So, the very first stop was at the start of the March. We decided to start gathering at 7am at McKenna's Cafe
in Dorchester, about 100 feet away from the Savin Hill T station. I picked Savin Hill as a nice place for a scenic start to our walk, and discovered that it's actually a fairly nice and quiet neighborhood in Dorcester, one that seems off of most people's radar (even amongst the current and former Boston residents in the group, most of them hadn't been to Savin Hill).
In any case, McKenna's is a nice, cozy neighborhood cafe, the exact sort of cafe you expect in a neighborhood like this. Walk in, get greeted by the staff, and quickly get seated with some coffee to peruse the menu. he menu at McKenna’s is your basic American breakfast joint menu, with pancakes, French toast, omelets, scrambles, and the like. One notable difference from many other places is that they also have a lot of Irish breakfast items (bangers, black and white pudding, and the like), and a few healthier options (several egg white specials, several turkey dishes, and such). After some review, I settled on one of the healthier items (the Energizer, an English muffin with layers of egg white, turkey, and Swiss) and a side of home fries to balance it out. I had to be somewhat reserved, since I was expecting to eat at over half a dozen places during the day. Carol decided to order up some French toast and share my home fries.
It's one of those menu items that doesn't lend itself to good food photography (the colors are a bit bland), but the Energizer was actually a very good breakfast sandwich: a nicely-toasted English muffin, several layers of moist turkey that had been lightly grilled, some fried egg whites, and two layers of Swiss cheese. The result was a nice combination of egg, cheese, and turkey, without being too heavy. I'd certainly get this again if I was in the mood for a breakfast sandwich.
Carol's French toast was quite good as well. She had opted for the granola-crusted French toast, and the result was two substantial slabs of nicely-fried French toast. The inside was light and fluffy, the outside crunchy, and the granola added some pleasant texture. I'm not usually a French toast fan (having suffered through too many bad renditions of it), but here it's good, and I'd be happy ordering it.
The home fries, however, were the real surprise. One of the big disappointments I had moving to New England is that most places up here don't do hash browns (shredded potatoes), but home fries (fried potato chunks). Done well, home fries can be excellent (in particular, up my way the Tumble Inn Diner and the Fairlee Diner both do some boss home fries), but all too often a place either (a) breaks out the Sysco bag and fries them up, or (b) just dices some potatoes up and throws 'em in the fryer. Either way, the result is usually a pile of fairly disappointing starchy or waxy lumps of potato. Well, McKenna's goes down as another place that knows how to actually cook home fries correctly. My home fries were nice and perfectly fluffy in the middle (with no waxiness or starchiness), warm, and having the perfect crispy exterior. These weren't just good home fries, but probably the best I've had in Massachusetts.
So, a good start to the walk. After that, it was off walking through South Boston to Castle Island and Sullivan's Castle...