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First Visit To Boston-Food plan almost complete

New CH here with my first post. I have been reviewing threads for months now as I begin to explore food throughout the country but this is my first participation.

I am visiting Boston for American Craft Beer Fest on Saturday June 4 at the Seaport Trade center (http://beeradvocate.com/acbf/). I have done my reading and almost completed my food itinerary. The wife and I will be staying at the Bullfinch Hotel and will walk or cab to all destinations.

Friday: we arrive in the evening and wanted a causal bar with good food. Current Choice is the Back Bay social Club. Read that they have a great burger. We are looking for maybe a good casual bar and maybe dessert afterwards. Craft beer for me and unique cocktails for the wife are a plus.

Saturday
Breakfast: Need a suggestion
Lunch: We want lobster rolls. Everything I read discusses neptune for seafood, but is this the best option?
Dinner: Steak is my food of choice so I made reservations at MOO... In South Florida I have eaten at all the major steakhouse chains including Abe & Louies and wanted to trying something unique to Boston.

Sunday morning we only have time for some early morning exploring and Brunch. Craigie on Main is the leader.

Thank you for your suggestions and let me know if anyone needs tips on South Florida.

-----
Abe & Louie's
793 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02116

Craigie on Main
853 Main Street, Cambridge, MA 02139

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  1. If you ask us we will have a zillion opinions, but your itinerary as selected so far is classic. You will love it.

    I am NOT jumping into the neverending Lobster roll debate. There are many places around town to eat them but opinions differ more on this dish than most things beside chowder. I have only had oysters at Neptune (great!) but I think they have a warm buttery roll. Ok by me, though I generally like the cold type. You will find 7500 pages of discussion on this.

    IMO, Boston isn't a great breakfast city. Sure there are good places around but it's not the same as other places I've lived. Your hotel location down by haymarket - don't know about breakfast nearby. Though Rachel Ray ate brekkie at Quincy Market, which I do not recommend unless in a total pinch.

    3 Replies
    1. re: C. Hamster

      Thanks for the comment. After tons of reading I definitely understand your feeling about the lobster roll debate.

      We will probably just explore the north end for Breakfast. I just don't want to end up eating at my hotel.

      1. re: C. Hamster

        Neptune give you your lobster roll of choice, warm with butter or cold with mayo and you can have it without the bun. I'm a warm with butter fan. Had one last week and it was wonderful. It is also large enough to share and then you can try other items on the menu.

        Penny
        http://www.bostonzest.com/

        1. re: BostonZest

          We are definitely looking forward to Neptune. I am going for warm and buttery.

      2. Friday: I am not a fan of Back Bay Social Club at all, but I admit their Burger is quite good. Overall though most of the food has been mediocre and the bartending inconsistent. Better options would be Russell Horse Tavern (Harvard) and Eastern Standard (Kenmore)

        Saturday Breakfast: Mike and Patty's (Bay Village) or Paramount (Beacon Hill)

        Lunch: Neptune is the best.

        Dinner: Grill 23 is my favorite Steakhouse in Boston, havent been to Moo personally.

        Sunday Brunch: Craigie would be my first choice as well.

        Enjoy your stay! I miss the great Cuban and Jamaican food from my days in South Florida.

        -----
        Eastern Standard
        528 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215

        Grill 23 & Bar
        161 Berkeley Street, Boston, MA 02116

        Back Bay Social Club
        867 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02116

        10 Replies
        1. re: Matt H

          Russell Horse looks really cool and thanks for the breakfast suggestions.

          It was a tough choice between G23 and Moo, but this recent review made the decision for me, http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7734...
          I will definitely report back on my experience.

          SFL is great for cuban.

          1. re: jcreegan

            If you're across the river for dinner at Russell House, a good place for beers and cocktails is the Green Street Grill in Central Square. Lord Hobo, closer to Kendall Sq, is a beer destination, and they have a cocktail list too, but I don't know anything about the cocktails there. Cambridge Brewing Co is a must for beer, but they don't serve cocktails (wine: they do), and I've never been too excited about eating there. The taplist for both these places is available on their respective sites.

            Is this your first time at ACBF? They start letting people into the venue right at the start time, which means if you're in the back of the line, you'll lose out on the first 20ish minutes (used to be longer, but they've learned and gotten faster over the years). IMO getting there 30 minutes early to queue up toward the front has been worth it. And bring some pretzels or something to snack on and cleanse the palate.

