A Glutton With Brains

"A gourmet is just a glutton with brains." Philip W. Haberman Jr.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


J and I recently spent a few days in Boston. We went to a Red Sox game at Fenway, walked the Freedom Trail, spent some time in Cambridge and Harvard...it was a great time!

Our hotel was gorgeous and perfectly located in downtown Boston. The first room they gave us, however, had very clearly been smoked in. We went downstairs to switch and the front desk was very apologetic and offered us a free meal in the hotel restaurant, Pairings. Unfortunately, it was the worst meal we've ever had. I took a bunch of pictures but I won't show them as it was so bad. We ordered a shrimp appetizer that came out with the heads still on. When J bit into his shrimp, some cold, fishy juice squirted into his mouth. It wasn't even cooked all the way. He quickly switched his entree from the scallops to a burger. I ordered three small plates, which on the bright side were cooked all the way through but tasted pretty bad. J's burger however, ordered medium, was very raw. He just ate his fries. I don't think we'll be accepting a free hotel meal again!

The next day we took a little detour off the Freedom Trail to venture into Boston's Little Italy to sample some cannoli.
Our first stop was Mike's Pastry. This pastry shop is locally famous and is a favorite of Bill Clinton.
We both really enjoyed this cannoli. The shell was nice and crisp and didn't crumble apart when we bit into it. The filling however was a little thick, but still delicious.

Conveniently located right across the street from Mike's is Modern Pastry. Modern offers fresh filled cannoli. You can choose a type of cannoli shell, filling and topping. In order to be consistent we ordered a plain shell with ricotta filling and chocolate chips.
Though both cannoli were very good, we both decided this was the winner. The shell was perfectly crisp and again didn't crumble when we bit into it. The biggest difference though was the filling. It was much lighter and not to sweet. Delicious.
After wandering around Cambridge for a while, and a enjoying a few beers at The Druid, we went to East Coast Grill for dinner. This corn and clam chowder was absolutely delicious. It was perfectly creamy with a little spicy bite and nice chunks of sweet potato.
East Coast Grill is known for its XXX spicy wings. I was a little afraid of the spice so we ordered them with a spicy rating of 7/10. I think we could have handled the 10 though. They had a nice kick but weren't, as the waitress warned, the spiciest thing I've ever eaten.
On our last day we took a drive out to Ipswich to go to the Clam Box. The fried clams were fresh and delicious. I had never had them before so I'm glad I got to try them but they weren't really my favorite.
Their clam chowder however was amazing. This cup was full when we got it but we both loved it so much that it was half gone before I had a chance to snap a picture. If you're ever around Boston, I would recommend taking a little side trip out to the Clam Box for some chowder.