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Four ways in four days ?

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Hello all

Visting from the UK and staying Sunday 29 May to 2 June. We are staying at the Ames Hotel and I think I have itinerary more or less planned, with specific chow questions , as follows

Terms of reference first - I have visited Boston several times before ( Sox fan ) looking for bargains up to medium priced ( entrees for evening below $25 ), love quirky places, arty or architecturally interesting places/ places with a great view , great burgers , fresh ans simple seafood, 'gastropubs' authentic not touristy chow.... In terms of bars we like microbrews, local brews, good food sat at the bar, live music , not feeling 'too old' if you are 40....

So, the itinerary and numbered questions in case you just want to answer one or two...

1.Sunday night - North End ( as near hotel and jetlag factor ) - Regina Pizza ? Daily Catch ( for squid ? ) - if not either of these or we will not get in , where else ? Is DC only good for squid ( mixed reviews here re the pasta dishes and friend not massive seafood fan) ? If so, where else will I get great squid and he get something else ?

2. Side questions - is soft shelled crab in season and if so, where to go ? Are there any places ( like La Pereda in Barcelona if you have been ) where you choose your fish and how you want it cooked and they then oblige - ie basic, cheap and wonderfully fresh seafood )

3And where do we go for a late and lively beer afterwards , if we conquer he jetlag ?

4. Monday -Harbor islands - no chow ideas here - all ideas welcome - or somewhere to pick up picnic stuff near hotel ?

5.Also breakfasts - not included in hotel rate - Woodwards in hotel meant to be good but I assume pricey ? - worth it on one day ?( my birthday does fall during our stay ! ) and if so what do we order?

In terms of other nearby breakfasts any take out or sit in recs ? Probably sandwiches or omelette but cake/pastries too places too please !

6.Monday night / Tuesday night - Sox games - looking at posts here am thinking Eastern Standard, Audubon Circle or La Verdad ? Good choices ? Need reservations ? Best pre or post game ? I am assuming Jerry Remy's will be poor but will have to pop in for a drink ?

7.Tuesday day - ICA - see that new place Temazcal Tequila Cantina gets good write ups here - good for lunch or better at night ? Anywhere else near ICA ? Or walk back around the harbour and go for lunch at Regina Pizza ?

8.Wednesday brunch - thinking of stroll along Newbury en route to 1pm game - where best for a midweek brunch en route ? Pancakes a strong favourite here !

9.Wednesday post game - thinking of going straight from game to MFA - not sure on where to go in this vicnity ? Or head over to Cambridge instead and go to Craigie's for the burger ? If so, where for microbrews or local brews afterwards ?

10. What obvious place have I missed that I must go to , and should change my itinerary to fit in ? I'm thinking like Gus' Pretzels in St Louis or ( more locally for you guys ) Just Barbs in Stockton Springs - places I would never have gone to but for Chowhound...

Hope specific questions helped, thanks in advance for any help you can give !

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Eastern Standard
528 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215

Regina Pizza
44 Station Landing, Medford, MA 02155

Daily Catch
323 Hanover St, Boston, MA 02113

La Verdad
1 Lansdowne St, Boston, MA 02215

Audubon Circle Restaurant Bar
838 Beacon Street, Boston, MA

Temazcal
250 Northern Ave, Boston, MA 02210

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  1. For breakfasts, you're in luck - the Clover food truck and Bon Me food truck serve breakfast Monday-Friday - if you exit the Ames, take a left and another left and walk across the plaza toward City Hall - as you approach, they will be on your right. Have not had the Bon Me breakfast offerings, but try the fresh popovers or egg sandwich from Clover.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Bob Dobalina

      This will sound like a dim question from a Brit, but what is a popover - and is there a particular type ( or flavour ? ! ) I need to be ordering ?

      1. re: willowan

        Think of it like a single-serving Yorkshire pudding: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Popover

        1. re: emannths

          I call it an American croissant. :) Only one flavor - custardy.

