Sunday, October 24, 2010

New England Vacation 1: We went to Boston.......

Adam and I just got back from a quick, 1 week trip out to the East Coast. We went to Boston and Acadia National Park in Maine. While I maintain that 1 week is WAY too short for vacation, we made good use of our time with the predominant activities being eating, drinking, hiking and biking. The leaves were in peak color which was amazing to see- much more vibrant and beautiful than any leaves I've seen in the Mid-West.

The next few blog posts will be about our trip. I'll try to make them short and full of pictures!

Boston was great! What a beautiful city! Very clean, the old (old, old) buildings were very well maintained, lots of cute restaurants and boutiques. The roads are NUTS! They seem to be all 1 way, very small (the SUV we rented to carry the bikes barely made some of the turns!), and people don't seem to understand the concept of parking right next to the curb making the roads even smaller! But since we were in a rental, I didn't mind the cobblestones, etc- not my shocks! We spent most of our time in the Boston Commons and Cambridge though did check out most of the major neighborhoods by the end of the weekend.

Some of the highlights of Boston:

As soon as we got to town, we headed to lunch at the Neptune Oyster Bar. Adam had done a lot of research on the best places to eat in Boston and his picks were all very good! We tried the following oysters:

Thatch Island (Barnstable, MA)
Katama Bay (M. Vineyard, MA)
Pleasant Bay (Orleans, MA)
Fjords (Auckland, NZ)
Littleneck Clams (Wellfeet, MA)

And some clams for good measure:

Cherrystone Clams (Wellfeet, MA)

The local oysters were good and given how fresh they were compared to the ones from half-way around the world, I thought they'd be the best. But, once again, New Zealand comes up on top! The Fjord oysters were amazing! They tasted like cantaloupe! Definitely not typical oysters- not very salty, not very briny- but excellent plump oyster texture with the fresh, sweet flavor of melon. If you have an oyster bar near you, you must try the Fjords!

After the oyster extravaganza we had, of course, clam chowder. We didn't want to make the mistake of coming all the way to New England without having chowder so we knocked it off the "to-do" list at the first meal. Yum!

A little known fact about Boston is that in addition to being famous for historical sites and happenings, the Boston Marathon and Harvard, Boston is the capital of metal animals. Really! We first realized this during a walk in Boston Commons when we came across a family of metal ducks. So, of course, I had to pose with them:

The next day before dinner at Sorrelina in Back Bay, we came across a metal tortoise and hare! So, again, posing was in order:)

Dinner the first night was at a great little place in Cambridge called Ten Tables. We ordered the Chef's Choice 4 course meal and it was GREAT! And only $65 dollars!

First Course: charcuterie plate w/ wild boar meat
Second Course: Squash pasta w/ brown sugar and other deliciousness. So good- I think this was my favorite course of the entire vacation.
Third Course: Pork loin- very tasty, cooked to perfection, but nothing particularly creative
Fourth Course: Greek yogurt based panna cotta. So good! Perfect taste and texture. This was 1 of 3 panna cotta's we had this week:)

I definitely recommend this place for anyone who lives in Boston. Very good food at very reasonable prices. Good ambiance, very friendly service. And the eclectic, "anything goes" atmosphere of Cambridge pervades the restaurant (people in formal wear next to people in t-shirts next to the stereotypical corduroy professor and our waitress w/ visible tattoos). If I lived in Boston, I would go back again!

Stay tuned for Day 2!!

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