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Long post, short weekend in Boston

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HerculesRockefeller Sep 11, 2012 06:22 PM

Hi there, Boston Hounds, and apologies in advance for this long, rambling post!

I would appreciate some help putting together an itinerary for our upcoming trip to the East Coast. We will be in Boston in early October for a short weekend (with a night in Salem for a wedding)…I’ve done quite a bit of poking around your board, and I’m having a terrible time making decisions! We are staying Saturday night only right near Copley Square, and we will have a rental car although I plan on parking it once we get into the city and relying on walking/cabs/public transport. The more walking, the better!

The husband and I like all types of food and don’t really have a budget, though we’d like to avoid Mexican food (have a ton of it here in Phoenix) and sushi (the husband could take it or leave it). We are in our late 20s/mid 30s. We like good food, good atmosphere, and good people watching. For a frame of reference, in our most recent trip we went to NYC and our highlights were Minetta Tavern and Locanda Verde. Here are the meals we are looking for, and any info that might be helpful:

Saturday Lunch – Driving into town from Maine and need lunch before our bike tour at 2PM—bike tour departs near the aquarium, so lunch near there would be great! Thinking Neptune Oyster…or are we going to wait so long that we’ll be late for the bike ride?

Saturday Dinner/Cocktails – Somewhere dressy, but not stuffy. Just somewhere I could wear a nice pair of heels to and not feel out of place. Would like to do dinner somewhere that is in walking distance to a bar or two. Doesn’t have to be bar-only, can be a bar inside of a restaurant. Thinking of dinner at either Eastern Standard Kitchen or Island Creek Oyster Bar and then visiting the other for a cocktail/snack and possibly The Hawthorne as well. Might also venture over to The Beehive later since it looks relatively close to our hotel. Do we need a reservation at The Beehive? I am PRO reservations in a big way, and will be making them for dinner if possible.

Sunday Breakfast – I think we may venture over to Cambridge this morning. I was intrigued by Flour Bakery & Café, but they open so darn late! The husband and I are early risers and will probably need breakfast at 7AM, 8AM at the latest. Any recommendations for Cambridge (preferably) or Back Bay?

Sunday Lunch – Sunday lunch might be more like Sunday brunch because Lucky’s Lounge and their Sinatra brunch sounds pretty intriguing (is it just one guy singing, or a whole band?), and it looks like there are a couple of spots to have a cocktail with a view nearby. If we do Lucky’s, would you recommend Sam’s, Legal Harborside, etc. for a quick stop? Or am I missing a better Sunday lunch elsewhere all together?

Monday Lunch – I think this is reserved for Radius, unfortunately, because it would fit better in our Saturday but I don’t think they are open for lunch. My boss, who used to live in Boston and visits frequently, knows that my husband is a burger aficionado (is that a thing?) and highly recommended this place. I read the rave reviews for Craigie’s and The Butcher Shop, but if we go somewhere for a burger it has to be Radius per The Boss’s recommendation.

So that’s it! I have a bunch of other restaurants that look great but can’t quite figure out where to fit them in…should I swap any of these out? Am I missing anything?

Coppa
The Butcher Shop
Craigie on Main
Hungry Mother
No 9 Park
Gaslight Brasserie du Coin
The Gallows
Jacob Wirth
B&G Oysters
Toro

Additionally, if anyone has a breakfast recommendation in Salem, I’m all ears!

Many thanks for your time and advice! Can’t wait to eat my way through your fantastic city!

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  1. opinionatedchef RE: HerculesRockefeller Sep 11, 2012 09:13 PM

    well, hello Phoenix, welcome in advance! Your very informative inquiry and your homework are most admirable!
    Just in case you haven't seen this:
    VISITING BOSTON? One Hound’s Guide to Historic Areas and Restaurants (Revised 8/2012):
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/864894

    Otherwise, my suggestions below :-

    }

    Saturday Lunch – Driving into town from Maine and need lunch before our bike tour at 2PM—bike tour departs near the aquarium, so lunch near there would be great! Thinking Neptune Oyster…or are we going to wait so long that we’ll be late for the bike ride?

