Sunday, June 12, 2011

Boston Restaurants

This past week I have been in Boston.  I had a training out there for work and brought my hubby along to sight see with me. We flew out Sunday morning and arrived back late yesterday (Saturday). It was a lot of fun, we saw a lot of sights, I got trained for work, and I DIDN'T GET SICK ONCE!!! At least not from the food, I got dizzy from looking out the Prudential Building (yes, I have issues with heights), and a little sick by the end of the airplane ride back to Salt Lake (it was bumpy), but nothing from the food I ate. :) So below is my review from all of the places that we ate.  Monday through Thurdsay I spent in the training at the manufacturer's facility. They provided breakfast and lunch from their cafeteria--I ate mixed fruit and hard boiled eggs for every breakfast and salad for every lunch. That was my allergy friendly option. :)

We stayed at the Colonnade, which was actually really, pretty nice, especially for its location.  It's right across from the Prudential Center and next to Copley Place there in Back Bay.  We were surrounded by restaurant choices and sites to see.  And there was a Shaw's grocery store, literally right across the street from us.  It was perfect.

Sunday night, once we got into town, we were starving.  We had just eaten snacks on the plane that I brought along in my purse, so we were ready for a substantial meal. The Prudential Center has a Legal Sea Foods and I knew that they had a gluten-free menu, so we went there.  As soon as I told them I was gluten and dairy intolerant, they got me the gf menu and some gluten-free rolls. I was quite excited about the rolls, they were pretty good, too.  I ordered the Chef's Platter which had shrimp, scallops, and the chef's choice of three fish, I got the salmon, swordfish, and tuna. I had broccoli and brown rice with it. I literally cleaned my plate, it was quite good and they knew exactly how to handle someone with food intolerances/allergies.

After my training on Monday, we headed out for an early dinner (my salad didn't feel me up, and my hubby didn't have anything to eat since 10:30, it was now like 4:30, yes, our bodies were not adjusted to the 2 hour time change). We went down a couple of blocks to b.good, it's like a fast food restaurant, that has high quality, handmade's good. :) And they have Udi's gluten-free buns!  I got a Cousin Oliver gluten-free turkey burger with sweet potato fries. Here's their menu, their menu online doesn't talk about the gluten-free buns, but under ingredients on their site, it lists the ingredients for the gf buns...and when we walked in they had a sign right on their menu that said "We had GF Buns".  Just to note, they also have a sign that says not to modify how the burgers are made (you have like six choices, mine was cousin oliver), and most of those choices have cheese...I'm sure they would make an exception to someone that has food intolerances, but it's just easier to choose from the choices that don't have cheese. My choice was a basic burger with lettuce, onion, tomato and pickles, exactly what I was craving. :) The sweet potato fries were addicting, like they always are, and my husband even started eating them off my plate. So, it was definitely a good meal, and not bad price either, I think it was under $10 a plate.

Later that night, my hubby was hungry again, yes, our schedules were totally off.  I said we could go get him a cheesecake across the street at the Cheesecake Factory, he decided he wanted to sit down and have a whole meal there...I was nervous. I hadn't checked much into the Cheesecake Factory, but I had read mixed reviews, and their menu is a little overwhelming. Our server wasn't much help.  He said there was a manager (who is supposed to come out and take care of me, since I have food intolerances) that has a gluten intolerance and he'd ask him what would be good to get.  Now, ideally, that manager would come out and show me himself, but I never saw a manager that whole evening, he simply told the server what would be good and the server told me, but anyone in the situation knows, that having a messanger doesn't always work.  This server was not the best in relaying things and it made me nervous, so I stuck with something as simple as possible: I got the arugula salad with lemon juice and olive oil, golden raisins, and almonds, and the edamame, both from the small plates and snacks section of the menu.  Both were excellent, but I really doubt that I'd go back to the Cheesecake Factory, if the choice was up to me.

Tuesday evening we went out with the entire training group to Atlantic Fish, the nice thing about this meal, is it was paid for (including my hubby's tab) by the trainer. We started out with a gigantic shellfish platter that had lobster, crab, oysters, littleneck clams, and shrimp.  I tried raw oysters for the first time ever, so I can say that I have, decided against trying the littlenecks, but I did indulge in the lobster, crab and shrimp.  The shrimp were the biggest I think I've ever seen, but they were so good.  The lobster was definitely the best that I've ever had, and the crab as well.  I definitely filled up with just the appetizers.  They were very accommodating there, the top section on there menu if perfect for people with food intolerances, because you choose how it's cooked. Both the server and the managers made sure that I felt confident in my choices and I really love restaurants that do that. I ordered the grilled tuna with basmati rice and grilled asparagus. The tuna was amazing, I never have had fresh tuna steaks before this trip, but I'm a tuna convert, I love it. The basmati rice, wasn't fantastic, I make better at home, but combining it with the asparagus and tuna worked out well.  Really, this restaurant is a great choice, and I would definitely go there again, if I get back out to Boston.

