Monday, March 07, 2005


Eat a little, shop a little
Eat a little, shop a little
Eat, eat, eat
Shop a lot
Eat a little more

Shop a little, eat a little
Shop a little, eat a little
Shop, shop, shop
Eat a lot
Shop a little more
- Elder Daughter

Bostonians hate it when people call their town “Beantown,” and I think I know why.

There's a hell of a lot more to eat here than mere beans.

Not that beans are a bad thing. We’ll get to that in a moment.

Dinner Friday night was in Watertown at Molano, a fine Iranian (AKA Persian) restaurant, with She Who Must Be Obeyed, Elder Daughter, her boyfriend Kody, and the estimable Charlie of Where The Hell Was I? No beans. Maybe a random lentil among all the rice and meat.

Saturday, hamburgers and Turkey Chipotle Chili were on the menu when we took lunch at Miracle of Science, a fine little restaurant and drinky-spot hard by the MIT campus. Elder Daughter knows the place well - she’s a former employee - and I can tell you that they make an excellent “Dark and Stormy.” That’s ginger beer with a huge Myer’s Jamaican Rum depth charge. Yummers. Beans enter the picture here as a component of the chili SWMBO ordered.

That evening, we shifted gears and enjoyed a serious Brazilian dinner at Muqueca in Cambridge’s Inman Square. This is where beans enter Heavy Rotation, with Kody and me ordering up the feijoada. Feijoada is the national dish of Brazil, a hearty black bean-based meat stew, served over rice and alongside shredded kale and fried plantains. We washed down our dinner with fruit juices and guarana, the favorite soft drink of Brazil, a sort of Bizarro-world version of cola with a subtle bubble-gum pong. This meal was a major dose of beany, meaty goodness, very like a Brazilian cholent complete with all of the concomitant side effects. After this, it was quietly decided that the remainder of our visit would be bean-free. ’Nuff said.

Sunday. What’s the best Sunday morning meal, aside from bagels and lox? Why, it’s dim sum, for which we journeyed over to Ocean Pearl in Boston's Chinatown. Holy Crap - three hours of leisurely tea-drinking and face-stuffing, the likes of which I haven’t had since my last trip to Hong Kong 14 years ago.

All that food...but an hour later a few hours later, we were hungry again (!) so we headed off to the North Side for espresso and pastry at Caffé Vittoria. SWMBO is an ardent admirer of their espresso martini (the "North Side Express"), and their sfogliatelle are to die for. Myself, I made sure to have a shot of Averno to keep the ol’ kishkes functioning under the unaccustomed load. We managed to kill three hours at CV, which meant...

Another meal. We stayed in the North End and ate at a hole-in-the-wall eatery (La Famiglia Giorgio’s) that offered gargantuan potions of pasta, served up by a waitress who was alternately surly and grandmotherly - a kind of Italian version of the waiters at the old Ratner’s dairy restaurant in New York. The walk back to the Boston Common helped keep us from collapsing under our own weight.

The day’s activities were capped off by a hip-hop show back in Cambridge at the All-Asia Cafe, featuring a group called losstunnown and some amazing breakdancing.

The prologue to this post mentioned shopping, didn’t it? More about that later.

Tomorrow? Burdick’s. Gotta go to L.A. Burdick, the Cathedral o’ Chocolate.

And so, to bed. Urp.

[Updated 3/8/05 to show more restaurant names, per Karen’s request.]

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