On the Elm

Every February comes a wonderful little sporting holiday for Boston-area college hockey fans – the Beanpot. On the first two Mondays in February, four schools (Boston University, Boston College, Harvard University, Northeastern University) play each other at the Garden for a literal silver beanpot trophy and bragging rights around the city*. Having gone to one of the schools, I like to try to watch the games.

Living in Denver and not having NESN on my TV package can make it a bit tricky. The alumni association has organized watch parties in the past, but hasn’t for the past few years. The last one they organized, however, was at The Elm.

elm

elm2
Menu.

The Elm, on East Colfax, is a Boston bar and a really fun little joint. Since we’re always there on Mondays, B usually partakes in their burger deal which is a $7 burger and fries/side.

elm_burger
I’ve stolen bites. It really is a pretty tasty burger.

Yesterday, I actually decided to try their clam chowder.

elm_chowder

They call it a traditional New England clam chowder. It’s … okay. It’s so hard to find good chowder not on the coasts of this country. Brandon thought the base was a little too thin and I found it a bit too peppery for my tastes.

What I usually get, though, is their lobster roll (because of course).

elm_lobster_roll

They diced the celery a little finer on my second go around this February which made it a lot better, but this is definitely one of the better lobster rolls around. Chock full of large pieces of lobster on the proper bun (which, as I’ve said before, makes SUCH a difference), I would definitely recommend it.

Our friend Jeremy joined us and got the fried clams both nights. I didn’t snag a picture, but he says they’re as good as any he had when living back East (I tried them; they were good, but I have no reference point). We got chatting with the Elm’s general manager after the game and she said to try their roast beef sandwich, as it’s apparently really close to Massachusetts legend Kelly’s Roast Beef, which I’ve never been able to try.

If you’re a Boston ex-pat (ex-Pat? Ha …) living in Denver or just love a good lobster roll, check out the Elm.

*The women’s team of each school also participates in a women’s Beanpot, typically held on the first two Tuesdays of February, with the exception being this year due to Valentine’s Day.

Dining in Boston: Part Two

As part one was breakfast, I’m dedicating part two to seafood, because Boston has a lot of it and it is delicious.

However, since this *is* me, eating seafood in Boston mostly means clam chowder and lobster rolls. So y’know …

The seafood started on Day One with a stop at Union Oyster House for chowder. Brandon also tried oysters (missed a picture) and I tried their lobster roll.

union_oyster_house_lobster_roll
The lobster itself was really good, the bun was accurate; the only thing “off” was the use of lettuce and tomato. Which I generally like on a sandwich, but does not belong on a lobster roll.

On Day Two, we split a lobster roll at James Hook and Co., one of the places I read had a good one. The list was accurate here, as this may have been my favorite lobster roll of the trip.

james_hook_co_lobster_roll

We headed off to the Barking Crab next as Brandon said they had good chowder, but I was disappointed (and, so was he). Consistency was all off; it almost felt like a cheese soup as opposed to a chowder.

barking_crab_clam_chowder

Day Three led to a trip to the ever-awesome Legal Sea Foods for dinner. While we enjoyed gluten in our food (chowder, their delicious rolls), our friend Nic, who we went with, has celiac disease. Legal’s went above and beyond making sure everything was gluten-free and wonderful for her. From gluten-free chowder to gluten-free rolls and even a specific extra staff member to help her out, they were outstanding. So, if you have celiac disease and are in Boston (or any of the other cities Legal’s has an outpost in), head to Legal Sea Foods – they will treat you well.

Continuing on, Brandon and I both had a cup of chowder, because of course.

legal_sea_foods_chowder

Both Brandon and Nic had the Grilled Assortment, which was a chef’s choice of three fish (salmon, swordfish, and tuna), shrimp, and scallops. It was a ton of food.

legal_sea_foods_managers_choice

I chose something a bit different, and got the Nutty Faroe Island Salmon, which was almond-encrusted salmon sauteed in a lemon-butter caper sauce served with spinach and (which sold me) mushroom ravioli. The ravioli? On point. The salmon? Pretty good, but I don’t know if I’d order it again. Plus, capers? Ew.

legal_sea_foods_almond_salmon

Our next seafood adventure wasn’t until Day Six (we needed a break). I had heard from multiple sources (online, one of the guys at Union Oyster House) that the best lobster roll in town was the hot roll (Connecticut style) at Neptune Oyster. I also read that the place filled up super quickly so we got there before they opened, still waited in line, and barely got seated. The place is a teeny tiny hole in the wall in the North End. We, and most everyone in there, ordered the hot lobster roll.

neptune_oyster_lobster_roll

To be perfectly honest … I’ve had better. The bun, as you can see in the picture, is incorrect, and it made a difference. The roll also fell apart more than it should have (too much butter?) and the taste? Off. Both Brandon and I wondered if everyone loved it solely for the fact that a hot lobster roll is simply hard to find in Boston. The fries, however, were perfect seafood fries, though I wonder if I think that solely because they’re very similar to what’s served at a seafood restaurant here in town …

After Neptune, we headed to Boston Sail Loft which supposedly has some of the best chowder in town. It might … if you like dill in your clam chowder. Which we definitely don’t.

boston_sail_loft_chowder
Aaaaalll the dill.

We couldn’t even finish our chowder. We could tell the waitress was concerned as she kept asking if everything was okay. I over-tipped her with a note on the receipt saying that nothing was her fault; we just don’t like dill!

There were a few more lobster rolls I would have liked to have tried (including Legal’s, but I would have had to hit them up for lunch for that), but I think I hit my limit on the trip. Next time …