craft beer

Good Eats: Boston

About a month ago I was in Boston attending the American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting, which was hosted at the Hynes Convention Center in the Back Bay.  So during my stay for the week, I checked out a handful of restaurants and pubs in the area.  Some were places listed in guide books (thanks Lonely Planet’s Pocket Boston guidebook) and some were just places I found or friends heard about.

Following a game at Fenway Park (read about it here), my friends and I wanted a beer and some food.  So we ended up at…

Bukowski Tavern (50 Dalton St., Boston, MA 02115)
As cliché as it sounds, a friend of a friend suggested we stop in there.  It was roughly on the route from Fenway back to our hotels, so we (my friends and fellow geographers Dawn and Jonathan) decided to make the stop.

FYI: Bukowski Tavern only accepts cash, so be prepared.  However, if you’re not prepared there is a convenient ATM located inside the front door.  The pub hails its self as home of the “Dead Writers Society” with a neon sign displayed in the window.  There is a long bar on the left and tables on the right side with a smaller space by the kitchen.

I ordered a burger and a beer, specifically Berkshire Brewing’s Dean’s Beans Coffeehouse Porter that was served on nitro.  Maybe it was because we were all hungry or thirsty for a beer, but it was a great meal.  It was so good that a few nights later, Jonathan and I returned and had another beer.  However, I opted for a different brew choice, and ordered the Long Trail Brewing’s Cranberry Gose.  It was good, but could have been more tart.

Sadly, I don’t have any photos of the food because it was a darker tavern, but it’s worth the visit if you’re looking for a burger and beer place in the Back Bay.  Perhaps the coolest part about visiting Bukowski Tavern was finding it listed in the Lonely Planet Pocket Boston guidebook after I’d already eaten and had drinks there twice.

Saus Boston (33 Union St., Boston, MA 02108)
When you have a friend who really enjoys poutine, you end up eating French fries with cheese curds and gravy.  I’m not sure why Jonathan has a hankering for poutine, but he does.  Granted, I can’t complain because I do love the ingredients separately and I’m almost always up for trying something new and different.

So after visiting the JFK Presidential Library, we stopped at Saus Boston near the Boston Public Market.  I opted for the regular poutine, but felt like it needed a bit extra and added a fried egg on top.  I struggled a bit to find a beer they offered, and eventually settled on ordering a tall boy of Jack’s Abby House Lager.

I was extremely pleased with my pairing.  The House Lager is a Helles-style beer, so it’s light and refreshing and not overly hoppy.  So I got to enjoy and savor the gravy and cheese curds of the poutine while having a beer.  I’d definitely go there again, and maybe try a few different toppings on the poutine besides the fried egg.

Atlantic Fish Company (761 Boylston St., Boston, MA 02116)
On my last night in town, I finally sought out some seafood.  I asked for recommendations from the concierge, and was told about a place right next to Bukowski Tavern.  When I checked out the menu online, I was less than thrilled.  So consulting my LP Pocket Boston guide again, I found a place that I had walked past a few times over the past week and decided to go to Atlantic Fish Company.

The patio seating and much of the restaurant was packed when I arrived about eight o’clock.  As I was dining alone, I opted for a seat at the bar.  Dining at the bar is usually my preference when dining alone because I don’t stand out at a table by myself and usually bartenders can be a bit more attentive to solo diners.

I enjoy a variety of seafood items, so I often order a sampler plate that allows me to try different items instead of just ordering a fish.  I opted for the Captain’s Platter, but didn’t want everything fried and ordered the shrimp and scallops to be blackened instead.

Captain’s Platter with corn pudding.

The meal was delicious, so I was glad I listened to the LP guidebook and chose Atlantic Fish Co.

Legal Test Kitchen Logan Airport (Terminal A)
After much wrangling regarding my flights and concerns about getting home because of travel issues related to Delta flight delays and cancellations from the week prior due to tornadoes near the Atlanta airport, I ended up at Logan International Airport around 11:30 a.m.  I knew I wouldn’t have much time between flights in Atlanta, and decided to get something to eat before boarding.

The previous night I marked seafood off my list of “must-eat” foods, but still hadn’t had New England clam chowder while in Boston.  Thankfully the Legal Seafoods Test Kitchen was extremely close to my gate at Terminal A, so I sat down to get a cup of soup and a pint of beer.

The soup was delicious, which I expected because of Legal Seafoods’s reputation.  It was be easy to dismiss eating at what has become a large chain in the region that now has locations even in Atlanta, but they’ve grown so large because of their excellence.  Make no mistake about it, if you want a good cup of soup while in town you definitely need to try the New England clam chowder at Legal.  It really was a great meal to close my stay in Boston, and left an excellent taste in my mouth to return and try more of Boston’s good eats.


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