Western MA Meet-N-Greet & Roadfooding in Greater Boston(with pics!) THE END 05/30/09

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billyboy
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2009/05/20 00:38:42 (permalink)

Western MA Meet-N-Greet & Roadfooding in Greater Boston(with pics!) THE END 05/30/09


I made my way up to Boston a couple of days early for the meet-n-greet put together by wheregreggeats.com. I planned to call this part of the report "Keepin' it real (regionally real, that is)" and focus on "regionally correct" foods in New England, but time constraints and a few changes in plans got in the way (in a good way)! As soon as I got off the bus, I made a beeline for Anna's Taqueria on Harvard Street in Brookline, MA. The exterior of Anna's
The tortilla steamer. They only use flour tortillas.
A shot of the jalapenos, guacamole, lettuce and salsa. I love this place very much, but I've never been a big fan of the guac as it's too smooth and pasty for my taste and the salsa can be bland and a bit watery.
From the bottom left: carnitas (slow roasted pork), grilled chicken, rice (they cook it in chicken broth and it give the rice a real depth of flavor) and grilled vegetables (usually, zuchini, squash, red onions, broccoli and orange peppers. They mix it up sometimes and I've also seen green beans and sweet potatoes in there as well.
The left four: (poached?) chicken, al pastor, grilled steak and green chile verde. The right four: after reading the Burrito Blog online, I think this meat might be Lengua (boiled beef tongue), refried beans, pinto beans and black beans.
The menu.
Burritos come in two sizes
My Jarritos Guava soda. Sweet, slightly perfumy and refreshing.
All burritos are wrapped in foil, eat in or take out.

The whole burrito.
I went for the Carnitas Super burrito with sour cream and jalapenos. It was just as great as I remembered. I fell in love with this place and this particulaqr burrito in the late summer of 1997 when I was invited to a house party with some friends and Anna's had catered it. Definitely love at first bite and I'm sure had I stayed in Boston, they would have mounted a plaque in my honor by now. I was there 2-3 nights a week, easily. I tried other places, but I always went back to Anna's, afraid she'd see the salsa stain on my collar and wonder who I had been stepping out with!
Inside Anna's. They have about 6 stores in the Boston area and are still making some mighty fine Mexican food. I don't know how these stack up against places with large Mexican populations (So. Cal and Texas come to mind), but they have always drawn big crowds and the line usually goes out the door in the summertime.

I walked a few blocks to my next stop, Clear Flour Bread (or Bakery, depending on which sign you read) on Thorndike Street in Brookline, MA. I was looking forward to staying with my friends, Greg and Jackie, and their children (my godson and his sister (she made her debut here on RF last year on my trip to Boston for cecif & bethgrd's tour) for the night on the South Shore. This was their favorite bakery when they lived here.


They don't allow pictures inside, so I took these on a park bench just down the street. A few odd glances later, I think I managed to snap some good shots. Greg & Jackie really like the Paris Night rolls (with raisins and walnuts), but they only make them on Mondays. However, the New England Night rolls (with cranberries and pecans) were a fine substitute.
I couldn't resist picking up this Chocolate Challah Turtle! I knew my godson would get a kick out of it and it looked very yummy. They shaped a loaf of challah bread like a turtle and filed it with good quality dark chocolate (and they didn't skimp on it either!) and it was like a Jewish "pain au chocolat".
I walked back towards the Coolidge Corner section of Brookline and popped into Irving's Toy & Card Shop on Harvard Street in Brookline, MA to see my favorite lady, Ethel Weiss, who has been running this shop since 1939!


Ethel was fairly busy today so I didn't take any pics inside. These next three are from my trip last year. Ethel was happy to pose for the camera when I stopped by last year.

2009 is her 70 year in business. Irving was her husband who first opened the toy shop. I was able to pick up some neat things for the kids and glad to give my money to a locally owned independent business.
Ethel's Bio.

I love these posters for sale in her window. It seems as though many people I come across these days might be well served by having these hanging up at home. Some good rules to live by.

After that savory burrito, I needed something sweet, so I headed over to Emack & Bolio's on Beacon Street in the Washington Square area of Brookline, MA. I used to come here from time to time when I lived in the area, but J.P. Licks is still my favorite. In the interest of something different for this report, I skipped J.P's this time around. It was a very warm beautiful day and I love the backdrop that they sky provides in this shot.

A close-up of the shop.
The theme here is rock-n-roll and the guitar motif on the wall tells the story.
A better shot of the backstory.
My two scoop dish of Almond Joy and Raspberry Truffle. I had hoped they would have the Deep Purple Cow or the Twisted Dee-Light (an homage to Dee Snider of Twisted Sister) but they were out on this day. However, my two scoops did not disappoint. The Almond Joy had a very assertive coconut flavor and lots of shredded coconut bits in it with chunks of chocolate and plenty of crunchy almonds (too often nuts lose their crunch when embedded in ice cream). The Raspberry Truffle had a great natural raspberry flavor and lots of round dark chocolate truffle pieces that married well with the ice cream.


A close-up of the Raspberry Truffle.
A close-up of the Almond Joy.

They had a huge selection of flavored waffle cones including ones with Rice Krispies, Cocoa Pebbles and Fruity Pebbles.

A pretty good selection of smoothies too. They may give Southern California a run for their money! Just kidding, WJ!!!

The ice cream menu.
They bottle their own sodas. Maybe on the next trip.
Pics of various rock-n-rollers at Emack & Bolios including: the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Aerosmith, Dee Snider, Steven Van Zandt and more.
Quiet Riot clowning around with their cones.
The cow. In addition to the tables, they have these neat riser benches in the windows to sit and enjoy some quality ice cream. As a follow-up note, I went to their store in NYC on Houston Street a coupe of days after I got back to the city and I managed to be the last customer before they closed and they had the Deep Purple Cow in stock. WOW! Really intense black raspberry ice cream with white and dark chocolate chunks and blueberry pieces. Wicked good. The only shortfall is that I would have liked more blueberry pieces, although they did pack a great punch. They are not a small independent anymore and have stores in 6 states. I'd usually go to the smaller places first, but if you have the time, E&B is definitely worth a visit!