    ** All North End suggestions:
    --Lunch at Neptune(SO terrific!)but only if you can get there a bit before 11am, when they open, so you can get in line.
    --Otherwise, our fantastic Regina's Pizzeria. If Regina's is too long a wait, you could get take out from them.

    --Thirdly, cafeteria style Galeria Umberto on Hanover St. for your pre-bike tour carbo fix : Arancini- softball sized fried risotto balls w/ filling, and thick square pizza slices, and calzone.
    --Or fourthly, exc. sandwiches from Volle Nolle on upper Hanover St.:
    http://boston.eater.com/archives/2012...

    ** You said you are early risers. IF you arrived in the North End way before 11am, you could get an almond biscotti (not like regular ones) or a (unique and not often found) sfogliadel from the much loved Modern Pastry on lower Hanover St., just a 3 minute walk from Neptune.

    Saturday Dinner/Cocktails – Somewhere dressy, but not stuffy. Just somewhere I could wear a nice pair of heels to and not feel out of place. Would like to do dinner somewhere that is in walking distance to a bar or two. Doesn’t have to be bar-only, can be a bar inside of a restaurant. Thinking of dinner at either Eastern Standard Kitchen or Island Creek Oyster Bar and then visiting the other for a cocktail/snack and possibly The Hawthorne as well. Might also venture over to The Beehive later since it looks relatively close to our hotel. Do we need a reservation at The Beehive? I am PRO reservations in a big way, and will be making them for dinner if possible.
    -- **Def. Island Creek IF you didn't do Neptune for lunch (unless an all -seafood day is fine w/ you!) Otherwise Aquitaine or maybe Mistral(both French) for upscale, lively and close to Beehive.
    Aquitaine prob has a younger crowd because Mistral is v. expensive.

    Sunday Breakfast – I think we may venture over to Cambridge this morning. I was intrigued by Flour Bakery & Café, but they open so darn late! The husband and I are early risers and will probably need breakfast at 7AM, 8AM at the latest. Any recommendations for Cambridge (preferably) or Back Bay?
    **-- South End Buttery has many CH fans.

    Sunday Lunch – Sunday lunch might be more like Sunday brunch because Lucky’s Lounge and their Sinatra brunch sounds pretty intriguing (is it just one guy singing, or a whole band?), and it looks like there are a couple of spots to have a cocktail with a view nearby. If we do Lucky’s, would you recommend Sam’s, Legal Harborside, etc. for a quick stop? Or am I missing a better Sunday lunch elsewhere all together?

    **-- For brunch I always recommend the loud and lively East Coast Grill in Cambridge>> such a great locals fun spot for raw bar, seafood, Bloody Mary Bar, and generous helpings of Latin, Caribbean, and Southern influences. Otherwise, you mentioned (the more reserved) Craigie, and it has lots of fans. Completely diff environments and menus- check their websites.

    **-- CHs aren't terribly enthusiastic for Legals Harborside except for the view from the top floor, though i had a decent meal there and some like it.

    Monday Lunch – I think this is reserved for Radius, unfortunately, because it would fit better in our Saturday but I don’t think they are open for lunch. My boss, who used to live in Boston and visits frequently, knows that my husband is a burger aficionado (is that a thing?) and highly recommended this place. I read the rave reviews for Craigie’s and The Butcher Shop, but if we go somewhere for a burger it has to be Radius per The Boss’s recommendation.

    **-- Radius- I def. do not rec for dinner, but their burger IS among the top rated on Rick Chudy's excellent Boston Burger Blog, so I bet it will be great.

    i see your list of extra spots but i think that ,except for Craigie, it's o.k. to miss them in favor of those above and yours.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Additionally, if anyone has a breakfast recommendation in Salem, I’m all ears!

    **-- Red's has Salem brkfst fans:
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/851152

    5 Replies
    1. re: opinionatedchef
      Kat RE: opinionatedchef Sep 12, 2012 04:23 AM

      If you are looking for upscale, dressy, where you can wear heels, I am thinking of either Sorellina or Mistral. Both are "sceney" places like Locanda Verde. Island Creek is a bit like that, but not really dressy. I've seen families with babies there on a Saturday night. Also, if The Beehive is near your hotel, so is Hamersley's Bistro. Maybe a bit of an older crowd, but the food is so good, especially the roast chicken. I do not think you would need a reservation to go to The Beehive just for drinks. Have you been to Balthazar in NYC? If so, maybe you can skip Gaslight. Toro is one of my favorite places; the tapas are great, the vibe is young and the place is always buzzing. I love their brunch, too. Can't reserve there, though, and it is always busy on weekend nights.

