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Review – Grandpa and Granddaughter’s trip to Boston

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My Thanks to all the Hounds that posted to my request for help several months back. This is some of what my Granddaughter (GD) and I did the first week of April. We are home in L.A. now and talking to the rest of the family about all of us returning next year – if I can wait that long.

The Freedom Trail

At Neptune Oyster we sat at the counter overlooking the front window. It was great fun watching the oysters being shucked and arraigned on platters right before our eyes. People walking by on the sidewalk stopped to look at the window display of oysters and then noticed my lobster roll in front me. That made several groups come through the door (trying not to stare at my food) and stay for lunch. I had the cold lobster roll. The roll was so good with golden butter and a crispy crust. I could have been happy with just the roll. The lobster was fresh and plenty of it as it spilled over the sides of the roll. Just a little mayo and that was it – a great meal. We also ordered two bowls of chowder. Although the chowder had more clams (every spoonful)than any I have ever had the chowder was not as thick as we would have liked it to be. It was almost like water/milk but the flavor was right. I noticed a shrimp cocktail next to us and wished I ordered that but needed to save room for dinner.

Neptune Oyster (Lunch Best Seafood in Boston, Lobster roll – served cold with mayo or hot with butter, Shrimp cocktail, Shellfish platters, lobster scampi, oyster minestrone, No desserts offered – go to Modern Pastry for dessert)
63 Salem St
Boston, MA 02113-2273
(617) 742-3474
Cross Street: Stillman St. From Hanover walk North one block on Stillman to Salem.

I have eaten many thin crust pizza’s in NYC and LA. I Never could understand what that was about. But Pizzeria Regina is now my favorite pizza in the USA. So simple and yet perfect. The cheese is fresh and just tasty enough. The seasoning of the crust and sauce could not be better. All the flavor you want and NO after taste. The only thing I noticed fifteen minutes after eating was a big desire to have more. The next day as I stood on the deck of Old Iron Sides and noticed the steeple of The Old North Church it became a land mark that Pizzeria Regina is a short walk down the hill. Before the week was over we returned for two more pizzas. I also liked it as a cold leftover the next morning. We will return again.

Pizzeria Regina (Cash) (Lunch Said to be Best Pizza in The USA)
11 1/2 Thacher St
Boston, MA 02113-1539
(617) 227-0765
Cross Street: North Margin Street. From Hanover walk North on Parmenter to Margin then right to Thacher. Or From Hanover walk North on Prince St. To Thacher.

For dessert we stopped twice at Maria's Pastry Shop for Pastry and cookies. I am not as big of a fan of Italian Pastry as I am of good Italian bread but Maria's is now the exception. The women who run the place are “real people” and that adds to the fun of going there. Some of the cookies were like eating candy. A must try.

Maria's Pastry Shop (Italian Pastry and cookies)
46 Cross St
Boston, MA 02113-2201
(617) 523-1196
Near Salem St. – North of Hanover St near the 3.

Harvard University area to Concord.

We took this drive twice because of the food (Ate twice ate these places). Our favorite breakfast spot was the Deluxe Town Diner. The pancakes were truly special. On my first visit I added the blueberries to my pancakes and on the return visit I tried the pecans. I liked them both and when I return someday I will have one of each. The smoked porkchop was perfect. Just thick enough, smoked just right, grilled with a diamond char – tender and juicy. I had it both visits. My GD had the chocolate chip pancakes and bacon. She ate every bite and said they were, “awesome.”. Now for ambiance. We sat at the counter and as it began to snow we looked out the window just to the right of that small round corner booth through those coat racks and noticed that electric bus taking off from the stop out front. The Snow was turning the ground white. The place was full of warm people eating those large pancakes and having that great coffee. This was a scene out of Hollywood or maybe some Classic American Painting. IMO it does not get better than breakfast at Deluxe Town Diner.

Deluxe Town Diner (old dinner car) (Breakfast – extraordinary Pancakes, buttermilk, buckwheat and sweet potato. Add blueberries or pecans to any pancakes. Must try the smoked porkchop)
627 Mount Auburn St
Watertown, MA 02472-4103
(617) 926-8400
Cross Street: Grove Street
http://www.deluxetowndiner.com/

We went for a walk around Harvard Square and got cold again. We though Hot Chocolate would be good so we went to L.A. Burdick. We had what looked like hot coco but it turned out to be more like hot fudge syrup that in California we pour over ice cream. OK, not that thick but this stuff is thick. One small cup was enough for us to share. We did buy two bags to take home.

L.A. Burdick (A MUST TRY, Hot Chocolate, Gourmet brownies, cakes, tarts, tortes, world-class chocolates, and cups of coffee and tea )
52 D Brattle St
Cambridge, MA 02138-3731
(617) 491-4340
http://www.burdickchocolate.com/

After a walk through the Museum of Fine Arts we stopped for a late lunch at R.F. O'Sullivan & Sons Pub. With all the good people sitting at the horseshoe bar watching the Sox this place had everything that made the TV show Cheers the American ideal of a pub but O'Sullivan’s does it even better with those burgers. We both had meat and cheese only. The only oil I noticed was what came on the “fries.” The taste of the Burger was very good and the bun was very fresh. We had been to Bartley's once before and but liked the burger and the ambiance more at O'Sullivan’s and we ate there twice on this vacation.

