I will be in Boston for only an evening next week and would love to find a place that serves up baked beans. A long while back I remember a cafateria type place right near the Commons that dished up great (really GREAT!) baked beans. It is long gone. I doubt if there are any similar places left, but there's always a chance............Any recomendations?
I remember I used to get great baked beans in Fanuell Hall. I am not sure what the name was or if it is even still there.
I think the baked beans that Boston is famous for are kind of nasty: overcooked and oversweetened Navy beans. If you want high-quality old-timey New England food and to avoid tourist traps like Durgin-Park (which is now owned by a NYC chain), I'd recommend you head to Green Street in Central Square, Cambridge. They do updated versions of Olde Yankee cookery like excellent baked beans with house-made brown bread, corn chowder topped with fried clams, and so on. They also make some of the best cocktails on either side of the river.
One of the reasons I stopped hanging out at a different food-related online community is because I kept getting attacked by another poster who insisted that the streets of Boston were paved with places that served baked beans, brown bread and fishcakes, and he took it as a personal offense when I said that in fact I'd never seen a single restaurant in town that served that meal. (There are places that serve each of those things, but I know of none that serve all three together.) The weird part about this was that the guy lived in, like, New Jersey, so how on earth he was supposed to know what Boston restaurants served I have no idea.
Anyway, one pleasantly old-fashioned place that does a pretty good plate of baked beans is Cabot's in Newton (www.cabots.com), just off the turnpike and deceptively close to Watertown Square and Brighton. (If you're T-dependent, you can go to www.mbta.com to find out what bus line it's on and plot out a route.) This is an old-school family restaurant and ice cream shoppe that specializes in fanciful ice cream desserts of a type you just don't see anymore (I can't tell you the last time I saw claret sauce somewhere), but the lunch and dinner menu is surprisingly solid as well. Good club sandwiches, that sort of thing, and the baked beans come with a couple of nice snappy franks on the side, along with the requisite brown bread. I hear the breakfasts are good, but I'm never in that part of town in the morning.
One drawback: they're closed Mondays. Otherwise, I say go for it.
I like the baked beans at Durgin Park. I have their recipe and it is very traditional- with salt pork, onion, mollasses etc. Yes, it is touristy but the food is not bad- good prime rib and you can also have the traditional New England dessert- Indian pudding- while you are there.