      1. re: Kat
        h
        HerculesRockefeller RE: Kat Sep 16, 2012 08:59 AM

        Thank you for the input, Kat! We have been to Balthazar, and so will probably skip Gaslight. Sounds like Toro gets pretty busy...would it be a good place to stop in for a pre-dinner snack/drink, assuming that we'll be trying to beat the Saturday dinner rush?

        I think between Beehive and Hamersley's, we'll give The Beehive a whirl. Good to know reso's aren't necessary for cocktails...some SF bars are impossible to get into without them, but it doesn't sound like that kind of place.

      2. re: opinionatedchef
        h
        HerculesRockefeller RE: opinionatedchef Sep 16, 2012 08:58 AM

        Thank you for your thoughtful response, opinionatedchef! I hope you don't mind...I'm going to copy and paste your 'Visiting' post into my Google docs to keep as a handy guide!

        I think you have a great idea with Neptune/Regina's...give Neptune a shot, but if it looks like we're going to be late for the bike tour, we'll call in a pie to Regina's.

        If we end up doing Neptune for lunch, we might forgo ICOB in favor of ESK...although, Aquitaine does look very enticing. I also read up on Bistro du Midi..any thoughts there?

        We'll try to squeeze either Craigie's or ECG in as both look promising. ECG looks...eclectic? What is the vibe like? A college pal of mine will probably be tagging along and I'd guess we'll pay for her--in that case, which would be easier on the wallet (assuming we will consume several Bloody Marys)?

        Thank you again--your post is extremely helpful!

        1. re: HerculesRockefeller
          opinionatedchef RE: HerculesRockefeller Sep 16, 2012 10:18 AM

          oh wow, sf eh? boulangerie on pine is my pilgrimage place; genuflect,genuflect. nothing here to even touch the hem of its garment. and recchiutti...sigh. From my experience and what i mostly see on CH, ESK food is not the level of excellence/memorable/made our trip. Midi is oft lauded and i love many things about Aquitaine as you know. what a great time you're going to have!

        2. re: opinionatedchef
          h
          HerculesRockefeller RE: opinionatedchef Sep 16, 2012 09:22 AM

          Also, good to hear that not all locals hate Legal...the view attracted me, as well as the fact that I ate at a Legal Seafood in an airport once during a layover - the husband chided me for ordering oysters in an airport, but they were surprisingly fresh. I have fond memories.

        3. Berheenia RE: HerculesRockefeller Sep 12, 2012 04:31 AM

          Your only bet for a 7am breakfast on a Sunday morning is a hotel- Henrietta's Table in the Charles Hotel in Cambridge does a very nice breakfast.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Berheenia
            opinionatedchef RE: Berheenia Sep 12, 2012 10:02 AM

            yes,phoenix, HT has been recommended by a number of CHs in the past.

            1. re: Berheenia
              h
              HerculesRockefeller RE: Berheenia Sep 16, 2012 09:03 AM

              Thank you - will add Henrietta's to the list. Our early morning escapades typically limit our breakfast options, so it's good to have this one!

              1. re: HerculesRockefeller
                b
                bear RE: HerculesRockefeller Sep 18, 2012 01:46 PM

                Just be aware that Henrietta's only offers a breakfast buffet on Sundays. I love their regular weekday/Saturday breakfast but haven't tried the buffet.

                I used to suggest Caffe Nuovo on Salem St. in the North End, but they have recently changed their name (same owners) to Ferrara's, and although the menu is similar I don't know if the food is still good. Italian-American options (carbonara, polenta and eggs, nutella and banan waffles) and they open at 7.

                1. re: bear
                  h
                  HerculesRockefeller RE: bear Oct 1, 2012 06:57 AM

                  Appreciate the Caffe Nuovo/Ferrara's suggestion, but a bit out of the way for our purposes that morning. Thank you for the tip about Henrietta's...a breakfast buffet is something we have to be in the mood for. Good to know before we get there!

