Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Fireworks in Boston

TWSF celebrated the anniversary our nation's birth by visiting one of the cities at the heart of the American Revolution: Boston, Massachusetts. Boston has plenty of attractions to offer any patriotic visitor, but since history is boring our trip focused on food, drink, beaches and a wedding. However, our trip did start out with a bit of history as we went through airport security at Washington National Airport with none other than the Reverend Al Sharpton. With a sighting like that prior to takeoff we knew the trip would be good, Boston did not disappoint.

Day 1:
My best girlfriends live in Southie, so we met up with them for dinner and drinks. We tried Whiskey Priest, a new place in the Seaport District that is under the same ownership as the Atlantic Beer Garden. They have a good selection of your typical bar food and a pretty extensive whiskey list. I got the Calamari Caesar Salad (kind of obsessed with calamari recently if you couldn't tell), and Chuck got the Fish and Chips. The Fish and Chips rocked, it was the one dish on the menu that read "caught daily." Everything on the menu was decently priced (DC restaurateurs, take note) and the location offers great views of the harbor.

 Fish and Chips

Day 2:
We spent the afternoon at Hampton Beach in New Hampshire. We grabbed lunch at the best pizza place on the beach, Sal's Pizza. The original Sal's is known as Salvatore's Restaurant, located in the North End in Boston. The Sal's we went to is a walk-up pizza shop. You can get a slice of cheese pizza (a slice is actually 1/4 of the pizza) and a soda for $5.00.

On the way home we stopped at a little seafood shack on the side of the road on the way home from the beach because my parents were treating us to a lobster dinner. We bought 1 1/2 lb lobsters for each of us, which was later served with steamers, corn on the cob, and beer (typical New England lobster dinner). As much as I love a good crabcake, nothing beats lobster dripping in drawn butter.

Last summer, Chuck and I bought a 3 1/2 pound lobster from the same seafood shack. Kevin (we named him) was almost too big to fit in the pot of water and was more than enough to feed the two of us. His claw shell was so thick that Chuck had to smash it on the driveway with a large cutting board. The picture at the top of the post is of one of the a 20-year old 15 pound lobsters the shack has floating around in their tank.

Day 3:
I took Chuck to my absolute favorite sushi place for lunch, Sato. Located in Stoneham, MA this fine establishment has been a favorite among my friends for years. It's a small place, but offers a huge selection of specialty rolls as well as other Asian dishes for the non-sushi lovers. We got a couple rolls, including my personal favorite, the Valentine Roll, shrimp and avocado topped with a spicy shrimp and pineapple mixture. SO GOOD. Chuck was also introduced to Scorpion Bowls, a drink unknown to DC but beloved up in the Boston area. Picture a bowl of alcohol punch with floating fruit and a flaming shot of 151. Why Asian restaurants in DC do not offer this concoction is beyond me.

We spent the rest of the evening at a wedding. This wedding was GORGEOUS, the people, the venue, everything. We ate the bride and groom's favorite meal, Thanksgiving dinner. Started things off with a fancy salad and bread, followed by roasted turkey, brown gravy with raisins, mashed potatoes, stuffing, etc. It was quite glorious. Although we missed dessert (too busy dancing!), we heard the cake and strawberry shortcake were up to par. Luckily, we were given cookies to take home on the shuttle ride back to the hotel.

Day 4:
We decided to celebrate the 4th of July with my friends in Boston. After walking around the North End for a couple hours, TWSF decided to get some pasta at Florentine Cafe on Hanover Street, they had a packed house at 3:30 in the afternoon. I absolutely love getting dinner in the North End. There is something really romantic about sitting at window seat people watching while downing a bottle of Chianti, slurping up a hearty pasta dish, and listening to servers chatting in Italian in the background.

Linguine Fraddiavolo

I got the Linguine Fraddiavolo, linguine with sea scallops, shrimp, and half of a lobster tail covered in a spicy red tomato sauce (love me some spicy tomato sauce). Chuck got a homemade pasta dish with shrimp, clams, arugula, and porcini mushrooms in a white wine sauce. Side story: Our waiter came over to inquire about our satisfaction with the meal. As he walked away I noticed he slipped something under the lip of my dish. Five individually wrapped toothpicks. At first I was confused, but when I asked Chuck if there was anything stuck in my teeth, it was clear the server was trying to help me out. Anyways, we thought it was pretty funny. I guess you had to be there.

Forgotten Name Pasta Dish

After dinner we stopped a Mike's Pastries (the line finally wasn't out the door) and picked up some chocolate chip cannoli. This place is famous for their Italian pastries in Boston and is constantly packed. As always, the cannoli's were fantastic.

We ended the trip with a 4th of July celebration on a roof deck in the North End, eating Mexican Caviar made by my good friend, Julie, and watching fireworks.

Day 5:

If you are from the north shore area of Boston, you have probably heard of Bagel World. Reading boasts the best bagels around, and for the best price. Bagel World appears to be a family business, and has two other locations in Salem and Peobody. The menu offers bagels, breakfast sandwiches, lunch sandwiches. Everyone has their go to meal there, mine being a fresh French Toast bagel for breakfast or a BLT (no mayo) on an Everything bagel. Locals know that this place is no joke and you WILL wait in line no matter the day, no matter the time. If you have a large order, call ahead. It's kind of like that pass at Disney World that allows you to cut the ride lines. Trust me, this will save you time.

While TWSF waited for their flight at Logan, we stopped at Celebrity Chef Todd English's project, Ozone. Chuck got a burger and I got the chowder (come on, I didn't have any all weekend). Chuck's burger came with pretty good rosemary parmesan fries. Both were decent for airport food, and I'd like to try his other restaurant, Bonfire, near the American Airlines terminal.

They say distance makes the heart grow fonder. When it comes to food, this is entirely true of Boston. Growing up there, I was the pickiest eater (read: diet of chicken fingers, bagels, pizza, and Cinnamon Toast Crunch) and did not appreciate the food Boston is known for. Now that I'm a big girl and my taste buds have matured, I miss the buttery lobster, the chowder, and everything else that has Boston written all over it. TSWF had a great time chowing our way through New England this weekend and are looking forward to our next trip up north.

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