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A Game of Either Or

kiki2U Apr 30, 2012 08:19 PM

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.

  1. BostonZest May 1, 2012 05:04 AM

    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
      Bob Dobalina May 1, 2012 05:19 AM

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

      1. re: Bob Dobalina
        kimfair1 May 1, 2012 05:34 AM

        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
        kiki2U May 1, 2012 04:50 PM

        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
          BostonZest May 1, 2012 06:00 PM

          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
            kiki2U May 1, 2012 08:22 PM

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

        2. re: BostonZest
          Northender May 1, 2012 04:59 PM

          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
            kiki2U May 1, 2012 05:29 PM

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

        3. e
          ebaba May 1, 2012 06:08 AM

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

          7 Replies
          1. re: ebaba
            hckybg May 1, 2012 07:07 AM

            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
              StriperGuy May 1, 2012 08:33 AM

              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: StriperGuy
                hckybg May 1, 2012 08:39 AM

                Even their giant oreos?

                1. re: hckybg
                  Alcachofa May 10, 2012 12:11 PM

                  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
                    hckybg May 10, 2012 02:33 PM

                    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
                      Alcachofa May 11, 2012 06:21 AM

                      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
                  BostonZest May 1, 2012 06:02 PM

                  Have you had the Boston Cream Pie cake at Flour?

            2. Karl S May 1, 2012 06:08 AM

              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
                Bob Dobalina May 1, 2012 06:10 AM

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

                1. re: Bob Dobalina
                  Alcachofa May 1, 2012 06:28 AM

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

                2. re: Karl S
                  kiki2U May 1, 2012 05:40 PM

                  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
                    hckybg May 1, 2012 08:08 PM

                    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
                      Karl S May 2, 2012 05:11 AM

                      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. b
                    bear May 1, 2012 06:25 AM

                    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. Kat May 4, 2012 06:20 AM

                      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.

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