            2. t
              total13 RE: HerculesRockefeller Sep 12, 2012 06:21 AM

              If you're coming from Maine into Boston, I'd get fried clams at Bob's in Kittery or maybe stop in Portsmouth where there are many options. If you like clams, you can take Rt 1A to Rye NH for Petey's or Ray's, or once in Mass, it's not far off Rt. 1 to the Clam Box in Ipswich.

              The Sat. plan of the Hawthorne and ICOB is a good one. If you walk to/from your hotel, another good cocktail place in between is the bar at Clio. I agree tho that Sorellina has a fancier feel than Island Creek.

              Sun. breakfast is tough since lots of places are closed that day and you want to eat so early. Trident Cafe which is a short walk from your hotel on Newbury St. opens at 8AM, it's part bookstore. Coppa opens at 11:00 if you want to try them out but the ECG suggestion is a good one as is going to the waterfront, maybe visiting the ICA combined with lunch down there.

              5 Replies
              1. re: total13
                h
                HerculesRockefeller RE: total13 Sep 16, 2012 09:07 AM

                Thank you, total13! We will be leaving from Maine pretty early in the morning--are any of the places you recommended open early, or are they lunch spots?

                Glad that the Hawthorne/ICOB seems to be a good plan so far. Clio looks a little stuffy from the pictures, or am I off-base? Any love for ESK for dinner? If we do Neptune for lunch, I'm not sure I can convince the husband to do ICOB for dinner...maybe another round of oysters and drinks pre-dinner, though. Hawthorne looks like a good after-dinner spot.

                Trident Cafe looks like a good option--I wish we could sleep in, but we seem to get up even earlier than normal on vacation, for some odd reason. There is something great about walking around a city before the bustle starts, though.

                Is Coppa worth a visit? The menu looks amazing...

                1. re: HerculesRockefeller
                  t
                  total13 RE: HerculesRockefeller Sep 18, 2012 05:21 AM

                  Not sure when Bob's in Kittery opens, you may not want clams that early but perhaps as you approach the Ipswich area, a clam detour would be worth it.

                  The Clio restaurant is a bit prim but the bar isn't at all and the main bartender there is very interesting to talk to, one of the "craft" guys in town.

                  I have fun at Eastern Standard and think it's quite decent. You won't see stars but if you've had your fill of seafood at Neptune, ESK is good and fun.

                  If you do the South End crawl you mentioned below, you should definitely hit Coppa. And Toro isn't *that* far. There are so many things up and down Tremont and Washington St., it's a very interesting walk.

                  1. re: total13
                    opinionatedchef RE: total13 Sep 18, 2012 08:44 AM

                    ( in nice heels?!?)

                    1. re: opinionatedchef
                      h
                      HerculesRockefeller RE: opinionatedchef Oct 1, 2012 06:59 AM

                      I always stick a pair of flats in my purse! :)

                    2. re: total13
                      h
                      HerculesRockefeller RE: total13 Oct 1, 2012 06:59 AM

                      ESK is certainly tempting because the atmosphere seems like what we're looking for. It also looks like they have a huge bar - we prefer to sit there if possible. I've made resos at both ESK and Aquitaine for Saturday evening, so we'll see what sort of a mood we're in. Aquitaine seems to be near more places we'd like to try (Coppa and Toro, definitely), but the ESK/ICOB pairing is very tempting...

                2. jinet12 RE: HerculesRockefeller Sep 12, 2012 07:22 AM

                  Do try for a table at Neptunes Oysters as their warm lobster roll
                  will be a huge culinary highlight. I am a Hammersleys
                  fan not only would you enjoy your dress up dinner there
                  but it's in a good location to go elsewhere for drinks
                  after dinner. Per your list, I love Hungry Mother (pork
                  dishes killer), B & G oysters (fried oysters my fav ), and
                  agree that if you've done Balthazars in NY then skip
                  Gaslight. My FAVORITE cuisine lies in Cambridge at
                  the wonderful and unique Oleana. I cannot visit
                  my beloved Boston without one sometimes
                  two dinners there. The multicoursed vegetarian
                  option never disappoints. I also start with the French Feta
                  and pepper spread that's amazing! I encourage you to make
                  Reservation and try it.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: jinet12
                    h
                    HerculesRockefeller RE: jinet12 Sep 16, 2012 09:07 AM

                    Thanks, jinet12! Glad to hear another Balthazar/Gaslight comparison...since we've done one, we probably won't do the other.