I had hoped to make a couple of more food stops for either a North Shore roast beef sandwich or a couple of pizza slice but, unlike the Rolling Stones, time was not on my side, and I made my way to my dear friends on the South Shore for the night. Up next on "As the Stomach Turns", a belly busting day of Roadfooding, meeting up with Mssrs. Rushmore and Ayers for a wicked good burger and some devilishly decadent hot chocolate & ice cream and my Indian Pudding deflowering! The pics and narrative from the Western Mass meet up will come soon!
 

The 411
 

1.) Anna's Taqueria
446 Harvard Street
Brookline, MA 02446
Ph# 617-277-7111
Website: http://www.annastaqueria.com/
       http://www.burritoblog.com/massachusetts/annas_taqueria/  (They are also listed on this most interesting blog I found a while back devoted solely to burritos.  Ya gotta love THAT!)



2.)  Irving's Toy & Card Shop
       371 Harvard Street
       Brookline, MA 02446
       Ph# 617-566-9327




3.)  Emack & Bolio's
       1663 Beacon Street
       Brookline, MA 02445
       Ph #617-731-6256
       Website:   http://www.emackandbolios.com/






post edited by billyboy - 2009/05/30 10:30:37
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35 Replies Related Threads

    Baah Ben
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    Re:Western Mass Meet-N-Greet and Roadfooding in Greater Boston(with pics!) 2009/05/20 01:38:06 (permalink)
    Billy - You love your ice cream..

    Great pics!  

    #2
    Ahi Mpls.
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    Re:Western Mass Meet-N-Greet and Roadfooding in Greater Boston(with pics!) 2009/05/20 10:01:15 (permalink)
      Give me that whole pan of carnitas and a big fork, I'm goin' in!!!
    #3
    Foodosaurus
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    Re:Western Mass Meet-N-Greet and Roadfooding in Greater Boston(with pics!) 2009/05/20 10:23:15 (permalink)
    I can't believe how inexpensive those burritos are.  I could understand if you were in SoCal.... but Boston! 

    It all looked so good.  Can't wait for some Western Mass photos.
    #4
    sk bob
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    Re:Western Mass Meet-N-Greet and Roadfooding in Greater Boston(with pics!) 2009/05/20 10:23:54 (permalink)
    great report Billy, keep it coming.
    #5
    wanderingjew
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    Re:Western Mass Meet-N-Greet and Roadfooding in Greater Boston(with pics!) 2009/05/20 10:29:32 (permalink)
    Great report so far Billyboy

    I see you found the one place in Boston that serves smoothies...

    Ice cream in a smoothie?  " /> " />

    You should have asked if they use fresh fruit- because we all know that in Boston, fresh fruit is in season all year

    #6
    Nancypalooza
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    Re:Western Mass Meet-N-Greet and Roadfooding in Greater Boston(with pics!) 2009/05/20 13:46:21 (permalink)
    I love that picture of all the ice cream cones lined up in the window--great report billy!
    #7
    mar52
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    Re:Western Mass Meet-N-Greet and Roadfooding in Greater Boston(with pics!) 2009/05/20 13:54:38 (permalink)
    That's how I eat in Los Angeles.  My kind of eatin!

    Great choices for everything.

    Dale, even Jambajuice mixes in yogurt and ice cream these days. It's a sad state of events.


    #8
    wanderingjew
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    Re:Western Mass Meet-N-Greet and Roadfooding in Greater Boston(with pics!) 2009/05/20 17:12:25 (permalink)
    mar52

    That's how I eat in Los Angeles.  My kind of eatin!

    Great choices for everything.

    Dale, even Jambajuice mixes in yogurt and ice cream these days. It's a sad state of events.


    Marlene,

    Even though we don't have Jamba Juice here in Rhode Island, I know all about them- I call them the McStarbucks of juice/smoothie joints.

    #9
    ann peeples
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    Re:Western Mass Meet-N-Greet and Roadfooding in Greater Boston(with pics!) 2009/05/20 17:50:20 (permalink)
    Jarritos!!! Love that soda!
    #10
    Buffalo Tarheel
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    Re:Western Mass Meet-N-Greet and Roadfooding in Greater Boston(with pics!) 2009/05/20 21:13:47 (permalink)
    Another great report as usual.  The pictures make me hungry even though I have just struggled to finish my meal of hot dogs and Italian beef.  Thanks for taking the time to post this report.
    #11
    agnesrob
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    Re:Western Mass Meet-N-Greet and Roadfooding in Greater Boston(with pics!) 2009/05/21 07:41:21 (permalink)
    Billy, I always look forward to your post. You should do this for a living!
    #12
    ellen4641
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    Re:Western Mass Meet-N-Greet and Roadfooding in Greater Boston(with pics!) 2009/05/21 08:20:56 (permalink)
    love that CHALLAH TURTLE !
    I'm definitely having one next time I'm in the Boston area !

    So hard to get good fresh challah around the AC area....(much less a "challah turtle"!)
    ..
    #13
    billyboy
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    Re:Western MA Meet-N-Greet & Roadfooding in Greater Boston(with pics!) UPDATED 5/25/09 2009/05/25 04:08:52 (permalink)

