Boston is definitely known as a melting pot of a city. But I didn’t know the same could be said for Salem, a town much better known for witches than food.. That was, of course, until I made my way to Village Tavern. I figured it would be like a typical village tavern, but this one had a little something hidden up its sleeve.
Coffee shops have come a long way since the days of Friends and Seattle grunge. Now, they serve different teas, crazy concoctions and a bunch of quickie foods. And that’s just the chains. The indie spots take things a step further, like Brew Box in Salem, Massachusetts. And it’s not just hippy dippy and hipster stuff, they even had food fit for an unvegan like me.
Some time in the ’90s it became cool (kewl?) to replace the letter “S” with the letter “Z.” Finz in Salem, Massachusetts arrived at the tail end (get it?!) of that decade, so they still get a pass. And while the ambiance could not be further from the divey lunch that day, the them was the same – seafood.
Some people really like lobster rolls. I don’t get it. What’s the fun of chowing down on cold, slimy lobster loaded up with mayo? But then there’s lobster grilled cheese. See, that’s the good stuff, doing everything right with the lobsters. So, upon arriving in Salem, Massachusetts, we made our way to a divey spot called Longboards that allegedly knew what to do with lobster.
While in Boston (Brookline to be exact) for a vegetarian wedding or something like that, I found myself at Coolidge Corner Clubhouse in greater need of meat than usual. Fortunately, this sports bar was more than willing to help me with my needs. Having eaten an absurd burger the night before at The Standing Room, my meat needs this time moved more toward the chicken side of the menu.
While there is no shortage of donut shops in LA, in Boston you can’t walk for more than five minutes without seeing a Dunkin’ Donuts. It’s like the city runs on this doughnut franchise. So, before I parted ways with Boston, I made sure to stop at the Dunkin’ Donuts in Boston’s Logan Airport to grab something to eat.
I was expecting to be stuck eating a doughnut for dinner, but instead I found that Dunkin’s had started offering flatbread sandwiches, and for pretty cheap. None of them really had vegetables, but I ordered the Chicken Parmesan flatbread one thinking it was the most dinner-like of all.
On day final of my sojourn into Boston, I lunched at Joe’s American Bar & Grill, a casual restaurant with a nice outdoor seating area. We took a table outside to enjoy one of the last remaining nice days in Boston’s summer season and then got down to menu business.
We arrived around that strange hour where you’re not sure if you want breakfast or lunch, so we were given both the Brunch menu and the lunch menu. After long deliberation between the menus, I settled upon lunch and the Blackened Chicken Sandwich. This sandwich was made with Cajun spices, cheddar and sauteed onions. It also came with all the typical sandwich fixing, like lettuce, tomato and pickles. I ordered mine without any of those, and also no fancy onions.
While in Boston, we were told the sad tale of a place called the Milky Way in Jamaica Plain. Apparently the Milky Way had taken moved into JP in worse times and brought good food, a fun bar and even a bowling alley. The Milky Way paved the way for JP to become a desirable place to live again. Then, an evil landlord decided to raise the rent, essentially pushing the Milky Way out. It didn’t take long for the Milky Way to find a new location, but instant karma hit the landlord, who has since been unable to fill the void left by the Milky Way.
So off we went to try the new place out. The new Milky Way is divided into a restaurant known as Bella Luna and a lounge area called Milky Way. We stuck to Bella Luna, which had a pretty cool and classy astronomical design, for some dinner.
While waiting for a tour of the Sam Adams brewery in the Jamaica Plain are of Boston, we took a short walk to Ula Cafe to grab lunch. Both the brewery and Ula Cafe are located in a strange complex that formerly housed some other, now-defunct brewery.
That brewery’s loss was my gain, for as I perused the menu on the wall of Ula Cafe, I came across a sandwich of dreams. No, this wasn’t some meat-filled cardiac-arresting behemoth, but it seemed to good to be true. The name was Roast Turkey, but that didn’t begin to tell the tale of what would lie beneath the slices of bread. This sandwich was composed of turkey, guacamole, bacon and provolone. Not a vegetable in sight. I had to ask the woman at the counter just to be sure that my eyes didn’t deceive me. She told me it came as noted on the menu, with nary a tomato or lettuce leaf thrown in. I ordered it immediately.
Then came the hard part.
After hearing so much about seafood in Boston, we finally got the chance to test it out with a visit to Legal Sea Foods. We were told it was a “very Boston” thing to do, and that was really all we had to hear.
When we arrived and saw that there are Legal Sea Foods restaurants located all over the East Coast, we a were a little disappointed. I guess it wasn’t simply a Boston thing. Still, I could not penalize the restaurant for someone else leading me on.