                    Hungry Mother looks amazing, but it seems like they are only open for dinner, so we'll probably have to skip it this time around. Oleana looks very interesting, but alas, a little *too* interesting for the husband.

                  2. ipsofatso RE: HerculesRockefeller Sep 12, 2012 07:58 AM

                    Skip Jacob Wirth's head to Best Little Restaurant in Chinatown....

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: ipsofatso
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                      HerculesRockefeller RE: ipsofatso Sep 16, 2012 09:15 AM

                      I'm intrigued by your rec of Best Little Restaurant, ipsofatso, as it doesn't seem anything like Jacob Wirth (which we're skipping, based on feeback here) or frankly, anything on my list...is it a favorite of yours, or an old Boston standby? Do tell!

                      1. re: HerculesRockefeller
                        ipsofatso RE: HerculesRockefeller Oct 1, 2012 08:49 AM

                        It is a Chowhound fave; try the lettuce wraps, the garlic spare ribs, three delight chow fon, salt-n-pepper soft-shell crab, the clams in black bean sauce, the pea stems, spicy eggplant, anything with XO sauce, the squab... it is one of those places you would walk right by otherwise. Plus they serve beer. Another Chinatown place is Great Taste which shares premises with a bakery and has a few table, no beer served though.

                    2. Felicity7 RE: HerculesRockefeller Sep 12, 2012 06:10 PM

                      The Clover food truck at Park st on the common opens for breakfast at 7am. They have oatmeal, yogurt, muffins and popovers, plus outdoor seating. Then you could easily hop on the red line or walk across the Longfellow bridge to Cambridge.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Felicity7
                        h
                        HerculesRockefeller RE: Felicity7 Sep 16, 2012 09:08 AM

                        More early morning recs! Much appreciated, Felicity7! They are tough to come by for us early birds :)

                      2. C. Hamster RE: HerculesRockefeller Sep 13, 2012 05:53 AM

                        For the record, Balthazar and Gaslight have very little in common. Been to both many, many times and gaslight can't compare.

                        Skip Gaslight. And Jacob Wirth (curious as to how it popped up on your otherwise fairly well curated list?). I'd skip B and G, too.

                        Add East Coast Grill maybe even Meyers and Chang.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: C. Hamster
                          opinionatedchef RE: C. Hamster Sep 13, 2012 07:33 AM

                          c.h.,excellent advice re: all the above. I don't know why I can't get it in my head that M+C does their dim sum brunch; lord knows i have had it there and enjoyed it! Maybe you have helped install it in my head; i hope so.

                          1. re: C. Hamster
                            h
                            HerculesRockefeller RE: C. Hamster Sep 16, 2012 09:14 AM

                            I think Jacob Wirth came from some travel guide...maybe Frommer's or Lonely Planet. My dad came off the boat from Deutschland when he was a kid, so I'm always fascinated by old German places. Also, the promise of a Friday night singalong sounded good, but we won't be in Boston on a Friday...so out the window goes Jacob Wirth. Sounds more like a place for tourists like me :)

                            Another rec for ECG. Can you elaborate a bit on the food and the scene? I hadn't heard much about it until I read the replies to my OP.

                            Myers + Chang...brunch?

                            1. re: HerculesRockefeller
                              t
                              TimTamGirl RE: HerculesRockefeller Oct 1, 2012 10:06 AM

                              I'm sorry for chiming in late, and I don't know if you're still taking suggestions re: ECG, but I have to say I've fallen more and more out of love with brunch there with each visit. I live right near it and have friends who are not super-adventurous eaters and are comfortable there, so I seem to end up there more than I'd like (about once every month or two, most recently a couple of weeks ago).

                              I'd still recommend the Bloody Mary bar, but as to the food... I don't know, I feel like the menu options are quite limited, especially if you want more traditional egg/pancake/French toast-based brunch options. And I wouldn't mind that so much if I thought the food they did offer was good, but it just seems to... lack... something. I don't know what it is; maybe it's to do with the change of ownership, which would explain why I used to like it so much more, but I just feel like it's flat, somehow.

