Salem St and North End Delights
- Tom Stebbins
Just discovered Chowhound.com and all ye fellow chowhounds from the link on CNN.com. Glad to be aboard.
I recently relocated to the Boston area and settled in to a nice apartment on Salem St in the North End. Of course, as a chowhound, I fell in love with the Norh End and I immediately made it my personal mission to try every restaurant on my street. After a few months, I have now tested all but Dom's and I can safely say that Salem St rarely disappoints. Time forbids me from telling the tales of each meal, but here are a few recomendations:
Terramia: I can understand how a fellow chowhound had a meal here that changed their life. While the prices are steep and the portions are Yuppie-size, the food is phenomenal and one can't help but leave elated.
Lo Comte: The Caccitore (sp) is splendid. Easily the best I've ever had.
Dino's: I am flabergasted that I have found no mention of Dino's on Chowhound.com! The subs are easily 18" and all cost $5. You want chicken? five bucks. You want Procuitto? five bucks. Vegetarian? five bucks. Every sub is on fresh baked bread with excellent italian ingredients. They close when they run out of bread. I've tried every sub on their menu and loved them all. Their pastas are also very good for the price. All in all, Dino's is chowarific!
Gotta run for now, more recomendations later. If'n any chowhounds are in the area, drop me a line and maybe we can have some drinks at my place before we chow.
Thanks Tom --- When one walks around the North End and looks at the menus posted in the windows and doorways the prices are a turn-off. My wife and I look for early bird specials or little out of the way places that do not charge so much for "tourist" food. We will visit Dino's and take a couple of subs over to Christafor Columbus Park this Spring. We often get sandwiches at Artu's near the Paul Revere house and bring them over to eat among the birds next to the harbor. We bring bird food along - Artu's sandwiches are to precious to toss away even the little bits :-)
The density of restaurants per square mile has to be highest in Boston in the North End -- the tourist attractions are a great draw with the Freedom Trail going right through the center of the district.
Too bad you missed The Oasis --a little store front place that served wonderful, inexpensive "American" food but dissapeared last Spring (?). As you explore the North End try Massimino's, one of our favorites. I like the Zuppa di Pesce (sp?) and the chicken saltimboca.
Keep writing about your adventures on Salem St.! Please try La Summa and report on it, Ditto for Scali Natalia and Rosina -to name a few we have thought about but not tried.
Happy New Year to you and to all on the Boston list. I wish us a lot of good posts in the year 2000.
re: Tord Svenson
Tord et. al. Chowhound,
La Summa and Scali Natalia are now next on my list. I've exhausted all novelty out of Salem St. and am eager for more culinary adventures. I had a few frugal adventures this weekend, as my wallet was a bit drained from Y2K binging.
I enjoyed a post-apocalypse breakfast at and old, countertop-style luncheonette on North Sq. called (I think, I was a bit hazy) the Freedom Trail grill. The typical luncheonette feeling of this 'joint' was augmented by the fact that the restaurant is crammed into a tiny colonial space, right next to Paul Revere's house. I chose to go the breakfast route and had a rather standard breakfast of corned beef hash. As a should have expected, the hash was canned, which actually isn't so bad. The hash was highlighted by a pair of perfectly over-easy eggs, but the side of hashbrowns was simply a dish of sauteed potatoes and were not as good as most luncheonette hash browns. My mates all went with lunch, as it was well into the afternoon. It all came out piping hot, tho not at the same time, allowing me to nibble at my friends meals. All good. Very dineresque. If you like booths with duct tape and enjoy luncheonettes, the Freedom Trail is right up your alley -- an alley which is located on North Sq. in the North End.
I may have been deluded in my analysis tho. I had a late, drunken meal at the Cafe Pompeii the night before and my mouth and stomach were still hungover. The Cafe Pompeii may taste great drunk at 3am, but give it a try during the day. It'll sober you right up.
re: Tom Stebbins
In New England, folks seem to get hash browns mixed up with home fries, which is what you actually got. In my experience, you can't really get decent hashbrowns east of Chicago, and you have to beg for home fries (or figure out what arbitrary name they're calling them) west of there.
re: Tom Stebbins
The giant tater tot is what you get at McD's when you ask for hash browns. The real thing is basically a mass of grated potatoes, well-grilled so that the outside is browned and crisp and the inside is sort of steamed. I think the potatoes are parboiled or something, but since it's almost impossible to make really good ones at home (a restaurant grill is key, and I can never bring myself to use as much grease as good hash browns require), I'm not sure about this. The best ones will be grilled on both sides, but many places take lame short cuts and only cook them on one. Variations, like the ones you'll see in home fries, include the addition of onions or peppers or toppings of grated cheese. The portion of hash browns you get with your eggs is invariably much bigger than the corresponding serving of home fries.
Some northern Europeans (Swedes, I think), I forget which, make a similar dish, called rosti, which is held in much higher regard than we hold the lowly hash brown.
Generally, potato pancakes are made with grated potatoes and flour and eggs and onions, and are a lot more cohesive.
So can any kindly Bostonian point Tom in the direction of some real hash browns in the area?
During my times in switzerland I gorged myself on rosti (pronounced rusch-dee) each morning, usually topped with eggs of ham. It was wonderful and I was addicted. Thickly shredded potato, nearly and thick as fries but shorter, sauteed in lots of butter/oil/grease.
Anyhow, I heard from a friend that they say McRosti at McDonald's. Forgive chowhounds, but I had to go in and try. And surprise! McRosti is what we americans call Mchashbrowns! Same fried and frozen potato patty that we get over here.