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

            Green Street
            280 Green St, Cambridge, MA 02139

            Lord Hobo
            92 Hampshire St, Cambridge, MA 02141

            1. re: emannths

              Yeah this is my first time going to ACBF. Thanks for the tip with being there early. Do you find that you end up exploring for the entire 3 hour session? I definitely planned on some crackers or pretzels in the wife's purse in between tastings.

              I read about lord hobo and Cambridge brewing. Will definitely have to visit them. Gotta love anywhere that updates their taplist daily.

              1. re: jcreegan

                It's nice to have the full three hours so that a) you get short lines before everyone else gets in and b) so that you don't feel the need to rush when the lines get longer. But have one of those have-to-make-the-most-of-it mentalities.

                1. re: emannths

                  Thanks for the insight. This is my firt beer fest so I am looking forward to it. What are you looking forward to trying there?

                  1. re: jcreegan

                    They usually post the list of beers on the fest website prior to the fest, which I look though to get a sense of can't-miss and nice-to-try beers. I usually use it as a) part recon mission, to find beers that I'd want to buy and b) part try-stuff-not-readily-available, whether it be by style or brewery. But then when the lines get long, I start going for the lesser-known brewers. They're usually pouring great stuff, just like the big names, but the lines are much shorter. Oh, and don't get fooled into thinking a long line will get shorter--it'll only get longer.

                2. re: jcreegan

                  Cambridge Brewing Company and Lord Hobo are the 2 best beer destinations in the city and happen to be a few blocks from one another. I'm not sure how they would fit into your plans though since it seems like you are planning on sticking around Downtown and Back Bay and they are in Cambridge. They are close to Craigie on Main so perhaps on sunday.

                  If you end up going to Back Bay Social Club, consider checking out Bukowskis or The Otherside Cafe afterwards for beer. They have the two best beer selections in Back Bay.

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

                  Craigie on Main
                  853 Main Street, Cambridge, MA 02139

                  Lord Hobo
                  92 Hampshire St, Cambridge, MA 02141

                  Back Bay Social Club
                  867 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02116

                  1. re: Kinopio

                    But FYI no liquor for your lady at either of those places

                    Spin the wheel at Bukowski's!

                    -----
                    Bukowski's
                    1281 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139

                    1. re: Kinopio

                      Lord hobo is definitely added to the list even it end ub just being for 1-2 beers. Based off sme comments I am considering bailing on back bay social club.

              2. re: Matt H

                Grill 23 and Moo are verrry different, obviously.

                I like them both but think the food's better at Grill 23. It's my favorite despite being loud and big.

                -----
                Grill 23 & Bar
                161 Berkeley Street, Boston, MA 02116

              3. If craft beer and great cocktails are a must I would head to Deep Ellum in Allston.

                -----
                Deep Ellum Bar
                477 Cambridge St, Allston, MA 02134

                5 Replies
                1. re: phatchris

                  Looked at the site. Why do you prefer deep ellum to lord hobo?

                  1. re: jcreegan

                    Deep Ellum has a great beer list and superior cocktails, plus a number of good apps (the deviled egg of the day is almost always worth trying, as is the charcuterie plate) and mains, along with -- if you're not going on a weekend night when I'm told it can get zooey -- a pleasantly chilled-out atmosphere with a generally non-douchey clientele.

                    -----
                    Deep Ellum Bar
                    477 Cambridge St, Allston, MA 02134

                    1. re: Jenny Ondioline

                      I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your "non-douchey clientele" reference. That is definitely in my top 5 requirements

                      1. re: jcreegan

                        Although again, the douches may come out at night. I'm usually there around lunch or mid-to-late afternoon, when it's much quieter.

                    2. re: jcreegan

                      I like Lord Hobo a lot,but it gets insanely crowded before and after the beer advocate events.I also find the food quality/price better at Deep Ellum ESP.for brunch.The cocktails at DE are top 5 in the city IMO.Probably more hipster than beer geek atmosphere.

                      -----
                      Deep Ellum Bar
                      477 Cambridge St, Allston, MA 02134

                      Lord Hobo
                      92 Hampshire St, Cambridge, MA 02141

                  2. For a casual breakfast on Saturday, you have a few options. Caffe Nuovo on Salem St. in the North End (near your hotel) does a decent Italian-American breakfast and opens early. The carbonara and the filet with eggs are both good. Excellent cannoli at Maria's nearby for dessert. North 26 in the Millenium Hotel across from Faneuil Hall, again near your hotel, has sort of a hotel restaurant feel to it, but does a good breakfast. Nice housemade English Muffins. Clink in the Liberty Hotel is also good for breakfast, and the hotel has maintained some of the architectural features of the old jail that it once was.