          1. re: Bob Dobalina

            bob is referring not to the sweetness of a custard but to the popover interior texture which is usually slightly uncooked/softer. They are a special experience for many of us and rarely found outside the home. Need alot of salt and tons of butter! occasionally you'll find a cheese version of them.They are only good when fresh out of the oven.

            here are some specific suggestions and threads that may interest you as a visitor:

            --Oleana>arabic influenced turkish/moroccan/etc etc.

            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/782289

            --East Coast Grill (particularly for brunch

            )

            For a unique menu that highlights seafood and BBQ and Mexican too, with a great welcoming vibe, I highly urge you to eat at one of our most popular institutions (25 yrs. old this yr!) East Coast Grill. Their brunch is fabulous and unique in Boston; their dinners offer more in the seafood line.

            http://www.eastcoastgrill.net/

            ---Pizzeria Regina- North End only

            Mixx (asian influenced) froyo:(don't know if this phenomenon has hit GB, but maybe you haven't seen asian influenced toppings, and flavors like taro, coconut, lychee, peach etc. in Allston, 5 min by car from Fenway Park.

            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/781006

            guide to boston areas and restnts:

            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/781155

            boston food profile:

            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/781156

            ideas for food souvenirs:

            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/781171

    2. Here are some ideas for places to get a beer: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7810... . Cambridge Brewing Company (brewpub) is within walking distance of Craigie, and is highly recommended (by me). We've also got a number of local brewers that produce excellent beer that you'll find in pubs around here. Some brewers to look for are Pretty Things, Mayflower, Clown Shoes, Ipswich, Berkshire (all from Massachusetts), as well as Smuttynose (NH), and a whole host of excellent ones if you expand "local" to include the states of NY and PA.

      They're closed on Sunday, but the Courthouse Fish Market offers the sort of select-your-fish-and-we'll-fry-it-for-you thing you're asking about.

      And yes, softshell crabs are in season. I usually cook them at home (pan fried), so I'll leave it to others to recommend a restaurant for them.

      -----
      Courthouse Fish Market
      484 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02141

      Cambridge Brewing Company
      1 Kendall Square, Cambridge, MA 02139

      1. 9. If you go to Craigie, you are in reasonable distance of some of the more interesting new and old beer places. Meadhall, down Main Street and on to Broadway about ten minutes' walk away, is very new and sports a fairly bewildering array of beers on draught. You could walk further out from Kendall Square to Cambridge Brewing Company for microbrews and to Lord Hobo, another many-draught-beers bar that's perhaps been slightly eclipsed by Meadhall in the "more is better" stakes, but is still very much worth a visit for a beer fan. All three could be taken in on a pub crawl starting after Craigie with no more than ten minute walks between all points (CBC and Lord Hobo are even closer), if I'm remembering my distances correctly.

        On 6., I haven't been, but from the sounds of your considerations here you might want to read up on the Island Creek Oyster Bar as well, which is also right there.

        -----
        Cambridge Brewing Company
        1 Kendall Square, Cambridge, MA 02139

        Lord Hobo
        92 Hampshire St, Cambridge, MA 02141

        Island Creek Oyster Bar
        500 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA 02215

        Meadhall
        4 Cambridge Center, Cambridge, MA 02142

        2 Replies
        1. re: chickendhansak

          Thanks all for such early help. Is the Craigie burger really a 'do not miss ' ? Looked on their website earlier and couldnt see it mentioned. I assume we will need reservations , even to sit in the bar ?

          1. re: chickendhansak

            The take on BeerAdvocate that I've seen (I've not been to MeadHall myself) has been that it's well worth the extra walk to either Hobo or CBC than bothering to go into MeadHall. MH hasn't received high praise over there, and I'm going to trust them when it comes to beer geekery faaaaar more readily than I'm trusting people over here.

