A few weeks ago I was sent to get some class (it didn't take) and found myself in my old Boston work neighborhood. That would be Downtown Crossing for the uninitiated. A sort of low end shopping/financial area that doesn't even bother to compete with Newbury Street (the hoity toity section of Boston that has grown on me over the years. Perhaps that superb cigar store and many pubs has something to do with that.)
Scattered between Macy's and a hollowed out Filene's Basement are vendor carts, homeless people scrounging for change, worker drones, emergency vehicles on constant standby and CEOs all lumped together.
This is my favorite sliver of Boston that doesn't include waterfront. You never know what you'll see here. One day I saw a brand new Lamborghini waiting for a drunken, ranting (I'm assuming homeless) man to stagger out of the way. Even got a picture of it that has since been lost. I need to take pictures of all cool cars to show my boys. I'm no auto perv.
While I was in the area, I took the opportunity to visit my old lunch haunts. Come along for the flashback ride, will ya?
Monday (President's Day): I had a rough idea which places I wanted to hit weeks before I even got back to Boston and Sandwich Express was at the top of that list. A tiny place in the lobby of 99 Summer that has one of my favorite sandwiches of all time: The Poor Boy. Or, as I call it, Po' Boy. It's a roast beef sandwich (Boar's Head, of course) with Russian Dressing and coleslaw dumped all over it.
Since it was a quiet day due to the holiday, I took my time only to arrive and find the place closed. Or semi-closed. The door was unlocked (accidentally, me thinks) but the entire prep area was shut down. Using my considerable charm (none) I talked the only worker into making me one. She agreed but had to put it on wheat bread instead of the customary roll. This made it ten times messier, but just as delicious as ever.
Score: 8 out of 10
Tuesday: Met a friend of mine at Boloco where I devoured my usual buffalo chicken burrito (BCB for short). Wasn't nearly as spicy as I recall, but still worth it. Plus I used up the last of my Boloco card points and got it for free! Free makes everything taste better.
Score: 7 out of 10
Wednesday: I had been waiting for this for a while: Al's Chicken Salad sub. I used to get these maybe once a month when Al's was only located on State Street. Since they opened a branch on South Street, I would visit once a week. If you live in Boston and haven't had Al's chicken salad then you need to get your ass over there pronto. I get mine with pickles! And, an old friend of mine bought it for me. Again, free = delicious!
Score: 9 out of 10 (would have been 10 if not for the way too full feeling I had afterwards. More my fault than theirs. Didn't even eat dinner that night)
Thursday: There was much debate regarding this lunch. Should I go to Qdoba for their chicken queso? Perhaps JJ Foley's for their buffalo tenders and many (many) beers? Good Life for that chicken sandwich? I then realized several things at once:
1: There are Qdoba's everywhere. Why waste a Boston lunch on that?
2: Lunch at Foley's makes me nostalgic for a certain someone and I hate missing people.
3: I was meeting friends at Good Life for drinks after work.
4: Deli One was right next door and decided that the mac & cheese and salad plate was in order. Oh, man, my mouth started watering as soon as I wrote that. I've got a problem.
Score: 8 out of 10
Friday: This one wasn't even a decision. It was a 'when' rather than a 'whether' option. The place is called Chacarrero and serves a one of a kind Chilean sandwich. They make their own bread daily and you have your choice of meat or chicken. I highly recommend barbecue chicken sandwich. It comes with some sort of spicy spread, green beans, red peppers and seasoned chicken. Absolutely fantastic. Again, if you're in the Boston area, check it out.
Score: 10 out of 10. It was so good that I recovered quickly from the shock of a small sandwich being nearly 8 dollars. Worth every penny.
Today's distraction: Match the mug shot with the item the person stole. Sorry...allegedly stole. Right. I only got 2 out of 5 correct.