Wednesday, we'd thought we'd walk over to the Museum of Fine was a longer walk than we had thought, and after walking through the museum for 2 hours, we were totally exhausted and starving.  Halfway back to the hotel we stopped at Uno Chicago Grill.  I know we ate at yet another chain restaurant, but we were exhausted, hungry, and I knew that they had a gluten-free menu.  And, it is so exciting to see pizza on a gf menu, so that is exactly what I got--the gluten free veggie pizza without cheese.  I also got a frozen raspberry lime rickey, which was so amazingly delicious and refreshing. :) They were so good here, the manager (like they are supposed to) came out and made sure everything was fine, brought out the food, and check in again later.  And the pizza was delicious, it is a thin crispy crust and I devoured the entire thing. :)

Thursday, we went to the New England Aquarium, to Mike's Pastry over in the north end so my hubby could try a cannoli, then through Faneuil Hall/Quincy Marketplace. Once, again we were pooped and hungry, so we went a couple of blocks over to Newbury Street and found Joe's American Grill and Bar.  They have gluten-free pasta, pizza, and buns for their burgers. I kept it simple, I really wanted prime rib, so that's what I got, prime rib and a baked potato. They made sure to not put au jus on my plate or butter, so I was happy. The chef was the one who actually delivered my food, and the manager checked on us...I really appreciate the restaurants that take this seriously.

Friday, the training was over and we had the entire day to explore Boston.  We had breakfast in the hotel's restaurant, Brasserie Jo, and I had the fresh fruit salad.  It was great, but it was just a fruit salad.  The only reason for coming here, was so my hubby could have a hot breakfast.  I think in the future, I would just get something at the grocery store across the street.

The morning was spent touring Fenway Park, after the tour, we headed a couple blocks down from the park to Burton's Grill.  They have a fantastic gluten-free menu and I ended up getting the Haddock Sandwich with fries (no tartar sauce or coleslaw).  They were the ones that actually pointed out that their tartar sauce and coleslaw were not dairy free, so that was really nice that they caught that.  And that haddock was amazing, it's dredged in corn flour and fried--oh how I wanted that! :)  They have a nice light and chewy bun, too, so it was an amazing sandwich...and the fries were so good, and it was so nice to have fries at a restaurant! I absolutely loved that meal.

For dinner Friday night, we went over to Newbury Street again and went to Papa Razzi.  They have gluten-free pasta and pizza dough, making it actually possible to have Italian for dinner. I originally ordered their risotto of the day, but had stressed the gluten and dairy thing enough, that the server checked to make sure it was okay, and it wasn't, they cook their risotto with butter.  So I ended up having a chicken and broccoli pasta dish.  It was simple and a little bland, but I was eating pasta in a restaurant and that was nice. The dessert made it all worth it...I actually got to have dessert.  Being both gluten and dairy intolerant, all desserts are crossed off the list, usually.  Papa Razzi has Sorbetto and I tried all three flavors (one scoop of each): raspberry, lemon, and mango...and it was so nice to have something sweet. :)

Saturday was our last day in Boston, and it was raining.  We went to Brasserie Jo for breakfast again.  I got the mixed seasonal berries.  And once again, it was nothing special, just convenient.  If not for the rain, I may have convinced my hubby to go to the grocery store instead, oh well.

We finally ventured out in the rain towards lunchtime and thought to try out Cheer's, the original one that they based the TV series on.  I got the bunless burger, which comes with a caesar salad, and the waitress was good about checking the ingredients on the dressing for me.  There is parmesan cheese in the caesar dressing, just so you know.  I got my bunless burger with a garden salad instead, with oil and vinegar to top it. It wasn't anything fantastic, the burger was decent, but not phenomenal. But we went there, to say we've been there.  Honestly, I probably wouldn't go again.

On the flight home, we ate snacks that I packed (jerky, pistachios, gf nut bars, etc), and ate a quick bite at home before totally collapsing in our bed.  I definitely feel more confident about traveling now, but you do have to do your homework before going.  All of these restaurants, I looked at prior to eating at.  It's easy to find ones that have gluten-free options, I started my googling 'gluten-free restaurants in Boston', then narrowed the field to ones that were either by my hotel or the sites that we were planning on seeing.

I do have to say, no matter how successful a trip is, it is really nice to be home again. :)

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