Steve’s House of Pizza – Bedford, Massachusetts

Memories Pressed between the pages of my mind Memories Sweetened through the ages just like wine Quiet thoughts come floating down and settle softly to the ground Like golden autumn leaves around my feet I touch them and they burst apart with sweet memories – The Lettermen, 1969 Memory–our ability to recall information, personal experiences and processes–isn’t always reliable or necessarily as sweet as The Lettermen might have you believe.  Memory has, in fact, been shown to be very fallible.…

Mario’s Italian Restaurant – Lexington, Massachusetts

“People think Chef Boyardee is a great man. I think he’s nothing but a pasta hater. What true lover of pasta could turn it into mush and shove it in a can? That’s not pasta. That’s just plain wrong.” ~ Author Unknown Chef Boyardee and I go way back.  As mentioned (hopefully not ad-nauseam) on this blog, my arcadian upbringing in Northern New Mexico did not include a lot of Italian food–or at least the real stuff.  The first pizza…

Woodman’s of Essex – Essex, Massachusetts

If you can imagine what New Mexico would be like without green chile or the South without barbecue, you can understand what New England would be without fried clams.  Like our beloved green chile, fried clams are an iconic food, so much so that they are almost synonymous with states like Maine and Massachusetts in which they are harvested and sold.  It’s almost a wonder the license plate mottos in at least one of those two states isn’t “The Fried…

Union Oyster House – Boston, Massachusetts

The Union Oyster House, in continuous operation since 1826, is not only the oldest restaurant in Boston, it’s the oldest restaurant in continuous service in America.  In fact, it’s housed in a building which predates the American Revolution.  Union Street in which it is situated was laid out in 1626 and while there are no municipal records documenting the Oyster House’s construction, there is more than anecdotal evidence that it was built as early as the 1710s. A major landmark…

Davio’s Northern Italian Steakhouse – Boston, Massachusetts

“When I talk about a great dish, I often get goose bumps. I’m like, whoa, I’ll never forget that one. The Italians are just like that. It’s not all about food. It’s part of the memory.” ~Mario Batali When discussing my upcoming trip to Boston with Dave Hurayt, it evoked a nostalgic sentiment in a fellow gastronome whose opinion on food I respect.  As a graduate student matriculating at one of the fine universities in the “Cradle of Modern America,”…

Mike’s Pastry – Boston, Massachusetts

Ralph Waldo Emerson, the founder of the Transcendentalist movement of the 19th century, called America the “Utopian product of a culturally and racially mixed “smelting pot.”  Melting pot rapidly became one of the most frequently used metaphors for describing America.  The term describes the fusion of different nationalities, ethnicities, religions and cultures to form a new, ostensibly better community, a heterogeneous whole. Implicit in the term melting pot is the way ingredients in the pot combine so as to subord…

Kingfish Hall – Boston, Massachusetts (CLOSED)

“Endorse what you love.”  That’s the message NASCAR driver Tony Stewart delivers to Eric Estrada, Carrot Top and a host of other candidates the stature of which usually grace Dancing With The Stars and other dreadful reality shows.  If the television commercial is to be believed, what Stewart loves is Burger King, the fast food sponsor who supplanted Subway on the hood of his car and which is now paying for Stewart’s love. What it seems celebrities, including celebrity chefs,…

Sportello – Boston, Massachusetts

In its April, 2009 edition Saveur magazine feted “12 restaurants that matter,” profiling a dozen restaurants that “represent the best of dining in America today.”  Although that title may at first browse sound a bit condescending, the premise of the article was that restaurants are special places.  ”Everybody has to eat, but going out to eat is a choice.” The one choice of the Saveur sages which most intrigued me was a restaurant in Boston that had been open for…