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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Boston Vegan Tour

Well, this is a sort of pathetic tour of Boston as food but it is what it is. The daughter of a family friend from Baaaaath, England has been staying with my parents during an internship the past 4+ months and as her internship has just ended, she's been wanting to see more of the Eastern seaboard states. Her parents actually met in Boston while working at MIT and I have some family and friends up there so we went together for a short weekend trip. It's good to escape New York sometimes. A lot of times.
We took the Bolt Bus out from near Penn Station.


I got a coffee while we waited.


Ate a Carrot Cake Gnu bar on the bus and read Zadie Smith's new book, NW. I LOVE Zadie Smith and this book is great so far.


We arrived and walked the wrong way down Mass Ave into Roxbury instead of Cambridge, trying to find a recommended restaurant (BIG DIFFERENCE for those of you who know Massachusetts. We decided it was the wrong way when we hit Boston Medical Center, which houses a drug rehab center...). We were getting really hungry so I snacked on some raw nuts I had brought for emergencies like GETTING LOST IN ROXBURY.
Along the way back towards Cambridge we stopped at a couple used record stores (couldn't help it), the MIT campus and its school museum, and found the intended restaurant, Plough and Stars. It was apparently still too early for food (kind of okay by me - bar food is not usually the most vegan), but we got a beer (I got a Harpoon IPA - when in Mass, you know) and listened to some live Irish music, warming up and recouping for the continued search for food.


We continued up Mass Ave towards Hahhvahhd Square and finally headed into the Grafton Street Pub and Grill. We split a pitcher of sangria made with red wine, apple brandy, pomegranate juice, apples and pears with vanilla and cinnamon. It was incredible. I really ought to drink sangria more often. Or, these days, mulled wine. Oh boy.


I ordered the hummus platter, which came with warm pita, roasted red pepper strips, a generous dollop of creamy hummus, and arugula with spiced olives.


Really good, but kind of the only vegan item on the menu. I almost got the roasted beet salad without cheese but salads always disappoint me with their size for their price unless it's at a veg-friendly place.
Three of these as dessert.


The next day, I had some coffee and bread at our (very kind!) host's house and we headed out to the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum with my aunt. It's an incredible house and an incredible collection. A Rembrandt and some Singer Sargent paintings always stick with me. A new wing was added just this year with a restaurant, and we ate lunch there. It was not very vegan friendly and, as may be expected from a museum, expensive. I had a mixed greens salad with heirloom baby carrots and shaved fennel. It was good and pretty but ya know. No picture though since I had checked my bag with the camera in it.
Then we walked over to the MFA, just across the street. (By the way, I've also eaten at the
MFA and they are a little less snooty about their food. I think I had a pretty nice cup of gazpacho last time.)

                                          (Part of) Day and Night, Antonio Lopez Garcia

Anyway, we spent the rest of the day walking around. Some random shots:


Yeahhh that's basically it. It was a short trip, and not incredibly well planned because I'd been so busy this week. The whole rest of the day I ate some sweet potato fries and more beers. Boston, I love ya, but it does take more planning to find a decent vegan meal than it would to stumble upon in New York. I'll be back, if only because I still have 5 bucks on my Charlie card.
What are you guys reading? Planning any travels soon? Taking in any cult-cha (as they say in Boston)? Okay! See you tomorrow back home in New York. Cheers for tonight.

20 comments:

  1. I wanna read NW! Glad you're liking it. Outside of school reading, I'm reading JUST KIDS right now, the book Patti Smith wrote about her relationship with Robert Mapplethorp. It's good!

    I'll be traveling back to Cleveland for the holidays. There are some decent specifically vegan restaurants in the Cleve, but we usually end up going to my favorite omni middle eastern restaurant at least twice during all my visits because Mpls is void of a good hummus.

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    1. Read it! It's so great! I love Just Kids too - read that this summer.
      I've only briefly been in Cleveland... looking forward to yr recap??

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  2. Aww I wish I would have known, my friends live up there and could have probably recommended some great veg friendly places. They often tell me I need to come up and experience the best falafel ever, don't know the name of the place though!