                    If you can wait until 10 to eat, your options are greatly increased. You can head to the South End and hit the South End Buttery (ask to be seated down stairs...interesting space) or any number of places. I've had mixed experiences at Union Bar and Grill and Aquitaine for brunch, but many on the board love them. Metropolis (opens at 9, I think) is also a fun place with good food. Masa has a Southwestern-themed menu with very good food, but there's usually quite a wait. Gaslight is good, too, but the breakfast choices are a bit limited. Tremont 647 (10:30) does a fun pajama brunch, and Pops is quite good, too. These are all within walking distance of each other.

                    Hope you have a great trip!

                    -----
                    Tremont 647
                    647 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02118

                    South End Buttery
                    314 Shawmut Avenue, Boston, MA 02118

                    Masa
                    439 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02116

                    North 26 Restaurant & Bar
                    26 North Street, Boston, MA 02109

                    Caffe Nuovo
                    76 Salem St, Boston, MA 02113

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: bear

                      For a bar near your hotel check out Stoddards, the Marliave or Silvertone. Scollay (next to Moo) or Scholars might also fit bill but I've not been. Look on their websites to see if their beer selection is to your liking.

                      Saturday morning, I would just grab coffee and pastry in the North End (Mikes, the Modern or Vittoria) then walk around a bit - Faneuil Hall, the wharfs, Old North Church and Quincy Market all near by - and get to Neptune as early as your stomach can handle seafood. It's a small place and gets very packed very early! They open at 1130 and any time after noon, youll be waiting.

                      You cant go wrong with Eastern Standard, you can go wrong with Back Bay Social Club. Cool vibe, OK for drinks and some food, but inconsistent. Deep Ellum, Lord Hobo or Publick House for drink and food. If you head over to Cambridge Brewing/Lord Hobo, you also have a new place, Meadhall in that area. 100 taps, no cocktails, just wine. Food not very good.

                      Near the Seaport for food and cocktails check out Lucky's Lounge on Congress St. Flour Bakery across the street for pastries and coffee. DRINK for craft cocktails.

                      -----
                      Eastern Standard
                      528 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215

                      Flour Bakery + Cafe
                      12 Farnsworth St, Boston, MA

                      Publick House
                      1648 Beacon St, Brookline, MA

                      Silvertone
                      69 Bromfield St, Boston, MA 02108

                      Lucky's Lounge
                      355 Congress Street, Boston, MA 02210

                      Marliave
                      10 Bosworth Street, Boston, MA 02108

                      Deep Ellum Bar
                      477 Cambridge St, Allston, MA 02134

                      Lord Hobo
                      92 Hampshire St, Cambridge, MA 02141

                      Back Bay Social Club
                      867 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02116

                      Meadhall
                      4 Cambridge Center, Cambridge, MA 02142

                      1. re: 5thAndNowhere

                        Cambridge brew, Lord hobo or public house, which has better food? Will probably drop back bay social for one of them.

                        1. re: jcreegan

                          Food is very average at CBC. I haven't eaten there in a while, maybe others can help you out, but I gave up after my third meh meal there. I would eat at Lord Hobo or Hungry Mother (nice cocktails, great desserts, modern Southern cuisine) in that area of Cambridge. And with Meadhall and Bukowski's over there you've got 4 solid beer spots within a mile of each other.

                          Publick House is on the other side of the river in Brookline, much more of a hike from your downtown location. 1-2 stops on the red line gets you to Kendall Sq and a crawl down Hampshire Street to Inman gets you 4 very beer places and many other options on food (East Coast Grill, Oleana, Hungry Mother, Tupelo, tons of Portuguese). Your lady will like Trina's for cocktails, also in Inman Sq. I don't know their beer list.

                          For pure concentration of options, I would go with Lord Hobo over Publick House. Based on geography... Meadhall > CBC > Lord Hobo > Bukowski's. Or start at CBC then Lord Hobo for dinner and a nightcap at Meadhall before you catch a cab or the T back over the river.

