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Tidbits: First YUM arrives; Savoring East Somerville launch celebration tomorrow; Sagra expands

YUM's banner, designed by the Boston School of Art, promises tasty treats.
YUM's banner, designed by the Boston School of Art, promises tasty treats.
The Welcome Project

On Friday, April 30, The Welcome Project will present Somerville’s first “YUM: A Taste of Immigrant City,” from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Armory on Highland Avenue. Samples from 12 restaurants that just happen to be owned by immigrants will be available, and live music will be provided by Yarina, a group from Ecuador. Tickets cost $40 and can be purchased at The Welcome Project's site or by sending a check to The Welcome Project, 530 Mystic Avenue, Room 111, 02145.

This debut event will benefit The Welcome Project, whose mission is to strengthen Somerville’s civic and community life by empowering the city’s immigrant groups. The organization, founded in 1987, creates opportunities for residents of all backgrounds to work together to improve their social, economic, and personal well-being..

Here are the participating restaurants and their nationalities, once again demonstrating the diversity of cuisines we enjoy in Somerville:.Amelia’s Kitchen (Italian), Café Belô (Brazilian), Fasika (Ethiopian), Highland Creole Cuisine (Haitian), House of Tibet Kitchen (Tibetan), Maya Sol (Mexican), Namaskar (Indian), Neighborhood Restaurant & Bakery (Portuguese), Ronnarong Thai Tapas Bar (Thai), Sabur (Mediterannean), Restaurante Turístico Machu Picchu (Peruvian), and Machu Picchu Charcoal Chicken & Grill (Peruvian).

What inspired this event? “We’ve been working with students from Tufts and the Boston School of Art on a restaurant project, learning about the owners’s diverse backgrounds, and we came up with the idea of a celebration, bringing food and restaurant owners to the community,” explained Maria Landaverde, Youth Program Organizer. Landaverde said that the organization wants to get its clients more involved in the community, so they offer a variety of ways to do that, including youth groups, ESL lessons, a liaison program, training classes to become interpreters – and now, YUM!

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East Somerville Main Streets (ESMS) has announced the date of the launch party for Savoring East Somerville: A Taste-Based Guide to the Neighborhood, which was published late last year. The free celebration will take place Saturday, April 17, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Senior Center on Cross Street. Samples of many dishes from the book – part guidebook/neighborhood history, part recipe book – will be available, and there will be a live mariachi band. ESMS also promises family- and kid-friendly food games. And there will also be a large-scale exchibit of Mark Teiwes’s beautiful photos from the book. If you haven’t bought the book yet, copies will be available, and some contributors will be there to sign.

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Sagra is set to open its first outpost – in Dedham – by the end of the month. According to owner Rafael Beaumud, the second restaurant will have the same look and menu as the Davis Square location. Why Dedham? “I found a great location, not too far from the highway, with lots of parking,” said Beaumud. (Free parking! No meters!! Should be music to Somervillians’ ears…..)