    SATURDAY MAY 16TH-DAY 2
    While staying on the South Shore with my friends, I got to play with Comet, one of my favorite cats! We had a nice picnic at a local park then Jackie and the kids said goodbye as they dropped me at the T station and I made my way to Harvard Square for my first Roadfood meal of the day.
    The street spray painter in Harvard Square. It is absolutely amazing the beautiful art that can be created by a few cans a spray paint.
    One of my favorite newsstands, Out of Town News. Papers and magazines from all over the world.
    A wide shot of Harvard Square. I spent a lot of time here when I lived across the river (Wordsworth Books, I still miss you).
    Musicians in the pit. This area just outside of the T station has served as a gathering place for artists, musicians, students, skaters and as a place for just about every malcontent to sound off about what is bothering them in the world. I thought I heard pan flutes in this group. Just down the street, there was a a seriously angry group ranting about how the government is trying to put microchips in our brains and how the devil is out to get us all. I wisely chose NOT to take a picture of them!
    Outside the Harvard Book Store. One of my favorite independent shops.
    A shot of the front window. I usually pop in, but I was on a mission today.
    My first stop of the day was Mr. Bartley's In Harvard Square. Some folks call it Mr. Bartley's Gourmet Burgers or Mr. Bartley's Burger Cottage. I've always just thought of it as Bartley's. I had come here a number of times in the past and interestingly enough, I've never been a fan of the burgers at all. My roommates loved them but I always found them to be very charred on the outside and way too rare on the inside. They do have interesting names though, reflecting local politics and sports of the day (Dice-K burger, Tom Brady, Mitt Romney, Mayor Menino, etc...) I am, however, a huge fan of their turkey dinners and hot covered turkey sandwiches. Just behind this sign is the one for the Hong Kong, which is a great place to catch stand-up comedy. I wasted many a night there and saw some really amazing fall on the floor comedians ply their trade.

    I saw the waitresses wearing these and just HAD to ask for a photo op. Classic!
    Lots of great food here.
    Filling bellies for almost 50 years.

    I love the clutter inside this place and the vibe is great too. It was packed and no tables were available, but since it was just me, I was able to snag a seat at the counter. The orders were being yelled out throughout the place and there definitely was a sense of controlled chaos to it all.

    I started out with one of my favorite summer coolers, a Raspberry Lime Rickey. I think this may be a New England thing (not sure). It's raspberry juice, simple syrup lots of fresh squeezed limes (they squeezed them right in front of me) and seltzer water. A nice balance flavors: tart, sweet and fizzy. Very refreshing, especially on a warm early summer's day.
    The listing of puddings. Grape-Nut pudding? Maple Bread pudding? I am so there!
    This was the best shot I could get of the Ted kennedy caricature and next to it, a very cool rendering of Larry Bird and Magic Johnson playing together as babies.
    My Conan O'Brien sandwich. I'm definitely a food geek as I knew I was getting this by scoping out the menu online about a week before I made this trip. A hot covered turkey sandwich with garlic mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce. Mmmmmmm.....comfort food! This was really, really good. The turkey is thin sliced. I'm not sure if they roast their own there, but it sure tasted fresh. They lost a point as the cranberry sauce was somewhat frozen, however, the hot gravy took care of that just fine and many places don't include cranberry sauce, so it was all good.
    When in New England, try the baked beans. These were exceptional, tasted homemade and were just the way I like them. soft, yet not mushy and ever so slightly sweet. I could have made my way through an even larger bowl of them. Highly recommended.
    And the burger menu.

    The Grape-Nut pudding at Bartley's was not to be today as I received a call from Stephen Rushmore Jr. I few minutes later, I was back on the T headed over to the Porter Square section of Somerville, MA. When I arrived, he was there with one of my heroes of Roadfood, Ayersian. We made our way to R.F. O'Sullivan and Son for some burgers and fries.


    The Phantom Gourmet review and interview. Very insightful. O'Sullivan's is very picky about who works for them and how their burgers are cooked.

    My order of 1/2 fries and 1/2 onion rings. I think my burger came with fries, but I asked if I could get it 1/2 & 1/2 instead. I respect any place that is willing to do that. And these were some seriously great fries and rings. The rings were big, battered and slightly sweet with a good onion flavor. Not THE best I have ever had, but they rank pretty high in my book. The fries were nothing short of amazing. A place that serves fries that actually LOOK and TASTE like the original potato they came from! Slightly crisp on the outside and creamy inside, I would run, not walk back there to have these again.
    My Cheddar & Onion burger (cooked medium). Stephen and Chris shared a burger. Stephen asked me how I liked mine cooked. When I said medium, his reply was, "You'll be getting your own!"
    They really take their burgers seriously here. This was one big hunk of meat. Just enough pink for my liking, it was a bit hard to get my mouth around it, but man, what a reward! A nice char from the grill and lot of juice dripping out of a burger that tasted of great quality beef. The onion sauce and cheddar were both good, but I would have just been happy with a burger with nothing on it. I was going to say plain, but there was nothing plain about this burger. The bun was nice seeded, slightly toasted and substantial enough to hold up to the meat and toppings. I had initially said that I usually prefer a griddled burger at restaurants and like my grilled burgers when I go camping, but after having some time to reflect upon it, this one has changed my mind. I hope to find other grilled burgers out there as exceptional as O'Sullivan's.
    Even though I had just polished off most of one of these burgers, I still couldn't believe how big they were when I went to take this shot!
    Feeling the need to walk for a bit, we parked in Harvard Square, walked around and I saw this delightful sign.
    Our next stop was at L.A. Burdick for some hot chocolate. There is a review on the RF site for the location in Walpole, NH, but this outpost is in Harvard Square, near my beloved Brattle Theatre. a great independent cinema that has a Bugs Bunny Film Festival each year as well as screenings of many great classic films, just for starters. I usually would sip a cup at Burdick before catching a film there. I know, hot chocolate in the summer? Believe me, it was totally worth it. Carnation and Swiss Miss, this is not! I ordered the small Dark Hot Chocolate. Honestly, the first time I tried this years ago, I was not a fan as I hadn't come around to dark chocolate just yet. But on this day, it was as if the best chocolate bar had been put in drinkable form. I had it topped with whipped cream and it danced nicely with the slightly bitter chocolate. Money well spent. Willy Wonka would be green with envy!
    The guys were kind enough the let me snap a picture of them. I believe they both had a Demi which is about the size of an espresso. The interior of L.A. Burdick. They offer a wide menu of pastries, chocolates and drinks.
    The menu.
    Close-up of the hot chocolate menu.
    The famous Burdick Chocolate Mice.
    After savoring our hot chocolates, we walked a bit further to Herrell's in another part of Harvard Square for some ice cream. The menu.
    Ayersian's Pecan Cinnamon Caramel Swirl ice cream. I tried a sample of this and it was very good. Tasted like a cinnamon bun in ice cream form. The only downside was that the pecans weren't crunchy. They would have been better served added in as a "smoosh-in" or on top, rather than as a part of the batch.
    Herrell's is in an old bank and they have a vault that you can sit inside of and enjoy your creamy treats.
    Inside the vault. Stephen had some of the Chocolate Pudding ice cream (I only sampled a spoonful of this as I had one more big RF stop to make!) and I must implore each and every one of you to try this ASAP! I have been eating this flavor since 1997 and it is nothing short of amazing. Imagine someone took the best homemade chocolate pudding (not the Jell-O instant piffle so abundant these days, but the stand-over-the-stove-and-stir-it kind) and turned it into ice cream. Oh, yeah!!! Stephen, I'm so glad I had the opportunity to meet you and share some really great food with you (and Chris). Excellent call on O'Sullivan's!!