                          -----
                          Hungry Mother
                          Cambridge, MA, Cambridge, MA

                          Publick House
                          1648 Beacon St, Brookline, MA

                          Bukowski's
                          1281 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139

                          Oleana
                          134 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139

                          Lord Hobo
                          92 Hampshire St, Cambridge, MA 02141

                          Meadhall
                          4 Cambridge Center, Cambridge, MA 02142

                          1. re: 5thAndNowhere

                            Yep, I agree. If given the choice (and the few extra $), I'd much rather eat at another restaurant and then get beers at the bars. Heck, if money were a consideration, I'd eat dinner at Mulan and then head to CBC/Lord Hobo. As 5thAndNowhere says, there are plenty of excellent restaurants in the area. I'd add the Blue Room to his list of possibilities too--it's in the same plaza as CBC. Not a lot of buzz here, but I get the sense that it's very solid.

                            I personally would just do Lord Hobo and CBC unless there were a specific reason you want to go to Meadhall and Bukowski's. Meadhall seems to be suffering from some (hopefully) new-restaurant hiccups and high prices, and Bukowski's short, expensive pours irritate me. LH isn't cheap, but most of their beers are prices fairly.

                            -----
                            Bukowski's
                            1281 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139

                            The Blue Room
                            Hampshire and Portland streets, Cambridge, MA 02139

                            Lord Hobo
                            92 Hampshire St, Cambridge, MA 02141

                            Meadhall
                            4 Cambridge Center, Cambridge, MA 02142

                            1. re: emannths

                              I think the Blue Room has an amazing brunch buffet on Sundays. The range is huge, and the price reasonable: salads, seafood, ribs, scrambled eggs, chicken, sausages, bacon, pancakes and cookies and pastries and more, all fresh and interestingly prepared. You won't want or need to eat anything else for the rest of the day.

                              -----
                              The Blue Room
                              Hampshire and Portland streets, Cambridge, MA 02139

                          2. re: jcreegan

                            beer and cocktails at Hungry Mother
                            http://www.hungrymothercambridge.com/...

                            Food wise, Hungry Mother has edge over Lord Hobo. And reverse beer wise.

                            -----
                            Hungry Mother
                            Cambridge, MA, Cambridge, MA

                            Lord Hobo
                            92 Hampshire St, Cambridge, MA 02141

                        2. re: bear

                          Rereading your post, I realized that these breakfast options are probably too heavy if you're going to Neptune for lunch. You'll want to have an appetite. 5th's suggestion to grab a pastry in the North End is a better one. Very good cannoli at Maria's and Modern.

                          1. re: bear

                            I liked that idea too. It will help us time wise to explore the city too as first timers. It sucks that I have limited time in the city but what can you do.
                            As of now the schedule is:
                            Friday- Cambridge or Barbara area for dinner and drinks. BBSC is dropped due to the many suggestions received here.
                            Saturday: pastry and exploring in the morning.
                            Neptune for an early lunch and then more exploring
                            Beer fest at 6pm then Moo for a late dinner at 930 or 10

                            Sunday, we will do brunch at fraught or one of the other suggested breakfast spots.

                        3. Where is the ABCF fitting in on that Saturday? If you're planning on the afternoon session you might be a little too drunk to make Moo worth it.

                          The burger at BBSC is awesome, well worth the hefty price tag. Neptune will suit your need for lobster rolls and is walking distance to your hotel.

                          Skip Cambridge and Allston.

                          Didn't notice that you were thinking of dropping BBSC- that makes the trip to Cambridge worth it for Friday night.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Beachowolfe

                            We are going to the Saturday night session. Drunk, buzzed, or whatever I only have two nights in boston. I have 10 pm reservations at moo so hopefully I will be coherent enough to make the most of it.

                            Besides the burger no one seems to think much of BBSC. With that many comments against it I feel like one of the suggested options in Cambridge would be best. The wife simply loves great bar food and appetizers. Trying to find the best option for that.

                            1. re: jcreegan

                              If you're in Cambridge for dinner, I'd suggest Hungry Mother or East Coast Grill. Both have good beer/cocktails and EXCELLENT food. Hungry Mother is casual and non-pretentious but the food and service are top-notch. It is southern/appalachian fare with a classic french touch. Really a unique spot but tough to get into so not sure if you could even get a res at this point. East Coast Grill is also casual; fun and lively and the focus is on grilled local fish and meat. Again, very good and a little less subdued than Hungry Mother. Both great choices, depending what you're in the mood for.

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

                              Hungry Mother
                              Cambridge, MA, Cambridge, MA