R.F. O'Sullivan & Sons, Pub and Grille (Best Burgers in Boston, Thick, Burger stays together – No Croud like Bartley’s. Unlike Bartley’s this is a real Pub
)282 Beacon Street
Somerville, MA 02143-3509
(617) 492-7773
11:am to 1:am
http://www.rfosullivan.com/
Beacon Street is the road between Porter Square and Inman Square that straddles the line between Somerville and Cambridge. Star Market is across the street from it.

In this area we tried two places for dessert --Petsi Pies (across the street from O'Sullivan) and Verna's Donut Shop. The pecan pie at Petsi Pies should be bought as a whole pie. I learn that after buying only one slice and had to return to buy more. Full of pecans and the taste is just sweet enough without creating a sugar rush. It is a true Southern style pie. The brownie with walnuts is also very good. At Verna’s I had a glazed donut that compares with “Primo’s Donuts” in L.A. (Considered the best by L.A., Hounds). I also tried the plain cake and IMO it is the best cake donut I have ever had. The crust has a perfect thin crunch to it and the inside is too soft for words. The inside is almost like eating a cake made with air. I only had one but I really think you could eat several and never know you ate somehing that was “Fried.” Really, a must try.

Petsi Pies (Try Renee's pecan pie, pear-pecan scones, apple or cherry pie
285 Beacon St
Somerville, MA 02143-3509
(617) 661-7437
Cross Street: Eustis Street
Due No of Harvard // So. Of Porter Exchange Mall// No. Of Cambridge St.

Verna's Donut Shop (Glazed & Plain Cake
)2344 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02140
(617) 354-4110

Near Concord we stopped at Verrill Farm for a turkey sandwich. Think of a turkey sandwich at home on Thanksgiving night made with a fresh roll, mayo, lettuce, tomato and Cape Cod Chips and you have the idea of Verrill Farm. Great stop for a picnic. We took our sandwich to the boat ramp at Walden Pond – A dream picnic that we must repeat someday!


Verrill Farm ( Sandwiches, A farm stand – take-out-only, then go picnic at Walden Pond, Minuteman National Park, etc.)
Concord, MA 01742
(978) 369-4494
http://www.verrillfarm.com/


For dessert – Bedford Farms Ice Cream. Yep! We went for the first time on the second day of our trip and returned three more times that week (we stayed in Woburn). We went to the original stand in Bedford on the last night of our stay. I am unable to say what flavor I liked the most – I tried several.. But my GD decided she liked “Chocolate Chunk Fudge” (I think that was the name). She gave me a taste of her shake (with a scoop of it on top) and maybe that is the most exceptional of many great flavors. I talked with the owner and made a new friend that I look forward to seeing again. This place is gold.

Bedford Farms Ice Cream
68 Thoreau (near train station
)Concord, MA 01742
(978) 341-0000

Our day at the Franklin Park Zoo began with breakfast at Victoria's Diner. I had the Hash and eggs and found it to be very good. This hash is made with some pride and was a hardy meal with a very good tatse. We also shared a slice of Boston Cream Pie (ya – for breakfast, my GD is spoiled!). That was very good with nuts around the outside.

Victoria's Diner (on the way south to JFK, Old Dinner w/ oldies soundtrack) ( Breakfast / Lunch/ Dinner – Corned beef hash and cheese omelette, Crisp Fried Chicken, Very good Reuben, Mike's burger)
1024 Massachusetts Ave
Roxbury, MA 02118
(617) 442-5965
Cross Street: Newmarket Square
Just So. Of Boston, 5 min off the 3 on the way south

After the Zoo I drove back to corner that Victoria's Diner is located on and took the side street (Newmarket) back toward the area that I hoped to find Speeds hot dog truck. No such luck. I talked with some people there and was told that the house that “Speed” lives in had a fire in March and he is still getting things in order but hopes to be back selling his dogs soon. I settled for a chili dog at another truck parked there (I think the name was, “Mama Teresa’s Home Kitchen”). I liked what I got. A foot long dog in a large fresh bun filled with chili made with beans and chunks of beef. The chili was not overpowering but seasoned nicely. Like two other people who were parked there I sat my dog on the trunk lid of my car and ate while looking at the Boston skyline – nice.

Speeds hot dog truck (need to know – is this guy back yet? Or Try Mama Teresa’s Home Kitchen)
New Market Square is in Roxbury.
Just off the Mass Avenue exit from the 93.
Once you get off the exit, it is a left hand turn down Mass Ave and another left turn (actually more of a stay to the left than an actual turn). New Market Square is then on your right. This is the meat packing/distribution area for Boston, so that is what you are looking for. If you stay on Mass Ave and pass the Victoria Diner, you missed it.
They are right across from Graingers, 54 Newmarket Square, Roxbury – if he is there it may only be open Wed Thur and Friday afternoons.

On this trip Boston became my favorite city – Thanks again

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  1. Sounds as if you took a serious Boston Chowhound tutorial and learned you lessons well.

    thanks for posting and come again soon

      1. re: StriperGuy

        Agreed. Charming! It's always nice to see one's own city through the eyes of an appreciative visitor.

      2. glad you enjoyed. You hit a lot of great places.

        1. Glad you made that run and shared it with us.

          PS: Sounds like you had a real chowder, not the kind that is ruined with thickening.

          1. Awesome post. I am glad you and your granddaughter had such a wonderful time. It's so refreshing to see hounds visit and hit on most all cylinders thanks to the advice of other hounds.

            1. Thank you for such a lovely review of Boston; so nice to hear. I especially loved reading about your journey with your grandaughter which so reminded me of my husband's "dining out" adventures with our grandaughter. Thank you and please come back and visit soon; there's so much more to see and do.