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Jan 5, 2010 07:14 AM

Reivew - Boston through eyes of a Torontonian

Nothing can cheer me up more than a bowl of hot soup in a bleak winter. Since my SO and I were planning on visiting NYC over the holidays, we decided to make a short trip to the chowda nation, Boston! From reading the board, Neptune Oyster seems to be a must-visit for the trip. I threw few recommendations to my sis who planned the whole trip and these are places we visited (see below)

Day 1 - Yankee lobster, JP Licks, Quincy Market, Union Oyster

Yankee Lobster - amazing chowda, definitely slaughters all the competition here in Toronto! Fresh seafood selection but cooking technique does not do the freshness any justice.
JP Licks - can't complain about ice cream!
Quincy Market - had chowder and baked sword-fish @ Boston & Main fish Co., not as good as yankee lobster and mayo just overpowers the swordfish
Union Oyster - couldn't get a table so sat at the bar instead. more chowder! generous portion size and honest ingredients. Had some shucked oysters and cherrystones (can't believe how plump and sweet they are!) and lobster (was hoping to be a bit more juicy!)

Day 2 - Flour bakery, Neptune Oyster, Mike's Pastry, Maria's Pastry, Chinatown (didn't get to eat)

Flour Bakery - I really have to say Bostonians are so lucky to have this bakery! amazing food, amazing people, amazing price! Tried pretty much all the baked items during breakfast and was I impressed! Went back again before leaving Boston on Day 3! great sandwiches too!
Neptune Oyster - Man, this is definitely the highlight of our trip! Staffs were extremely knowledageable with both raw bar and cooked items. I won't name all the things we ordered from the raw bar (mainly i don't remember their names) but I was certainly wow-ed by the cooked items. lobster bisque, steamed littleneck, fried oysters with pork, tuna ribbon salad, another pork dish (special of the day), grilled whole fish, lobster roll. Everything was well executed except minor complaint about the dry lobster roll. I can't say enough about this place, to me, I'll still give 10/10!!!
Pastry - Maria's kicks Mike's ass!!!!!!

I wanted to look for some fruit in chinatown but it was pretty disappointing. I guess i'll stick with chinese food here back in TO.

anyway, neptune oyster is on my all-time top 10 list now! I'll be back, Boston!

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  1. Thanks for the lovely report! I'm glad you got to Neptune Oyster: it's my favorite (Western-style) seafood restaurant in Boston. I had raw oysters and fried clams there the other day; as fine and fresh as ever, about as good as it gets here, I think.

    1. You didn't miss anything w/ chinese food here. GTA chinese food is soooo much better it's not funny...
      Glad you hit a bunch of good places. B&G Oyster has a better lobster roll IMHO, but you tried one of the two best in Boston...

      6 Replies
      1. re: Spike

        Sounds like a great trip! Glad you got to try Flour bakery --- I agree that it is a treasure.

        There is wonderful Chinese food to be had in Boston, although generally not in Chinatown. Most Chinese people in the Greater Boston area live in the suburbs, and that's where you'll generally find the most authentic restaurants. Between Sichuan Gourmet for Sichuan, Jo Jo Taipei for Taiwanese, Shanghai Gate for Shanghainese, Wang's for Shandong and Fuloon for all-around-goodness, and many more Boston has some really special options for regional Chinese food.

        1. re: lipoff

          yah, i did see lots of threads mentioning these places. We didn't have a car so transportation option is quite limited. Plus the temperature for those 2 days was about 0 F.
          Hopefully it'll be summer time when i go back next time :)

          1. re: lipoff

            I think the main difference between Boston's Chinatown and Toronto's is size: the original Toronto Chinatown, centered on Spadina between Queen and Dundas, has to be three or four times the size of Boston's. So there's a ton of good restaurants in Toronto's Chinatown, but the ratio is probably about the same.

            Pedantry note: Although they're not in Chinatown, Jo Jo Taipei and Shanghai Gate are in Boston, not in the burbs.

          2. re: Spike

            Ewwww. As a former Montrealer living in Boston now (with family in TO) I can tell you that Boston Chinese beats Toronto Chinese any day -

            1. re: Cork

              The best chinese food in TO no longer resides in chinatown now (canton cuisine specifically). The chinatown now is slowing turning into vietnamese and mainland chinese cuisines. I didn't dine at any chinese restaurant in Boston so I couldn't really give any feedback on the qualify of food. I guess i was really comparing to restaurants in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) than downtown chinatown.

              1. re: Cork

                Yeah, I meant what oohlala said...GTA. When I said "Toronto", I really mean Scarborough, Richmond Hill, Markham, etc. Most asians are out in that suburban area now. I'd agree that Toronto downtown chinatown's food is mediocre... :-)

            2. Thanks for the report back. Expat here and happy that you had a good time> Agree on Maria's vs Mikes and once did Marias Neptune and Pizzeria Regina within an hour or so. Agree on Chinatown, we just don;t campare here. Asian markets are OK but not the embarassment of riches in TO. We're getting better in the suburbs and next time, H-Mart (Korean) in Burlington should be on your list (it's on mine).

              1 Reply
              1. re: gourmaniac

                I think they already have an HMart or a Han A Rheum

                1. You certainly had a full trip - and kudos to you for recognizing Maria's vast superiority to Mike's. Next time, a fair fight would be between maria's and the Modern Pastry. Both pretty high quality Italian bakerys.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Northender

                    I just remember the canoli filling from mike's is too grainy and viscous. Maria's filling was so smooth, oh yah!

                    by the time we got to modern we were all canoli-ed out, i'll definitely report back if i hit up Boston again!