Monday, November 25, 2013

The BEST pizza in the world

Most of our morning was spent helping people get ready, repacking suitcases and eventually checking out of the hotel room. Though I was staying another night, I would be checking into a smaller, cheaper room at the same hotel. Just as well anyway; we had done a pretty good job of using that room over the last 6 days and I'm not sure I would have really enjoyed sleeping in the same beds as the five other people who had been sharing it that entire time. I'm too much of an adult for that nowadays.

Despite the fact that we'd had it cleaned almost every day, we'd still had to sneakily dump our overfilled trash cans into the community trash can near the ice machine (which was also used frequently). My genius contribution to our makeshift solutions: after we were done eating the Edible Arrangement, we dumped all the foam and extra kale that was stuck in it and used it as a large ice bucket for all of the small bottles of bubbly that Rhina and I had bought combined (mine was the Veuve, hers were 6 tiny bottles of prosecco...pretty funny really). Boom, instant large ice bucket. Surely better than anything the hotel had provided. Also another stroke of genius on my part earlier in the trip: we kept calling and getting clean sheets for the air mattress Rhinda had brought with her for the extra two girls (yes, that's right, someone brought an air, it wasn't like back in college where it was six people in two beds...that would have been awful). However, we needed a way to get rid of these sheets. What did we do? Placed them somewhere down the hallway so they weren't associated with our room. Hilarious, but genius.

Btw Rhinda's stroke of genius in preparation for the entire trip: goody bags for the entire set of girls that included things you would actually use: cheap reusable plastic water bottles, hair ties, lip balms, wet wipes, Shout stain removing pens, tiny tins of mini Altoids, and all of the toiletries you could need to get ready for nights out (scented scrubbing face wipes, makeup remover, tooth paste, tiny packs of kleenex, makeup for the group, even cheap jewelry in case you didn't accessorize yourself). Right before the trip started she literally sent out a message that said, Don't bring your own toiletries, I will provide everything that you will need! And she was right. All you needed was your own toothbrush. It was a fantastic idea. If/when I ever get married, this is definitely an idea I am going to run with.

All of this genius was dispersed as all of us prepared our suitcases for the final venture out of the room. A "goods" auction happened at the last minute to distribute the last of the items left in the room. Nothing was left.

The four of us who remained after the morning leavings and some disappearances (the girl with Bostonian guy friends was always in and out, or so we learned along the trip) then went into town for the day and had our last hurrahs. On our way in to Quincy Market, where we'd had the first forays into clam chowder and the disappointing baked clam, we found ourselves face to face with a grilled cheese sandwich food truck called Roxy's, one of Rhinda's bucket list items before she left. It was clearly serendipity.

All of us ordered different types except for the fourth, who got a lobster roll from a nearby other food truck. As we were munching a Latin truck rolled up and we all whispered to ourselves that it was clearly too little, too late.

After tasting all the flavors, we all agreed that we liked someone else's sandwich more. I guess it's always a case of "the grass is always greener...". Hilarious. Especially when the flavors are things like:
  • Fontina with boneless bbq shortribs and caramelized onions
  • Muenster with homemade guacamole and applewood smoked bacon
  • Some kind of cheese (I forget) with cranberry sauce, pumpkin, and turkey (clearly the seasonal special)
I believe the correct answer is: you cannot go wrong. And really you couldn't. I enjoyed the bbq shortribs so much but I got the one with guac. Not a bad choice in any direction. Really, not.

We visited a few places we'd been before, reminiscing about the times that had happened and also stopping into a few new places we'd not noticed. I vowed to go back into a boutique with cute clothes and jewelry later that day after everyone had left. What a great city.

It was around this time that Rhinda received a recommendation for the BEST pizza in the world (literally, that's how it was broadcast in the text message) from the girl we'd met earlier for German happy hour. Well, that was just a challenge we were too interested in to pass up! So we shuffled over to Umberto Galleria and stood in line for the pizza that had such a big reputation for being the best in the world that it usually sold out before 2pm.

