Thursday, July 29, 2010

Five Days of Fantastic Food with a Fabulous Friend

While I share a love of food with most of my friends, Deanna is my original foodie friend. Back in college, when most fellow Simmons students would go to Ruby's--a little hole-in-the-wall goldmine/basement sandwich shop on Pilgrim Road--for acceptably soupy tuna subs, Deanna would order a bagel, toasted with roast beef, cream cheese, sliced red onion and capers. Seriously. It took me a while to get on board that Foodie Train, but once I joined her, I haven't looked back.

We've been friends now for 25 years, and still try to get together once a year. To that end we have shared many vacations and even more meals--in Boston and Baltimore, Hartford and West Hartford, Philadelphia and DC.  We have more hits then misses, and still make the effort to try new restaurants as well as visit old favorites when we're close to home--hers or mine.

As has become a new tradition, we went immediately to Maine Fish Market after I picked her up on Saturday so she could get her summer steamers fix. There's no shortage of crabs in Baltimore, but steamers? Not so much. Later that night, after a little time by the pool, we stayed in; I made halibut for dinner. Sunday night we went to Bricco in West Hartford, a favorite for us both. Monday we went to my mom's (also a tradition) where we feasted on homemade Polish favorites--kielbasa and kapusta (Deanna's no fool, Norma!). Then Tuesday we drove to Boston. When we arrived, we tried the trendy new Cafeteria on Newbury Street for lunch, which had been on my list to try and which we both really enjoyed. Later, when we ventured out for dinner, we went to Stephanie's on Newbury, a long time favorite of both of ours and always a sure thing. (Three words: Lobster Pot Pie.)

Eastern Standard
Our food adventures ended at Eastern Standard in Kenmore Square, where we had one of our best meals. Not just this vacation, but ever. I had been meaning to go there for a couple of years--and finally got there with a very willing Deanna yesterday afternoon before she flew back to Baltimore. We loved everything: her bleu cheese souffle with greens, my perfect mixed greens salad, her pan roasted trout and my chicken schnitzel. It really was exceptional: the perfect ending to a great vacation.

Our vacations are not entirely about food (or shopping, which we did do a fair amount of, truth be told) though, so it could have a disappointing meal (much like her experience at JPs Licks, which was out of Oreo Frozen Yogurt--again!) and still a good visit. There's just something about being the company of an old friend, as comfortable in the silence of reading by the pool or inside in the cool as in conversation in the car or at a table.

The friendship matters most. Food is the accoutrement.


Tam said...

Envious...hungry...excited to come visit!! Sounds like a great time and some awesome food. Can't wait to share with you too :)

Norma said...

Mom's cooking = love
My mouth is watering, yum.

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