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Returning for a Visit: Good Chow List or a Bad Trip Down Memory Lane?

MPH | Apr 2, 200807:11 PM

Greetings, local 'hounds! I'm planning a short visit to Boston, where I lived for more than a decade. I currently reside in Austin, a city with many charms but no good Italian food. I'm already planning on loading up on foodstuffs readily available there (Mulino Bianco products; prosciutto) but impossible to find here. I'm staying at the Nine Zero, which seems to be a popular choice among visitors who post to this board. I will not be renting a car. Here's my chow list so far:

late dinner at KO Prime on Friday: This is motivated by convenience, as that will be a long, tedious travel day. However, I've also read good things about items on the menu such as appetizers of fois gras and bone marrow; steaks like the Kobe-flat-iron; and sides like the fingerling potato puree and the pea tendrils. I don't remember reading anything about dessert. Should I already have made a reservation?

breakfast on Saturday: coffee and croissants at Cafe Vanille on Beacon Hill. Is this bakery still good?

snack or lunch in the downtown area: Mr. Falafel on Washington Street? Other ideas?

Saturday dinner: I already made a reservation at No. 9 Park. In fact, I can't be sure that I didn't subconsciously plan the entire trip around re-tasting their gnocchi.

light breakfast near hotel on Sunday: maybe Panifcio on Charles Street?

Sunday dinner in the North End: either Neptune Oyster or Prezza, unless there are other options that would be better. Cannoli from Modern Pastry?

lunch on Monday in the Harvard Square area: It's got to be a steak-and-cheese sub and/or Sicilian slice at Pinocchio's; or, I'll go for some of those skinny onion rings, a rickey, and a burger at Bartley's.

snack: many things chocolate at Burdick's

Monday dinner: Craigie Street, if I'm still in Harvard Square; if not, I was considering a late dinner at New Jumbo Seafood. Other ideas?

Some nostalgia choices will simply not be denied: I have to eat at either Pinocchio's or Bartley's when I'm in Harvard Square. The No. 9 Park reservation is a keeper, too. However, I wouldn't want my desire to revisit old favorites to blind me to delicious new chow opportunities. I'd very much appreciate your feedback on my choices, including where to load up on food items to bring back to Austin.

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