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Apr 30, 2012 08:19 PM

A Game of Either Or

I have another thread going on this board that many of you have been so gracious and helpful with. I just about had my plan made when tragedy struck and I found out my trip will be cut short by a day. Here's where the either or comes into play. I must make some cuts (gasp)
So if anyone feels strongly about what must stay and what can go play along :)

I'll just go ahead and start with the big guns.
ICOB vs. Neptune it's gotta be one or the other for
Sunday nights dinner.

Dooley's or The Druid for the best Irish pub food and experience

Durgin Park or Union Oyster for the total tourist blowout and chowder or is it chowdah in this case?

Sullivan's or Galleria Umberto for a locals only weekday lunch

Mike and Patty's, Paramount or Charlie's sandwich shoppe for Sunday breakfast NOT brunch before a walk on the freedom trail.

Flour or Thinking cup for baked goods and coffee early morning.

Casa Rozada or Sal de la Terre for a solo weekday lunch.

Pizza Regina or Casablanca for neighborhood hangout dinner.

I'll be sure to post my final plan and of course my experiences after having visited.
I'm so excited!
Thanks in advance for all your help.

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  1. With less time, some of your choices would also take into consideration the time they take to achieve.

    I would say ICOB over Neptune only because you can get a reservation. If you had planned to use the wait time for Neptune to explore the North End then you could do those two in one swoop.

    The Druid would be my pick for food but it will take you to an area outside the things you might want to see.

    I would skip both Durgin Park and Union Oyster and put something else back on the list.

    Sullivans will again take up more time to get there. If you are dying to go to the area, by all means but I would certainly do Galleria Umberto instead.

    Mike and Patty's and Paramount are both closer to the freedom trail so I would pick one of those two. Paramount could also give you a taste of local Beacon Hill and let you explore Charles Street a bit.

    Same with Thinking Cup, it is right on the Boston Common while all three Flour Bakeries are destinations taking you out of the way to get there and back.

    Sel de la Terre or a food truck for the solo lunch.

    Finally, Pizza Regina if you are in the North End for other reasons and the line is not too long and Casablanca if you exploring Harvard Square.


    7 Replies
    1. re: BostonZest

      One more metric - if there is a Sunday night Sox game, go with Neptune. Otherwise ICOB.

      1. re: Bob Dobalina

        While it would certainly be packed on a game night, it shouldn't be a big issue if you make a reservation. If you wish to walk in and sit at the bar, then your take is spot-on. Otherwise, I agree completely with BostonZest's take on this.

      2. re: BostonZest

        Thanks! Just the sort of advice I was hoping for. How long do you think the wait for two would be to sit at the bar at ICOB on a Sat or Sunday night say around 8:00. No red sox game either night. Reservation for a table not available until 10:00 on Saturday and that might be a little late for these travel weary tourists to go. Would we be missing out on anything food or otherwise by just sitting at the bar?

        1. re: kiki2U

          Did you call them directly or use a reservation service? Most places don't put all their tables onto the service and some will put you on a waiting list.

          1. re: BostonZest

            I used a service. I'll try direct. Thanks for the tip.

        2. re: BostonZest

          Galleria Umberto for lunch and being in the Nrth End. And Charlie's Sandwich Shoppe would get my vote EXCEPTIi am pretty sure it is closed on Sundays

          1. re: Northender

            You are right just looked and Charlie's is closed on Sundays.

        3. I think Mike and Patty's is closed on Sundays -- my vote is for Paramount.

          7 Replies
          1. re: ebaba

            Mike and Patty's is open on Sundays, 8-2. I love Mike and Patty's but haven't heard anything about it since they redid the menu in the last couple weeks.

            I haven't heard anything about Casablanca since the owner sold it, is it still the same? Regardless, I would pick Pizzeria Regina.

            Flour has great pastries, but not very good coffee. Thinking Cup has good pastries and good coffee. Is the OP going for the coffee or the pastries? If the coffee doesn't matter, I'd suggest Flour. If the coffee is the priority, I'd recommend Render or the new Dwelltime, which has both great coffee and great pastries.

            1. re: hckybg

              Count me as not a fan of Flour's pastries. There is not a single one I've tried that I ever need to eat again.

                1. re: hckybg

                  Do YOU like the oreos? I do like the sticky bun, and enjoyed some other stuff there, but thought the Oreos were a big YAAAAAAAWWWWWWWWN. Seriously, I'd rather have an original Oreo than one from Flour. I'm not joking.

                  To kiki: Druid over Dooley's by a mile, for the food. However, it isn't really close to anything. Dooley's food is standard--nothing to write home about, but not bad either.

                  1. re: Alcachofa

                    I've just had them once or twice, but I did like them. I didn't know anyone could dislike two chocolate shortbread cookies with icing inside!

                    1. re: hckybg

                      Sorry, maybe I sounded harsh. They're not bad cookies. They're good enough that I do think everyone should give 'em a go at least once. I just think that a lot of non-hounds are more impressed with the novelty than the taste. "Oh! A homemade Oreo cookie! How cool!"

                2. re: StriperGuy

                  Have you had the Boston Cream Pie cake at Flour?

            2. Avoid Union Oyster House unless you are getting raw oysters; still, there are way better options for a raw bar. Durgin Park can actually be a good value if you savor something like its huge Yankee prime rib; there's nothing like it elsewhere in town.

              Oh, and please, no "chowdah" - don't make the mistake of trying to imitate a Boston accent. At all. First, there are several different ones, and fakers don't add to the local color; people will just look at you funny. (However, it does help how to know how to pronounce local place names, but that's far afield of this topic.)

              5 Replies
              1. re: Karl S

                I think it's pronounced "sh-how dare"

                1. re: Bob Dobalina

                  That's how they pronounce it on the local dressage fields.

                2. re: Karl S

                  Thanks Karl. I certainly have no intention of trying any sort of accent, Boston or otherwise :) I truely suck at all of them. I just thought since both the union oyster house and durgin park continuely get trashed on this board as being tourist traps that maybe chowdah was the proper term to use in that case. I happily stand corrected and appreciate the advice. :)

                  1. re: kiki2U

                    I wouldn't say Durgin Park gets trashed here, usually. People take it at face value, and it is touristy, but many say it is nevertheless pretty good for what it is. Union Oyster Bar gets slammed almost unanimously, however.

                    1. re: kiki2U

                      OK. Sorry for the misunderstanding - text is hard to read that way, and I may have been primed for this from prior questions of this sort, shall we say,

                      UOH gets trashed here; DP not so.

                  2. As far as coffee and baked goods, it depends on your priorities. The cappuccinos at Thinking Cup are exceptional, but I haven't been in love with the few baked goods I've had there. The coffee at Flour is just okay, but the baked goods are superior to TC, imho.

                    1. Definitely ICOB. I would also urge you to skip both Durgin Park and Union Oyster House. If you HAVE to go to one, I'd just get some oysters at the bar at Union Oyster and then just hop across the Greenwy to the North End where you can still get the touristy experience (just look at the huge lines outside of Mike's!) and have a decent chance of finding better food.