A month ago we ended up in Boston, MA. Well, actually Merrimack, NH, but we spent most of our time in Boston. Jushita's team works out of the Merrimack office, and she was due for a visit (since she had yet to meet her team). But we decided to take the time to visit some friends, and explore a new part of the country. Well, new to Jushita. I grew up on the East Coast, and my cousins live in a small town just outside of Boston. I also did two internships there so I am pretty familiar with the city.
Check out The Q for hotpot in the heart of Chinatown, along with Café Paradiso for gelato and tiramisu over by Haymarket. Take a stroll along the Charles and find the dock to dip your feet in the water while relaxing in the cool breeze. Be sure to try out Richardson's legendary ice cream in Middleton, MA, and might as well play a game of mini-golf while you're there. And sushi lover's beware, fill your sushi needs at Yamato II with $26 all you can eat sushi. And trust us, it's worth it. Boston is a beautiful city, and with so much more to explore, we cannot wait to go back.
We got to Boston on this day so not much happened here. I landed earlier than Jushita, so I hung out in the office until she landed. Once she did, I went back to the airport to pick up our car.
Pro Tip - Rent a small car, it makes parking in Boston much easier
And then, it was sushi time! During my second internship, I discovered this amazing sushi place over by Copely Square called Yamato II. Since I had been raving about it so much, we decided to make this our first stop for food. We ended up getting 2 rolls, plus their Chicken Fried Rice, which I love. The first roll we got was the Spider roll. We highly recommend this roll, as it is crunchy and full of flavor. The second roll we got was the New Spicy Scallop roll. We hated it. The roll itself probably would not have been bad, but the sauce on top was very creamy and we were not a fan of it at all.
Overall, we highly recommend Yamato. As lover's of sushi, it tops our list of sushi restaurants. (Don't worry, we have a day 2 of Yamato to redeem the scallop roll).
Afterwards, we needed something sweet, so we found a gelato place not far from Yamato. We walked over to Amarino's so we could try out their flower shaped gelato. They also serve macarons, which sweetened the deal.
It wasn't bad. But it also wasn't great. The flavors seemed to be lacking in what they should have tasted like, and other than the flower shaped gelato, it left us wishing for more. But overall, it wasn't a bad choice. Don't worry though, we've got a much better place in store for gelato though.
We then went down to the Charles River to walk along the path following the river. It is gorgeous down by the river, and we highly recommend taking a walk, running, relaxing along it's waters.
After a long day, and still left with an hour drive, we decided to head to Nashua, NH, where our hotel for the week would be.
While we worked in the office for the day, we debated on what to do later that night. By the time 5 o'clock rolled around, we had decided to head back to Boston for the night (Before leaving, we booked our flights to Panama in October!). We had our plan in place, and headed back to Yamato for a snack. The snack ended up being a little more of a small meal, but we once again got the Spider roll, and this time swapped the New Spicy Scallop roll for a Dragon roll, which was MUCH better.
We finished up our snack, and headed back down to the Charles for another walk. We made it a lot farther this time, and we even found this cute little dock to hang out on. It was packed with other people, but the group next to us was playing some chill tunes, and we relaxed with our feet in the water, enjoying the breeze and cool weather.
After our snack had worn off, and it was starting to get a little late, we switched gears and headed to Chinatown for late night dinner. I had never had hot-pot up until now, but boy was I in for a treat. We found this place called The Q, upon the recommendation of Jushita's friend. I'm just going to say it now, we were wow'd. It was amazing. We would go back just for this. We ended up ordering an appetizer of Crab Rangoon, which is probably the best crab rangoon I've ever had. It was light, yet so tasty. For our main dish, we ordered off the Mongolian Hot Pot section. We got the most popular broth, which also happens to be the spiciest, the Mala broth. We also decided to get the Surf & Turf for our protein selection. A MUST have is the handmade noodles. They are so good, and one of those things you have to experience.
Pro Tip - Only put what you can eat in the pot, don't just dump everything in. Everything gets overcooked that way. Do it in sections, and you'll be more than fine.
It was unreal. It was so flavorful and delicious, that words probably can't describe it. Unfortunately, our last course was cut short and we never got it, as last call for dessert is 10:30, which we didn't find out until 10:45 when we asked for our Fried Ice Cream. We were not happy, but gives us a reason to go back. And let's just say, we were not dissappointed with what came next.
