Ye Olde Union Oyster House (41 Union Street Boston Massachusetts, USA)

This is an Indian foodie’s experience of American food in Boston vs. similar food in India.

In a nutshell:

A 180+ year old Restaurant that has stood the test of time & in some ways is still stuck in a time freeze – Loved the whole experience with a special thumbs up to food.

Menu card with the sketch of the old restaurant

Address & other details: Union Oyster House

Meal for 2: US$ 80 onwards

Cuisine Type: Vegetarian & Nonvegetarian

YUMM Lobster

The story of this place:

I am not sure that this is the best ever restaurant serving famous Boston seafood today. However, opened in 1826*, this is the oldest surviving Restaurant in America & that itself speaks a lot – today it is a National Historic Landmark. The Building is also one of the oldest surviving buildings in Boston – constructed between 1716 & 1717 (Aurangazeb ruled India till 1707 – for time reference).

* For reference – Bahadur Shah Zafar, the last Mughal Emperor ascended the throne in 1837

 In late 1800s, Toothpick was introduced in this restaurant for the first time ever. Charles Forster , the inventor of toothpicks got the idea from South America where he saw people cleaning their teeth with small slivers of wood. He came up with a machine that produced toothpicks from birchwood grown on Boston’s nearby city Maine. When he tried selling this to restaurants, he found no takers. Legend has it that he stuck a deal with a bunch of Harvard students – They went to dine at Union Oyster House & created a ruckus after the meal when their request for a tooth cleaning instrument was refused. In a few days Charles pitched the toothpicks to this restaurant & it was introduced, soon to be introduced to other restaurants. Needless to say that he had to pay for the bill of the students.

Tablemat with pic of the restaurant & a listing of Boston Heritage walk

Lobsters in early 1800s was known as poverty food in America!!!! It was a cheap source of protein fed to indentured servants & laborers. In fact, in Massachussets a group of servants rebelled & had it written in their contracts that they cud not b fed lobsters more than 3 times a week……………………………………… 

memorieson the wall

Short Description – In case u r in a hurry:

The whole look & feel as we went inside was that of a very old bar cum eatery – the kind that we have seen in movies. Small cubicles to sit & eat, no big hallways, wooden partitions for cubicles & so on. Loads of pictures, coins of yesteryears & menu cards of earlier days remain displayed in the wall. At the entrance was a huge aquarium with live lobsters of different sizes. It seemed unlikely though that this aquarium was there in its present form since the beginning of the restaurant. Opposite to the lobster area was a small & very old fashioned bar. People were sitting across the bar enjoying the drinks. The drinks made at the bar for guests upstairs were being sent on a manual lift operated using a pulley.

Aquarium at the entrance

A guy standing at one of the counter near the entrance said ‘Pls go & ask for a table with the Hostess’. As I reached the ‘hostess’, we came across an elderly lady sitting on a high stool across a high desk resembling a ‘speech podium’. She also appeared to be out of movies of fifties & sixties. She wrote our names on a paper with pencil & said ‘1 hour waiting for the Grand Dining Room upstairs’ or ‘u may sit in the ground floor small seating area’. We chose the second option.

Mammoth Lobsters in the aquarium

We loved our food & were very much at ease coz seafood is something that u have to eat with hands – everyone else was also eating with hands & I guess that made a lot of difference to our experience.

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Legal Seafood (Boston, MA, United States of America)

American Seafood in America – An Indian Foodie’s perspective

In a nutshell:

As u start eating, u turn speechless, maybe start singing / making gestures purely out of joy, may experience ecstasy……………. or attain nirvana in Eatopia.

Inside Legal Seafood

Restaurant Website: Legal Seafood

Meal for 2: US$70 onwards

Cuisine Type: Nonvegetarian

Short description – In case u r in a hurry:

We were recommended this place by a friend from Boston. The soft & non chewy scallops r to die for & so is the lobster. The Lobster was recommended by another friend. The crab cake was the best I had in my whole life & was totally different from all other versions I have had. Three fish fillets were delicious & the sea weed ‘sides’ was very curious & cool. The otherwise mundane onion rings also were also having a unique texture & taste. Even an hour after having the food, I feel the sense of fulfillment expressed by my taste buddies.

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Hancock’s Steak & Seafood, Mariott Quincy,Boston MA, USA

In a nutshell:

American Food in America – An Indian foodie’s perspective

Restaurant details: Hancock’s

The restaurant from the car lobby of Marriott

Short Description – In case u r in a hurry:

Ordered some American food in Roomservice at Marriott. The Steak was excellent,better than anything I have had in India, Grilled Atlantic Salmon was very nice but maybe it wud not appeal to all Indian Nonvegetarians, New England Clam Chowder was marvellous & the Warm Apple tart with Cinnamon ice cream was superb.

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