Well, I definitely got my "real" summer weather last week! Arguably too much of it, in fact. The third week of July is always a hot one in Boston, something I either never noticed about the place or conveniently forgot, much like the rush hour traffic on the Mass Pike or the fact that mosquitoes will alway come to a sweating human. I'm being dramatic, maybe, but I'm a delicate little San Francisco flower now and I do not do well outside of my temperate bubble.
I'm not being dramatic about the mosquitoes though! I had a horrible, sci-fi level encounter with a swarm on my first early morning run and I don't want to talk about it but you should know I have about 20 bites that are still lingering because not only do mosquitoes adore me, but I am slightly allergic to their bites to the point that they can take months to heal, and now I've talked about it and therefore relived it and I have to go freak out now.
Ok. I needed a minute there.
I did survive, and apart from constantly "glowing" from the heat, I had a fantastic time, hanging with family and meeting new coworkers and generally being a Bostonian again for a week (or technically, a Needhamian?). After the "incident", I attempted all other early morning exercise from the safety of the hotel gym, but not nearly enough to counteract all the eating I attempted as well, which was, as always when I travel, bordering on an uncomfortable amount.
There was Bagelsaurus Saturday morning, two hours after I stepped off the plane, where I ordered both a smoked salmon sandwich and another buttered bagel, because they are hands down my very favorite bagels ever (sorry, NYC) and I have no restraint when I know it will be at least a year until I get more. Then there was a post-dog park Dunkin Donuts run for some iced tea and munchkins. Then the pre-Ghostbusters soul food snack feast at Southern Kin in Assembly Row with my mom and Claire, including an actual vat of bourbon spiked sweet tea. We met up with my brother in law for dinner in Harvard Square after the movie, but I had no business eating more at that point and so I only vaguely remember shoveling some salad in my mouth in a valiant effort to pump something green into my system.
As if I hadn't yet consumed enough carbs, I begged Claire to drive us to Somerville on Sunday to visit Union Square Donuts. We ordered too many but devoured them anyway, then chased them with a few Troegs IPA's my mom drove north from PA, enough that her inaugural Hamilton listen turned into a loud sing along and featured some truly horrific attempts at rapping "Guns and Ships".
Aaaaand all of the above explains how I found myself running in the woods at 6am on Monday morning.
The rest of the week was slightly less gluttonous, but only slightly, because on Monday there was a hot, sticky return to Somerville for weather-inappropriate Central European fare at Bronwyn, a beautiful, humidity-free walk to Tuesday night trivia and overeating of bar food at Article 24 in Brighton (and a 2nd place finish for Hillary Needs Dragons!), and Tasty Burgers at the Sox game on Wednesday. The end of the week brought two visits to Fort Point, with Thursday's beautiful yet casual French dinner at Bastille Kitchen followed by another sticky walk to too much cannoli in the North End, and a pre-airport meetup on Friday with Claire at Drink, where I ate way too many of their salty snacks, especially considering my lunch foray to Five Guys (does everybody else know you have to ask for only one burger patty there? Consider this a PSA).
So, yeah, typical trip for me! Too much food, lots of fun, and I already have a "to eat" list brimming with options for the next visit.
Bagelsaurus: If you love bagels, and you find yourself in Boston, don't walk, run here. There will be a line, and too many options to choose from, but there are no bad choices and only good bagels. My personal favorites are a sea salt bagel with honey rosemary cream cheese, pretzel bagel with mustard butter, or if you are hungry enough, pumpernickel bagel with their hot smoked salmon and scallion cream cheese plus any combo of toppings. Plus, they have a sandwich that pays homage to both the King and the king of dinosaurs, which makes me giggle every time at the cleverness.
Southern Kin: The buttermilk biscuits were large and tasty, if a tad underdone, but they serve 2 kinds of boozy sweet tea by the vat, smoky, perfectly cooked collard greens, pimento cheese fritters, and so many southern staples you might forget you aren't actually below the Mason Dixon line.
Union Square Donuts: When we walked in here, the display of donuts was a little anemic given we came only a couple hours before they closed for the day, yet still Claire looked at the options and decided she suddenly was in the mood for donuts after all. After bringing home the toasted coconut, bourbon salted caramel, chocolate, sugar, and strawberry varieties, she proclaimed them the best donuts she'd ever had. I don't disagree, and this place is going on my regular Boston rotation.
Bronwyn: This place is a mix of German and Central Euro cuisine, all delicious if not exactly what you want for dinner when it's 90 degrees outside. I had the pierogi, which were both gigantic and also somehow apparently the "lightest thing on the menu", according to our server.
Article 24: A bar and comfort food restaurant that quite literally stands alone as an oasis in the food desert that is Brighton. They have tasty wings, good cocktails, and an IPA on the menu that won't leave you wrecked the next day.
Tasty Burger: A perfectly named burger spot that I've been to before in the Fenway neighborhood, and I was delighted on this trip to discover they exist in the ball park as well! It's an unpretentious burger that goes really well with a Red Sox win, giving you enough fuel to last through an over-long game long enough to belt out "Sweet Caroline" during the 8th inning.
Bastille Kitchen: A casual French restaurant in Fort Point that you can go to in sneakers (I did, anyway), with a killer, bacon-wrapped rabbit dish on the menu and enough steak options for your beef-loving coworkers.
Mike's Pastry: Touristy? Oh yeah. But you have to go brave the line at least once, and the cannoli really is that good. Be patient, and don't hesitate when you order, or you might find the lady behind the counter moves on the the next person behind you in the scrum. When in doubt, you can't go wrong with plain or chocolate chip.
Drink: The food was definitely on the salty side, but the fries were amazing and the cocktails made to order (there's no menu). As a bonus, you get to watch your bartender carve a block of ice with what looks like a medieval torture device!