Café Paradiso. Having been to Italy, it's hard to measure up when it comes to gelato, but when I say I felt like I was back there, I mean it. The gelato was exactly how I wanted. Flavorful and deliciously sweet. And Jushita's tiramisu was phenomenal. You could taste the homemade recipe all over it. Delicate, and sweet, it and the gelato would warrant another visit later in the week.
At now 11:30, we headed back to the hotel for some much needed sleep.
Today our plan was to head to Richardson's Farm for some unreal ice cream and mini golf. We'd also been going to lunch with our friends every day, and so today we went to a crepe place called Butter N' Jam. We were looking for something sweet, so I got the Danny Boy, which was had a drizzle of local honey on top which was delicious. Jushita go the Oreo crepe, which was good but much to overloaded with Oreo for her, so we switched. They also make savory crepes, and also have some really good mimosas for that mid day chill.
Unfortunately, Middleton is not known for it's food, so there was not much to choose from. We opted for sushi, but were disappointed, especially after having Yamato two days in a row. If you must know, we went to Blue Fin Japanese Restaurant. It wasn't terrible, but don't expect top-notch sushi from here. We did almost get the sushi boat, but decided against it since it was really expensive and we knew the sushi was not going to be worth it.
What was totally worth it was Richardson's ice cream. My uncle always stocks the freezer with Richardson's, and we came here a lot when we were younger to go mini golfing. We played 2 rounds of mini golf (since there are 2 18 hole courses here) and then went for the real treat. I opted for my favorite flavor, Peanut Butter Oreo, along with my other favorite Pistachio. I, as always, was not disappointed with it. You have to try it to believe how good it was. Jushita went with the seasonal Peach and another flavor we can't remember and it was just as good. I was not expecting to like the Peach, but it turned out to be really good.
It was looking pretty gloomy at this point, and we did get caught in a downpour on our way back, but we left wanting to go back to get more even before we left. If you're in the area, 100% try to make a stop for some of the best ice cream you'll ever have.
For our final day, our lunch consisted of Sweet Ginger, a delicious Thai restaurant. We ordered quite a bit here, but it was all good. My Pineapple Fried Rice was great, minus the raisins, which I expertly avoided. I also got a seafood stir fry, that I can't remember the name of, but it was fairly good. Good enough for a quick lunch anyways. Jushita had a duck meal, which was really good. Overall, it was a pretty good lunch, and we'd recommend it.
Our office was having a local farmer's market in the cafeteria, and among the many options was cheese! We picked a piece to take home with us to use on my pasta dish.
Since this was our last day, we headed back to Boston with our friends Resham and Carol for some food and hanging out. We were originally going to go the Barking Crab, which I have always heard is really good, and since it's New England, we didn't want to skip on the amazing seafood it has to offer. Unfortunately, we didn't plan ahead, and there was an hour and a half wait to get in (We arguably could have waited, because by the time we got to the next place, they called us). We ended up getting more hot pot, but this time at Shabu Zen. We both opted for the Surf & Turf, except Jushita got the lamb, and I got beef for our meat choice. I went with the szechuan style spicy broth, while Jushita got the mongolian style spicy broth. We both agree the szechuan broth was 100x better than the mongolian. Overall, it was pretty good, but was no match for The Q. If you can't find yourself at the Q for whatever reason, Shabu Zen is a great alternative.
Afterwards, we had a little bit of time left to chill so we headed to VERSUS for some fun playing some old arcade games. If you've never been to a barcade before, we highly recommend visiting one because they're a ton of fun, if you like classic arcade games and beer that is. It's a $5 cover, but we were lucky enough to get in for free since the guy at the front was done with his shift. We played a few games, and then had to get back to Café Paradiso for some last minute gelato and tiramisu again.
We left pretty early in the morning so we could go drop the car off, and head to the office to work the morning. It didn't quite work out that way as it took us longer than we thought to get into Boston and drop the car off, so we opted to leave visiting our headquarters for another day. I said bye to my cousin in the World Trade Center, and we grabbed a quick bite to eat before heading back to Logan to wait for our flights.
Jushita was on company expense, but I had to get my own flight, so I opted for Spirit. Spirit can be a great option, and I personally had no issues with my flights either way. If you've never flown Spirit, it is definitely a cheap option, but you do truly get what you pay for, so be warned. As long as you go in expecting the worst, it will at the very least be slightly better than that. We also booked Spirit for Panama, so we will have to see how that goes when we get back from there.
It was a great week. We got to see some friends we haven't seen in a while, and we certainly found a lot of good food places, and I got to show Jushita some old ones. Boston is a beautiful city and we highly recommend visiting. There is so much more to do, and we will have to go back and spend the whole week there so we can explore even more.