What to Eat in Boston

Before heading to Boston, I asked a coworker to recommend some restaurants, and he gave me a decent list. Through my own searches, I found even more places to try. Unfortunately, I didn’t even make a dent in that list (just another reason to head back to Boston).

Say Chowda!

All I could think of was The Simpsons. "Say it right, Frenchy, it's chowda!"
All I could think of was The Simpsons. “Say it right, Frenchy, it’s chowda!”

One of the top places I had to stop at was jm Curley, which is just off Boston Common on Temple Place. It’s a trendy bar with a nice beer selection and some interesting items on the menu. I almost ordered the braised rabbit pizza, but I decided to instead try the “McRib” bahn mi. It was a sandwich made with wild boar, ginger bbq sauce, pickled carrots and other veggies, and spicy fish sauce mayo. All those flavors combined into a beautiful harmony (did I mention this is by the Theatre District?).jm curley banh mi

My dessert is served on a what?

Now, I’m not much for dessert, but I couldn’t pass up what was on jm Curley’s menu. How can anyone pass up a foie gras glazed jelly donut? It was covered in basil crystals and filled with strawberry-rhubarb jelly. Unlike other donuts, the dough was not sweet, so you could taste all the flavors. It was better than I expected, but I probably wouldn’t spend $6 on another.

boston donut
My donut was served on a freaking pedestal

Ivy League burgers

After my tour of Harvard, I headed to Mr. Bartley’s, a little no-frills burger joint that’s been around for about 50 years. My friend from the hostel and I were fortunate to get a seat at the long table — as we left we noticed a long line outside. While waiting for our burgers, we were entertained by the odd collection of signs, bumper stickers, and posters covering the walls — there is no theme, just a bit of humor.

I definitely think the Michelle Obama burger was a good choice — cajun spices and blue cheese tempted me into ordering it. It’s definitely in contention for one of the best burgers I’ve had.bartleys burger boston

Hooray for Boston’s Chinatown

On the way back from a long tour around Boston, I noticed some large Chinese characters on the side of a food truck: 羊肉串. I turned my travel companion for the day and said with delight, “Yang rou chuan! We have to go!” And those lamb skewers were as good as I remember from China. All that was missing were some plastic stools and cold Tsingtao (my China expat readers will understand).

My favorite Chinese food on a stick
My favorite Chinese food on a stick

And because I was staying in Chinatown, I had to try a restaurant around the corner from the hostel. It wasn’t Chinese though. I had dinner at Penang, a busy Malaysian restaurant. The extensive menu made it a bit difficult to choose a meal, but I settled on the Malaysian staple of nasi lemak, and I wasn’t disappointed. It was quite a bit of food, but I do regret not ordering more just for the joy of eating Malaysian food.

Penang Boston
Just part of the large, crowded restaurant Penang

I also had a lobster roll while walking the Freedom Trail, but it wasn’t all that impressive. I probably should’ve stopped at one of the recommended seafood restaurants instead.

Nasi Lemak at Penang
Nasi Lemak at Penang

2 thoughts on “What to Eat in Boston”

    1. Not easy to find food like that in China. You need to find ways of modifying recipes and cooking yourself (an oversized toaster oven is a great investment in China).

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