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three nights in boston -- please help, lots of questions! (warning--long post)

at that point in our itinerary, we will be in a car, so transportation will not be an issue and getting the bikes out of the car will only take a minute. . .cheers to everyone for the advice on salem. . .

about 22 hours ago
afong56 in Greater Boston Area

three nights in boston -- please help, lots of questions! (warning--long post)

thanks sm--temperature pending, i guess a wholesale re-think on swapping ice creams for fried batter may be in order! between t's, jp lick's, and christina's, looks like there are a lot of options. . .thanks to opinionatedchef for the tips. . .

about 22 hours ago
afong56 in Greater Boston Area

Easy question: Any good *dinner* buffets in Boston area?

the bus loads of asian tourists in buffets probably has more to do with two things:
first, not everyone travels wholly or even in part for the food. sometimes it is just about seeing the places, and perhaps the people. for these people, food that is comfortable or approximates what is comfort, is primary consideration when it comes to filling their belly. . .utility food will do.
second, the tour operators depend on venues that can handle bus-size groups and are flexible enough to deal with the vagaries of traffic and undependable schedules/reservations. a lot of these tours run on very thin margins as well, so no-frills buffets fit the bill. not to mention, they work well with really tight timetables that might only have a 1-hour window for a particular meal--hard to do in any real restaurant that requires waiter service, proper ordering, etc.

just my .02 cents worth

1 day ago
afong56 in Greater Boston Area

three nights in boston -- please help, lots of questions! (warning--long post)

jpan--thanks for the tip--yeah, that has been my experience with most places--by late afternoon (sometimes before noon!), they are either sold out or liquidating their supply (depending on demand) to empty their shelves. i guess we will roll the dice and hope for the best.

chef--yes, those next morning fritters, warmed up a bit and supplemented with the right caffeine source, are a nice gut bomb to begin the day! if we get the chance, we will call ahead. . .cheers

2 days ago
afong56 in Greater Boston Area

three nights in boston -- please help, lots of questions! (warning--long post)

allstonian--thanks for the background on salem--imho, museums tend to be done better in the u.s.--the rom is a hectic, jumbled and very busy experience. you get twice the number of exhibits in 2/3rds the size of venue. it's like they have all of this material and they desperately want to have it on display. meanwhile, in american museums, i notice that they take a bit more time to curate their holdings and this adds to the experience of the patrons.

2 days ago
afong56 in Greater Boston Area

three nights in boston -- please help, lots of questions! (warning--long post)

snowflake--will keep the idea of a short nosh at icob in mind, thanks! phoenix landing is going to be a fall back if the weather doesn't cooperate on any particular night, but good to know about b&m. . .

allstonian--yeah, i did in my mind have a map of where the two were, and calculated that they were not terribly close, but if they fall within our path (of destruction, haha) then it still might work. . .

Jul 21, 2014
afong56 in Greater Boston Area

three nights in boston -- please help, lots of questions! (warning--long post)

mrs santos---great info! thanks!

lol, that 15 min rule seems like an invitation to binge drink and behave badly. . .tempting to un-retire the old funnel from university days. . .kidding

Jul 21, 2014
afong56 in Greater Boston Area

three nights in boston -- please help, lots of questions! (warning--long post)

beach--saw that it is very close to row 34--unfortunately i can't see on their website if they offer tours, and their tasting room hours are later than what we can fit into our plans (we'll of course keep it in mind if plans change)--they don't open until 4pm.

phatchris, thanks for the tip!

Jul 21, 2014
afong56 in Greater Boston Area

three nights in boston -- please help, lots of questions! (warning--long post)

we were originally planning to tour harpoon brewery in seaport--any idea how it compares to the sam adams tour? if the sam adams tour is anything like the guinness store house tour in dublin, colour me intrigued!

