Saint Anthony's Feast this weekend?
I love Saint ANthony's Feast and this year it looks like they are hosting a Cirelli Marketplace on Endicott Street - The local paper says there will be lobster rolls for $5 and meatball sliders and carved roast beef sandwhiches - this is in addition to the cherrystones and zeppole that I eat every year and the fresh coldcut sandwiches from the guy named Angelo!.
Checked out the feast on Friday night - pretty crowded but could have been much worse.
Started off with 6 cherrystones for $5 - enormous, briny, delicious! (Could have downed a few dozen if not for the other chow we wanted to try.) Also, four shrimp for $5 - they were fine.
Next, a softball-sized arancini, stuffed with beef, spinach and cheese, topped with marinara - $6 - this looked better than it actually was - not enough filling - the arancini itself was pretty bland, very starchy, sort of mushy, ok fry job, but overall eh.
Next, DF was dying to try a slice of Pizzeria Regina - sausage was just ok - had been sitting out a bit - I liked the dough and crust, but not an ideal slice.
Next, the $5 lobster roll - mushy, water-logged lobster, little flavor, good amount of food for the price, but definitely have to give that an "avoid."
Finally, the highlight - a dozen zeppolis, fresh out of the fryer. We were thinking about real pizza fritte, but they were not looking too good, and saw one gal at one of the fried dough booths take one that was already cooked, and drop it back into lukewarm oil to re-warm it....WHOA! Ick! The zeppoli booth on the other hand was pumping them out as fast as they could - dropped a dozen in a brown bag with lots of confectioner's sugar - toss and enjoy - a perfect ending.
You really have to mind your p's and q's in choosing which booths to enjoy. There was one featuring good looking skewers and arepas, but we were too full at that point. Would suggest hitting the raw bar (they also had oysters at 6 for $10). Watch to see that they are fresh-shucked - the clams definitely were. Then, try to find a place that just replenished its fry of calamari, or whatever else. Then find the fresh fried dough in whatever shape, as long as it's hot. The PR beer garden had long lines - that would have been ideal, but it's just too small to wait there - would have taken forever - gotta get there early I guess.
We went to the Feast on Sunday just after the parade with St. Anthony started. It was very
crowded and hot. We only sampled a couple of things the arancini I had was delicious and the sauce very good. I also had a cannoli from Mike's freshly made. Other half had the basic sausage sandwich and fried dough. The lobster rolls were $6.00 or 2 for $10 on Sunday from Cerilli's. We had a sample of an eggplant fry and scallop wrapped in bacon from Cerilli. Pretty good. We enjoyed walking around and taking in the smells and sights although the crowds did get a bit overwhelming at times.
I wish the website was a little more comprehensive. I went on Saturday evening, hoping to get my hands on some fried delights- and there was nothing there! I know it was after 7pm, but not sure exactly what time. There was one bakery selling calzones out of a window- but that was all the food I could see. Did I miss something? Was I in the wrong place? Next year, I'll make sure I get more info before I head out there...
When I lived in the NOrth End I would clear out of the area for the entire weekend of the St. A's Feast. Entirely too many people and too much alcohol to find this feast enticing. OTOH, many of the feasts held earlier in the summer always held much attraction for me, as none of them are nearly as crowded. And all the best food is still available. In fact, one of the best is the one locals call "Little St. Anthony," in early June. That's the only one where Sulmona Market comes out and sells their fabulous Italian Sausage!
We went to the feast on Sunday afternoon, after watching the Red Sox blow their game against Chicago...
Anyway, the highlights for me were the Calamari salad, which was a decent sized cup of fresh and tender rings and a few tentacles, for only $5.00, and the "Homemade" Eggplant Parmesan, which was really delicious. Dripping with cheese, and fried until nice and crispy. The kind of gooey mess you know is not good for you, but tastes great.
The misses for me, were the giant Arancini, which as mentioned, looked much better than it tasted. There wasn't enough cheese or spice or filling in it, so all you ended up with was a giant ball of white rice with some crust on it.
The other disapointment for me, was the Beef Braciola at one of the stands. For $10, it was one skinny piece of beef with a small slice of ham and a small slice of cheese, grilled and stuffed into a sub roll. I just didn't think it was worth the price or the calories.
That sort of sums up my "beef" with the "feasts." For 1/2 the price, you can get a great arancini at Umberto's and a lot of the stands are "carnival level" food.
I did see the "homemade eggplant" stand at that looked good..and reminiscent of my early feast memories.
A lot of restaurants that I wouldn't go to are there..ex..Paesans..and I'd rather sit at Regina's and eat a hot pizza than pay $4 for a lukewarm slice.
Well, I went and had a great time as usual - also had the clams (always good). Next time try the arancini from Massimino's restaurant, they were delcious with a tomato, artichoke sauce......yum......also tasted the tripe and it was great...the cirelli eggplant fries were great from cirelli and also the bindi desserts.