Boston, USA

Boston Day 3

We took our time getting up this morning as we did not have any specific plans until later this afternoon. We used the T for the first time and headed to the South End. Our brunch reservations weren’t until later so we stopped by Render Coffee first. Our friend, Aimee, highly recommended this coffee shop for its cold brews and the nice sunroom in the back. It was too cold during this winter day for a cold brew so we got hot teas and coffee instead. The sunroom was also occupied. Aaron enjoyed his coffee but unfortunately, my chai latte was too sweet for my taste once again. Looks like I haven’t learnt from my previous lesson. Note to self: NEVER order a tea latte straight up. Always ask for unsweetened then I can always add sugar if needed.

For brunch, we walked over to Toro, a popular Spanish tapas restaurant. Compared to their usual dinner menu, they have a limited brunch menu with selected tapas. To my disappointment, there was no paella, which is my favourite Spanish dish. I probably shouldn’t be having paella for brunch anyway. They did have patatas bravas which is another one of my favourite Spanish tapas that I usually get at every restaurant. It was good but not the best I’ve had. The spicy tomato sauce was a little overbearing for me.

Patatas bravas @ Toro

Next, we tried the Uni Bocadillo, which was a sea urchin sandwich. We enjoyed our uni experience so much on our first day here that we had to try another dish with this. We can definitely taste the uni very strongly here. It was less buttery compared to Neptune’s raw uni so I would say I enjoyed Neptune’s more.

Uni Bocadillo @ Toro

Our main for the day was the Dutch Baby which was a thick pancake with sultanas, vanilla syrup, and smoked butter. It was pretty good if you have a sweet tooth. We figured this wasn’t enough food so we also ordered the smoked duck drummettes or Pato con Membrillo, which was good but not amazing.

I had a few regrets after visiting this restaurant. It has really good reviews yet I feel underwhelmed. Perhaps we ordered the wrong dishes? I feel like maybe we should have tried the popular grilled corn or maiz asado (which I for some reason did not feel like at that time) and a board of Spanish ham (or jamones) which looked really good. Perhaps we will try their dinner menu next time.

After brunch, we had an impromptu meeting with a friend. I found out earlier this morning that my friend happened to be in Boston at the same time. In the past, we’ve explored St. John’s, Newfoundland together, met up in Toronto where he lives and in Ottawa where I live so what are the chances we end up randomly in Boston at the same time? We had to meet up. He was doing a very cool self-led brewery tour where friends can just join along the way. The timing worked out that he was going to be at Cambridge Brewing Company around the time we finished brunch. We took a bus and headed over there. It worked out perfectly as I were planning to check out the MIT museum in the same area today. This brewery was very spacious and had pretty good beers. We tried a nice flight of beers from herbal light beers to hoppy IPAs. After a quick catch-up, we were off to check out the museum before it closed.

After a short walk, we were at the MIT museum. To our surprise, since it was the last Sunday of the month, entrance was free! They were closing in around 1 hour so we hurried on upstairs. I really enjoyed the Gestural Engineering exhibit while Aaron enjoyed the Polaroid one. Then we went back to the first floor. Unfortunately a lot of the robots were out of order at the time of visit, so there wasn’t too much to see. Overall, the museum was a lot smaller than we expected. The gift store was also very crowded at the end so we didn’t pick up anything.

Art piece in the Gestural Engineering exhibit @ MIT Museum

Aaron wanted to check out CambridgeSide mall on our way back to the hotel, so we Lyfted over. To my disappointment, it was a very small mall with not a great selection of stores. I would not recommend it. 

We decided to take a nice walk back to our hotel and walked by the science museum which looked a lot more impressive than the MIT museum (on the outside at least). 

We were pretty tired by this point and it was raining so we decided to go somewhere nearby for dinner. There was a Bruins Game going on, so again the streets very buzzing with sports fans. Our choice for dinner tonight was pizza at the famous Regina Pizzeria. According to Google, they “weren’t busy at all”, but when we arrived, we saw a long line outside the restaurant even despite the bad weather on this Sunday evening. I was so tired earlier that I was actually looking to see if they would be on Uber Eats. They weren’t but apparently they are on GrubHub as I saw many drivers coming to pick up pizzas to-go. It turned out to be around a 40-minute wait before we were finally dry, warm and comfortable in a cozy booth. We were debating whether to get 2 small pizzas vs. 1 large one and decided on 2 small ones because we wanted to try different toppings and they didn’t specify whether half and half pies were an option. We found out after the fact that they do offer half and half pies. We also did the math after the fact and realized that 1 large pizza had a greater surface area than 2 small ones, so it will be more bang for your buck. In case you were wondering and were too lazy to do that math, you’re welcome!

Our pizza choices for the night is the #11 The Giambotta which had pepperoni, sausage, salami, mushrooms, peppers, onions, fresh basil and mozzarella cheese. It was a solid meat lovers choice. To balance that off, we ordered the #19 Mediterranean Pizza which had marinara sauce, caramelized onions, roasted red peppers, black and green olives, red pepper flakes, capers, feta cheese, extra virgin olive oil and fresh basil. I like olives but I felt they were overly generous with this topping. Otherwise it was a great pizza. Their service was very fast and I was very impressed with the servers pizza cutting skills as we sat right by the window where the pizzas would come out. Overall, excellent pizzas, with very generous toppings. I would probably want to choose my own toppings next time. With a full stomach, we head home and enjoyed a night in, while reading some of the School of Life books found in our hotel room.

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