Jul 21, 2014
afong56 in Greater Boston Area

three nights in boston -- please help, lots of questions! (warning--long post)

hey hargau--thanks for the ideas. . .

don't get me wrong, we love to eat everything and everywhere (not just the spendy places)--from food trucks to hawker stalls--the food court in flushing, was one of the best foodie experiences i've ever had. . .

i have tabbed lobsterrollchronicles, and did note his pan of neptune, but also see that it earns the praise of many of your fellow boston chowhounds, so i'm of two minds. . .
most chinese cuisines are well-represented here in the gta (greater toronto area)--markham especially, but i am always curious to see how other locations do their chinese cuisines. . .as for ordering non-americanized stuff--lol, no worries there--we revel in the offal and the throwaway food that is the mainstay of homestyle chinese food. however, thanks to the nose-to-tail st. john's revival, getting those 'nasty bits' now costs a lot more than it used to!

Jul 21, 2014
afong56 in Greater Boston Area

three nights in boston -- please help, lots of questions! (warning--long post)

thanks again for the ideas--not sure if we'll have any room left for ice cream after all of the other things we have planned are in our bellies! will keep your picks in mind, though--if boston gets a sudden heat wave, it may be the perfect option. . .
as for gelato, toronto has a very large italian community, so we have some decent gelaterias--not firenze quality, but very solid. . .

Jul 21, 2014
afong56 in Greater Boston Area

three nights in boston -- please help, lots of questions! (warning--long post)

we are planning to be at ribelle mid-week. . .hmm. a 'quiet' resto can be good, but not super quiet! it's better when the house has life to it, for sure. . .looks like there are (like the lobster roll debate) some diverse opinions on the worthiness of visiting salem. . .may have to reconsider. . .thanks for the tips!

Jul 21, 2014
afong56 in Greater Boston Area

three nights in boston -- please help, lots of questions! (warning--long post)

ah! okay--will read up on both threads you linked to. . .cheers for that! i'm beginning to think that some early ideas will now be shunted into the "second visit" list. . .thanks again!

Jul 21, 2014
afong56 in Greater Boston Area

three nights in boston -- please help, lots of questions! (warning--long post)

thanks for the deep ellum suggestion--i happened upon it in my research and for some reason it slipped off the front burner. . .i'm not really sure i am overly in love with donuts, but i have had some pretty transcendent bites over the years--do-rite donuts in chicago last summer was probably the most recent memorable one. . .

i guess my interest in donuts might come from the fact that imho, here in toronto, we mostly get them wrong (and that's with the specialty shops, nevermind the chains here that pump out really tasteless specimens).

Jul 20, 2014
afong56 in Greater Boston Area

three nights in boston -- please help, lots of questions! (warning--long post)

everything? both cake and yeasted? hmm, that's sad to hear. i thought boston did donuts well? should i just stick to the other places on my itinerary?

Jul 20, 2014
afong56 in Greater Boston Area

three nights in boston -- please help, lots of questions! (warning--long post)

with the many pop-up locales thru the week, and the bow st. location as a fall back, usd wouldn't really be a special journey, as we will more or less be tripping over them during our stay. . .

it looks from their website that they do both cake and yeasted donuts--are they both equally good, or do they do one type better (this is usually what i've found in other shops/cities)?

Jul 20, 2014
afong56 in Greater Boston Area

three nights in boston -- please help, lots of questions! (warning--long post)

we do have some decent french patisseries and boulangeries in toronto, but let that not be a bar against seeing what boston has to offer! of course, everything is relative--nyc has better than what toronto has, and montreal trumps nyc, for this side of the pond, imho. . .

Jul 20, 2014
afong56 in Greater Boston Area

three nights in boston -- please help, lots of questions! (warning--long post)

yeah, i had read that about mike's, but like opinionatedchef mentioned below, i also heard it was still worth it. perhaps if after comparing maria's and modern, we roll by (lol, no pun intended, although it may be literal by that point) and see that the lines are manageable at mike's, we'll finish the trifecta. . .b+b certainly looks interesting though--perhaps we'll drop usd on day three and opt for b+b, as it fits into our 'tour'. . .thanks for the ideas!

