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A Day With Abby's Family; Intermission Tavern (JP's Review)


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So it's a lovely Saturday in Boston. The weather cannot be any better, low 80's with a slight breeze. Abby's parents came into town today to visit with us and see the new condo. They arrived around 10:00AM and I just finished cooking breakfast. Spicy homefries, scrambled eggs with cheese and peppers, and some crispy bacon. A very good hearty breakfast to fill up for a day full of walking.

Once Abby's brother showed up, we headed out on a nice walk. We went down Washington Street, choosing not to jump onto the Crack Taxi (Silver Line) pointing out all the great restaurants, bars and shops that are in our neighborhood to Abby's family. Her brother will actually be moving into the neighborhood in September and he's excited about being in the city.

After walking from our condo all the way through Chinatown, Downtown Crossing and finally getting to Faneuil Hall, we were all ready for a nice tasty beverage. We ducked down the stairs of Black Horse Tavern, a nice little bar in the heart of Faneuil Hall that is normally empty of tourists. Well, even with the normal urine smell and sticky floors, there were a handful of tourists having lunch. Very strange...this is not the type of place I would find myself into if I was walking around Boston for the first time. I mean, North End is right there with all the great restaurants. But, then again, I suggested this place for us knowing that the beers are nice and cold and we could have a conversation. We didn't linger too long, after a couple of Black and Tans we headed out and towards the North End. Abby's brother was hungry for a snack, and I knew the best place for it: Ernesto's.

Ernesto's, to me, is the best pizza joint in all of Boston. People will scream about Upper Crust and Bertuccis, but none of them compare to the large slices of Ernesto's. For anyone wanting to come here, remember that a slice of pizza is 1/4th of a whole pizza. It's sliced down the middle and is essentially two huge slices. Starting at $3.50 for a one topping pizza, it might be one of the best steals in Boston. Abby and I split a slice, as did her parents. Her brother, who was really hungry, got one to himself. I got the sausage and pepperoni and it was toasty and smoking hot out of the oven with just the right about of grease on top. Absolutely fabulous!

While we were finishing our pizza break, Abby's cousin Annie showed up to say hi. We walked down Salem to see the Old North Church and then cut across to get to Hanover St, which was partially shut down for the St. Josephs' Festival. There were a lot of little booths of food and games. I would have snacked there if I had known about this, but I think we made the right choice with Ernesto's. After checking out the festival, we headed out of North End towards the Financial District for another drink. We make a stop to The Times bar, which has a great outdoor patio. This is a relatively new bar to me, only discovered a couple of months ago. I gotta say...I like it. While we were sitting down and telling Abby's parents that we like this bar, they ask us "Are there any bars in this town you don't like?" Which is a pretty valid question, considering all day we were pointing out all our favorite watering holes and restaurants as we walked through the city. (This is a whole other blog topic, one that will come soon in a few days. A list of our favorites and least favorite places throughout Boston.)

Finally, we walked through the financial district, through downtown crossing and then into the Commons. After a quick stroll through the park, we headed to our dinner spot: Intermission Tavern.

Located on Tremont Street, opposite of the 7-11, lies Intermission Tavern. A bar that has great bartenders and waitstaff and surprisingly really, really good bar food. I mean, this is not a bar trying to make ultra-high end bar food, with saffron and foie gras burgers...no this is just a bar that takes bar food and does it really, really well. Juicy thick burgers, homemade potato chips, and tasty mac and cheese. Nothing pretentious at all. We start by ordering a drink that I'd like to take credit for inventing a couple of years ago at the Intermission Tavern, but I know I didn't. They have a few infused vodkas behind the bar, normally a pineapple, strawberry and kiwi, and mango, just to name a few. Today I got the pineapple vodka with orange juice and cranberry juice. Yes I know this is an already known drink for generations, but I still like to think I invented it with the infused vodkas. For dinner, Abby and her mom got burgers, and all the men got the Guinness battered fish and chips. I gotta say, I was slightly disappointed with the fish and chips. It was cooked perfectly, with the fish flaking at the touch, but the batter and the fish were a little bland. Maybe the seasonings were just forgotten during the battering process...I don't know. The fries were not greasy at all and very crispy. Abby got the potato chips with her burger and they were cooked perfectly. However, I remember the Intermission putting a ranch powder all over the chips, but not today. We have noticed that in the past, it all depends on who's cooking in the slightly open kitchen. We didn't recognize the crew working inside the hot kitchen today, so maybe that lead to the slight imperfections in our meal. Even so, we'll still come back and enjoy the infused vodkas and eat the good food.

I give Intermission Tavern a 4 out of 5.

Intermission Tavern on Urbanspoon


My favorite part of this story is when cousin Annie showed up. That girl sounds amazing!