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Four Cheapies Boston Trip Report (or is that Chippies, Hard To Tell Sometimes)

Four Cheapies Boston Trip Report (or is that Chippies, Hard To Tell Sometimes)

Old Oct 24th, 2007, 04:31 PM
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Four Cheapies Boston Trip Report (or is that Chippies, Hard To Tell Sometimes)

A not too long a trip report from four ladies from Texas. First off, we’re cheap . . . I’d like to say frugal but let’s call a spade, a spade. We’re cheap so no 5-star hotels, no gourmet restaurants, no tickets to Wicked. We went Fri, Oct 19 and returned Mon, Oct 22.

First off . . . we found the people in Boston delightful. We encountered no rude waitstaff, no rude ticket takers, no rude anyones. We always either look lost or are lost . . . if we stood still more than 30 seconds, someone would come up to us and ask if they could help us.

The weather was cool (55 maybe) in the mornings/evenings and almost hot during the day. It lightly rained on us Friday afternoon for about 5 minutes . . . just long enough for us to drag out the umbrellas and then put them back away.

Because it was Parents’ Weekend at several of the universities in Boston and the Head of the Charles Regatta, almost all the hotels were booked . . . or had rooms available for $400-$500/night. Remember the cheap part above, well, we lucked out and found an apartment at 48-A Hereford St. First off, this was a fantastic location . . . we were two-three doors off Newbury St and close to the Hynes T-stop . . . there was everything we might ever need within a stone's throw . . . restaurants, cleaners, liquor store, convenience stores, all kinds of shops . . . we could not believe our good fortune with the location.

Our apt was on the ground floor and looked exactly like the photos the B&B agency sent us. We had one bedroom with a queen bed and plenty of room for a roll-away bed . . . a living room with sofa bed and a loveseat, tv, vcr, free wireless Internet, phone w/free local calls, kitchen with all appliances, table w/4 chairs, bathroom with tub/shower. We had plenty of room and loved having a kitchen. We didn't cook but we could have. I have pictures if anyone is interested (email me at [email protected]).

We paid $165/night plus $20/night for the roll-away. There was no tax but a 6% processing fee. Here's the contact info if anyone is interested:

Ferne Mintz Owner Bed & Breakfast Agency of Boston and Agency Suites
47 Commercial Wharf Boston, MA 02110
617-720-3540 (local)
800-248-9262 (US and Canada)
0800-89-5128 (toll-free from UK)
617-523-5761 (Fax)
Email: [email protected]

I’ll post our restaurants next . . .
Sandy (in Denton)
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Old Oct 24th, 2007, 04:33 PM
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Here’s where/what we ate, if anyone is interested.

We had no bad meals and found the food (or the places we ate anyway) comparable to prices in Texas . . . however, we were looking for inexpensive places and not high-end/gourmet restaurants.

We had fantastic thin-crust pizza at the Upper Crust at 222 Newbury. The special that day was pesto, diced tomatoes and garlic. A gigantic slice (bigger than a dinner plate) was $3.33. We all had the special, added an order of spinach squares, six beers and a soft drink and it was more food than we could eat (and if you saw us, you would see that we are all good eaters). Total bill $43.

The Black Rose Pub, 160 State St, we had fish/chips here (two of us split the dinner order but they did have a lunch special with one piece of fish), lobster bisque in a bread bowl, and clam chowder. The bisque was out of this world delicious, as was the chowder. The fish/chips were very good and the Harp beer cold, what more could we want. Total meal $68. None of us was hungry, thus the light lunch.

Massimino's, 207 Endicott, we had dinner here on Sat night, didn’t have reservations, only had to wait about 30 minutes . . . small place, huge portions, wonderful Italian food, and inexpensive. We each had an entree, two of us had Bailey’s, one wine, one soft drink, $100. We should have split entrees here, way too much food. Thanks abqdeb for the recommendation.

Cheers Pub at Quincy Market. One of us “had” to eat here . . . we sat outside on the patio, had burgers/fries and beer, were pleasantly surprised . . . it was delicious and we thoroughly enjoyed the food and the people watching. Burgers were around $12, beers around $6.

Chilli Duck, 829 Boylston, really good and really inexpensive Thai. Two of us split a chicken dish w/snow peas, red/green peppers, onions, carrots . . . we asked that it be hot . . . really hot . . . Thai hot. The other two split chicken w/broccoli (not hot). We had an order of egg rolls, a bottle of white zen, a soft drink, and the total was only $67. This was a lot of food and we could not eat it all, huge portions in Boston. Our “hot” dish came and there were no signs of peppers . . . we were skeptical. Few places ever believe we want it hot and we always end up having to add peppers. Our dish was fiery hot and we were in heaven! Our waiter was worried that we would send it back.

In doing our research for Boston, everyone kept saying we had to go to Mike’s, 300 Hanover, for cannoli, that Mike’s was the best. Others said, no, go to Modern Pastry, 257 Hanover, that it was the best. We decided to do a side-by-side comparison. We went to both and bought plain cannoli. We all agreed . . . Modern was the winner. Mike’s was bigger and more expensive ($2.50) but tasted chalky. Modern’s was $2 and really creamy. The downside to Modern’s was that we had to wait in line for about 40 min. to buy one cannoli, very aggravating.

We did not get to half the places we wanted to see and are already making plans to return next fall. Boston is one fun place.

Sandy (in Denton)
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Old Oct 24th, 2007, 04:39 PM
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Having lived near Boston for 35+ years, I always love reading Boston trip reports! Looking forward to the rest...

