achieved the previously unthinkable. Kevin has gotten me comfortable with and committed to working out. I used to think the only way I’d exercise was if a ball were involved, but Kevin, with assists from colleague Marco Sanchez and the good people of MBSC, has turned me into a vigorous and much healthier enthusiast. (3/2015)

Quotations

“Focus on buyers’ issues at least 75 percent of the time, including right from the start. With conscious effort on your part, a presentation that is mostly about them can still answer all their questions about you.” (Michael McLaughlin) (2/2012)

“Treat a man as he appears to be and you make him worse. But treat a man as if he were what he potentially could be, and you make him what he should be.” (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe) (3/2012)

“Spring is nature’s way of saying, “Let’s party!” (Robin Williams) (3/2012)

“Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.” (Mike Tyson) (5/2012)

“Babies don’t need a vacation, but I still see them at the beach… it pisses me off! I’ll go over to a little baby and say, ‘What are you doing here? You haven’t worked a day in your life!’” (Steven Wright) (7/2012)

“Every victim was a culprit, every culprit a victim, and somebody had to stand up sometime to try to break the lousy chain of inherited habit that was imperiling them all.” (Joseph Heller, Catch-22) (11/2012)

“I would rather be with the people of this town than with the finest people in the world.” – Mayor Deebs, in the 1987 movie, “Roxanne” (7/2013)

“Your clients will never love you until your employees love you first.” – Simon Sinek (1/2014)

Successful companies have three things going for them: colleagues want to deliver greatness alongside you, clients want to buy from you, and vendors want to do their best for you. – JB (1/2014)

“When you’re chided for your naiveté, and you will be, remind your critics that an amateur built the ark. Experts built the Titanic.” – Peyton Manning (darn it – why’d he have to say that?) (5/2014)

“Promise me you’ll always remember you’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” – Alan Alexander Milne (5/2014)

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein (12/2014)

“The sun will rise, the sun will set, and I’ll have lunch.” – Lou Gorman, former General Manager of the Boston Red Sox (7/2015)

“Uptown funk you up.” – Bruno Mars (7/2015)

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