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Sometimes the meal is perfect even when the chow isn't: Sullivan's

tamerlanenj | May 26, 200807:00 AM

It's hard to explain, but sometimes a meal is just part of such a perfect day that it is memorable even if the food isn't.

My wife and I decided to save on gas this memorial day weekend by eschewing a drive to the North Shore (and avoiding the mob scene), and instead taking a long walk with the Chowpup (literally, our king charles spaniel Gatsby) from the Back Bay to Fort Independence on Pleasure Bay on the South Boston waterfront. It was perfect weather for the walk, and we saw a lot South Boston that we had never seen.

The park itself is lovely, with a circular beach ringing a gorgeous bay. Gatsby romped around in the water and tried to eat a jellyfish that had washed up on shore: luckily we stopped him in time.

After our five mile walk and stroll around the beach, we were perfectly starving. The only food to be had there is at Sullivan's, a hot dog shack that also serves rings, burgers, shakes, fries, and fried seafood.

We waited in line for about 20 minutes with other summer revelers, and ordered a hot dog loaded, a cheeseburger loaded, fried shrimp (no clams, only yucky clam strips), a chocolate shake, and some fries.

The short of it; the hot dog was very good, not great: a kayem dog that needed more snap. The burger was hot and juicy but a bit insubstantial, but my wife enjoyed it. The fried shrimp were greasy and strange looking, and the tatar sauce was the bad packet variety, and the fries were limp and soft.

Now, all that being said, something about the was just so enjoyable as we sat outside in the perfect weather on the picnic benches overlooking the lovely bay, being ravenous from the long walk, and chowing down on proper new england summer fare (well, with frozen shrimp instead of ipswich big bellies, but what can ya do). Besides, everything tastes better washed down with a chocolate shake. Ultimately, I was left completely happy and satisfied. Sure, I'd have rather been at Farnham's or the Clam Box, but if you want some beach strolling and shack food a little closer to home, with a bit more ambiance than Kelly's in Revere, head out to Fort Independence Park.

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