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Reporting back: didn't realise taking a baby would make chowhounding so difficult


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Restaurants & Bars Greater Boston Area

Reporting back: didn't realise taking a baby would make chowhounding so difficult

medgirl | | May 27, 2008 01:00 PM

Hi. I had asked for tips from chowhounds a couple of weeks ago, asking for recommendations on eating out in the Boston/Medford area. Thanks so much for all the replies. It was my first time on holiday with a baby in tow, and I didn't realise what a difference that makes in terms of not being able to draw up a satisfying chowhound itinerary or follow through with plans already made.
This is my first attempt on reporting on food experiences, so sorry if it is too long-winded.
Our first morning there 4 of us went to Soundbites for brunch with baby. We got a table quickly because it was relatively early and a weekday morning I guess. I'm told it is practically impossible on weekends. I had wholewheat pancakes with maple syrup and Canadian bacon. Other 3 diners had brunch platters that had an insane amount of food on them, including eggs and grilled muffins and mashed potatoes(!). We all had fresh orange juice. The pancakes were good, baby enjoyed chewing on pieces, which kept him occupied. I tasted bits from the other platters and everything was tasty. It was the huge portions that perplexed me. I guess that was just a first reaction from a Londoner going to America.
Wednesday night I went to the Boston Symphony with my sister. We grabbed a quick bite at Anna's Taqueria in Davis Square. I wanted to look for Tacos Lupita but it seemed too far from our T stop. Everyone knew how to order there, except me. My sister never orders tacos (she's a burrito girl) so despite her shepherding, I was sort of lost and the man at the counter was getting sort of annoyed. He even tried speaking to me in Spanish (we look Hispanic but are not) but that got me even more confused. I finally managed to secure a roast pork taco. It was quite good. My sister's burrito was very good but too big for me to have one on my own.
We had a funny experience just before the symphony performance. We had about 30 minutes to spare before it started, so we asked the woman at the door if there was someplace we could get a coffee. We thought the symphony hall would have a cafe or something. She sort of looked at us funny, as if we were imposters, so we showed her our tickets. Then she said there was a Dunkin' Donuts down the street. My sister was fuming as she pulled me away from there. She felt the woman was being racist. I felt the woman probably didn't know any other places apart from DD. We did end up having coffee at a non-chain place around the corner (can't remember the name) which had a lot of indie types sipping coffee. The coffee there was very nice.
We ended up having a few breakfast/brunches at the Danish Pastry Shop in Medford near Tufts. I loved the grilled sandwiches and muffins. I had a smoothie there which was a bit too thick for my liking. The coffees were good.
We had lunch at Redbones. It was good, but again, was overwhelmed by huge portions. I had the baby back ribs which I thought were very good. My sister had a jerk beef sandwich which was way too hot. Hushpuppies were underseasoned.
One night my husband and I went to Hungry Mother in Cambridge. Dinner there was the culinary highlight of our trip. Baby slept soundly in his stroller throughout, which was a huge bonus. The low lighting and muted sound levels helped. We had cocktails, which were good and strong. We shared a catfish pate and ham plate as an appetiser. It was one of the best appetisers I have ever had. The pickled ramps and fig compote complimented the ham perfectly. I wish they had given us a couple of more pieces of toast with it though. For mains I had the pork shoulder on grits and hubby had the steak. Our server was very good, not overwhelming us but provided the advice we needed about our selections. I enjoyed the pork, but it was a bit too fatty for my liking. The steak was divine. We had cornbread on the side, which was very good. Desserts were nothing to write home about. We had chocolate cake, which was just average and too sweet, and buttermilk tart, which was good.
My real regret is that we missed out on seafood, which was a absolute shame, given that we were in Boston. My baby had an accident on the morning of our 3rd day in Boston and we were a bit housebound after that. So I am feeling bad about not being able to try out so many of the recommendations given.