Trip Review - exhaustive
Wed. Arrived in Boston around 1:00, and after checking in at the hotel we went straight to Wagamama. I know, I know, we could have done ‘better’ -- but we were trying to relive a trip to London that happened one child and one mortgage ago. The duck gyoza were pretty good; the yaki soba and chili beef ramen were quite good. The beef was medium rare and the heat level was steady but not overwhelming. Since lunch was late (and filling) we wound up at Upper Crust on Newbury for dinner. One Seafood Medley pizza, one salad, two sodas and one Sox win made it a perfect evening.
Thur. Off to Appleton Bakery for a strawberry muffin, which was a little wet but provided ample reason to return. Lunch for the carbotarian (me) was arancini and panzarotta from Galleria Umberto. The arancini was out of this world; it goes on my all-time top 10 food experiences list. Since it was early, I only had a few bites at GU and took the rest with me. It seemed a little indecent to be eating the remainder in Harvard Square, but I managed. My DH was at Joe’s American Bar & Grill having some salad topped with roasted (not grilled) chicken, which he considered a pleasant surprise. Dinner at Legal in the Pru was very nice. We didn’t get any rolls (which I had heard were good), but we probably didn’t need them. The RI style calamari was as advertised (spicy/greasy—good!) and the cioppino was excellent. DH had clam chowder and grilled tuna with Shandon sauce (both yum!).
Fri. DH wanted granola for breakfast so we wound up at Rebecca’s Café. Never again. Pretty good lunch at Piattini Wine Bar on Newbury – olives and cheese starter (v.g.), veal panini and eggplant panini (ok). Bread was a bit soft, and the sandwich wasn’t actually pressed, but the fillings were pleasant. Afternoon interlude was Serious Chocolate Addiction at Emack & Bolio’s – just awesome. We had gone down to JP Licks, but it just smelled too much like sugar, so I took a pass. Dinner would have been at Piccola Venezia (an old fave), but our dining companions wanted someplace with AC so we tried Il Villaggio. It had AC, sure, but the door was standing open and the kitchen was heating things up so much it didn’t matter. DH had seafood risotto, which he pronounced perfectly tasty, and the salad with grilled vegetables which he found underwhelming. I had gnocchi in creamy tomato sauce; good texture, but basically a pretty boring dish. Wound up at Bova’s Bakery for cannoli; probably not the best, but it has been a staple of all our Boston trips – plus, there was no line out into the street!
Sat. Got DH down to Appleton Bakery for a good, chewy bagel and an excellent rolled scone. The scone had a confectioners’ sugar / lemon juice drizzle that gave it a nice tang. They also had Sox cupcakes, which I resisted since it was 9AM. Joining up with the previous evening’s dining companions, we set off on an excursion to Freeport, ME, in search of lobster and bargains. But first, our companions had to make a detour for donuts at Kane’s. DH and I declined, though I did note with interest they were selling sweet rolls the size of hubcaps. Lunch at the Harraseeket Lunch and Lobster Pound – long wait, fresh food, but be smart about what you order. I got battered clams; they were huge, all batter, about half of which I peeled off. I really should have just gotten the lobster roll. Next time. Good onion rings, very good steamed seafood (lobster, clams) according to DH. Dining companions ‘don’t like lobster’ (!) so one ordered crab cake and fried shrimp, the other had crab roll. I don’t think any of that lived up to their expectations, but I have been warned to not bother with crab unless you’re in MD. Back in Boston for dinner at the Warren Tavern, apparently a locals’ joint, DH had some lovely lamb chops and fries and I had a weird, dry version of a shepherd’s pie. It just wasn’t my day… Dining companions had steak tips and a nice looking salad with chicken, artichoke hearts and various other salad-y stuff.
Sun. Back to the Appleton Bakery for egg sandwiches and a chocolate croissant. I swear if I lived anywhere near here, I would weigh three hundred pounds because of this place. As a last hurrah, we lunched on clam chowder and lobster rolls at the Summer Shack at Logan. DH thought the lobster a tad overcooked, but I was ready to call the meal perfect. Our server, Lynda, was fun and efficient, and made me leave Boston with a good taste in my mouth and a strong desire to return.
Thanks to all you ‘hounds for your willingness to share info and opinions. It made our trip so much better!
So, did you like Appleton Bakery?
I'm a fellow carbotarian--I'm calling myself that instead of a vegetarian from now on--and I usually end up with the dish that has everyone at the table drooling as they soldier through their lump of protein. You didn't hit that many typical chowhound favorites, but to have had a top-10-of-all-time food experience, you certainly did something right. Thanks for the report; the more exhaustive the better.
Happy to share! Unlike a lot of the folks coming here for recs, I'm not necessarily trying for nonstop gastric nirvana when I travel. Perhaps that makes me a lesser 'hound, but I'd rather have a few really good hits and be able to enjoy them without stressing over the thought of what I might be missing. Besides, Higher Being willing, I'll be back...