Friday, October 19, 2007


I recently spent a few days in Boston. Although the weather wasn't great, the food certainly was. I don't think I ate anything on my trip that wasn't yummy, and it was a pleasure to have so many vegetarian options -- even if we didn't get around to visiting their new vegan restaurant.

My favorite area was the North End -- basically every other doorway led to an Italian restaurant. My first meal in Boston was at Galleria Umberto, a cheap pizza joint. Nothing fancy here, but the food was delicious -- and very, very cheap. A slice of cheese pizza -- the only kind -- was a mere $1.25. There were also spinach-and-cheese calzones and a dish I'd never seen before, panzarotti. These are deep-fried cigars of mashed potatoes filled with mozzarella cheese, a bit larger than a Twinkie, for only $1.25. With a bottle of water, my meal was less than $4. Who says big cities have to be expensive?

Another meal was at a Mongolian-grill restaurant called Fire + Ice. I'd been to Mongolian grills before -- you pick your items off a giant salad-bar, then take them to the giant grill for them to be cooked -- but this one far surpassed those. There was tofu and all kinds of vegetables -- from the typical mushrooms and carrots to the surprising chunks of butternut squash and sweet potato -- plus a vast array of sauces. The cooks would gladly take your vegetarian dishes to a separate grill to cook, which was advisable since items could easily migrate from one person's area of the main grill to another's. I was pleased to see that the cooks were scrupulous about changing tongs between vegetarian and meat dishes.

Breakfast one day was at a fabulous little place called Sorella's that offered just about any variety of pancake or waffle that you could think of. I was torn between the gingerbread and pumpkin-cranberry-walnut pancakes, but ultimately chose the latter as it seemed more "fall in New England." They also offered tofu or tempeh instead of bacon or ham with your breakfast plate, which was great to see.

I'm getting hungry again just thinking about the food. And I'm not even touching on the pasta or cannolis or chocolate waffles or spinach croissants.... I'm just disappointed I was there a week too early for the Boston Vegetarian Food Festival.


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