Bologna to Bolognese: Adventures With Food

Food is necessary. Food is fun. Food is an adventure!

My name is Shannon and this is my adventure, my love affair with food.

I hope you'll come along for the ride.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Adventures with Food: On the Road... Plymouth & Boston

I have been remiss in posting the rest of October's blog entries due to being in a persistent food coma. This comes from a delightful much needed holiday my husband and I took the last week of October. We traveled to the wonderful city of Boston where culture, history and iconic food abound. So settle in for a trip through some of the best eats in the greater Boston area.

We started out journey in Plymouth Massachusetts with a trip to the Mayflower II, Plymouth Rock, Burying point, and an out of the way spot kept up by the local Antiquarian Society known as Sacrifice Rock. After working up quite an appetite we headed down to the shore for a bite to eat at the Blue Eyed Crab. This eclectic little restaurant is just off the waterfront and is a family owned establishment that puts a great deal of pride and creativity into their menu. They have an extensive list of drinks including a seasonal cocktail with cranberries, mint, Makers Mark and white cranberry juice.

We ordered a starter of Alligator Bites which was so good it was gone before I got a picture. The mains were similarly fantastic and I only just remembered to get a pic of the fantastic seafood stew.

The *Blue Eyed Crab Seafood Stew is made with chorizo, sweet potatoes and lots of seafood, including swordfish, fresh mussels, clams, scallops and shrimp, in a spicy tomato crab cilantro broth. It was delicate and robust at the same time and the scallops were the most tender I had ever had. Simply divine. My husband ordered the special, a seared Swordfish steak with mango salsa on a bed of tropical rice. Unfortunately I just wasn't quick enough to catch a shot of that tasty dish, it was so good I think he might have licked the plate clean?

After we settled in to out hotel in the Brookline neighborhood of Boston we stumbled across a great local nightspot called the Beacon Street Tavern. With inviting decor and a good drink selection it was the perfect place for a nightcap.

On our first full day in Boston we started our journey down the Freedom Trail. Not for the feint of heart this trail of 16 historic and momentous sites starts at the Massachusetts State House, just off the Boston Common. It is also the site of a well kept secret. We got there early for our scheduled tour and we directed by a helpful security guard to the fourth floor where secreted away down a long hallway of offices you will find a tiny coffee shop. Not much to look at, this was the perfect place for breakfast. The menu is short but the cook was a true gem. We asked what type of breakfast sandwiches they had and were told "Anything you want we can make!" So one sausage egg and cheese on dark rye later I am convinced they don't advertise because the legislators want to keep the place to themselves!

We stopped for lunch at the oldest restaurant in Boston and the oldest restaurant in continuous service in the U.S.,the Union Oyster House.

It was established in 1826 and many famous people have wandered it's floors including French King Louis Phillippe and President John F. Kennedy, who's favorite booth bears his name to this day.

So at an Oyster house one must have oysters. It was our first experience with them raw on the half shell and our waitress made it a great one. After learning the technique we had a great time slurping these beautiful bivalves.

We also enjoyed a great seafood sampler with Atlantic cod, fried scallops, and fried whole calamari. These scallops were even better than those from the night before which is hard to believe.

We also shared some of their lovely clam chowder (chowd-a) which was rich and creamy without loosing the light flavor of the clams.

Our lunch was so filling in fact that we were dismayed to find ourselves still full at dinner time. Instead we met up for drinks with friends and can highly recommend the Bell in Hand Tavern which was established 1795 by Boston's last known Town Crier Jimmy Wilson. Also on Union street, it has a good on draft selection and perfectly captures the ambiance of a traditional English pub.

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