Thursday, September 21, 2006

The historic taverns of Boston

Three historic taverns in downtown Boston claims the title "The oldest tavern in the United States." They are alle situated close to the historic landmarks Faneuil Hall and the Old State house.

The Green Dragon Inn (Established 1773)

The history of the Green Dragon Inn dates back to the 2nd half of the 18th Century. The original building that housed the old tavern used to be in the same area, but this is long gone. The tavern itself was situated in the basement of the old building and the rest of the house was used for functions. The Inn was also a central place during the American Revolution and was also a meeting place for the Freemasons in Boston.

However the current Green Dragon Inn is situated at another location. The Green Dragon inn is a charming and informal meetingplace with traditional pub-food.

The Bell in Hand (Established 1795)

The Bell In Hand claims to be the Oldest Inn in the United States. As the Green Dragon Inn it is not located where it used to be in 1795. It has had at least three earlier locations, first on Congress Street, then in Devonshire Street before its current location on Union Street in a house that dates back to 1844. The first owner of the tavern was "Old Jimmy" Wilson, the last town crier of Boston. It is said to have had the best ale in Boston at the time, and today, they still serve Bell in Hand Ale. It serves a traditional Pub Menu

Ye Old Union Oyster House (Established 1826)

Ye Olde Union Oyster House is different from the former as it is located in the same house as it opened in 1826. They serve traditional seafood dishes as oyster stew or , clams, or shrimp to start. Main courses includes broiled or grilled scrod or salmon, or fried seafood or grilled pork loin. They also serves chowder, steamers or mussels, lobster, corn, potatoes, and dessert is an excellent introduction to local favorites.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Culinary memories from Boston - September 7th to September 9th 2006

The Boston area provides the tourists a wonderful variety of seafood restaurants, steakhouses and an international cuisine. One of my favourite places in Boston is John Harvard Brew House in Cambridge. A basement restaurant with a large menu and a microbrewery that change their beer selection often. The lunch menus consists of Tavern Tapas, burgers, sandwiches and wraps, gourmet pizzas and deserts.

For my first lunch in Bean Town I made a brave choice - a BUFFALO CHICKEN WRAP. The battered chicken breast is fried golden and tossed in what the tavern calls "a Buffalo sauce hotter than hell." Wrapped with diced tomatoes, red onion, cheddar cheese, ranch dressing and fresh field greens it was wonderfully succulent. As you understand a great choice and it was made even better with a pint of Barder Pale Ale.

For a food lover with a medium sized european stomach, embarking on a three course american dinner is a rather stupid idea. Having no refridgerator to store the remaing half of the main course and the dessert half of the meal is wasted and leaves the guest stuffed and uncomfortable.

Thursday evening, with this in mind we enterred the charming restaurant Luigi & Roscoe's, corner Gloucester street / Newbury street. We had clear intentions to have a dinner European style, entree, main course and desert. As we explained our quest to the slim and attractive waitress, she smiled and said; "I know what you feel about american portions, I'm from Portugal, and I'll show you the normal sized portions on the menu". We choose the following dishes:

Appetizers to share, served with a pinot grigio:
* Crispy and tender calamari dusted in seasoned flour, flash fried with a spicy tomato jus for dipping.
* Grilled flatbread pizza, topped with chopped tomato, garlic, basil, and fresh mozzarella cheese. This is a perfect appetizer to start a meal

Main course served with a good Chianti:
* Roasted Breast of Chicken, with a rosemary demi-glace over buttermilk mashed potatoes

Desert (or Dolce) to share:
* Tirmamisu

And we made it!!! And what a place to sit and eat in the warm and humid late summer night. The service was exquisite and sitting just by the fence we could enjoy all the life in the busy street. Our guide talked us through a wonderful meal and wines and we paid for us very reasonable price. So Luigis & Roscoe's is definetely the place to return to.

Saturday we went back to the historic Tavern, The Green Dragon for lunch. We could not keep our fingers away from the chicken wings orderring Seans Chicken wings, a sampler of different sauces or marinades - Teryiaki, Buffalo (not so hot), crispy with salt and pepper, and Barbeque sauce. One appetizer was enough for us, bearing in mind the meal the evening before. With one/two pints of Sam Adams, followed by an Oktoberfest I was filled up comfortably before Dim Sum at the China Pearl.

What we discovered was that they stop serving dim sum at 3 PM. So we went to the south shore to eat. More follows on this later.