Friday, September 5, 2014

EXTRA Travel Special: Gringo G in Boston, MA!

The Place: Boston, MA … Beer & Chowder!!

Gringo G’s Experience

Summary: Gringo G had a quick trip up to Boston and took full advantage of his time; exploring this very important city's sights, smells, sounds and most importantly food!

The Eats: As a start Gringo G was based in Waltham, MA outside of Boston for a few days and he seized the opportunity to try out a few local eats and get out of his hotel.
First up was Naked Fish which serves local fresh seafood with a Cuban twist. The food was decent but nothing special, with the Haddock Sandwich the Gringo ordered severely underwhelming ... with the reviews online the Gringo expected much more.
Second was a nice dinner out at Biagio Ristorante which offered surprisingly upscale Italian fare. However, the surprise of the night was the Portuguese Fisherman’s Stew which was filled with large chunks of high class seafood, spicy sausage and spicy broth (the broth is the best part when sopped up with the crunchy bread they served on the side). I always wanted to try this but never got up to New England … this time I did!
Lastly was a casual dinner at Green Papaya a local Thai place. The food was decent, especially the nice Satay of chicken and beef … but in the end it seemed just like a decent lunch place for the nearby office complexes … as it was not outstanding.
Finally the Gringo got into Boston proper for the weekend and what a weekend it was!

Haddock Sandwich from Naked Fish
Apps Biagio!
Portuguese Fisherman's Stew Biagio
Satay from Green Papaya

While walking around Copley Square and the Boston Public Library on my way to the Museum of Fine Arts Gringo G stopped at Abe & Louie’s a renowned Boston chophouse. The austere setting was very interesting and I different from most carnivorous institutions outside of Europe and the USA. The service was top notch and the all Prime Hamburger the Gringo enjoyed was washed down with a Harpoon IPA. Savory!
Abe & Louie's
Dining Room A&L
Harpoon IPA with some wonderful salty bread!
A&L Prime Cheeseburger
Interesting Decor

After a nice few hours in the MFA and a stroll around Fenway Park the Gringo G stopped in at the Citizen Public House by Fenway and had a nice cold MA beer and some ravishing deviled eggs (nice and spicy). If only the Gringo had been accompanied by 9 other people he could have shared an entire roast pig with them … the house specialty.

Deviled Eggs

Late that night some family backup arrived and Gringo G stopped in at Atlantic Fish Co. for some authentic New England style seafood. The Gringo’s dining partner enjoyed some nice bacon-wrapped scallops (the bacon was really nice and crispy) and the Gringo had a small cup of the house New England Clam Chowder which was nice and rich as well as a massive Maine Lobster Roll which was decadent. The amount of lobster and lobster flavor was almost an overload … a must try if you are anywhere in New England.

New England Clam Chowder
Maine Lobster Roll
Scallops with Bacon

The next morning for breakfast the Gringo sauntered over from his nearby hotel to the South End Buttery and enjoyed a quick but savory breakfast … with the highlight actually being the Maple Bacon Scone that he took to go and ate hours later after a tour of Fenway Park.
Maple Bacon Scone
Breakfast Sandwich
Bagel with Locks

For lunch the Gringo ate a massive Kielbasa dog from Doghouse in Quincy Market. It was alright and helped hold the Gringo’s hunger off for the much anticipated dessert …
This was devoured after waiting in a long line to get Canolis (amazing) in the North End institution Modern Pastry, these nice little shells of goodness were so rich and creamy that the Gringo really had to take his time savoring on each one.

The Dogs
Wonderful Italian Pastries

After a nice stroll in the Boston Public Garden a refreshing drink of fine Stone IPA (repping!!) was enjoyed at MJ O’Connor’s … a nice little Irish Pub in Boston ... hitting up an Irish Pub in Boston was a major check of Gringo G's bucket list.

For dinner that night the Gringo, upon a local’s recommendation, went to Giacomo’s (Back Bay) which was a mixed experience. The service was average at best as, even with a reservation, the Gringo had to wait almost 40 minutes before being seated and at the table service was a bit slow as well. However, the food was delicious and the portions enormous. The broccoli rabe was fine, the Nebiolo wine priced well … the chicken parm and seafood pasta were both excellent and came in enormous portions.

Brocoli Rabe
Veal Parm
Seafood Linguini

The morning after the feast at Giacomo’s the Gringo took the first tour at Harpoon Brewery which was interesting (although tour-wise the Gringo still prefers the Anchor Brewing Tour in San Francisco) and included a very nice tasting. The beer and bar food were spectacular and the staff very helpful when the Gringo needed to get a cab to the airport.
Harpoon Taster
Grapefruit Beer ... delish!

At the airport (Terminal A past security) the Gringo made one last stop … and it was an important one. He ate the best Clam Chowder on the entire trip at Legal Seafood’s Test Kitchen which was rich, creamy and absolutely delicious not to mention a wonderful last turn of a fantastic culinary adventure in New England’s biggest city!


The Lodging: The Gringo stayed at The Chandler Inn in the Back Bay. The positives were an exceptional location (within walking distance of most major attractions as well as several T-Stops) in a nice neighborhood, pretty good service and a decent price for Boston proper. The downside was the lack of hot water (they are in a 100+ year old building) which no decent hotel should have.

Things To Do: 

Boston is packed with history and is one of the founding cities of the USA.
Copley Square is aesthetically beautiful with the Boston Public Library on one side and a nice church in the middle. There are just too many tourists and at the night a lot of homeless people. The Library is gorgeous inside and is worth at least walking through.

Boston Public Library

The Museum of Fine Arts was stunning. The entry price is a bit hefty but the Museum is immaculate and the exhibits are wide-ranging and exquisite. The Gringo G enjoyed seeing a lot of the “American” art, colonial art from the USA, that he saw in books growing up but never had a chance to see in person. An absolute must if you are in Boston even for a day.

The Fenway Park Tour was exciting and allowed the Gringo to experience and feel, touch, walk around one of the most historical sports attractions in the USA. You even get to go down on the field and see the old scoreboard … wonderful tour and worth every penny and every minute.

Fenway Park from the Green Monster

Quincy Market at Faneuil Hall was alright. It was just TOO packed with tourists for the Gringo … literally it was wall-to-wall and the food was just average.

The Boston Harbor nearby Quincy Market offers a nice place to walk and a nice view of sailboats!
Boston Harbor

North End has some very nice architecture and very good Italian food … the Gringo loved the Canolis at Modern. South End was a very nice place for a walk as was Beacon Hill.
North End

The Harvard University Campus (in Cambridge) was aesthetic and nice for a walk but not much more.

The Boston Public Garden offers one of the best urban city walks the Gringo has ever had. It is meticulously well-kept and is worth a walk if in Boston.

In the end Boston was a wonderful new experience with exciting eats and historical sights … definitely a check off the Gringo G’s long bucket list.

Coming Next: Mexican Tradition Series Part I!

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