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Guys weekend, need advice

the_sneeb Feb 16, 2011 11:24 AM

Planning a trip to Boston in May with two buddies from college. Staying at the Omni Parker House in downtown Saturday through Monday, won't have a car. Only things on the itinerary are seafood, beer, and a sox game. Looking to have one really good dinner probably on Saturday night. We're all adventurous eaters but are looking for something Boston-specific instead of Boston's best French, Japanese, etc . Searching through the boards, Neptune or Craigie seemed to fit the bill. Anything else to consider that shouldn't be missed?

For the rest of the meals, we're looking for casual spots. Planning on hitting James Hook for a roll, maybe Yankee seafood before a tour of Harpoon(is the Sam Adams tour worth doing?). Any recs for casual lunchs and/or good shellfish? Also looking for some good beer joints, the closer to downtown the better as these will be the last stop before heading back to the hotel. On this list are Cambridge Brewing Co and Lower Depths, but something walkable or short cab would be awesome.

Also, anywhere to get a great cup of coffee? I know that's a lot, any suggestions would greatly appreciated!

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    LStaff RE: the_sneeb Feb 16, 2011 11:40 AM

    I like the Sam Adams tour as you get to try some experimental beers they make, but I think Harpoon is a bit more flowish with the beer. SA is just a small pilot brewery, but Harpoon is a big production brewery.

    For downtown beer spots, try the Kinsale at Gov't ctr or a newish place called Stoddard's (but prepare for sticker shock from what I hear).

    Don't miss CBC when in town - and a couple of blocks up the street is Lord Hobo.

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    Lord Hobo
    92 Hampshire St, Cambridge, MA 02141

    10 Replies
    1. re: LStaff
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      emannths RE: LStaff Feb 16, 2011 12:09 PM

      If you like good beer, you really shouldn't need anything more than CBC and Lord Hobo. Sure, there's Sunset, Deep Ellum, Publick House, and American Craft across the river, but beer-wise, none are superior to the CBC/LH combo.

      I'll second the Kinsale. Nice selection, and the 20oz pours for <$7 are a nice touch. Standard pub food and "Irish" atmosphere. Stoddard's looks like it offers a really nice atmosphere (I've only seen pictures), but $7.50 pints and $10 cask pints aren't worth it in my book. If you need another downtown area place, Jacob Wirth is not bad.

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      Cambridge Brewing Company
      1 Kendall Square, Cambridge, MA 02139

      Jacob Wirth Restaurant
      31 Stuart St, Boston, MA 02116

      Publick House
      1648 Beacon St, Brookline, MA

      Deep Ellum Bar
      477 Cambridge St, Allston, MA 02134

      Lord Hobo
      92 Hampshire St, Cambridge, MA 02141

      American Craft
      1700 Beacon St, Brookline, MA 02445

      1. re: emannths
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        robwat36 RE: emannths Feb 16, 2011 12:32 PM

        They might also consider Bukowski's or The Lower Depths, both conveniently located between the Parker House and Fenway.

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        Lower Depths
        476 Commonwealth Ave Ste 1, Boston, MA 02215

        1. re: robwat36
          e
          emannths RE: robwat36 Feb 16, 2011 12:49 PM

          True, though the beer prices at both places are a little steep. Chalk it up to the neighborhood and make it up by ordering a $1 hot dog at LD. The Otherside Cafe would be another potential spot to get a beer near-ish to Fenway.

          If it were me, I'd use it as an excuse to continue west towards the Publick House/American Craft area or the Sunset/Deep Ellum area.

          1. re: emannths
            r
            robwat36 RE: emannths Feb 16, 2011 01:31 PM

            Otherside is also an excellent place to sample local/regional brews and sit outside on a nice day.

        2. re: emannths
          jgg13 RE: emannths Feb 16, 2011 12:39 PM

          I'll admit a negative bias towards the Publick House/AmCraft crew, but even with the at disclaimer I'd agree that you never need to step foot on that side of the river for good beer.

          CBC + Hobo is a great combo. If one wants to lose some beer quality for a different atmosphere you still have solid (but each has their own pros & cons) choices in places like Atwoods, Buks, Druid, Trina's (more for drinks), all within a fairly short walk.

          I do love Deep Ellum, but not enough that I'd make a special trip out that way in the midst of some sort of crawl - it'd have to be my desitnation for the day/evening/whatever.

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          Deep Ellum Bar
          477 Cambridge St, Allston, MA 02134

          1. re: jgg13
            StriperGuy RE: jgg13 Feb 17, 2011 07:28 AM

            Count me among the NON fan of Publick House.

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            Publick House
            1648 Beacon St, Brookline, MA

            1. re: StriperGuy
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              Guinness02122 RE: StriperGuy Feb 17, 2011 07:38 AM

              Decent beer selection. Food not up to par.

              1. re: Guinness02122
                jgg13 RE: Guinness02122 Feb 17, 2011 08:00 AM

                you forgot to mention the massive attitude.