    As much as I had eaten so far, I still had one more stop to make. Stephen and Chris couldn't believe I had met them for burgers when I said I was meeting bethgrd, her husband Steve and wanderingjew for dinner! I took the Red line to the Park Street station and walked over to Faneuil Hall to meet up with my fellow Roadfooders. I stopped to check out these breakdancers along the way, which may have been a mistake as I think my stainless steel water bottle fell out of my bag at some point and is now (presumably) part of the Boston landscape. They were pretty good though and this guy was spinning like a top!

    Takin' a break from breakin'.
    I wasn't sure what to get for Beth & Steve as they were putting me up for the night and carting me around on the Western MA tour. So I called Beth and asked her if she had heard of this place called the Boston Chipyard in Quincy Market and if it was any good as I thought I might buy some to take back to NYC. She said she really liked them. Aha, so clever! I'd eaten my fair share of these during my tenure in the Bay State, so I picked up a mixed tin of cookies for my most gracious hosts.


    The cookie menu.

    These next four shots are of the different cookies the Chipyard offers.



    Outside Durgin Park.
    Lots of great Yankee cookin' inside.

    I love this sign. That says it all.

    Our waitress started the table out with a basket of very tasty cornbread. Simple, no fuss, straightforward cornbread.
    The menu.
    We ordered a bowl of baked beans for the table. I wished that I liked these but I wasn't a huge fan. Beth really enjoyed them, but I thought they were way too sweet and not as soft as I like. I would try them again though to see if they are any different on another visit.
    A close-up of the beans.
    Steve and I both went with the Boston Scrod (Baked, I believe). This is a filet of cod and baked with seasoned bread crumbs and served with lemon wedges. A very clean, light tasting fish and a real winner for me. It was a huge portion and sadly I was only good for about 1/2 of it.

    My sides: a baked potato, cole slaw and carrots. the potato was good, but I felt it could have been baked a bit longer, I didn't try the slaw (it automatically came with the dish) as I'm not a big slaw person and the carrots were nice and soft, just the way I like 'em.

    WJ had the Yankee Pot Roast with mashed potatoes and butternut squash. This looked incredible and I sampled a portion of the pot roast it just about melted in my mouth. I think I know what I'm getting on my next visit!
    Beth had the Roast Loin of Pork with dressing and applesauce. I tried some of the pork with the dressing and it was juicy with lots of good pork flavor and the dressing was pretty good too. I need to take notes more often when I eat.
    Beth's sides: mashed potatoes and cabbage and the applesauce.
    This INDIAN PUDDING was a big part of my reason for coming here. When Beth found out that I had never tried it...well, there was no question where we were going to be eating! She was pretty excited to see my reaction to it firsthand and to tell the truth, I was a bit nervous what with the build-up. What if I didn't like it? Not to worry, dear friends, it was everything I had hoped it would be. My initial reaction was "Wow, there is a LOT of molasses in this!" WJ and I split an order and when I scooped some, I could see the steam rising from it. If you are a big fan of cornmeal mush, soft polenta, grits or cream of wheat (as I am), then this dish is for you! I think I would still love it without the ice cream, but that definitely adds another dimension to it that just knocks it over the Green Monster! Hot and cold, smooth and grainy just seem natural together. WJ passed the bowl to me with quite a bit left in it and not wanting to waste any, I went to town on it. Far from the "prettiest" belle at the ball, Indian Pudding has got a heckuva personality!
    A group shot. wanderingjew, Billyboy, bethgrd and Steve. That wide-eyed look on wanderingjew's face came moments before he fainted from the shock of witnessing me actually eating "regionally correct" Roadfood (and in his presence, no less!).
    A shot of the kitchen. There was definitely a feel of the noisy, controlled chaos going on here and I really liked it. Our waitress was really nice and I really didn't get the brusque, elbow-to-elbow experience I had heard about. No matter though, as I really love how this place feels and the quality of the classic food they've been serving for decades.
    After dinner, we did a bit of window shopping at Quincy Market and I just couldn't resist a shot of these t-shirts. I know WJ absolutely loved it! While I would never buy or even wear one of these, I can certainly appreciate them, what with the Sox being on the receiving end of Yankees taunts for years!




    The perfect end to this evening was to be able to see my good buddy, Benji, again and give him lots of scratches and belly rubs. I stopped petting him for a moment and he reached out his paw and tapped me on the arm to say "I'm not done yet!" He looks good with his new haircut! Beth and Steve, thanks so much for hosting me again, I really do appreciate it! WJ, as always, it was great to share a meal with you!



    The pics and narrative from the Western MA portion will be coming up soon after this commercial break and a word from our sponsor!
     



