Somerville, Massachusetts – I know it was the perfect storm and everything, but was it really necessary to shut down the entire state? No school, no museums, no nothing. I was desperate to find something to keep my Finnish house guests and my high-energy toddlers entertained. My friends did not come half-way around the world to look at the inside of my living room; and my kids can’t stay there more than a few hours before they start bouncing off the walls (and I mean that quite literally).
to the rescue. Formerly known as Sacco-Bowl, this place is a Somerville institution since 1939. Sacco’s was once a candlepin bowling empire, but it dwindled from 18 outlets to one. It seemed like there would soon be none, but the Sacco family sold the place to Flatbread Co, which vowed to keep the balls bowling.
Now, it’s not just pizza and bowling. It’s wonderful pizza, made with organic, local ingredients and cooked in a wood-fired stove. And it’s candlepin bowling, that odd New England novelty, with small balls and narrow pins.
These days, Flatbread is one of our favorite rainy-day destinations. Here’s why:
- It opens for bowling at 9am, and it’s never crowded during the day during the week.
- They love kids here. At least they act like they do. Even when the kids are trying on bowling shoes and rolling balls down the wrong lanes.
- The pizza is really good.
- The beer is really good.
Also, they put bumpers in the gutters, which is supposed to make it easier for the kids to knock down some pins, but it also makes it easier for adults to knock down more pins, which is fun for everyone.
The twins also love watching the pizzas being made. When they tire of bowling, they move over to the pizza oven, where a giant log provides the perfect perch to watch the fire roaring. I too appreciated this activity when Hurricane Sandy was blowing outside.
I’m sure this is not what the Finns had in mind when they planned their holiday in the States, but I think they enjoyed it. They got to try their hand at a unique New England activity, and follow it up with delicious pizza and beer. Definitely better than what would have gone down in the living room – that’s a guarantee.