Also glad you mentioned the politeness. We are from the Midwest---which prides itself on that trait---but when we go back every year we are always struck by the fact that Boston is every bit as polite!
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Old Oct 24th, 2007, 04:42 PM
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Sorry,sandy, I was writing while you were posting part 2. We crossed in the mail, so to speak....
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Old Oct 24th, 2007, 05:11 PM
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Love the side by side cannoli comparison. Have to remember that next time I'm in Boston.
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Old Oct 24th, 2007, 05:17 PM
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We were impressed with the helpfulness of the T-employees. Anytime we stood in front of the ticket machine or the map on the wall, one would come and ask to help us. Several times we "thought" we knew where we were going but they knew a better/shorter route.

Since there were four of us, unless we were going long distances (JFK Library/Museum or Harvard Sq.), it was just a cheap or cheaper sometimes to take a taxi. We ended up taking five and our drivers were from Haiti, Ethiopia, Somalia, Morocco, and Jamaica . . . quite a little United Nations. They were polite and fun and we enjoyed visiting with them.

I won't comment on the sites, they are all in the guidebooks . . . we did notice how clean Boston is and how little litter or graffiti we saw. We had not one thing to complain about . . . other than we only had 2-1/2 days.

But . . . we'll go back.

Sandy (in Denton)
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Old Oct 24th, 2007, 05:24 PM
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We did a similar side-by-side comparison when we went to Philadelphia two years ago . . . bought a cheesesteak sandwich from both Pat's and Geno's . . . Geno's won hands down. If/when we return to Philly, we'll have to have a throw down between Jim's and Geno's.

This is the kind of thing that makes travel fun.

Sandy (in Denton)
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Old Oct 24th, 2007, 05:34 PM
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Thanks for that trip report. It was a joy.
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Old Oct 24th, 2007, 05:37 PM
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I could get into this side by side comparison thing. Have yet to have a real cheesesteak so now I have something to live for!
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Old Oct 24th, 2007, 05:41 PM
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Sandy: great report - thanks for posting. Glad you found Boston fun, friendly and cheap
Been here all my life and love it, and I am glad you had good experiences with the taxis, there have been some complaints of late and articles in papers about getting taxi drivers to be more friendly, etc -

Also glad you liked Modern, one of our favorites - usually the line is equally as long at Mike's if not longer, Maria's is also good, you can compare that cannoli next time !

Love Upper Crust Pizza - glad you did too - and I have noticed the T employees attitude the past year or so -they were good before, now the ones I encounter are great - I am beginning to think they must have gone thru some new improved customer friendly traininig when the Charlie card started b/c I see a change across the board
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Old Oct 24th, 2007, 07:35 PM
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Fun report. We had a long weekend in Boston last fall and loved it too. We went budget too, although we squeezed some half-priced theater tickets in too (Spelling Bee and Twelve Angy Men).
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Old Oct 24th, 2007, 08:21 PM
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sandy_b, thanks for a very informative report. We love to visit Boston, and find everybody very friendly, and helpful. I will print out your report for the restaurants ... When you have grandchildren with you, they usually like more casual places to eat anyway.

We waited forever at Modern, then our cannoli was stale (but the coffee was good.) Next time I'll try Mike's. So many people love Modern that I'm thinking we just got part of a bad batch!

Thanks again for your report.
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Old Oct 25th, 2007, 06:28 AM
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Awesome report. You did well on a very crowded weekend. Modern Pastry needs to work on their queueing theory to move that line faster, but I'm glad you liked their cannoli. Someone else posted about Maria's around the corner--they're great too.

Glad also that you found and liked ChiliDuck!
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Old Oct 25th, 2007, 07:19 AM
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Great report. I think I saw you in a shop looking at gifts and a small book on fashion that one of you thought would be good for so and so. Was it you?
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Old Oct 25th, 2007, 08:58 AM
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cigalchanta . . . you might have seen us, one of us had to stop in every shop along the Freedom Trail. We read that it would take approx 2-1/2 to 3 hrs and it took us from 10:00-5:30!

travelgirl2 . . . we did get 1/2 price tickets on Fri night for "Shear Madness," which we thoroughly enjoyed. We were too pooped from all the walking to try for the other two night.

Can't wait to return . . .
Sandy (in Denton)
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Old Oct 25th, 2007, 09:49 AM
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Hi, sandy - we're from Texas too. We went to Boston for the first time in September and just loved it. We found all the T employees to be so helpful and friendly. It's a great city. We did the Mike's vs. Modern comparison too and picked Modern hands down. Next time, we'll try Maria's. If you make it back one day, Regina's is another great pizza place - they've been in business for 80 years, and we thought it was delish. Go Sox!
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Old Oct 25th, 2007, 10:10 AM
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sandy, loved your report! I'm glad you and your friends had such a great time. You missed the GTG!!! We would love to meet some Texans It's scheduled for the same weekend next year (the weekend after Columbus Day). I hope you and your friends can make it! (You can always stop in and say Hi if you don't want to give up that much time). AND that night some meet for dinner at a great Thai restaurant
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Old Oct 25th, 2007, 05:02 PM
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volcanogirl,

We had planned on going to Regina's Pizza but the Upper Crust was right in front of us at the time we were starving . . . then, since there are so many other cuisines, we just didn't want to repeat pizza . . . next time.

gomiki,

We would LOVE to attend the GTG, we'll definitely be there if we return next year . . . thanks for the invite. (And, next year is definitely a possibility.)

Sandy (in Denton)
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