Jul 20, 2014
afong56 in Greater Boston Area

three nights in boston -- please help, lots of questions! (warning--long post)

i think icob as a dinner destination will have to wait for a second trip--but your description definitely makes it sound awesome. . .lobster shack--thanks for that one--it was not really on my radar previously. . .however, my search skills seem to fail me, as keywording 'lobster shack' gets me 'summer shack'--is jasper white's joint the place you refer to?

thanks for all of the advice--wherever we go, we like to eat well, and usually that means where the locals go. i appreciate the tips on salem. . .sounds like we will spend more time there than originally planned! oh, and yes, i did take some time to google map all of these places, and the food itinerary is organized geographically to fit around the sight-seeing we want to do--i always try to maximize results and minimize time lost to transiting, if at all possible. hopefully the weather will cooperate!

cheers

Jul 20, 2014
afong56 in Greater Boston Area

three nights in boston -- please help, lots of questions! (warning--long post)

with the plethora of ideas, your mini-crawl is starting to sound good. . .very convenient that they are stumbling distance apart, lol. . .atwood's, the druid, and bukowski's also get mention--they're not far from the three i originally wrote.

i pretty much expected that pappy would not be available--thought i might as well test the waters. . .i was hoping to skip the bow st. location of usd, and hit one of their popups--looks like they've got a different location every weekday. . .started going to doughnut plant in nyc about five years ago, and there's been a real explosion here in toronto in the last 2+ years. thanks for the tips on row 34 and south end. . .will def do more research. . .

Jul 19, 2014
afong56 in Greater Boston Area

three nights in boston -- please help, lots of questions! (warning--long post)

thanks for the feedback! okay, neptune is on the list--may do a tasting with james hook/neptune/row 34. based on some other posts, may add a stop at the lobster shanty when we're in salem.

now starting to reconsider craigie, and dropping no. 9 park in favour of it. will probably end up hopping from publick house to sunset grill, but if it is that much better, may not make it to sunset grill, lol. . .thanks for the tip on phoenix landing--will put that into the 'just in case' file if we get a hankering for seeing the sox. . .good to know about gene's---the menu looks very similar to xi'an in nyc.

the lobster tail was definitely on our list to try at maria's--thanks for confirming that!

which was quiet on wed night--strip t's or ribelle?

Jul 19, 2014
afong56 in Greater Boston Area

three nights in boston -- please help, lots of questions! (warning--long post)

the two of us will be travelling to the boston area in a few weeks. we plan to arrive mid-afternoon, and will be staying in the cambridgeport area. we hope the weather will hold out, as we want to walk or bike to most of the spots we want to visit. we are not here over the weekend, and we somehow missed any sox home games (sadness).

food-wise, we will eat anything from street meat to michelin 3 stars. spice, seafood, and offal are definitely welcome. we plan to eat affordably, but with one splurge (see below!)

after some research, here's what our provisional itinerary looks like:

day 1: arrive mid-afternoon. hit ohlin's on the way into town from toronto, sample the apple fritters. grab a pint at cambridge brewing co., pre-dinner. we have a reservation for no. 9 park. there was some debate between that and craigie, as we plan to have one high end meal this visit. not sure we made the right choice.

day 2: debating having caffeine and pastries, versus full breakfast options for the 3 mornings we're in boston. if we go the full breakfast route, we will probably hit up trident and/or paramount. if we go with the former route, we'll start day 2 at crema, as we plan to tour harvard. lunch could be at alive and kicking or muqueca--we might want to compare lobster rolls/sammie, between a&k, icob, james hook, and belle isle. did we go wrong with that list?
muqueca because they offer feijoada. if we go, which particular muqueca do people recommend? has anyone tried the feijoada--can the recommend it?

after lunch, a possible tasting between maria's/modern/mike's, for dessert.

dinner on day 2--we have a reservation at ribelle, with pints either before or after at sunset grill and/or publick house. sunset grill has the edge here, because they offer flights.

after dinner, thinking about chilling out at state park--is the food there in any way influenced by the hungry mother connection? we couldn't fit hungry mother into our visit this time.

