Chicago Chowhound visiting Boston this weekend
My husband and I will be in Boston for our 2nd visit, and I'm looking for good places to eat/hang out. We're staying at the Boston Park Plaza, near the Commons. We're fairly low-key people who simply love to eat (and generally plan our trips around food), so I'm not looking for anything too "scene-y," just great food. Low or mid-price range would be best, and really, any type of food is great, so long as it's the best of its kind. We're not afraid to walk a bit or take transportation within reason.
Last time we were here, we enjoyed Upper Crust pizza (I think we ate 3 large Harvard Squares that weekend--we missed East Coast-style pizza, stuck out here in the deep-dish hinterlands like we are), Rabia's, Mike's Pastries, and a trip up to Bartley's Burgers in Cambridge, if that gives you any conception of what we like.
We'll be at Fenway on Sunday, and possibly up in Cambridge on Monday.
Thanks! And don't hesitate to contact me if you're looking for Chicago recommendations!
Some quick recs from a former resident of that neighborhood.
Rachel's Kitchen in Bay Village is a 2 minute walk from your hotel. Seating is limited and orders are made to order and take a while. You might want to call ahead your order and take back to the hotel or the Garden. I heartily recommend the breakfast sandwiches but make sure you request the one you want on brioche. I like the bacon egg and cheese.
Skip upper crust this trip and head to Regina's. It's the best pizza in town by far. I typically order a sausage and pepperoni well done (to char the crust) and a few beers. They only serve pizza. Hope on the inbound Green Line at Arlington and get off at North Station (or Haymarket) and walk over to Regina's on Thacher St. Skip Mike's and head to Modern or Maria's for better canolis for desert.
For Fenway, grab a sausage pepper and onions sandwich from the Sausage guy on Landsdown or a Cubano from El Tiante on Yawkey way, or maybe try and get a reservation as Eastern Standard.
FYI, the McCormick and Schmick at Park Plaza has a late night happy hour menu from 10-sometime with oysters, cheap but average burgers, and other snacks for $2 to $5. A chain, but a close one with fresh, inexpensive oysters right in your building. Not sure about Friday and Saturday night offerings or even the happy hour at that time.
Enjoy your visit.
I would highly recommend hopping in a cab (or taking the red-line subway and a mapquest printout) and going to the Helmand, an Afghani restaurant run, incidentally, by relatives of Hamid Karzai, the President of Afghanistan. The food is excellent, unlike any I've eaten (outside their branches in SF, Baltimore, and elsewhere). Must-tries are Aushak and Lamb Dwopiaza. Lambchops and tenderloin are also exceptional. Prices are low. Service is good, though not excellent. Wine list fair to good. This is a place to go for the food, though the room is lovely. Here's a link to their website: http://www.helmandrestaurantcambridge... IMHO the best bang for the buck in the area.
Very close to the green line, I'll reemphasize. As for you, kcp118, I'll second Helmand--nothing like it in Chicago, and I say that as a recent transplant to Bostonland from that fair city. We were at Helmand the night of the 3rd for a great meal at a price I pretty much didn't believe: two aps, four entrees, a soup, two desserts, and two teas--we all had to be rolled out--for $87 before tip.
If you are at the Red Sox game on Sunday afternoon, try going over to the Franklin Cafe afterward. The wait should not be bad early after the game. Great food and prices. Lots of comments about them on this Board.
Elephant Walk (Cambodian and French food) in Boston or Cambridge has 2 fix price meals (~$30 for 3 course, $40 for 4 course).
Try the bar menu at Chez Henri in Cambridge. The Cuban sandwich is legendary and much better than the ones at Fenway, with all apologies to Louis Tiant aka El Tiante.
I second the recs for both the Helmand in East Cambridge and Pizzeria Regina at the corner of Prince & Thatcher Sts. in the North End. If you haven't had their pizza, don't miss it. True, authentic Italian with thin crust, bubbles and perfect flavor. If you go at a popular time, you'll have to wait a while for a table. You could put in an order to go, then get in line at one of the pastry shops, then go back to pick up your pizza and eat it in at the basketball court a half a block away. Maria's closes at 7, so if you miss it, I'd either get a lobster tail from Mike's (oh, so good) or sit at Napoli Pastry or Cafe Vittoria, where you can get good coffee and pastry.
You might also try the bar at Chez Henri, a couple of blocks from the Harvard Sq. T stop. Almost everyone loves their Cubanos--including the vegetarian one--and tropical cocktails.
If you liked Bartley's I would also try R.F. O'Sullivan's in Somerville. Their burgers are fantastic and they pour a mean Guinness!