                1. re: jgg13
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                  Guinness02122 RE: jgg13 Feb 17, 2011 08:05 AM

                  Last time I went was two and a half years ago. The server we had seemed nice, but then again I wasn't a regular.

          2. re: emannths
            k
            Kinopio RE: emannths Feb 17, 2011 11:42 AM

            Hitting up both Cambridge Brewing Company and Lord Hobo in the same night is a great idea that cannot be suggested enough.

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            Cambridge Brewing Company
            1 Kendall Square, Cambridge, MA 02139

            Lord Hobo
            92 Hampshire St, Cambridge, MA 02141

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          Guinness02122 RE: the_sneeb Feb 16, 2011 12:01 PM

          Deep Ellum, The Publick House, Hungry Mother, Speed Dog

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          Hungry Mother
          Cambridge, MA, Cambridge, MA

          Publick House
          1648 Beacon St, Brookline, MA

          Deep Ellum Bar
          477 Cambridge St, Allston, MA 02134

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            emannths RE: the_sneeb Feb 16, 2011 12:22 PM

            For a casual lunch, you might want to consider Xinh Xinh in Chinatown for some good Vietnamese. Pizzeria Regina in the North End would be another option. It's an institution, with the requisite ardent advocates and detractors (I'm in the former group, fwiw). You might also try searching out some fried clams. There are not a whole lot of options that are T-accessible (Jasper White's Summer Shack, Neptune, and Atlantic Fish Co serve them, I think, which would save you a trip to Ipswich or Quincy), but along with raw oysters, they're about as NE-seafood as you can get.

            Coffee: Near your hotel is the Thinking Cup, which I believe is well-regarded. In Cambridge, Crema Cafe and Simon's both pull a good espresso.

            Edit to add: One more potential casual spot. Floating Rock in Central Square (Cambridge) should be open by May. Their spot in Revere served excellent Cambodian food, so I imagine this will continue when the open in Cambridge.

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            Floating Rock
            485 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA

            Xinh Xinh
            7 Beach St, Boston, MA 02111

            Atlantic Fish Co
            761 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116

            Crema Cafe
            27 Brattle St, Cambridge, MA 02138

            Summer Shack
            149 Alewife Brook Parkway, Cambridge, MA 02140

            8 Replies
            1. re: emannths
              Bob Dobalina RE: emannths Feb 16, 2011 01:00 PM

              Second Thinking Cup for coffee - far and away the best coffee option near your hotel on the weekend - not far down Tremont Street.

              Casual and close to the hotel for lunch is Marliave - good cocktails and good chow. Double check - I think they are open for lunch on weekends. Also Silvertone - not sure about lunch, but decent place close to Omni Parker. Resist any inclination to order food at the Beantown Pub, near your hotel - but ok for beers and a little trouble.

              Hungry Mother is a great place, but not a good "guys weekend" kind of place, imho. You're on the right track with Craigie and Neptune for pure chow, but also consider Scampo (and Clink), Eastern Standard, Back Bay Social Club, Sonsie, Tico, and Towne for places to see and be seen, along with good-to-excellent chow.

              Island Creek is also excellent seafood (I hear) - both it and Eastern Standard are in Kenmore Sq., so keep in mind the places will be a little crazy before/after game time.

              Beacon Street Tavern and Audobon Circle are a short walk up Beacon from Kenmore for good pub food.

              Not sure of the status in May, but at the Haymarket by the Bell in Hand, there may be a guy selling cherrystones in the street - stand and eat them $5 for 6 and revel in your guys' weekend.

              1. re: Bob Dobalina
                h
                hckybg RE: Bob Dobalina Feb 16, 2011 07:41 PM

                Pavement is also great for coffee and not too far away from the hotel--on Boylston on the other side of Mass Ave.

                1. re: hckybg
                  Bob Dobalina RE: hckybg Feb 17, 2011 04:39 AM

                  I think you're thinking of the wrong hotel or we have very different definitions of "not too far away" - Mass Ave is a long walk from Gov't Center...

                  1. re: Bob Dobalina
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                    hckybg RE: Bob Dobalina Feb 17, 2011 08:21 AM

                    You're right--for some reason I was thinking Copley area. Well...Pavement isn't too far from Fenway, especially if one is walking there :).

                    1. re: hckybg
                      Bob Dobalina RE: hckybg Feb 17, 2011 11:35 AM

                      you are right - I was only thinking of coffee as needing to be within steps of hotel during guy's weekend...*hic*

                2. re: Bob Dobalina
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                  Guinness02122 RE: Bob Dobalina Feb 17, 2011 06:51 AM

                  Guys weekend should really be a Bruins game followed by The Glass Slipper or Centerfolds, and some late night Chinese food at The Peach Farm. I'm just going with the flow on this post. This appears to be the fancy guys weekend post.