    It does seem like a fun trip though! The photos are beautiful, especially that last one! I'm not going to lie, that sangria sounds AMAZING! And you can't go wrong with hummus and sweet potato fries :)

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    1. Oh, it's cool - it was more a trip for my friend than for me. As long as we ate ANYthing I was happy. You should get up there though! It's a great city.

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  3. I love Boston! I haven't been to any of these places, though.

    <3 Melissa
    wildflwrchild.blogspot.com

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  4. Next time you head to Boston check out http://melomeals.blogspot.com/ for some restaurant suggestions. There have to be good vegan places to eat there. Sounds like you enjoyed the trip in spite of the non-food.

    Zadie Smith is a genius — White Teeth is one of my favorite books. Right now I'm reading The Book of Salt, which I found in a "little free library" down the street.

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    1. I will be better prepared next trip to Boston, for sure. Thank you!
      So glad to find another Zadie Smith fan! my manager gave me lip about her when I bought the book - honestly, I bought NW without knowing anything about it but I love her so much I knew it'd be great. And it was. recommended!

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  5. What a great trip! I love Boston for its scenery and architecture, really lovely. The hummus plate looks super delicious, and I agree - mulled wine or sangria should definitely happen in both of our lives! :)

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    1. Sangria duel! First one to make it wins a lot of sangria.

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  6. Yay for random road trips! And thanks for mentioning a book on your blog, I'm the kind of person who usually only picks up fiction books based on recommends so I'll keep Zadie in mind. I think I could get behind sangria if it was made with fresh juices, but otherwise I tend to find it way too sweet. And I like wine, but wine for me is on the border of "almost too sweet", so once you go add stuff to it... but anyway. At least the place had hummus (as opposed to, you know, nothing), and you're right, non-veg places tend to make really sub-par salads (maybe just because they rely on meat and cheese).

    If you're interested in a kick-ass book recommend, Vernon God Little is my all-time favorite. I read it every year or so, ever since I got it probably more than eight years ago.

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    1. I always appreciate book recc's! Thanks, I'll check it out. I'm not really into sweet drinks either...but this was SO GOOD. And if you make yr own you can control the sweetness.

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  7. I've never been to Boston and I don't drink beer, so I'm wondering if- besides the cultcha- I shouldn't bother?

    I just started reading "On Their Own Terms" by Lee Hall and it's terrific, but it's a bad month to start a book- too much going on.

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    1. I'm somehow not surprised you haven't been to Boston, but it really is worth a trip, for the Charles River at least. Duck butts!!!
      Sounds like a pretty intense holiday read. Good for you.

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  8. It's like a tasty drink tour of Boston! I had a weird time finding vegan restaurants in Boston the one time I visited--some were good, some were kinda eh. But I was also completely frozen the whole time in a blizzard so I couldn't really feel much, taste buds included. Looks like a fun, quick trip!

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    1. Yeah, I feel like I've looked up veg restaurants in Boston specifically before and was pretty disappointed. And ditto - last time I was in Boston (3 years ago or so) it was -13 degrees and I wanted to cry. There the South wins.

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  9. I was in Boston as a tween and loved it. Never heard a bad word about the place since then. I enjoyed your tour. You're lucky you're allowed to drink with your parents. They sound all intellectual. Freaky Baby Head.

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    1. Shen, I'm pretty sure you were never a tween. And, though my parents weren't on this trip, I do enjoy drinking with them since my mom is the most hilarious with a couple glasses of wine in her. Do yr parents not drink??

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  10. I love that shot of the Old North Church, and I love the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Boston is fun town...too bad it's not as vegan friendly as NYC, but that's probably a tall order.

    I'll have to check out Zadie Smith...I'm always looking for book recommendations...I just seem to read whatever falls into my hands...sort of random. Right now, I'm reading Nicholas Nickelby by Dickens. (I might have spelled that wrong...dunno right now and I"m too lazy to go look at the book.)

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    1. Thanks, the old North Church is a really cool landmark. I'm sure if I tried harder I could have found some good veg places, but this was more for my friend to see the city.
      I love Dickens! I often want to re-read him around the holidays for some reason. maybe that will be next!

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