Tuesday, May 02, 2006

I Love That Dirty Charles

It's the river I'm talking about, and really, the river I could give or take. But Boston, I would pretty much do anything for a free trip to Beantown.

Ours wasn't free, but my gal-pal D Money and I managed to swing a swanky hotel on the cheap thanks to Priceline. We stayed at the Wyndham Boston off of State Street (I think south of Milk Street). It's a $270 a night hotel that we managed to score for 100 bucks. Talk about swanky. I know this isn't Fodors, but I really could go on and on about the furnishings, drapes and marble in the bathroom.

But I digress.

We we super close to Faneuil Hall (prominent in the American Revolution and modern day political debates/campaign parties) and the adjacent Quincy Market. QM has all kinds of great local kiosks and bars, but most of the surrounding stores have turned into branches of national chains like The Gap, Banana Republic and the like. Should you go, be sure to check out legendary runner Bill Rogers' store, complete with t-shirts for the Boston Marathon.

D-Money and I totally engorged ourselves on seafood. Our first stop took us to the ever popular (and perhaps on the touristy side) but always classic Union Oyster House. Just yards away from Quincy Market, the UOH is the longest continuously running restaurant in the United States. If you like beer and seafood, you've got to stop here. D-Money and I decided to sidle up to the bar and have a half dozen oysters (perfectly tender, not a bit of fishy flavor. Sublime decadence) and a local beer called Koggen. It's on the cloudy amber side kind of reminiscent of Blue Moon. The cool thing about this beer is not the orange they put in it, but what they give you with the orange. The bartender included a little, plastic masher so you could make sure the flavors of the orange really mixed with the beer.

What can I say? We were suckers for the gimmick. In fact, I have it in my purse this very minute in case I have a hankering for a brew with a piece of fruit.

We went on to take the T subway system to Filene's Basement, a legendary spot for any die-hard bargain shopper. We found everything from super discount Kate Spade shoes, all kinds of fancy-pants clothes with labels you'd find at Barney's New York, and ahhh! The perfume counter! Filene's has everything from Gucci Envy to the many flavors of Burberry at bargain basement prices.

The place can be overwhelming for tourists who haven't trained for the marathon of melee shopping. Be prepared, or prepare to be run over!

For dinner, we were in a real bind: do we count ourselves as those in the Legal Seafood camp, or do we side with the No Name Restaurant people? Both are fantastic, well known seafood eateries (with Legal having some 30 branches in the Massachusetts/New England area). We were able to get a reservation in at the Legal Long Wharf location near the Aquarium. Very hip inside and a great bar with lots of beer/alcohol choices so you can sip while you wait for your seat (ps: they make a good dirty martini).

Some host at the restaurant totally bowled me over with a casual "Gosh, you're beautiful" comment as we were walking from the bar to the table. I kind of blushed and said my thank you as I made it to the table. He was from Morocco, and he continued to talk to us through the evening. Morocco Man was kind of forward, and even suggested we catch up at a local bar after dinner, but I wasn't really down with the Hook Up For The Weekend mentality.


We sat down and each had what I think was billed as the Fisherman's Special. Cup of classic clam chowder (not the clear stuff, not the red stuff. The soup with a wonderful cream base). Two sides (I picked snap peas with a light oyster sauce and the most fabulous jalapeno cheddar polenta. A slice as big as birthday cake) and a 1.25 lb lobster. Coffee and a personal Boston Cream Pie for dessert. All for drumroll please $32 bucks a person.

Total bargain. Totally fabulous. Totally recommended by Kate the Great.

Next up in the story: Drinks out on the town. Teasewords still to come: Seven Shots Rang Out and Cold Tea.


The Notorious N.A.T said...

KATE welcome back! Of course you have me totally jonesing for a trip to Beantown and now I might have to fold myself in a ball and hitch a ride with NB-C. God, I love New England...Can't wait to hear more!

NB-C said...

I am SO ready for my trip now...thanks for the beer and food tip in the post! I can't wait to have my own bit of wicked Boston fun!

Kate The Great said...

Nat, thanks for the welcome. Like I said, I've been busy with the new gig at work and my social life has taken a romantic (and much welcome) turn. Never fear, I intend on posting more frequently...

I hope to bang out the rest of my Boston trip tomorrow afternoon.

Kate The Great said...


You are going to LOVE Beantown! I hope you enjoyed my suggestions. Stay tuned for the second installment for some bar ideas, and I have plenty more if you are looking for anything specific (I imagine you have the baseball angle all nailed down on your own!)

Micah said...

Sounds like a fun trip! I'm definitely due back for another Boston trip - haven't been since a mid-90s spring break with the gang (yeah, most students head to where it's sunny and warm; not us).