                  -----
                  Peach Farm
                  4 Tyler St, Boston, MA 02111

                  Glass Slipper
                  15 Lagrange St, Boston, MA 02116

                  1. re: Guinness02122
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                    Gabatta RE: Guinness02122 Feb 17, 2011 06:55 AM

                    If that's the type of weekend the OP had in mind they should be heading somewhere (anywhere) other than Boston.

                    The Sevens on Charles Street in Beacon Hill is a good spot to grab beers with the guys and close to the hotel. It is not high end.

                    1. re: Gabatta
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                      Guinness02122 RE: Gabatta Feb 17, 2011 07:03 AM

                      I'm sure they have similar places elsewhere. By the way, does The Sevens have 99 cent draughts with Yukon Jack chasers served by the Ice Girls? That's manville!

              2. m
                mkfisher RE: the_sneeb Feb 16, 2011 12:27 PM

                I really don't like the lobster roll at James Hook. They serve it on a cold and soggy roll. If you're planning on going to Neptune, just get the lobster roll there.

                3 Replies
                1. re: mkfisher
                  itaunas RE: mkfisher Feb 16, 2011 01:29 PM

                  If they leave the CBC (plus Lord Hobo, Atwoods, Bukowsk/Inman) for a Monday late-afternoon/night crawl they could get the lobster roll and fried clams from Courthouse (before 6:30) and include East Coast Grill -- Voltage for coffee, but no Japanese or French. Neither are the cannonical version: lobster roll bread is broiled, not griddled in butter but often the filling is mixed to order... and fried clams are in a portuguese/greek style breading rather than north shore style or some Italian sparse semolina breading, but the seafood is excellent. I will note that their seafood market is closed Monday's so you won't get as fresh fish then and there is some risk of being out but clams and lobster are constants. If you were to go to Neptune instead on Monday, you can also get their Lobster spagettini, but its probably not a coincidence they offer that on Mondays (not a popular day for seafood deliveries in most locations and they often sell out) but in either case you are dealing with establishments which get multiple deliveries per week and properly store their seafood.

                  -----
                  East Coast Grill and Raw Bar
                  1271 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139

                  Bukowski's
                  1281 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139

                  Lord Hobo
                  92 Hampshire St, Cambridge, MA 02141

                  1. re: itaunas
                    jgg13 RE: itaunas Feb 16, 2011 01:36 PM

                    I've done the inman-kendall day drinking pub crawl before. Monday works quite well because you can start at Trina's for brunch and work your way from there towards CBC.

                    1. re: jgg13
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                      robwat36 RE: jgg13 Feb 16, 2011 01:46 PM

                      Oh man that sounds awesome.

                2. r
                  robwat36 RE: the_sneeb Feb 16, 2011 12:34 PM

                  For casual lunch, hop on the water taxi at Long Wharf and get a BLT at Scup's in the Harbor. Also, Mike & Patty's has fantastic takeout sandwiches (and breakfasts) within a reasonable walk from your hotel.

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                    LeoLioness RE: the_sneeb Feb 16, 2011 12:38 PM

                    Saturday night at Neptune is such a hassle (small restaurant, wildly popular, no reservations). I wouldn't miss it, but I'd go for lunch instead of dinner.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: LeoLioness
                      m
                      Madrid RE: LeoLioness Feb 16, 2011 02:30 PM

                      mid afternoon when the guys have half-recovered and ready to start out again might be even better at Neptune. I've found Neptune out the door at 1 pm on a freezing cold Sat. They open at 11:30 am every day so could also be your first stop, after coffee....

                    2. SOBoston RE: the_sneeb Feb 17, 2011 04:41 AM

                      I've never been to Harpoon, but I went to SA with someone who has been to both---he liked SA better. To add to this, you can take the orange line to Forest Hills and walk down to Doyle's for a couple of beers and then hop on the trolley that runs every 15-20 minutes; dropping you off and picking you up from the brewery down the street. Both the trolley and tour are free.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: SOBoston
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                        LStaff RE: SOBoston Feb 17, 2011 07:35 AM

                        SA runs the trolley?

                        I always thought it was odd that the directions SA gives you to walk to Doyle's was not the most direct route there...until I walked the direct route.

                        1. re: SOBoston
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                          chevrelove RE: SOBoston Feb 17, 2011 08:57 AM

                          I've done both multiple times, and it depends on your preferences. Sam Adams has more of a rehearsed spiel thing going on, but that also makes it more of an "experience." As has been pointed out above, Harpoon offers tours at their production facilities vs. SA which produces the vast majority of its beer elsewhere. Harpoon wins for me, because as we walked past the mash tuns and tanks, the guide stopped at a tank of partially fermented beer, and offered everyone small pour in your sample glass a taste to see the difference between it and the finished product. Then you get to sample any of the ten or so beers (and cider) they have on tap.

                          But really, you can't go wrong with either.

                        2. the_sneeb RE: the_sneeb Feb 17, 2011 06:13 AM

                          Thanks for all the great feedback. Can't wait to taste the town.

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