I realized on Christmas Eve, about 40 minutes before guests began showing up, that I still hadn’t posted about Thanksgiving. I tried and failed to publish that night, and the next night, and the next, so now we’re in that between-Christmas-and-New-Year zone and I figure my deadline is the end of 2014. Apologies.
Thanksgivings can be a little unconventional for me now that I’ve moved away for college. It’s expensive to fly home (Boston to California) and back for a few days and it doesn’t feel worth it to spend 12 hours in the air for very little time with my family. The holiday also falls about three weeks before the semester end break, and if I’ve survived on my own for six months I can probably make it the last three weeks.
It’s still sad to not be home, though. So this year, my mom decided to make Thanksgiving a small mother-daughter trip in itself, and I happily received her as a visitor.
It was a lot of fun showing my mom the city I’ve grown to love, sharing with her both my favorite neighborhood spots and some new experiences. Since we spent a few days in Boston before heading to NYC for the actual holiday, I’ve separated out the visit–this post has all the Boston stuff, and the next post (here) has all the NYC stuff. So without further ado, here’s our week in Boston:
My mom flew in on Thursday, so we just had a quick dinner at Giacomo’s down the street from my apartment. We actually ate there about three years ago when my parents and I were visiting Northeastern (I think this was orientation week but I’m not sure) and decided it was good enough to go back. The food, wine, and service were great, and the couple seated next to us–at quite close proximity since the restaurant is tiny–gave us lots of tips on how to be successful thirty-somethings living in the South End, which I actually found quite helpful. The dessert, an amaretto cake, was delectable, and we ended up finishing it despite our insistence (and the couple’s $5 bet) that we would only have a bite each.
Friday I went to work as usual, then met my mom for a quite bite at South Street Diner, near where we were going to see B.U.M.P. (Boston Unscripted Musical Project) in the Tufts Medical/Chinatown/South Station area. The food was great, the show was great, and we learned that I get very tired after work and think things are either really funny or not funny at all. I must mention that South Street Diner doesn’t really get busy until later than 6:00 on Fridays.
We spent Saturday touring around Cambridge so I could show my mom where I’d co-oped the past few semesters (MIT’s McGovern Institute and Pfizer Neuroscience). From there we went to Rangzen Tibetan Buffet in Central Square. Harvard Square to look at the shops hang out, and back to Boston for the Faneuil Hall Christmas Tree Lighting and dinner at one of my favorites, Saus. The trip from my apartment on Columbus to Cambridge was as easy as taking the #1 bus from Mass Ave station to Albany St. (or Vassar or Central or Harvard, depending on what you want to see), and Tibetan buffet is like a cross between Indian and Chinese, which I find positively delicious. Harvard Square is always fun, and we found tons of Christmas presents for my brother (lucky kid) in Black Ink and the Curious George Store, both of which are fun and just different enough to be interesting. Saus may have been a trip highlight, and I certainly got my mom excited for it; our Belgian ale was perfect, waffles covered in Biscoff butter delectable, and the poutine really really good. I’d recommend having the chicken sate as a salad instead of a wrap, but the wrap was still good. And then the tree lighting–it was a lot of standing in the cold and laughing at the sound system that broke down, but I’m still glad we went. I count it as a festive bonding experience.
My mom got to meet Clementine on Sunday, after a delicious brunch with old friends at Stella. Stella is one of those places that just impresses, culinarily. I had the Eggs Benedict (a personal favorite) which was really just perfect (and that’s saying a lot since we make it really well at home) and the cauliflower soup which I DEFINITELY recommend. It may be the best cauliflower soup I’ve ever had. My mom’s brunch was also good, but I just needed to make a plug for this restaurant because it was awesome. Now back to Clementine–my mom’s been way excited about meeting her since she saw this post a few months ago, and has enjoyed numerous snapchats of her throughout the semester. After hanging out with Aaron (Clementine’s hedgefather, as he puts it) for a bit, we took him and his roommate Gunnar–another friend of mine–to Boston Burger Company, which is down the street. I’m not including all of our burger pictures, but let’s just say they were all huge and delicious and no one wanted to even think about eating after we finished. It was a very good day.
I worked 9-5 all Thanksgiving week, so my mom and I really only hung out afterwards and ate dinner together, but we hit some good places despite limitations on time. I have pictures of our dinner at House of Siam, where I’ve been wanting to eat since walking past their fairy lights in 20011. The restaurant was really good, with a quiet, intimate atmosphere and an adorable mini-house that serves as a restroom just sitting in the building.
Aaron’s mom flew into town on Wednesday to spend Thanksgiving in Boston, so my mom finally got to meet her that night at dinner. The two of us and Aaron and his mom went to Haru for sushi and, as always, Haru was delicious. I admit I’ve been multiple times just because they kept having a deal on free edamame and I’m a sucker for both soy beans and free stuff. Anyways, the sake was great, the sushi was great, and the service was awesome (our waiter was very candid and helpful). It was also cool for Aaron and my moms to finally meet, as they’ve been in contact since we visited one another across the country in the summer of 2012 and yet had not been in the same city until that night.
Our other dining escapades include Petite Robert, Temptations Cafe, and Marmalade’s bakery, all of which I can recommend (but don’t have photo evidence of). Petite Robert is a French restaurant close to my apartment–another place I’d walked past dozens of times–that had a delicious seared foi gras, one of my mom’s all-time favorite dishes. Temptations is one of my all-time favorites, and I was just happy to share the almost-on-campus joint that I’d spoken of so often. Their Nutella-banana-on-brioche and fig-jam-marscapone sandwhiches, called “sweet temptations,” are definitely worth checking out, as well as their raspberry-mango smoothies. And Marmalade’s is a new place that my mom surprised me with and their cakes are very good; I’ll definitely be going back upon my return to school.
If you have any questions about anything Boston-related, please comment below! And if you’re interested in seeing what we did in NYC, click here to navigate. If you are currently or plan to be within Boston’s borders, enjoy it! I’ll miss this city for the next six months while I’m abroad (more on that later). Happy Holidays!