Endless Road Trip Boston: Ye Olde Union Oyster House

On our Sam Adams tour, we heard references to the Union Oyster house several times during the two hours we were there. One memorable reference was to their food, while the other was to a beer that they brew only to serve at that one location. So obviously, our post-brewery eating agenda was set.

Of course, what’s a trip to Boston without a little history?!  The Union Oyster House claims to fame because of its food, yes, but also its history. It’s the oldest restaurant (in continuous service) in the United States. The restaurant has seated members of the Union Army, those damn Red Coats (I’m sure), presidents and politician, including plenty of those Kennedys. Apparently JFK had a favorite booth upstairs that is now dedicated to him—“The Kennedy Booth.”

It’s also more in more demand than we thought…with a three-hour wait, we had reservations at 10:00 P.M. It was also worth it…

Oyster House Clam Chowder

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The Endless Road Trip — San Diego’s Top 10 Eats: 2. Tostada Loca

As has been mentioned many times previously on ES, I have a crazy addiction.

Because I am so obsessed with bringing you, dear readers, news of the outrageous and over-the-top food world, I always, always, always have to order the craziest thing on the menu. If the item actually has the word “crazy” in its name, it’s just over.

The well-reviewed Mariscos German Taco Truck (that’s pronounced her-man, they’re Mexican, not some kind of weird Bavarian taco truck) in San Diego had tons of exciting, classy menu items on the day that I went. There were smoked marlin tacos. There was shrimp ceviche. There was calamari. There was also something called “tostada loca,” so I pretty much had no choice.

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What Does a $200 Meal Look Like?

A few weekends ago I was lucky enough to attend a dinner at the Herbfarm with my similarly food-obsessed friend, Shawna. The Herbfarm is not just any restaurant. It is one of the most lauded dining experiences in Washington state, if not the country.

Each evening is a set nine-course menu that adheres to a seasonal theme. Our night was “A Spring Forager’s Dinner,” featuring, unsurprisingly, a bounty of foraged Northwest ingredients. I honestly do not know how to use written words to adequately emphasize the amazing freshness of each course, or the intense satisfaction at the end of our meal. Actually, I think in this case it is more effective to show rather than tell.

These are all pictures taken in semi-stealth, meaning no flash or rearranging of plates/glasses at our communal table. I didn’t want to be the asshole with the repeatedly disruptive camera in this elegant atmosphere, blinding all the sophisticated diners who threw down hundreds of dollars for this meal. But I had to have something to show you!

 

1. From the Edge of the Sea

Kombu-Cured Albacore Tuna on Seaweed Crackers with Oregon Wasabi Root
Pickled Bull Kelp Stalk with Puget Sound Geoduck on Nori Seaweed Sauce
Local Spot Prawn Soup with Smoked Quinault River Steelhead Roe & Chives

 

2. Hen ‘n’ Nettle

Pan-Roasted Eastern Washington Spring Chicken & Its Crispy Confit
With Poached Hanna Hama Oysters, Radish, Stinging Nettle Sauce, and Lovage Oil

 

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Top 10 Things to Eat Before the End of the World

It’s no secret that May 21, 2011 is Judgment Day—the end of the world—as so eloquently articulated (or do we mean ridiculously predicted?) by Family Radio Worldwide’s Harold Camping. Here at ES, we think the best solution to eminent annihilation is to indulge at one of our favorite foodie destinations. And if some of us survive, at least it’ll be easier to get a reservation.

10. English Pudding All Night

The stickiest way to finish up your time on Earth is at the  Three Ways House Hotel in Gloucestershire, England, where they have created the Pudding Club, an “end of the world” experience where you can indulge in a tasting of no less than seven puddings, from oriental ginger to jam roly-poly, and even stay the night in a pudding-themed bedroom. Talk about going out with a bang.

9. Salt-Baked Fingerling Potatoes with Bacon Butter and Anchovy Mayo

Chef Megan Johnson at Elsewhere Restaurant in New York City has created a deceptively simple dish combining the best of all things fatty, starchy, salty and creamy—all the palette pleasers you’ll miss when forced to live on dirt and ants if you’re lucky enough to survive.

8. Mexican-Style Street Corn with Cotija Cheese and Ancho Chile Powder

Austin’s La Condesa restaurant not only serves up more than 100 varieties of blue agave tequila (an essential for pre-Judgment Day partying), but also offers this signature south-of-the-border street corn side dish. If the world really were ending soon, we’d start covering every vegetable we eat in cotija cheese and chili. (Photo: Shelly Roche)

7. East Mountain Pork Live Paté

A beautifully decadent house-made paté is accompanied by onion confit and rye toast at Mezze, a classic bistro and bar nestled in the Berkshires with views straight to heaven. (Photo: Gregory Nesbit)

6. 1949 Chevalier-Montrachet Maison Leroy

Our bomb shelter of choice would have to be the St. Regis Deer Valley’s wine vault, stocked with more than 1,000 different rare labels. Acclaimed sommelier Mark Eberwein recommends popping one of these 60-year-old whites for your last night on earth. (Photo: My Wines and More)

Next: Top 5 Things to Eat Before the End of the World

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Come Hither, Sweet Vosges Truffle

I am kind of a chocolate freak.
I think a truffle a day keeps the doctor away.
Because truffles are more delicious than apples.
Life is not like a bowl of apples, it is like a box of chocolates.
You really never quite know what you’re going to get.

As is the case from exotic chocolate maker Vosges, which produces things like bacon chocolateoyster infused cream truffles, and enchanted mushroom chocolate bars.

The Vosges Luxe Sweet Coquette Truffle Collection is more of an experience than a box of chocolates. My sampling included instructions on how to eat them:

be present, see, touch, smell, snap, taste, linger and ponder your next move.

Okay, I like it. I rarely follow instructions, but these seemed to be well thought out and cover most of the senses. In fact, I’m gonna have to tell you about each one of these babies:

Kumamoto Truffle: kumamoto oysters, champagne, 36% cocoa butter white chocolate, pearl dust.

Oysters and chocolate? Don’t ask questions, just do it. Beyond the creamy, dreamy white chocolate goodness, the taste inspired visions of the sea. Not the sea as in a ferry to Ellis Island, but the sea as in that Cialis commercial where the couple is relaxing in clawfoot bath tubs overlooking the ocean. There is a hint of oyster cream that will probably make your lady rip her clothes off.

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