30 Days of Comfort and Joy: Part 2 (#11-20)

In case you missed Part 1 of 3, begin at the beginning with 30 Days of Comfort and Joy: Boston Dining.

Comfort and Joy when dining out in Boston.
Comfort and Joy when dining out in Boston.  From oysters to burgers and coffee to chocolate.

I’m a fan of oysters, my father is a fan of oysters, my daughter is a fan of oysters and many of my friends are oyster lovers as well.  As residents of the coast (relatively speaking), we walk on a ground paved in oyster shells.  Loving oysters connects us to our home, or at least that’s the story I’m sticking with. Not to mention, there is something so comforting about putting the taste of the sea to your lips and the soft smooth glide of an oyster down your throat.  There are so many great ways to indulge in oysters and the link in #1 lists a handful for just of ways to enjoy them locally for just about every day of the week.

  1. Oysters:  From $1 oysters to oyster indulgence.
  2. Burgers:  Burgers are a great hearty winter comfort food.  Maybe 4th of July and summer barbecues are when you crave a burger most, but I think of a cozy restaurant, an easy date night, a nice juicy burger perfectly constructed, and a warm spot to linger over a beer in from the dark of night.  In fact if you’re out doing holiday shopping, The Street over in Chestnut Hill has plenty of burger options with Shake Shake and the newly opened Del Frisco’s Grille in addition to plenty of fun events going on for the holidays.
  3. Wagamama serves some delicious comfort foods in soup and noodle form.  I love the crisp shrimp appetizers and the chicken itame on a cold night.  If you find room after for dessert you’ll be pleasantly surprised.  The desserts are delicious and a joy to share with a loved one.
  4. Formaggio Kitchen is an experience of joy.  If you love food, if you love cheese, if you love sweets, if you love wine, if you love beer, you will be surrounded by some of the best comforts of the world.  Whether you shop there weekly or you stop in for special occasions, Formaggio will treat you well from the selection of carefully cared for cheeses and meats to the knowledge that their staff has, you are in good hands there.
  5. Swissbäkers specializes in Swiss bakery treats.  They have an incredible selection of doughnuts (Berliner), pretzels, linzer cookies, macarons and more.  I go to Swissbäkers for their pretzels.  I love the salty smooth mahogany exterior and the soft chewy inside.  For a treat, I’ll pick up a Berliner or two because there is joy in seeing someone bite into a round soft ball and then look up at you with a face covered in sparkly granulated sugar.
  6. Moving on from Switzerland to Sofra where the flavours are Turkish/Mediterranean.  Sofra glows with warmth from the coffee and treats as well as from the large copper drum tables.  It is my favourite spot to go early in the morning just as they are opening up for a quiet coffee.  Breakfast pastries are very sweet and full of interesting flavours.  I like the Simit as it is a bit less sweet or the savoury breakfast options like the Turkish breakfast, the beet cured salmon.  When I am craving sweet, the semolina pancakes with seasonal spoon jams is my treat of choice.
  7. Pie=comfort.  There are so many kinds of pies.  I think part of the comfort and joy comes from the fact that pies come in so many forms.  Pies have history.  Pies are regional.  Everyone has a pie they like best.  In Boston you can get savoury pies at KO Pies or at home you can make tradition French-Canadian savoury Tourtières. (Side Note:  This is Quebec Week at Craigie on Main even though Tourtière is not on the menu everything on it looks délicieux).  When it comes to sweet pies, we head to Petsi Pies.  My daughter’s favourite is the cherry crumble pie and I love her pecan pie.  If quiche counts as pie then pick up one of those at Petsi Pies or The Biscuit for your next brunch gathering.
  8. Diesel (as in coffee not fuel, but then again coffee is fuel for the body and soul) is a great spot to get away from it all for a bit.  Whether you are parked at one of the eclectic booths working on your Apple computer for the morning or you are popping in for some of the best coffee and sandwiches in town, Diesel will give you joy.  Added bonus is that a little hipster might rub off on you just from being in the building.
  9. Continuing on with coffee, I have to share my favourite locally roasted coffee, although Dwelltime comes in a close second.  Karma Coffee is a place that I’ll trek every so often for the full experience of the ever so comforting inhale of roasting coffee.  I’ll get a cappuccino or a black iced coffee, and ask David if I can taste a few beans before I pick up a pound or two.  Karma Coffee can also be found at some of the winter markets.
  10. Chocolate and confections: I have openly admitted that my favourite hot chocolate is Swiss Miss, but I appreciate the rich joy of an L.A. Burdick’s hot chocolate too.  Recently, my daughter and her friend were treated to a sweet delivery from Phillip’s Candy House.  The hot chocolate gift package came with Phillip’s Candy House’s hot chocolate blend, a bag of mini-marshmallows and chocolate chips, and a peppermint stick.  I’ve never seen the hot chocolate disappear so fast!  The peppermint stick as a swizzle stick and the chocolate chips melting into the hot milk were a definite hit.  My 1st choice for local chocolates is still EHChocolatier, though.  Their caramels cannot be beat and I’ve seen the work that goes into perfecting each flavour and new treat.  I still love the ancho bars, the tea bonbons, and of course the pecan clusters, but my newest find are the beer nut bars.  Last but not least, I love Sweet Lydia‘s confections.  She is the queen of local s’mores.  In fact, I’m heading out to Gather Here‘s holiday fair to pick up a few right now.

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