    The 411
     

    1.) Mr. Bartley's
    1246 Massachusetts Avenue
    Cambridge, MA 02138
    Ph # 617-354-6559
    Website: http://www.bartleysburgers.com/
          Menupages listing:   http://boston.menupages.com/restaurants/mr-bartleys-burger-cottage-/


    2.)  R.F. O'Sullivan and Son
          282 Beacon Street
          Somerville, MA 02431
          Ph # 617-492-7773
          Website:   http://rf-osullivan.com/


    3.)  L.A. Burdick (Harvard Square Cafe)
          52-D Brattle Street
          Cambridge, MA 02138
          Ph # 617-491-4340
          Website:   http://www.burdickchocolate.com/stores-and-cafes-cambridge.asp
          Menupages listing:   http://boston.menupages.com/restaurants/la-burdick/


    4.)  Herrell's
          15 Dunster Street
          Cambridge, MA 02138
          Ph # 617-497-2179
          Website:   http://www.herrells.com/design/index.php?lv=1
          Menupages listing:   http://boston.menupages.com/restaurants/herrells/


    5.)  The Boston Chipyard
          257 Faneuil Hall Marketplace
          Boston, MA 02109
          Ph # 617-742-9537
          Website:   https://www.chipyard.com/
          Menupages listing:   http://boston.menupages.com/restaurants/boston-chipyard/


    6.)  Durgin Park
          340 Faneuil Hall Marketplace
          Boston, MA 02109
          Ph # 617-227-2038
          Website:   http://www.durgin-park.com/web/Home/tabid/36/Default.aspx
          Roadfood review:   http://www.roadfood.com/Restaurant/Reviews/320/durgin-park
          Menupages listing:   http://boston.menupages.com/restaurants/durgin-park/


          




     


    post edited by billyboy - 2009/05/25 04:38:08
    #14
    agnesrob
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    Re:Western MA Meet-N-Greet & Roadfooding in Greater Boston(with pics!) UPDATED 5/25/09 2009/05/25 07:37:29 (permalink)
    Billyboy, great report! I really enjoyed the great food pictures. I usually make Indian Pudding in the winter but mmmm... maybe today
    post edited by agnesrob - 2009/05/25 07:39:17
    #15
    i95
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    Re:Western MA Meet-N-Greet & Roadfooding in Greater Boston(with pics!) UPDATED 5/25/09 2009/05/25 09:05:04 (permalink)
    billyboy

    The guys were kind enough the let me snap a picture of them. I believe they both had a Demi which is about the size of an espresso.
     

     
    stop the freakin' bus !!
     
    Stephen Rushmore is a guy ??!!! " />
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     



    #16
    Nancypalooza
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    Re:Western MA Meet-N-Greet & Roadfooding in Greater Boston(with pics!) UPDATED 5/25/09 2009/05/25 09:27:29 (permalink)
    Billy I'm curious--did Stephen want his burger more done or less than yours?  Yours looks perfect.  And I'd have fainted dead away in the cookie store.

    What I like about that picture is Billyboy himself taking the picture in the middle of it.
    #17
    ellen4641
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    Re:Western MA Meet-N-Greet & Roadfooding in Greater Boston(with pics!) UPDATED 5/25/09 2009/05/25 17:25:37 (permalink)
    I LOVE your Trip Report, Billyboy!!!!!
    Since you did NOT have a BURGER at MR. BARTLEY'S, hope you don't mind if I supplement your report a little...!
    I love the old signage of this HONG KONG joint next door.. ("signman", where are you?)

     your burger adventure bash was on Saturday night, the night BEFORE Northampton.
    while mine was on Monday, the day after "Northampton meat and greet"...

    Too bad my plane into Boston got in too late on Sat. to meat up with you at burger joints, and Durgin Park.  But I am thrilled to see your shot of the INDIAN CORN PUDDING, as I was real anxious to see what I missed.  (as I've never had it before, much less even heard of it)
     
    Mr. BARTLEY'S "deluxe burger"....$10.29 ...I took mine out, due to a full house inside at 1 pm

    I was real SKEPTICAL, after reading reviews that it was way OVERATED... ..however, I found myself enjoying  the crunchy taste of the burger way more than I expected. I also liked the way it all blended together with the nice, buttered bun, etc..   
    Let's just say I enjoyed it the best I COULD, as I only had about 3 or 4 bites, due to excruciating toothache...
    (that stayed with me all weekend, till my root canal when I got home!!!)
    HOWEVER, all I had read was true , about there being NO BATHROOMS! (DISGRACEFUL!)
    I asked the nice lady where the nearest bathroom was, and she pointed me to the Dunkin Donuts around the corner. 
     
    The BARTLEY burgers have CATCHY names (I had the deluxe)

    Hey, BILLYBOY, I you did'nt mention CHRISTOPHER'S on this report, but I am pretty sure you went there, too..
    (for those of you not in the know, it was rated "Best Burger in MA" by the Food Network magazine)
    CHRISTOPHER'S , Cambridge, MA, across street from Porter Square shopping center...

    The Food Network magazine "50 states, 50 burgers" article had the burger on the English Muffin...
    I opted for the FRENCH ROLL.... it was way too much roll for the burger.... and the roll had that "day old" taste..
    not stale, just a day or 2 old.. 
     
    While this was a fine "neighborhood joint" kind of burger, I think that calling it the "BEST burger in MA" is stretching it a bit!  This burger was cooked way more than I wanted it to be...I ordered medium, and it came out a strong medium well....  
    Service was very pleasant at the bar, where I ordered my burger to go.  An attractive big boned young gal with tattoos was very nice to me...  and the Red Sox were on the TV... a real CHEERS kind of place!
     
    Next stop, RF O'SULLIVAN'S, Somerville, MA (adjacent to Cambridge)
    It is located across the street from a big ugly kind of supermarket, Star Market
                                                                                                                                                                               That was a great shot of the RF O'Sullivan's grill, Billyboy.... I took a peek at the grill when I came back 1/2 hour later to pick up my burger.  I saw lots of FLAMES SHOOTING up!
    Here's a clean shot of my burger, unadorned of toppings..  good  meat shot...
    RF O'SULLIVAN'S 
    I enjoyed the burger a lot....although I would'nt suggest it as a "must do" for anyone on a Boston trip...
    I would say it's nice to fit this burger in with a few other nearby stops ....
    I had wanted to get to FLAT PATTIES in Cambridge, but there was an unusual  gun shooting at Harvard in the late afternoon, and I did'nt want to get caught up in that aftermath of traffic and police tape , etc...
     