          2. Definetly bring food and water if you are visiting the harbor islands the food there is pretty limited, some islands have nothing to purchase, I think spectacle and maybe georges have small snack shacks. One day of the week they used to have a summer shack clam bake on spectacle, not sure if they are still doing that or not.
            Softshell crab season should have started by the time you get here, court house seafood in cambridge should be able to fry them up for you or one of the places in Chinatown, make sure you ask if they are fresh though since some places will substitue if they run out of fresh.

            1. 2. Peach Farm Seafood in Chinatown has fresh soft shell crabs. I had some today and they were great. They also have live tanks with cod, sometimes tautog, eel, crab, shrimp and geoduck,lobster. Courthouse Seafood is a short T ride, grea market and they will also cook your ssc.

              I like DC, the original on Hanover. My usual order is fried calamari and clams in a white sauce..split 2 ways.

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

              1 Reply
              1. re: 9lives

                On State Street, not too far from Long Wharf where you'll catch the ferry for the Boston Harbor Islands, is Sultan's Kitchen
                http://www.sultans-kitchen.com/
                We find it to be a good place to gather picnic items before getting on the ferry. Closer, and more upscale, is Sel de la Terre (255 State Street). They open at 11am and have a boulangerie with top notch bread, pate, sausages, and some pastries.

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                Sultan's Kitchen
                116 State St, Boston, MA 02109

                Sel de la Terre
                774 Boylston St., Boston, MA 02199

              2. will, soft shell crabs are having a unique treatment that changes daily , at 51 Lincoln in Newton.

                I recommend the spot; talented chef, comfie and friendly. In my other post, i strongly suggested East Coast Grill, and if soft shells are running, I would guess ECG would have them,also EVOO>> both in Cambridge. I grew up eating them in VA.(land of blue crab); very trad down there- no batter, no tempura etc.; just dredged in flour and sauteed in butter, served with lots of lemon; considered too delicate for deep frying. But so many people enjoy them in so many ways. With this schedule you can see which preparation and night you'd like to go to 51 Lincoln:

                http://www.51lincolnnewton.com/

                If non GB seafood is of particular interest, aside from oysters and clams, you might want to keep your eyes tuned for: shad row, sturgeon, black ling cod, bluefish, escolar, catfish, maine shrimp. Neptune Oyster, w/ a big CH fanbase, sometimes has 1 or 2 unusual fish. Same with Legal; Seafood and Clio and the more upscale fine dining spots.

                -----
                Neptune Oyster
                63 Salem St Ste 1, Boston, MA 02113

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

                51 Lincoln
                51 Lincoln Street, Newton Highlands, MA 02461

                1. Welcome Red Sox Fan! Post game Wed you should head out of Fenway towards Boylston and Jersey St. On the corner is a new place called Tasty Burger. It's a former gas station and looks it but looks can be deceiving- this is a great new spot for burgers and beer. Across Boylston is the mother ship, the Citizen Oyster Bar, also new and run by the same people, a successful restaurant group from the South End, Citizen is totally different - classy whiskey bar with oysters of course and a dining room. If you continue down Jersey Street you will come to a true hidden gem of an Italian restaurant called Trattoria Toscana. They open at 5 and do not take reservations. From there you can walk through the Fenway and arrive at the new Fenway entrance to the Museum of Fine Arts. There is also a new dining space in this new wing - always mobbed so haven't tried it.

                  -----
                  Trattoria Toscana
                  130 Jersey St, Boston, MA 02215

                  Tasty Burger
                  1301 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02116

                  1. CBC is a good beer destination in the city. If you are closer to the downtown area, check out the Kinsale. Decent craft beer selections and the bar is lively.

                    1. 8. Two possibilities a short distance off Newbury Street, Mike and Patty's and Charlie's Sandwich Shoppe. I believe that Charlie's is cash only, no bathrooms.
                      http://mikeandpattys.com/breakfast.html
                      http://boston.menupages.com/restauran...

