Two weekends ago, I went to Jones for the first time with seamstress extraordinaire Allison and a Frenchie friend. We went for brunch. Between us, we got the monkey bread, baked mac and cheese, salmon benedict, and the protein plate—deliciousness all around. The menu features several vegetarian options (many with avocado!), and if tomato juice and vodka is your thing, they do customized Bloody Marys.
I went up to Boston this past weekend to visit two of my closest friends (and, coincidentally, ex-roommates from different times) who now live there. One has lived in that area for about 15 years, while the other is a relatively recent transplant. It was a fairly short trip, but here’s a summary of where I went and what I did, starting with the food.
Sugar and Spice is a Thai restaurant in Porter Square that is delicious and fairly inexpensive. I’ve been there before and am a fan of their Country Style Pad Thai, which is spicier than the usual kind. My friends and I haven’t yet found anything on their menu that isn’t good. And that includes the bubble tea.
Lê’s is a Vietnamese restaurant in Harvard Square. I highly recommend both the food and and the bubble tea.
Cardullo’s is a specialty foods store in Harvard Square.
The Arnold Arboretum is located in Jamaica Plain at the Forest Hills end of the orange line. The Arboretum isn’t particularly large, especially when compared to Longwood Gardens, which is near Philly and which I prefer. However, because it’s part of Harvard, the Arnold Arboretum has free admission.
The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston has long been one of my favorite museums. I went there often during college (especially because MIT students got free admission.) They have since remodeled and greatly expended their collection. Admission is expensive, but it does include a second visit within 14 days—important given how much there is to see there. If you can afford it, I strongly recommend going. The Samurai exhibit they have now is great.
I overheard a lot of French on this trip (as opposed to previous trips, during which I seemed to keep running into German tourists). I didn’t eavesdrop on them too much, but it was interesting to hear the variety of French. I heard plenty of European French, but also a surprisingly large amount of West African French as well. To be honest, the whole city felt more diverse than I remember it being.
A friend suggested I start chronicling my restaurant non-adventures, since I love food and, frankly, I think with my stomach. There are three places I’ve been to recently that are worth mentioning.
Toyotomi is a sushi place near my house. I have no idea how authentic this place is, and there are several non-Japanese items on the menu, but the food is quite tasty and the staff is friendly. It’s rather tiny, though, so I wouldn’t recommend it for large groups.
Birra is basically a fancy pizza and beer place. The beers selection is good and there are some interesting pizza topping combinations, like duck or figs and goat cheese. They also do a tasty Irish Coffee. It’s another fairly small place, though, and probably not suitable for large groups.
Molly Maguire’s in Pheonixville (about an hour to the west of Philly)- I went there for brunch the other day with my friend M, and it was absolutely delicious. When we went, it was rather quiet, but it was an off hour. If you do go, I strongly recommend the eggs benedict.