    "A Hamburger Today" blog had rated Flat Patties as the best burger in Boston... (In n Out style burger, good and messy looking)
    They really TORE APART  RF O'Sullivan's..... they dissected that burger inch by inch in that review...
     
    I did NOT find my RF O'SULLIVAN'S burger as intimidating as I thought it would be!!!
    Somehow I managed to get my mouth around it!
     
     
       


     
    post edited by ellen4641 - 2009/05/25 18:09:49
    #18
    ellen4641
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    Re:Western MA Meet-N-Greet & Roadfooding in Greater Boston(with pics!) UPDATED 5/25/09 2009/05/25 18:17:27 (permalink)
    I did NOT find the RF O'SULLIVAN burger to be as INTIMDATING as I thought it would be!
    Somehow I managed to fit my mouth around it!  (even with my horrible toothache)
     Thick, but managable!
     
     After 3 burger joints, I also snuck a stop at SPIKE'S JUNKYARD DOGS in Somerville..
    I finally got to QUINCY MARKET/Fanuiel Hall around 730 pm, Monday 18th...
    I was excited to see all the food stall selections and to see DURGIN PARK !!
    (once I was able to find a parking garage!  Boston's streets can be real confusing , and even my GPS got stumped getting me there!)  FINALLY, after much circling around attempts, my GPS got me there...
     
    I went inside DURGIN PARK to check it out.... hardly anyone was there, as it was 8 pm by now...
    I was trying to peek at someone's PRIME RIB!   Did anyone in your group get the prime rib?!
    Judging from your pics, I don't think so...
    I was wondering if it was worth the $28.95 ...
    ]
    BILLYBOY, I hope you don't mind me adding all these pics!  I tried to post mostly the pics that have a slightly DIFFERENT view/shot than the great ones you have in here already.....
     
    I also LOVED those Choc. Chip cookies from the Boston Chipyard!!
    I loved the selection of food stalls.... much better than what one would see in a typical mall food court..!
     
    I found a great place called "The PRIME SHOPPE" that offered carved turkey with SKIN! The real thing!
    I  bought a leg, for $5.95 .  I   also took out the hot turkey dinner for $8.95.
    I brought it all back to my hotel room, the Courtyard by Marriot, in Saugus/Revere. ($60 plus tax, priceline.com)
    I was about to check in there, and I knew they had a fridge...
    The turkey slices were GREAT, the leg was too dry from sitting around, I guess...
    the skin was great...  but the mashed potatoes and gravy sucked..

    still, it was the real thing, and I love getting that huge piece of skin..
     
    I also took out a roast beef from BILL and BOB'S Roast Beef on Rt. 1 , right near my hotel...
     
    BILLYBOY : glad you posted that pic of your HOT TURKEY from Mr. Bartley's.  I'd been contemplating if I should get it next time I am there, in addition to a burger.
    But after seeing your pics, it's not what I expected.  Cause like you said, they use real THIN slices...
    I prefer the thick turkey slices with a hot turkey platter...
    (I could go for one of those right now!!!)
     
    I'm looking forward to trying JP LICK'S ice cream; glad to hear it's your favorite, BILLYBOY... as I wanted to try it this time, but I just could'nt quite do everything! (but Lord knows, I tried!)
    ****************************************************************************************
    BILLYBOY'S Trip Report, supplementary pics provided by Ellen...
    post edited by ellen4641 - 2009/05/25 18:43:00
    #19
    ann peeples
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    Re:Western MA Meet-N-Greet & Roadfooding in Greater Boston(with pics!) UPDATED 5/25/09 2009/05/25 19:30:54 (permalink)
    Ellen-Mr.Bartleys uses butter on their buns? Well, you are getting close to the butter burgers here in Milwaukee!!( Sollys)
    #20
    wanderingjew
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    Re:Western MA Meet-N-Greet & Roadfooding in Greater Boston(with pics!) UPDATED 5/25/09 2009/05/25 20:01:03 (permalink)
    Billyboy

    I'm so glad you posted those photos. I haven't even finished editing all of my photos yet.

    I didn't know you had beans at Mr. Bartley's too!" /> - I took a look at their website and they have fishcakes on the menu also!  looks like my kinda place!

    I did like the beans at Durgin Park- I like the sweeter- more "molassesey" taste- that's not even a word, is it?

    My mashed potatoes were "very real" and the sweet squash was almost like baby food, definitely not out of frozen food section at the supermarket. I hope to try the scrod, the next time around.

    Overall, it was a fine meal and I had great dining companions.


    #21
    ellen4641
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    Re:Western MA Meet-N-Greet & Roadfooding in Greater Boston(with pics!) UPDATED 5/25/09 2009/05/25 21:23:16 (permalink)
    annpeeples

    Ellen-Mr.Bartleys uses butter on their buns? Well, you are getting close to the butter burgers here in Milwaukee!!( Sollys)

    It was definitely a toasted, juicy bun at Mr. Bartley's...  I believe it was  butter that was blended into that juicy taste, anyway!
    SOLLY'S :  one of these summers, yes!!!  (hopefully more sooner, than later)
    I should do a USA burger driving tour sometime!
     

     
    #22
    billyboy
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    Re:Western MA Meet-N-Greet & Roadfooding in Greater Boston(with pics!) UPDATED 5/25/09 2009/05/26 23:33:54 (permalink)
    Baah Ben-I had planned to hit at least 2 other ice cream places, but I just didn't have the time!

