Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Boston: Oysters, Lattes, and Cannolis in North End

April was a pretty crazy month since right after I got back from Philly, I took a red eye flight the next night from LAX to Boston.  Needless to say, 4 transcontinental flight, with two of them being red eye, took its toll.  Might even be worse than the time I flew to NYC right after I got back from Taiwan.

Tired from red eye
Me completely dead at 7am at the Boston Logan Airport haha (from Diana's Instagram @deltalove).  

To be honest, we didn't do much sightseeing since both Jadson and Diana weren't too into US History (sad face), so I focused all my energy into finding something to eat.  That's something I'm good at anyways.  In fact, I started off the first day in Boston with two breakfasts :P  

potbelly at airport
Saw a Potbelly Sandwich Shop located inside Boston Logan!  Decided to try it since there's none in LA.

egg & bacon on wheat with hot peppers
Decided to get a Bacon, Egg, and Cheddar Breakfast Sandwich.  Got it with some hot peppers!

good breakfast
DEFINITELY get it with the hot peppers.  Bomb.

boston chinatown gate
After we got off the Silver Line that took us from the airport to the city, we had to walk through Chinatown.  As always, there's a gate.  Much cleaner than Philly's Chinatown, that's for sure.

101 bakery
While walking through Chinatown, I noticed this bakery, 101 Bakery, sells milk tea!  Yelped a bit and found out that it is a Taiwanese bakery so decided to get a morning drink.

Came out with a milk green tea and a bun.  Milk tea... was actually not bad at all.  Way better than the TapEx or the JJ Bakery near where I live.

chocolate bun
Chocolate bun.  A little dry, but very soft!  I'd probably come here a lot if I lived in Boston haha.

After checking in and freshening up at the hotel, we decided to head to the North End, Boston's famous Italian neighborhood.  We didn't really have a place in mind for lunch, but we knew we wanted to munch on some cannolis and Boston's also small enough that we can walk to where we want to go from the North End.

Right when we got off the T, the first place that we see is the historic Union Oyster House, the oldest continually operated restaurant in the US!  We weren't planning to eat here since I heard the wait can be long but when we peeked in around 11am, there were actually 3 spots open at the infamous oyster bar, so we sat ourselves down.

Union Oyster House
41 Union St Boston
MA 02108

union oyster house
Union Oyster House!  Probably the most historical thing we visited that whole weekend.

Established 1826.  Crazy.

national historic landmark
Built in 1717 and designated as a historic landmark. Since Boston's such an old city, a lot of buildings are actually under the National Park Service and you will see park rangers at various spots.

oyster bar
The famous oyster bar! They shuck anywhere from 3,000-5,000 oysters a day.  Dayum.

Part of the menu.

clam chowder
I started off with some clam chowder.

Creamy chowda.

sam adams summer
Jadson's Sam Adams Red Brick Irish Ale.  Of course, in Boston, must get Sam Adams.

seafood platter
Our Seafood Platter, with oysters, cherrystone clams, and cocktail shrimp.  Forgot to ask where the oysters came from, but they do have 3-4 farms they source it from.

cocktail sauce & horseradish
Cocktail sauce and their bombtastic horseradish.

oyster with condiments
I am not a huge oyster fan so this was the only one I ate, with a little Tabasco and horseradish.  

cherrystone clams
However, I do like cherrystone clams, so we ordered half a dozen more!

I just find I enjoy the texture of clams so much more than oysters.

lobster diner
The guys have fun when they work too. This guy took a lobster, made it grab on to a fork and napkin.  This dude's pretty awesome. 

beer elevator
The old school beer elevator.  Since the oyster bar is also where the draft line is at, they transport the beer upstairs dining room this way!

I actually enjoyed my time at Union Oyster House a lot, and I think a big part of it was being able to sit at the oyster bar (seen on TV so many times) and watch the guys just shucking away.  Quality-wise, I'm sure there's better shellfish or food elsewhere, but I can now say that I've dined at the oldest restaurant in the US!

After Union Oyster House, we wanted our dessert, which meant cannoli!  We were debating between Mike's or Modern Pastry, both famous for the cannoli.  Mike's is more well-known but we just didn't want to wait in the long line so we chose Modern Pastry.  Before that, the red eye flight was starting to get to us and we needed a caffeine fix first.

Thinking Cup
236 Hanover St
Between Richmond St & Board Aly
North End
Boston, MA 02113

Hanover Street, North End.

thinking cup
Thinking Cup!  A pretty hipster cafe with two locations in Boston.

Big Thinking Cup sign right when you walk in.

espresso machine
Their grinder & espresso machine.  Espresso here served as ristretto double shot.

Hazelnut latte and regular latte.  Thinking Cup's baristas has also won awards for latte art, and yea, they are pretty damn good :P

single origin
Jadson's single origin pour over.  Forgot where it was from, but very fruity!

As for the cannoli, Modern Pastry Shop may not be as famous as Mike's but it was also featured on Food Network, and the line was pretty long too.  A friend of mine told me that some preferred Mike's because it is bigger, but locals dig Modern Pastry Shop more?  I'm a cannoli noob so I just wanted a good cannoli.

Modern Pastry Shop
257 Hanover St 
Between Richmond St & Board Aly
North End
Boston, MA 02113

modern pastry shop
Modern Pastry, located on Hanover Street.

modern pastry shop
The neon sign would probably look really cool at night when lit.

Line at Modern Pastry Shop.  Very warm in there too.


pizzelli & cannoli
I decided to get a Chocolate-dipped Pizzelli and a Chocolate-dipped Cannoli with Fresh Ricotta.

chocolate dipped pizzelli
I did not know one of the ingredients for Italian pizzelli is anise seeds so I was pretty surprised when I took my first bite.  Chocolate and anise was a little bit weird, sorta like Chinese medicine to me.

crispy cannoli shell
The cannoli, however, definitely lived up to its hype!  The crispy cannoli shell is great and the chocolate only made it better.

chocolate dipped cannoli with ricotta
They fresh make the cannolis to order, so they don't pump it with the filling of your choice until you order it.  Very glad I got it with the fresh ricotta.  I was expecting it to be heavy but it was the opposite!  Very light and delicate.

Jadson ordered the same cannoli, except filled with vanilla custard.  Much much heavier and sweeter than the traditional ricotta.  I didn't like it as much haha.

After cannolis, it was off to the New England Aquarium to see some penguins since we had time to kill before our Boston Red Sox game at Fenway.  Here's a picture of the penguins!  Too bad the penguin exhibit was under construction so you can only view them through a small glass window in their feeding area.

Penguins all day every day.


S.O.F.A.T. Blog said...

Anise seeds are in some biscotti too... totally bizarre! Cherrystone clams are bomb! TT and I shared a dozen each in SF once! -__-