Thanks to the beauty of Priceline "Name Your Own Price" and Megabus, we were able to take a reasonably cheap weekend trip to Boston. Neither of us had been to the city as adults, let alone vegans, but we excited at the prospect for yummy food and new grounds to explore.
After a six hour bus trip, we checked into our nearby hotel and headed out to Veggie Planet in Cambridge.
We ordered up a large Vegan Oddlot and a large Blonde on Blonde. Sturdy crust with a "white" pizza base of garlic and olive oil, and because they had run out of Teese, both were made vegan with a tofu-spinach mash. The only differences between the two were the addition of salty kalmata olives on the Oddlot, and a light coating of marina atop the Blonde on Blonde.
Nate has never been one to complain about pizza, but Amy was a bit overwhelmed by the greasiness level. If you're a health-nut, avoid this place. Nate finished up Amy's last slice of the pie in our hotel late that night, and it stunk up our entire hotel room, but of course, it was yummy.
We topped our meal off with two delicious "to-go" walnut brownies, not pictured. Naturally, we ate them within a block of leaving and explored the Harvard Square and Cambridge areas of Boston to work off our meal.
Our second day, unfortunately left a sour taste in our mouths. We were eager to try some of "Best of Boston" vegan breakfast at Allston Cafe, previously called Herrells. A great vibe of tattooed-peers greeted us, and took our order counter service style — two large iced coffees, a banana nut muffin and fruit cup for Amy, and French toast for Nate.
Here's where things get tricky. We awkwardly waited for a table for two, for about ten minutes, worried we'd not be seated by the time our food came. Eventually we grabbed a table and waited. And waited. And waited. And waited.... 37 minutes later, Amy peaked up and saw her muffin and fruit cup waiting patiently for it's companion French toast. A few more minutes went by, and Nate asked the guy who we had paid how much longer — just a few minutes. Finally, after over 60 minutes had passed from the time we placed our order, Nate's three slices of French toast with a massive glob of Earth Balance, and Amy's muffin we ready to be eaten.
Normally, we're not pushy, but we live in NYC, where the lines at some of our favorite counter service veg-friendly places is far longer, and the wait is far shorter. Being so annoyed that we only had the day to spend in Boston, and we'd just wasted over an hour in this cafe, it was no surprise that the muffin and French toast were nothing to write home about, and certainly not worth the wait. But for the record, Amy found her muffin near tasteless, but the coffee was perfect.
We scurried out of Allston Cafe, and spent most of our day being urban explorers. Consignment shops, Johnny Cupcakes and Newbury street were our major points of interest. After a few hours of shopping and walking, Amy worked up a grumbling tummy, and decided she needed a snack. We made the decision to cut through Boston Common, and back to our hotel to drop off some purchases, and find a place for a late afternoon lunch/early dinner.
As Amy had read on The PPK, Wheeler's hours are a little wishy-washy, so her intent to visit there was crushed. Her second suggestion was to Fiore's Italian Bakery, located in Jamaica Plain, featuring a handful of vegan sandwiches and baked goods.
We ordered two vegan sandwiches, and shared half with each other — both were absolutely delicious. The vegan version of The Nona, a breaded eggplant sandwich on grilled foccacia, topped with fresh basil, tomatoes and cashew-based cheese and The Pirate, with thinly sliced peppered seitan, olive tapenade, garlic, spinach and roasted red peppers on a toasted ciabatta roll. Each sandwich came with a side of potato chips and a free drink!
Unfortunately, they were out of vegan sweets, save for a couple of sad looking cupcakes, so we decided we'd fill our need for sugar elsewhere.
Amy had found Amsterdam Cafe on yelp, featuring a soft-serve machine serving frozen tofu — similar to Atlas Cafe in NYC's Lower East Side. It was located in one of the neighborhoods we had wanted to venture in to, so we stopped in for a delicious (and cheap!) ice cream with raspberry and coconut blendins.
Although it wasn't anything out of the ordinary, it was delicious and cold and refreshing!
We headed back to our hotel completed exhausted with snacks from Whole Foods in tow, after eleven hours of walking around various parts of Boston. Our morning bus was scheduled to leave for NYC at 1130am, so w were excited to make it to one of the few breakfast joints open early enough with a vegan option, 303 Cafe!
Amy says this was her favorite meal of the entire trip, a savory curried tofu with chewy mushrooms and chickpeas was served along side crispy homefries and a toasted whole wheat roll. Nate ordered his up with the offered side of veggie bacon, and Amy ordered up an overpriced, but refreshing little bowl of cut up fruit. Soy milk was also an option for our coffee — served out of random kitschy mugs. It was a fantastic meal that left our bellies satisfied until we arrived back in NYC at dinner time.
All in all, it was a nice little mid-summer get away. Until next time!