    WJ-When I was in San Francisco/San Jose in 2007, I was floored at the sheer abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables everywhere.  It was like looking at them in black & white here on the East Coast and then seeing them in Technicolor out West!  And the flavors were fantastic.  I've always loved the beans at Bartley's.  They not nearly as sweet as Durgin's, so I'm not sure how you'd feel about them.  Great vibe to the place and really homey New England comfort food.  I'm all over that pot roast the next time!

    agnesrob-thanks so much!  Maybe one day...

    Nancy-Stephen and Chris preferred their burger medium rare, which is just too rare for me.

    Ellen-the Indian Pudding actually is not a "corn" pudding, but rather one made with cornmeal.  I've always thought of corn pudding as a side served at BBQ, meat-and-three and soul food places, whereas the Indian Pudding strictly served as dessert.  I became more and more addicted with each spoonful!  I didn't make it to Christopher's as Stephen and Chris were just leaving the place when I met them and we wound our way to O'Sullivan's.  

    Thanks!  I snagged a couple of shots of the grill using the zoom so as not to be too intrusive.  I can't believe you still ate that burger with a toothache.  That would have put my appetite out for the night.  No prime rib in our group, but we did see one waiting to go out that looked like the Brontosaurus rib in the Flintstones cartoon!  I'm just not a prime rib guy.  

    I had a feeling you might be more into the thick turkey rather than the thin at Bartley's.  J.P. Lick's is really amazing ice cream.  Did you make it to Herrell's in Northampton?  I think Herrell's is in a tie for my heart!  That chocolate pudding ice cream is pure heaven!

    #23
    ellen4641
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    Re:Western MA Meet-N-Greet & Roadfooding in Greater Boston(with pics!) UPDATED 5/25/09 2009/05/27 14:41:38 (permalink)
    Hi Billyboy,
    I LOVED the hot fudge at HERRELL'S !!  So perfectly bittersweet and sticky .............
    and not to mention , HOT....it was our last stop (sans Billyboy)  at that Northampton one.
    I had the van choc chip and choc pudding ice cream flavors...
    the former one not having enough of a vanilla taste for me,
    the latter was "okay", but did'nt really do that much for me...

    (I enjoy that "choc cupcake" flavor that Turkey Hill brand ice cream makes even better..
    it's a partnership they have with Tastycake)

    Turkey Hill is made in PA, and it's real big here in South Jersey supermarkets... I like catching it on sale for $1.99 for the half gallon...    so far I've only seen that cupcake flavor in the small pint sizes, though..

    I can't wait to go back and try JP LICK'S (your personal favorite, so far, right?)
    plus Cristina's Ice Cream...

    Cambridge MA rocks with homemade ice cream joints!
    post edited by ellen4641 - 2009/05/27 16:01:21
    #24
    Ivyhouse
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    Re:Western MA Meet-N-Greet & Roadfooding in Greater Boston(with pics!) UPDATED 5/25/09 2009/05/27 15:41:45 (permalink)
    Great reports, Billyboy and Ellen.

    Billyboy, I have only had Indian Pudding once (the Publick House in Sturbridge, MA, while in Brimfield for the antique show one spring), and I asked for maple syrup instead of vanilla ice cream.  The waitress brought me a very generous individual gravy boat of warm, real maple syrup (and didn't charge extra!).  It was delicious on the pudding.  I thought that was the traditional way to eat Indian Pudding, but it never seems to be offered that way.  Next time, try it with maple syrup.....YUM!

    And, everything you guys chose at Durgin Park looks wonderful -- I wouldn't know what to order!
    #25
    jaylhorner
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    Re:Western MA Meet-N-Greet & Roadfooding in Greater Boston(with pics!) UPDATED 5/25/09 2009/05/27 16:15:55 (permalink)
    Where were all these great places when I lived and went to school in Cambridge?
    #26
    waltpiii
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    Re:Western MA Meet-N-Greet & Roadfooding in Greater Boston(with pics!) UPDATED 5/25/09 2009/05/27 16:52:15 (permalink)
    At RF O'SULLIVAN, the mixed grill of tenderloin tips, sausage and chicken is very tasty.

    Walt
    #27
    billyboy
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    Re:Western MA Meet-N-Greet & Roadfooding in Greater Boston(with pics!) UPDATED 5/25/09 2009/05/28 14:33:57 (permalink)
    Ellen, I mistakenly popped into Herrell's on my way to the bus, just to "look at the menu".  Mind you, I had NO time to buy anything.  What a mistake that was!  Malted vanilla, Malted Chocolate, Chocolate Pudding, Crumb Cake ice creams!  I was dying as I had never seen this many flavors at their two other locations (maybe in Allston/Brighton).  Oh, sweet irony!! I think I like Herrell's, J.P. Licks, Christina's and Tosacnini's all for different reasons, but I think they are all great!  I can't believe I've never seen the Turkey Hill Tastykake ice cream.  Is that pretty much a Philly/N.J. marketed thing?  I'm a Tastykake fan from way back and I'd love to hang a lip on some of that!  $1.99 for half a gallon?  More like $4-$5 in NYC.  Crazy.

    Ivyhouse, that maple syrup idea sounds pretty good.  if you get a chance to try it with vanilla ice cream, please do so.  That contrast of hot and cold is wicked good!
     
    Jay-when did you go to school in Cambridge?
     
