Earlier this summer we got to spend a few days in Boston. It was not nearly long enough (it never is!) but we did pack in a ton of our favorite things, including lots of good food! I probably would have gained 10 pounds here if we hadn’t balanced it out with a bunch of walking.
Our AirBnB host left some oranges so we could make freshly squeezed orange juice. Oh man, this was so good! I don’t think I’ve had fresh orange juice before this trip. I’ll say that while I’m not usually an orange juice drinker, this had me considering getting my own juicer. It took 2 large oranges to fill this glass:
Tatte was on our must-eat list for this trip; I have been dreaming of their Balakani sandwich (literally) since the last time I ate it in 2016. While Tatte has several locations, I’ve only ever been to the one in Brookline. It is such a cute little place! It was hard to appreciate the last time we were there because it was so packed (brunch on a holiday weekend is not a good time if you’re looking for a quiet spot!).
The Balakani did not disappoint this trip either. The eggplant was so perfect – roasted to creamy perfection – and really wonderfully complemented by the salty feta. If you want something salty, this is a satisfyingly salty sandwich.
We were there about an hour before closing but they still had a few grab-and-go style sandwiches. This one that my husband picked up wasn’t on the regular menu – it’s open-faced with prosciutto, arugula, and pear.
Of course we picked out a few pastry items as well:
Honestly, the top 2 pastries with the chocolate crusts are not something I would order again. They are so pretty to look at, and I love the fresh berries, but they are just not as chocolatey as I was hoping for. They were kind of dry too for my taste too. I know that we picked them up at the end of the day, but we usually buy a few items and do not eat them all immediately – if they’re dry after just a few hours, buying for a couple of days isn’t really good idea. The cheesecake cup was better – not dry and no disappointment in the intensity of its flavors. I would get this one again. Fortunately there are a lot of options here, so the next time I am craving a Balakani I can just try a different pastry.
Next up was Eataly in the Prudential Center. We were headed to the Skywalk Observatory and planned to eat breakfast somewhere in the Prudential. Apparently the food court closed since the last time we visited, and I am the only person left from the Northeast who does not like Dunkin’ Donuts coffee, so we gave Eataly a try. This place is HUGE – so huge that you can grab a map on your way in. It was pretty early when we showed up, so most of the stations inside were closed. We still walked around the whole upper level just to see what there was, and I was impressed. I loved The Italian Store in Arlington, but I always thought that it should have been bigger or carried a wider variety of products. Eataly is more what I imagined the Italian Store would be like.
The coffee was solid, albeit small. We also ordered a variety of pastries from the cafe next to the front entrance to share. We chose one with almonds, a cream-filled brioche, a chocolate pastry, and a ricotta and jam turnover. My absolute favorite was the cream-filled brioche, followed by the chocolate pastry. I enjoyed the flavor of the jam in the ricotta and jam turnover, and the pastry had a great crunch, but I wasn’t quite sold on the texture of the ricotta. It was kind of crumbly. Really it was not bad – none of it was – but I don’t know that I would order it again when there is brioche and chocolate pastry to eat.
After breakfast we took the elevator up to the Skywalk. It was such a clear, beautiful day to be up there. You get free admission with a military or dependent ID, although these views are worth buying a ticket to see. My cell phone picture does not do them justice.
After the Skywalk, we walked over to the Public Garden before heading back to the Prudential to pick up our car. It was almost nap time, so we grabbed some quick sandwiches from Eataly to go. By the way, if you do drive in and park at the Prudential, Eataly will validate your parking.
My husband ordered a PLT (prosciutto, lettuce, and tomato) and I got the Cavolino, which had pesto, cheese, and caramelized onions. These are BIG sandwiches, and you could probably split one between two people depending on how hungry you are. I think I ended up saving part of mine to eat later. The Cavolino was very fresh tasting – I think there was some lemon in the pesto – great for an early summer sandwich. It was also very oily. It wasn’t oily in a gross way, but it was messy, so if you choose this sandwich, keep some napkins nearby.
That night we picked up a few slices from Regina Pizzeria and took them to DeFilippo Playground around the corner. There were a couple of picnic tables and a great selection of toys in addition to the playground equipment. I was too hungry to wait to snap a picture, so if you’ve never been, it’s a perfect, delicious, thin crust pizza. I think I could eat it every day and not get sick of it.
My husband walked down the street to Mike’s Pastry to pick up some cannoli. We got one plain ricotta, one strawberry, one Florentine, and one chocolate chip. The strawberry was for our 3-year-old, but I did try some – I can’t say I recommend this one unless you are buying it for someone who cares more about the color than the flavor. The others were all great. I always get the Florentine, which has nuts (I believe they are almonds) and honey in the shell, and chocolate chips on the ends. My husband tried a bite and he found the shell to be a bit *too* crunchy. If that’s something that would bother you, then the chocolate chip might be a better match. I really enjoy the extra flavor the nuts bring to the table though.
On the way back, someone commented that we looked super touristy with our Mike’s box. Maybe it is a tourist staple, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t tasty. We’ve been getting cannoli from Mike’s for years and we love them, which is all that matters.
I was sad to discover that Finale, a fixture of our college days and past trips, closed a couple of years ago. Apparently it was already closed the last time we were in Boston and we didn’t notice it! Whoops! Anyway, we obviously had more than enough food to fill our bellies this time around, and I am sure we will find some new places to visit in the future. In the meantime, I will miss their dessert-centric restaurant in general and their molten chocolate cake in particular.
Until next time, Boston!