In a world where everyone claims to be – or strives to be – an influencer, Marc Hurwitz actually is one.
With more than 113K followers on Twitter, nearly 40K followers on Facebook, 32K-plus on Instagram, and 26K-plus on Pinterest, when Marc Hurwitz writes about the Boston area’s red-hot restaurant scene on his highly-regarded website, Boston’s Hidden Restaurants, social media users throughout the region take note.
Within a recent 24-hour period, there were 11 posts on the website’s companion Facebook page. Some dealt with breaking news such as restaurant openings and closings. Others focused on tasting events and open houses. But, as always, the bulk of the content was about the hidden gems in Boston and the surrounding ‘burbs. It is here, ferreting out little-known, unassuming eateries that focus on great food rather than haute cuisine served in swank surrounds, where Marc has met his métier.
Those who don’t lead a plugged-in lifestyle need not worry about missing out on Marc’s endless musings about dive bars and breakfast joints, exquisite Asian cuisine and French fries elevated to art form. The man is everywhere. You can hear him on the radio with NBC Boston, WBZ NewsRadio and 91.5 WMFO, and read him in Boston Magazine and the Boston Globe, to name a few. What you can’t do is see him. In a world where everyone is obsessed with posting the perfect selfie, Marc’s appearance remains a tightly-controlled secret, hence the ‘90’s style PalmPilot stick figure selfie.
He’s not in for the comp meals. He’s in for the food.
You started Boston’s Hidden Restaurants in 2004, before most people had even considered blogging as a business; why?
Honestly, it started as a hobby; my background is in textbook editing and writing, but my interest in cooking, food, and restaurants led me to starting a site on dining spots in the local area. The site got noticed by a couple of media outlets in the first year or two and it snowballed from there.
Why did you choose to focus on “unassuming eateries”?
With all of the chains and hotspots out there these days, I figured that there might be an interest in independent neighborhood spots instead, especially since some of them are literally hidden, giving diners a sense of adventure when they find them.
Care to share an all-time favorite restaurant – or restaurants – or dish?
Tough question(s) since my faves are ever-changing, but I absolutely love the NewBridge Cafe in Chelsea for its steak tips and I’m also a huge fan of Galleria Umberto in the North End for its Sicilian slices. I also enjoy going to the Porter Exchange in Cambridge to hit the Asian food court, where such standouts as Tampopo, Sapporo Ramen, and Cafe Mami reside.
You interact on social media with some pretty heavy hitters in the food and entertainment industries. Is there a stand-out moment or an ‘I’ve made it’ moment?
Jordan Rich on WBZ was the first to talk to me on the radio way back in 2004, and that really made my day at the time. (And I now do regular segments with him on the station.) Awhile back, I got to hang out with Dan Andelman of the Phantom Gourmet and his family at Dairy Joy in Weston and found myself laughing so hard at his goofy sense of humor that I had to go because I risked choking on my javaberry ice cream. Finally, I had breakfast once in New York with Jay Jay French of Twisted Sister and promptly got into an argument with him about the state of music today. He won the argument.
What’s your favorite thing about living in New England?
The beauty of the region for sure. There are very few places that have such a great mix of mountains, water, farmland, charming communities, and history, and scattered throughout are some great restaurants, which are really the icing on the cake.