    Waltpii-sorry you couldn't make it.  You and your family are a lot of fun and I always enjoy Roadfood that much more when I get to share it with fine Roadfooders like you.  I may have to hit O'Sullivan's again for that mixed grill.  Sounds awesome!  I think steak tips seems to be a real big thing at restaurants in Greater Boston, if I remember correctly.
    #28
    ellen4641
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    Re:Western MA Meet-N-Greet & Roadfooding in Greater Boston(with pics!) UPDATED 5/25/09 2009/05/28 23:43:31 (permalink)
    hi again, Billyboy...
    It's a real good deal when that Turkey Hill is on sale for $1.99.... usually at Pathmark...
    cause just down the road at Genuardi's (Safeway Corp.) the same ice cream was $5.79

    Great follow up on your Trip Report comments, as always, Billyboy!
    I'm going to put my Herrell's pics up probably tomorrow...  (to finish off my Part 2 Western Mass. report)

    I've gotta add that Tosccnini's ice cream place to my "must try" list, as I just read that they offer flavors like "HYDROX COOKIE" !  Sounds intriguing!
    #29
    billyboy
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    Re:Western MA Meet-N-Greet & Roadfooding in Greater Boston(with pics!) UPDATED 5/25/09 2009/05/30 10:22:38 (permalink)

    SUNDAY MAY 17TH- After recuperating from my marathon of eating yesterday, I was ready to face the food ahead of me and eager to meet up with old friends and make new ones.  Bethgrd, Steve and their friend Karilyn were my companions on the way to our first stop, the Williamsburg Snack Bar in Williamsburg, MA.  Upon arriving, I noticed wanderingjew with a number of boxes on one of the cars.  He brought donuts from Allie's Donuts in Rhode Island.  He had been telling me about these for some time and they were amazing!
    I'm not a big cake donut fan, but these were crispy on the outside and light and creamy on the inside. A perfect balance.

    By the time I had gotten this shot, the donuts had already been torn into! Ayersian and I were both really lovin' the jelly donut on the right. A light raised donut dusted with sugar and REAL jelly inside! Thanks so much for bringing these, WJ. You've made a believer out of me.

    The very extensive menu at the Williamsburg Snack Shop.

    The Dinners board.
    A wide shot of the Shop with WJ and Ayersian queueing up to order.
    Specials. I've never had a whole belly clam before and I didn't on this trip either. Between being so excited to see my friends from CT and taking pics of my own food, I totally forgot about the clams. Oh well, maybe next trip.
    This sandal was a nice touch.
    A close-up of some onion rings.
    The Williamsburger.
    Sweet potato fries. These were good. Nice sweet potato flavor and crispness to them.
    Mike's fish fry. Not sure what kind of fish this was, but very good: light and flaky.
    My lobster roll with a 1/2 & 1/2 of o-rings and sweet potato fries. This thing was huge and very tasty. Not the best lobster roll I've hung a lip on, but for $6.95, you can't beat it. And they butter and toast the roll, major points there!
    Ayersian's chili cheese dog. Glad I tried it, but not my preference. I like a chili sauce (beanless) on my dogs.
    Cross section of the Williamsburger. This is a burger topped with an onion ring and with coleslaw and another onion rings in the middle. Great concept, but I thought it suffered from too much coleslaw that overwhelmed the other ingredients.
    The group shot.
    After our first stop. wheregreggeats.com (Gregg) was kind enough to let us take a break for some drinks and a pit stop at his sweet condo. Imagine our surprise when we walked in and saw THIS image on the TV screen. A true sight for Roadfooders eyes indeed!   (NOTE: not really sure what happened here. I selected the shot of Ellen, Gregg and I in his condo in front of the TV with the pastrami sandwich on it, but my photo storage site must have selected something else, sorry)

    Sorry I tried to eat that through your TV, man. I'll get that fixed for ya in a jiffy!



    Our next stop was at BUB'S BAR-B-Q in Sunderland, MA.

    A wide shot of BUB'S.
    This place was chock full of people and character. I love these beer trays all over the walls.
    The tent for outdoor seating.

    I wonder if customers actually use this.
    When pigs fly...
    The smoker.

    This is a pretty neat system. The pig on the line next to the drinks menu is holding a paper clip. They cashier attaches the paper order to the pig and send it down the zip line to the cooks.

    The menu, Part 1
    The menu, Part 2
    Ribs. These were pretty good and fall off the bone tender. I can't remember exactly what the sauce tasted like (must remember to take notes), but I know I really liked it.

    My sides plate. I think a big drawing card for BUB'S is the Hot & Cold Bar that comes with each meal. I only grabbed a portion of it, but on this plate clockwise, from the top: mashed sweet potatoes with orange zest/juice, BBQ baked beans, dirty rice, french fries, peas with pearl onions, potato salad with dill, collard greens and smoked potatoes in the middle. The standouts were the citrusy sweet potatoes, savory and sweet BBQ baked beans, the creamy and justly dill-herbed potato salad, the leafy collards and those home fries-like smoked potatoes.
    Some of us split a kielbasa sandwich which had a nice snap and bold flavor to it.
    A deep fried Twinkie. Glad I tried it, but nit really my thing. I do like the presentation though.
    BBQ chicken, I didn't try any of this. How was it?
    A brisket sandwich. I'm not a huge fan of pre-sauced BBQ, but this this was very tasty.
    Some sweet potato pie. A nice, sweet ending to a good meal.
    Hushpuppies. I liked these. I've never had hushpuppies down south, so I don;t know how these compare.
    Fried gator tail. Honestly, these were inedible. Ayersian and I both tried them and the texture was that of vulcanized rubber. Way to chewy and impossible to eat. Sorry.
    A pulled pork sandwich. Middle of the road for me. I wasn't crazy about it as I found it to be a bit dry and with too much sauce. I liked BUB'S. I wouldn't think of it as "destination barbeque", but if I was in the area, it just might hit the spot.




    As I had to catch a bus back to NYC, I wasn't able to make it to Joe's Pizza or Herrell's. I can't begin to thank Gregg enough for putting this whole thing together and being one of the most gracious hosts and welcoming so many of us into his home! Beth and Steve, thank you again so much for putting me up, carting me (and my luggage around)! Karilyn, hope to see you again on future RF excursions! WJ and ayersian, I was so very happy to be able to have some great insightful conversations with both of you at different points over the weekend. And I'm seriously digging that T-shirt, man! Hopefully I'll pick up one in Buffalo! Tim and Terri, it was a pleasure meeting both of you (fellow actors, no less). Ellen, it's always great fun to meet-up with you! And last, but not least, Dana and Mike, I cannot begin to say how happy I was to see you both that morning. I always welcome and look forward to time spent with both of you!
     

    "Eating is an adventure, enjoy the ride!"- billyboy


    post edited by billyboy - 2009/05/30 10:29:14
    #30
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