September 05, 2009

A feast: Boston's North End

Mike and I went into Boston tonight to stroll around and dine in the North End. I'm glad I don't live in the North End because I would want to eat constantly. There's an eatery every hundred feet. And they're all awesome.

There were giant lines outside Mike's Pastry, famous for cannolis, and Giacomo's, a cash-only restaurant on Hanover Street. I heard a guy say that the ATM across the street from Giacomo's "is the busiest ATM in Boston." I asked somebody in the Giacomo line what the attraction was. He didn't know. He was standing in an hour-long line for Italian food in an area with scores of places to eat Italian food, most without lines, and he didn't know why, exactly, he was standing there. His wife said, "It's good food."

We'd just feasted at Assaggio on Prince Street. Good food. No line.

And the line at Mike's Pastry? You don't have to stand in it. "That's the tourist line," said a local, when I asked out loud on the sidewalk in front of Mike's whether the cannoli within could be worth that kind of wait. "You don't have to stand in that line," said the North Ender, holding a white and blue Mike's Pastry box secured with string. "Just go in and go up to the counter."

The North End's a feast.