                              I would 100% completely, totally, and unreservedly recommend Tupelo as a replacement. It's right in the same neighbourhood, the food and drinks are heaps better (and there's a much wider variety of drinks), and the price is about the same. I'd suggest getting there right when they open (11:00?) if possible because it's a bit small and the lines get long, but it's so worth the effort.

                              Immediate edit: If you don't mind going a smidge farther into Cambridge, Russell House Tavern in Harvard Square does an awesome brunch too (also on Saturdays!), and they always get super-high marks for their drinks. They take reservations for brunch (not sure if Tupelo does). Sit downstairs for better atmosphere.

                              Enjoy your trip!

                            2. re: C. Hamster
                              Kat RE: C. Hamster Sep 17, 2012 06:02 AM

                              Good call to skip Jacob Wirth.

                            3. h
                              HerculesRockefeller RE: HerculesRockefeller Sep 16, 2012 04:42 PM

                              And a small update/plead for additional help. Our Saturday night in Boston will be our big outing, so I'd like to go to an area where we can walk around, enjoy, and stop in a couple of bars in addition to dinner (maybe a couple of snacks as well...we eat a lot). We'll be with a good friend who we enjoyed tapas crawls with in Barcelona...we'd like to replicate the walk-food-drink thing in Boston, if possible. I've made reservations at both Aquitaine and Eastern Standard Kitchen. For Aquitaine, I'm thinking we could swing by Coppa, Hammersely's, B&G (maybe...mixed reviews from this crowd), The Beehive, and *maybe* even Toro in addition to dinner. For ESK, I'm thinking we can swing by The Hawthorne, ICOB, and maybe Citizen Public House in addition to dinner.

                              What's your vote? Food, atmosphere, and drinks all being equally important. Also, we prefer to sit at the bar, so if one restaurant has a superior bar to the other...please let me know.

                              Many thanks again!

                              6 Replies
                              1. re: HerculesRockefeller
                                C. Hamster RE: HerculesRockefeller Sep 16, 2012 04:58 PM

                                Personally I think the food at Hamersley's is *much* better than at Aquitaine. Aquitaine is good though. I don't knock that it's a chain, either. The bar at Hamersley's is small (so is aqu's).

                                If you are doing a crawl, I'd hit butcher shop instead of B&g. Same owner, right across the street. Unless you want oysters. But the charcuterie at BS is pretty decent. B&g is overpriced and snooty.

                                Toro is a loooong walk but if you do that you can also hit up Union and gallows for a cocktail.

                                For a crawl the South End is much preferable to Kenmore, IMO.

                                You might even consider a beer at the Deluxe.

                                1. re: C. Hamster
                                  opinionatedchef RE: C. Hamster Sep 16, 2012 09:36 PM

                                  Although i am not a hammersley's fan, i agree with hamster on every other point. The South End is such a wonderful part of our city- as a unique area of 19th c.architecture and streetscapes, as a vibrant and artsy neighborhood; as an active sidewalk culture; and as one of our best restaurant locales. "Beautiful' and 'charming' and 'memorable' are not words you hear describing Kenmore Sq.

                                  I know you are wicked fit, etc but Toro, if you wanted to go there along with all the other places, would need a cab ride. A short 5 minute cab ride. and it IS in the small tier that gets the largest # of CH raves that I see.(More than any place you mentioned in this post except for ICOB.)
                                  For your dinner, i'd suggest you'd want to think about what atmosphere you'd want
                                  -- ICOB is big and swank and MAJOR bustling, with very impressive visuals.
                                  --Aquitaine is small and stylish, like an authentic French neighborhood bistro-bl and wh tile flrs, white high walls, brown trim and banquettes.
                                  --Toro is small and can't -hear- each -other-LOUD, tables PACKED close, and little room to get through the skinny aisles (Neptune shares that tight spacing);very young crowd, many groups; DARK; central aisle of high chair tables.

                                  And location wise, there's no reason you couldn't include ICOB (oysters, oyster sliders) for a Bar stop and then cab 8 minutes to the South End.

