With sun and temps in the 70s here in the Tampa area today, believe me, I’m glad to be back. BUT I will say… I didn’t go hungry on this trip home to New England for Christmas. If you’re planning a Boston or Maine visit anytime soon, let me show you around my favorite spots.
The trip got off to a great start. After having a small breakfast before the long flight from Tampa to Boston, I was STARVING by the time I got to my hotel.
I tried to visit this place on a previous trip but they don't open on Sundays. Fortunately, I got them JUST before they closed on Saturday. Boston's corner sub shops almost make living in that awful cold worth it.
All of the Yelp reviews talked about how great their steak n' cheese sandwiches were. They were RIGHT. WOW. Maybe it's because I was so hungry, but this is a spot where I'll be going every time I go back to visit from now on.
Within a few hours I was hungry again... big shock right? So I headed to the Italian section of Boston, the North End.
If you're one of my Instagram friends, no doubt you've seen me post dozens of pics from a place called Giacomo's. Their chicken parmesan is a must every trip.
Giacomo's, like many places in northeast cities, does not take credit cards. Nor do they take reservations. I've seen lines an hour long in the near zero temperatures during Boston winters. Right now, since so few are traveling and going out, I got right in.
I'm not as big of a fan of this place as most are. It's a Boston institution. And if your appetite is light, you can just run in and grab a slice to go. But I notice a big taste difference when you go premade slice vs ordering a full pie.
If you visit Boston, you'll see people carrying around white boxes from Mike's Pastry. It's a must - from cannoli to cupcakes.
Your credit card doesn't get much love in the North End.
I suggest the "lobster tail." No there's no lobster in it. It's just a big creme filled pastry. So good.
It's the age old debate. Bostonians will fight it out forever as to which is best - Mike's or Modern Pastry. The correct answer is to visit both.
Normally this would be my go to.
But then again, I'm in Boston. Probably should go with Boston Cream?
Decided on chocolate truffles. Not cheap. These 3 came out to just under $10. Yeesh.
The other two being lobster and Dunkin' coffee.
Galleria Umberto is a local favorite. I'm surprised it took me so many years of North End walks to finally try it.
Two slices and a soda came out to about $8. Not bad. But this is another place where I think the hype is a bit much.
Don't mind if I do. Carlo's is a spot near Boston University on the city's west side that I used to visit when I lived in Brighton, MA.
It's often a highlight of the meal and most Italian restaurants in Boston serve it super fresh and warm.
Good, but honestly not great. I'd stick with Giacomo's.
The Kowloon is a Boston landmark. It's north of the city so you'll need to grab an Uber.
We have so few great Chinese food spots in the Tampa area so I make sure to fill up when I go north. The Kowloon is legendary, but honestly there are lots of better choices. The chicken is great. The crab rangoon and teriyaki sticks were just ok.
New England has tons of great places for Chinese food. I found a place called Evergreen while I was up in Maine. It was AWESOME! Best crab rangoon I think I've ever had.
This place is open 24 hours if you have a cannoli craving at 3AM. (And yes, I have visited at 3AM after a night out at the bars.)
C is for Cookie. And quite honestly, that's good enough for me.
1 of each?
Oh Boston, you're killin' me.
... and more.
This place gets incredible reviews on Yelp but I'd never hunted it down. It's in a residential neighborhood off the beaten path. As soon as I spotted a Rhode Island favorite (Coffee Milk) I knew it'd be good.
This is the "Crack Patty Melt." A beef patty, 2x bacon, american, cheddar and gruyere and sauteed cajun onions on buttered sourdough. Solid choice.
This was a bummer. I've never been to the Boston location, but I've eaten at the Max Brenner restaurant in New York City. It's phenomenal.
Look at this menu!
But like many great spots in Boston, they were closed due to the pandemic.
Yup, even the fish are on vacation. On my last few hours of the trip, I had some time to kill. I hadn't visited the New England Aquarium since I was on a field trip in junior high school. Next visit maybe.
I thought maybe I'd eat some. Legal Seafood is a touristy place, but it's legit. But with temps in the 20s and wind chills making it feel like it was below zero, I was looking for Lobster Bisque and they weren't serving it. I was shocked. They always have lobster bisque.
Fortunately I got my lobster roll checked off while I was in Maine.
Nobody was serving it. I was shocked. So I figured... one last trip to Giacomo's couldn't hurt.
Their Caesar Salad is cheap ... $6!
Since I'd had chicken parmesan so many times already on this trip, for the first time ever, I tried something new at Giacomo's. And MAN did I NOT regret it! In fact, I might even have a new favorite meal in Boston.
NOT Giacomo's. Wow. Lots of lobster. Even little chunks in each pillow.
WOW WOW WOW... as you can see I didn't leave much sauce behind.
After my Giacomo's meal, I always head to Mike's for dessert. It was closed. I'm going to have to investigate why. It better not be permanent.