I was in town for a couple days for work, and didn't have too many opportunities to eat, but I did manage to get to a couple of my favorite lunch places.
I made sure to get to the Chacarero stand early enough to beat the lines. Still a good sandwich, but something seems amiss. The bread didn't seem fresh, and the meat seemed a little more gristly than I was accustomed to in years past. Or maybe my sense for chacarero sandwiches have improved after tasting other examples. I probably should have gotten a small since I was filled up for a long while with a large.
Work dinner was at the Chart House on Long Wharf, which turned out to be better than I thought it would be. I'll repost this part on General Topics since that's where any discussion of the Chart House chain belongs, but I did enjoy the decor inside the old building, which was John Hancock's bank building from the pre-Revolutionary days. Since the menus of all Chart Houses are all pretty much the same, I wonder if the ingredients are really all that fresh, or delivered frozen. Either way, one of the few dishes that caught my eye was the snapper Hemingway, which is a cracker and parmesan cheese crusted, pan fried, and topped with lump crab and shallot butter. Actually, it was quite tasty. Also, I was pleasantly surprised with the great service. Our waitress was as professional as I've experienced anywhere.
I made it a point to get away for another lunch at Galeria Umberto in the North End. I've been missing this place so much since I've had little opportunity to revisit them, and it's a bit out of the way when I'm in Boston for work. I got my favorite panzarotti, spinach and cheese calzone, and arancini, and nothing has changed. These are as good as ever. I think those guys behind the counter have become friendlier though.
I also had to get a few items at Modern Pastry, and I was surprised to see that they renovated that old shop. Besides the lace cookies, I got a load of their almond biscotti, which is one of the best I've encountered.