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.
Address & other details: Union Oyster House
Meal for 2: US$ 80 onwards
Cuisine Type: Vegetarian & Nonvegetarian
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
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………………………………………
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.
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.
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.
Detailed Description – In case u have the time to njoy reading: