This last instalment of my Boston Day Trip series takes you to the little gems off the T’s Blue Line heading toward Wonderland Station. Our first stop is near the Airport Station off the Blue Line: Santarpio’s. Once you exit the Blue Line, look for signs pointing you toward Bremen Street. Once on Bremen head east toward the city, you will see the Boston skyline, at Porter Street turn right and you will see Santarpio’s on the corner of Porter and Chelsea. Now you are at one of the icons of East Boston. My Ma used to get bread here for 25 cents when she was a kid. The big deal at Santarpio’s (don’t say the “R”), is the Lamb and Sausage appetizer served with a sweet and a hot pepper and some perfectly crusty Italian Bread. You can see them making these on an open grill over oak wood chunks.
I only had eyes for this delicious and inexpensive appetizer. For nine bucks, this made a complete meal for me. At least until the roasted garlic pizza came out. To die for. Their crust is crispy with little charred spots made by their special ovens and the garlic was phenominal. Do, do, do, try Santarpio’s before ever leaving Boston. The restaurant is simple and the wait staff are right from the neighborhood. If you want to learn Boston speak, hit Santarpio’s first!
A new restaurant to the East Boston neighborhood is just down the street from Santarpio’s: Ecco. This trendy-new-night-club-hot-spot on Porter Street, attracts all the fancy people in town-that is me and my cousin Ron. The club is gorgeous with its warm chocolate suede painted walls and very elegant lighting. The black brick wall at the back hosts names from all the famous people. What is best? The food of course and the amazing martini menu. My cousin and his pals ordered. They knew the owner so I was confident in their choices. Well these foodies went all out. We started with three of every Tapas, there were only four of us, but hey I was game. We dined on the Slow-roasted Chicken Wings stuffed with Homemade Italian Sausage, Shortrib Shumai Dumplings, and Grilled Lamb Chops. Everything was tops. Then we just had to have entrees. I had the Pasta of the Day, a chef created dish of homemade pasta noodles with sausage and a blend of excellent herbs, very light and delicious. The guys had the Agro- Dulce Chianti Slow- Braised Shortribs of Beef, which my friends, was a show stopper! Hands down this is their specialty.
Now if you are having nice weather on your Boston trip, take the T on the Blue Line to the very end- Wonderland Station. Exit the station on the beach side and once at the beach walk left and follow the beach to Kelly’s. By the way, this is the infamous Revere Beach that used to host, back in the day, Wonderland Park, a great big amusement park that I remember from my own childhood.
So any way here you are at Kelly’s and if you are a red meat lover you must try their Roast Beef Sandwich, I get mine without the sauce, thank you very much. The beef is perfectly pink and flavorful, piled high on a grilled, buttered roll. I am not happy until I get my Kelly’s. If you are not a red meat fan, then try their fish and chip platter or the lobster roll, the best in the area.
If you are a clam lover and have transportation, then let me recommend J.T. Farnham’s for the best fried clams ever! This is a rustic little restaurant on the water that hosts some of the best fried seafoods. They are known for their clams but my cousin Cliff introduced me to the baby scallops. Yum! Very tender and sweet, these little scallops won my vote. Farnham’s is located on 88 Eastern Ave, Rt. 133, Essex, MA 01929-1329 Phone: 978-768-6643 about an hour north of Boston. It is a good idea to call ahead for hours and directions. They are closed in the winter months.
If you do not prefer whole clams they do have the strips. I thought I would hate the bellies but they weren’t too bad. I would not bother with the fries if I were you, too much food. The coleslaw is great as well as their chowda, so stick with those. The food is never fishy as they change the grease often and I found the food not to be too heavy like most fried foods, which means their grease is at the perfect temperature for frying.
Now if you have a car load of kids or you are a big candy-a-holic, back in Revere, just down from the beach on American Legion Highway is the Necco candy factory. We like to drop in there for our Necco fix and if they are making candy when you get there, the outdoors smell like something out of Willy Wonka.
I hope you enjoyed this foodie tour of Boston and Beyond. If you missed my first two posts about Boston here they are:
If you only have a short time in Boston, definately hit The Faneuil Hall Market Place for the true feel of Boston. It’s wicked cool!
For Monday in Big Red Kitchen– Corn Dogs! Getcha Corn Dogs! Come see this made from scratch take on a festival classic. Delicious and a wee bit healthier, not to be a buzzkill or anything.