day 3, we'll start at tatte for baked goods, and hit up voltage nearby for our caffeine. for lunch, we are considering james hook, or icob. one other possibility is gene's flatbread, but not sure if the bedford st. location is connected to the one everyone's writing about in woburn, and if they offer the same menu. we are fans of xian's famous in nyc, so would be nice to see how it compares. dessert at union square donuts in dewey square.
for dinner we have a reservation at oleana.
pints at either lord hobo or mead hall, either before or after dinner.

day 4, leaving town, headed to salem museum. start at betty ann food shop, and hit kane's and belle isle possibly for early lunch, on the way to salem.

so, critique of choices? for the choices i've listed, what are the must-order items/dishes?
will also try to fit in visits to flour bakery, clover food lab, drink.
other places that are still being considered as substitutions: alden+harlow, gourmet dumpling house, strip-t's, sarma, myers + chang, toro.

random questions: if one wanted to find a bottle of 10yr handmade pappy, where would one find it? charles street liquor, federal? somewhere else?
if we wanted to go to a solid sports bar and watch a sox away game, where in the cambridgeport area would people suggest?

for touristy stuff, we hope to hit some of the usual suspects, and weather permitting, hope to bike the length of the greenway.

any comments or suggestions would be appreciated, thanks in advance. . .

Jul 19, 2014
afong56 in Greater Boston Area

How much do I tip? How much should I tip? How much do YOU tip? etc.... [moved from Ontario board]

not to mention, if you are plunking down for $500 bottles of wine, then how much you tip is probably not top of mind when dining out. . .lol

Jul 15, 2014
afong56 in Not About Food

Update on Broadview and Gerrard

i had the buffalo mozza version of the montanara at don antonio in nyc back in march of 2012--it is definitely not disgusting--it was absolutely delicious and i would try it again if it finally came to toronto. . .

Jun 16, 2014
afong56 in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

The Costco Thread - new products, old favourites, interesting items

these are now clearing out for $24.97--oshawa location, ymmv

Jun 16, 2014
afong56 in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Please help me prioritise: Business trip to Toronto

iirc, bar isabel always leaves tables for walk-ins--if you line up prior to opening at 5:30pm, you may be able to get a table without a reservation. . .i did exactly this on a saturday night, and only waited 15 mins.

as for richmond station, go to their website and reserve--they still have several spots available from monday on, if you are still here then--your op is not very clear. . .

not sure how this fits with your 'hectic' schedule and trying to "cram" in eating. . .good luck

Jun 06, 2014
afong56 in Ontario (inc. Toronto)
1

Great food, informal atmosphere

patria, buca, bar isabel, richmond station would all fit your description--they all have strong service and delicious food, in a casual environment.

i also agree with gary--some more description/criteria might make it easier to provide suggestions.

Jun 05, 2014
afong56 in Ontario (inc. Toronto)
2

richmond station -- what to order?

thanks to everyone who replied.

we ended up having the tasting menu and were quite impressed. all told, there were 11 dishes, plus salted chocolate caramel fudge mignardises at the end.

relatively simple ingredients, nothing too exotic (not counting what went into some of the charcuterie selections), all prepared and executed very, very well. the beef duo, roasted veg salad with creamed feta, and desserts were the highlights.

had the daily special cocktail, a blend of gin, citrus and chartreuse--it was nice and summery, perfect for the evening.

service was attentive but not obsequious, friendly but not obnoxious, knowledgeable but not pretentious.

we will be back to try the dishes that were suggested, but that we didn't get around to.

would highly recommend.

Jun 03, 2014
afong56 in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

richmond station -- what to order?

okay, so if we don't go for the tasting menu, we could possibly start with the charcuterie and/or quinoa salad, slide into a fish main/special of the day, or default to the burger. for dessert, the chocolate tart, cheese plate, and maybe the caffe corretto. . .

i didn't see it on their website, but do they have a cocktail menu?

May 28, 2014
afong56 in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

richmond station -- what to order?

Thanks to everyone who replied.... Will definitely double down on the desserts and see what the specials of the day are...

May 27, 2014
afong56 in Ontario (inc. Toronto)