                                  You may well be PC fluent but here's what i do when I'm exploring diff itineraries:
                                  Planning and Mapping Your Visit:

                                  If and when you are ready to preview/try out various daily scenarios, you may find Google Map to be very helpful. 'Get Directions' enables me to fill in the brief name of potential locations ('Neptune Oyster', 'Fenway Park', 'Copley Plaza Hotel') and then to get a macro map of the city so I can see where all the different options are located vis a vis each other. Then I can switch the schedule/order of locations , or substitute one location for another, to preview a map of alternate scenarios. When I am ready to print my maps, I zoom in enough to show the street names, and then I print them. This process can also give you approximate travel times for walking, driving, etc.

                                  1. re: opinionatedchef
                                    Kat RE: opinionatedchef Sep 17, 2012 06:15 AM

                                    I agree that the South End is THE neighborhood to go for walking and stopping off to have a drink and a bite here and there before or after dinner. Kenmore is not as pleasant to walk around and there are fewer choices. Beehive and Butcher Shop are good options for drinks and especially Butcher Shop for snacks. Agreed Toro has a young clientele, but you said that you are in your 20s, early 30s, so you are young. If you want to go, it is good plan to go early and snag a couple of seats at the bar, then settle in as it starts to fill up. Aquitaine is solid, but not great. In answer to your prior question, IMHO, Clio is a bit "stuffy" in atmosphere and I much prefer Uni, its adjoining sushi bar.

                                    1. re: Kat
                                      opinionatedchef RE: Kat Sep 17, 2012 02:44 PM

                                      exc advice,kat!

                                      1. re: Kat
                                        h
                                        HerculesRockefeller RE: Kat Oct 1, 2012 07:03 AM

                                        Appreciate the advice! Between you & opinionatedchef, I am tempted to do the ICOB thing followed by a cab ride to the South End. And thanks for calling me young...I'm to the point where I have to say I'm in my 'late twenties' :)

                                        Skipping Clio altogether. No sparks for me when I look at the menu or pictures.

                                    2. re: C. Hamster
                                      p
                                      phatchris RE: C. Hamster Oct 1, 2012 08:09 AM

                                      I'd hit up Gallows for a beer and one of their awesome boards or a scotch egg, they also have an oktoberfest sausage sampler on the menu now that sounds interesting.

                                  2. h
                                    HerculesRockefeller RE: HerculesRockefeller Oct 1, 2012 07:06 AM

                                    One final question for this extremely helpful board...we are taking a red eye and land in Boston at 6AM on a Thursday. We then have to get our rental car and kill some time before my brother in law's plane gets in around 8AM. Is there anywhere decent (and again, open early) to have some breakfast near the airport?

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: HerculesRockefeller
                                      Chris VR RE: HerculesRockefeller Oct 1, 2012 07:45 AM

                                      My personal choice would be to pick up donuts from Betty Ann Food Shop but you'd have to eat them in the car (SO WORTH IT) Look at those beauties on http://www.facebook.com/pages/Betty-A...

                                      If you want a more hearty breakfast, I understand that Angela's (a fantastic Mexican restaurant) does a fairly standard American breakfast although some of the reviews I've seen suggest there might also be Mexican items on the menu. http://angelascaferestaurant.com/ I've only been there for lunch and dinner.

                                      Both are in East Boston, an easy distance with a rental car to and from Logan and it looks like both open at 7, which is about when you'd get there after getting bags and rental car.

                                      1. re: Chris VR
                                        p
                                        phatchris RE: Chris VR Oct 1, 2012 08:12 AM

                                        Anglea's chilaquiles are damn good.

                                      2. re: HerculesRockefeller
                                        opinionatedchef RE: HerculesRockefeller Oct 1, 2012 08:48 AM

                                        Since you're from phoenix and wanted to avoid Mex. on this trip.,you might drive into the North End for brkfast. This might help i hope:

                                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/865036

                                        1. re: opinionatedchef
                                          Chris VR RE: opinionatedchef Oct 1, 2012 09:40 AM

                                          Just be aware that driving into the North End involves a toll (going there, but not back) and the North End is a difficult place to park, and you're going to have to deal with rush hour traffic trying to get back to the airport. If you've only got an hour (after you get your car rental and if you need to be back to the airport at 8) I think you might find that the North End may be more stress than it's worth.

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