Monday, June 6, 2011

My East Coast Tour: First Stop, Boston

I just had the joy of taking 12 days to travel down the East Coast, Boston to NYC to Washington, D.C. When people asked why I was going, I answered, "Because I can." I wanted to visit my friends and bookstores and cupcake shops and food trucks in these cities. So I did and here's what I found.

Pomodoro: [website]
Upon arriving in Boston, my friend Kristin and I (sans her husband Eric who was studying) had dinner before hitting the "Leave It To Bieber" at the Improv Asylum. I chose a pasta dish with Tuscan white beans, arugula, tomatoes, etc. It was delicious and worth the price.

In A Pickle: [website]
I needed a lunch spot on Friday and Eric recommended this local place in Waltham. I made Kristin jealous by going there; she hadn't been there yet (which has since been remedied). Being on a grilled cheese kick lately, I got the Wasabi Grilled Cheese without the bacon. I took it across the street to the common. It was like having a picnic in Stars Hollow (Gilmore Girls, anyone?).

Peace o' Pie: [website]
Kristin had a Groupon for this vegan pizza place but she forgot to use it. It's a good thing that we loved the pizza; she and Eric can go back and have more pizza. We had two pizzas and I think one of them was the White Pizza. (Harveys, do you remember which we had?) Either way, they were delicious!

The Friendly Toast: [website]
This might have been my highlight of this Boston trip. Because the toast is amazing. Seriously, best toast I've ever had. I ordered the Egg-In-A-Hole, eggs in toast. I couldn't eat all the toast, though I really, really wanted to. I would have even wrapped it up and taken it with me. Why didn't I?

This restaurant is fun and kitchsy. And there's a wait on weekends. And the toast is too friendly.

Harvard MIT Coop: [website]
The first bookstore in my bookstore tour. I found my nieces' next book in the Good Night series, Good Night Boston.

Meadhall: [website]
Saint Of Circumstance IPA, enough said. One-of-a-kind brew, never to be duplicated.

Harvard Coop: [website]
Off to Harvard Square we went and to bookstore #2, Harvard Coop. No books purchased but I did find Press Here, a book I purchased later on my trip for my soon-to-be 5-year-old niece.

Pinkberry: [website]
Kristin's inaugural visit, which was hard to comprehend. I had the Original with kiwi and strawberries because sometimes it's hard to pass up what I know. (Though now they have the Salted Caramel flavor, and I might need to try that ASAP.)

Raven Used Book: [website]
One last bookstore for the day, in Cambridge also. It was small but had a good selection. And it was nice to hear the shopkeeper (is that word too dated?) talking books with the folks who came in.

Brookline Booksmith: [website]
We continued the bookstore down in Coolidge Corner. Loved this shop too with good bargain books in the basement. We spent a good deal of time poking around here.

Finale: [website]
Before dinner we stopped for dessert. Mmmmmm. Finale has a good selection of delicious looking pastries. I had the coconut cream tart. It was good but I think Kristin extra chocolatey goodness won the dessert war.

Green Dragon Tavern: [website]
For dinner we trekked downtown to the Green Dragon Tavern. On its sign out front, The Green Dragon says that it's the Headquarters of the Revolution. We ended up doing some Google searches via the smartphones (iPhone & Android) to get more information. We discovered this wasn't the original location of The Green Dragon were the headquarters were located; that pub was demolished. But we could still imagine the revolutionaries meeting in the basement of this tavern that's off the main street.

I had the Martha Washington Burger, substituted with a veggie burger. It was delicious.

Eric, Kristin and I continued our tradition of taking a window seat to watch the people go by. And to play our game of stare-people-down-and-see-if-they-look-back. Always fun. We believe that our presence in the window seat, eating delicious looking food and having a good time laughing, drew the crowd in because when we got there, it was quite empty. But when we left there was quite a crowd.

Also, there was a wooden Minuteman out front. And it was quite funny to watch the people walk by and take pictures of the tavern and take pictures of themselves with the Minuteman. I did too!

Thinking Cup: [website]
A new favorite! This coffee shop is across the street from Boston Common. Good coffee and good atmosphere. My cafe au lait was delicious.

This concluded the Boston portion of my East Coast tour. Monday morning I jumped the train to New York City. Thank you, Amtrak, for a quick (4-hour) and easy ride to Penn Station.

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