There weren't even flavors to choose from. It literally said "pizza" on the menu, and that's what you got. It was $1.65 a slice.

Cheese pizza. I guess I should have known when it just says "pizza" and the place is clearly legit Italian. Real Italians don't do anything to their pizzas except put the finest and simplest ingredients. I kid you not, this is always how it rolls.

When Rhinda's friend arrived to meet us, she said that her explanation for BEST was based on the fact that no one makes a good cheese pizza and this was in fact, the best cheese pizza in the world. I did think it was rather good...but as someone who never orders cheese pizza I'm afraid I'll have to admit that I'm no connoisseur. It was very tasty though, and clearly very fresh.

We then nipped over to the public library for a tour of the place. Rhinda's friend was going to give us a tour herself when we stepped in and saw we were actually five minutes early to a legit free tour. Yes and yes. We waited and the tour began.

As we walked in this library and outside its grounds, I was absolutely spellbound. I've never seen such a gorgeous library in my life. Really. So much art and architecture, such fabulous materials. The woman tour guide kept mentioning how people have their weddings there...I bet they do! It's fabulous in there! I would kill (not literally) to have my wedding there. And thus began the joke between Rhinda and I that I would need to get married there. We'll see what happens in the future.

My god should I be so lucky. This place is incredible. So much history and art and well...everything. The place is absolutely gorgeous. And to be married in a place where all the great stories are stored. I can dream of nothing better, to be honest. (Ah, my silly girl heart dreams!).

It was around this time that more of our group started to peter out, flights and work and all. And after the tour, Rhinda herself and the last remaining girl needed to head back to the hotel to get ready for their flight also. I followed them to check into my room and get ready for the solo night ahead.

We said our goodbyes and everyone left. I checked into my singular room (surprisingly fancy...or maybe I just perceived it that way because there weren't several other people trying to use the bathroom all at the same time or random wet towels thrown everywhere) and repacked my suitcase. I then wrote my singular postcard to the one person I still send postcards to, freshened up, and hit the town again.

What did I do by myself you ask? Haha, not a hell of a lot of interesting stuff, actually. I went to CVS and picked up the hangover formula that I would be testing in London. I went back to the boutique where I'd spotted cute clothes and jewelry before and continued to shop to my heart's desire.

And it was exactly at this point, when I was trying on myriads of clothes that I got the most peculiar of calls...

...Rhinda was calling me from the airport. Said that her flight was delayed to a point where she wouldn't make her connecting flight. She was coming back into town and staying the night with me.

Whoo hoo! Who would have thought? Such strange coincidences life throws at you!

So I finished up my shopping eventually and met her for dinner (she had already had time to drop her luggage back at the hotel).

We went for Boston baked beans, the one thing on my list that I still hadn't gotten to and was so curious about. The concierge at the hotel had recommended a place called Durgin Park by Quincy Market. Surprisingly difficult to find but worth it.

We ordered another mayo lobster roll since baked beans and coleslaw came with it, along with a baker's dozen of oysters and some more Sam Adams beer that could only be had in Boston.

Hilariously baked beans are listed under the "Fresh veggies" category of things on this menu. Along with mac and cheese. You know, cause you need everything ever to count as a veggie when your menu is like this. Maybe this is what fresh seafood does to you - everything that isn't seafood is a veggie.

Anyway, the beans. They were surprisingly different than beans I'd had before. I know that sounds stupid in some ways, but really they were quite different. They had individual texture - so not mushy but rather round on their own and with a little bit of resistance while still being smooth on the inside. Their sauce was also more molasses (which is to be expected, as that's what they're made of) instead of plain sweet and there was almost a bitter or smoky flavor to them instead of a meat flavor, despite there being pieces of bacon with them.

Overall they were great. Not my favorite of all beans, but certainly something I would eat with regularity should I live in Boston. Definitely something I would make should I have a ready supply of molasses.

We then spent the night like we did our first night - we grabbed a bottle of bubbly from a nearby liquor store and watched Keeping up with the Kardashians while chatting until it was late enough to go to sleep. Just until a little past midnight this time, rather than 4am.

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