                      10. Speed's would fit the "completely unique to Boston" criterion. Numerous posts available.

                      Unasked but will tell you anyway: to me, the kosher dog at Fenway is better than the Fenway Frank, although in the interests of science you may wish to sample both. Not a fan of the food at the MFA, I'd eat on the way. You could grab a burger at Tasty Burger or search under MFA or Symphony for more ideas closer to the MFA. Do not under any circumstances miss the new Art of the Americas wing at the MFA. Have a great trip!

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                      Charlie's Sandwich Shoppe
                      429 Columbus Ave Ste 1, Boston, MA 02116

                      Tasty Burger
                      1301 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02116

                      1. 4. Chow for Harbor Islands - take-out from Yankee Lobster?

                        6. We like Lower Depths and Audubon Circle. We've tried Citizen Oyster and Tasty Burger this season and they were both fine (Citizen Oyster a bit more upscale than TB but, on game days, every place is really casual. We were a little disappointed in TB but the atmosphere was festive.).

                        7. You might want to check out the Jerry Remy's in the Liberty Wharf area since you're going to the ICA. The food at the Fenway location was horrid, even for B, who will eat anything. The most impressive thing was the HUGE flat-screen TV above the bar. Decent beer and wine list. We went to the ICA this past Sunday and since we had a gift card for Legal Seafood, we checked out the new location in the same cluster of restaurants as Jerry Remy's (we haven't eaten in a Legal's in years..it's usually not our thing) so I'll provide a mini-review. I never thought I would favorably review Legal Seafood! B and I nabbed seats at the first floor circular bar facing the water. It was mobbed due to Mom's Day, but the bartenders were totally on top of things. We were greeted at the door and then again when we sat down. The tuna crudo was good, but a small portion. We also enjoyed the hummus and smoked blue fish spreads, served with toasted pita points. B's crabmeat salad was deconstructed and good but my mussels with curry were really good. we sopped up with crusty dinner rolls. Rose and cold beer went down easily.

                        9. You'll go to the museum after the game? That's a lot in one day...will you even have time? In the immediate vicinity of the MFA, we like the MIssion Pub.

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                        Yankee Lobster
                        300 Northern Ave, Boston, MA

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

                        Tasty Burger
                        1301 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02116

                        Audubon Circle Restaurant Bar
                        838 Beacon Street, Boston, MA

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: digga

                          Hey all

                          Just a quick report to say thanks for all the advice.

                          Of the places named above we ended up in Regina Pizza ( great pizza and we got a seat at the bar, which was perfect ! ), had breakfast at the Clover Truck ( sandwiches were better than the popovers, we thought) Audubon Circle _ solid but not quite so great second time as when I went a few years ago, I thought. Menu didnt seem quite so inspiring and execution of what we ordered seemed a little bit hit & miss. Maybe just an off night ?
                          Near Fenway the worst experience we had by far was at La Verdad. We were simply ignored at the bar and a group of young girls who had just walked in ( after we had waited ten minutes, sitting at the bar, and it was quiet too ) were served ahead of us. We walked out. Quite simply rude staff.

                          By far my favourite new place on the trip was Tasty Burger. Great atmosphere, great old school burgers and great beers. Perfect after our visit to the new wing of the MFA which was equally stunning. Given that we had just finished seeing the Sox swept by the A's that afternoon the fact that I was smiling from ear to ear after my visit to MFA and then Tasty burger says it all.

                          Thanks again

                          -----
                          Regina Pizza
                          44 Station Landing, Medford, MA 02155

                          La Verdad
                          1 Lansdowne St, Boston, MA 02215

                          Tasty Burger
                          1301 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02116

                          Audubon Circle Restaurant Bar
                          838 Beacon Street, Boston, MA

                          1. re: willowan

                            So glad you loved Tasty. I think it's just the best place to belly up to the bar and have a burger. Thanks for reporting back on your trip.... sounds like you had a blast.