Looking back a week to our Boston stay early this vacation, I remember with fondness a pizza lunch we enjoyed after Phillip and Van walked us across town. The forced March would have been too much for Cheyenne so she stayed, disconsolate, in the apartment. I have to keep reminding myself she's 13 years old and she needs her rest.
Pizza for lunch was proposed with great enthusiasm, as though a treat. I was sceptical, in my world pizza is a fall back position. Who doesn't like pizza but it's like having ice cream for lunch to me, a single flavor treat spun into a meal. But hey the walk will burn the calories, right?
Apparently Regina's Pizzeria is a Boston institution in the Italian quarter and it survived the last Depression going on to thrive through this one it seems. The decor is pure Italian American simplicity, thick brown paint, simple furniture, no room to swing a dead cat, no romance except for the all important romance of history and survival. So far so good.
Phillip (with the glasses) is a third generation Italian immigrant and he knows real Italian pizza and he kept going on about this stuff like it really was special it was hot outdoors so air conditioning, buckets of water and pitchers of Peroni light Italian lager at my request started the process of reviving us. I am told the line to get in this place frequently winds around the block; that we had to wait at all seemed odd to me. Standing in line for five minutes for mere pizza was a first!
Regina Pizzeria - Boston's best pizza since 1926 they promote themselves as the Best so they had something to live up to, and I have to say it really was superb.
The crust was thin and firm, toasted by the fire but not burned, crisp and chewy, an apparent impossibility. The vegetables were cut large in proper quantity and not overwhelming the crust with water. Everything was full of flavor, this was no Sysco delivered food service product. I am getting fed up with paying to eat out and finding cheap ingredients from a local warehouse on my plate tarted up with sugar salt and fat. This stuff was good. I wanted more.
This was a lunch that called for something sweet. Ice cream sounded right on a hot Boston day...
...but Phillip the Wop had other and much much better ideas. My hat is off to him because he and Van never led us astray in this delightful city.
Modern Pastry looks like an Italian bakery and it delivers. I grew up in Italy with memories of family gatherings around a lunch table loaded with pretty boxes tied up with ribbon filled with stuff like this.
I was overwhelmed but I ended up getting a lobster tail. Not what you think, this is a hard crust filled with cream, ricotta and semolina. Amazing. Huge. To be shared.
I always go with what I don't know but I scored on this monster. Better than the cannoli, absurdly proportioned it was better than any I cream with lots of left overs to share during a card game that evening.
They also make nougat called torrone and it tasted exactly as I used to have it as a kid. Phillip knows his Italian stuff.
A great day with a great stroll through a great city.
Harvard Square, Cambridge, a disappointment, nothing to write home about.
But we found an interesting lunch...
...when my wife and I were out alone on Hubway bicycles.
North African food of fond memory.
Mint tea. No sugar lump to hold between your teeth, though.
Couscous, vegetables, lamb sausages. Good stuff.
A nice find before the ride back across the Charles River.
Boston seems a very livable town. At least it does in these rarified heights...on vacation!