Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Quincy: A Historic Culinary Destination (Part 1)

When is the last time you dined at a restaurant in Quincy?

Quincy, the City of Presidents. It is the birthplace of Presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams, as well as John Hancock. Nowadays, you can even visit the crypts of John Adams, John Quincy Adams and their wives in the basement of the United First Parish Church. I recently visited the crypts, reflected in the picture above. There are plenty of other historical items of interest in Quincy, forming an intriguing background for the recent upsurge in new restaurants which are helming to transform Quincy.

It is easy and relatively quick to travel to Quincy. A short 11.5 mile drive separates Boston from Quincy, although you could also just take the Red Line and get off in Quincy Center. Within about a five minute walk of the Quincy Center station, you will find a diversity of restaurants, bakeries, food shops and more in what is known as the Hancock District.

There are a number of new and upcoming restaurants coming to this District, including Belfry Hall (a modern American craft beer hall), The Courtyard at Cagney’s (a seasonal outdoor extension of this craft beer pub), Fuji At West Of Chestnut (Japanese and Asian), KKatie’s Burger Bar (the fourth location of a famed South Shore burger bar), Pho Pasteur (the second location of this Vietnamese eatery based in Chinatown),  Shaking Crab (Cajun, Creole and soul food), and Zef Cicchetti & Raw Bar (Italian small plates & raw bar). These places will join a number of other interesting restaurants such as Alba Restaurant, The Fat Cat16C and The Townshend.

Kerry Byrne (pictured above) is a Quincy native, a food writer for the Boston Herald, and the owner of KJB Trending Hospitality. One of Kerry's clients is the City of Quincy and he is helping to promote the city, telling the fascinating stories of its historic past and compelling present. Kerry recently invited me to come down to Quincy and let him show me a few of the restaurants making their mark. I took the Red Line down to Quincy Center, getting there a little early so I could do a little wandering on my own too.

Gunther Tooties is a bagel cafe, a small chain with five locations on the South Shore that is owned by Tony Chen, a Chinese immigrant. They create healthier bagels, which usually have less than 200 calories and are low in fat and cholesterol. They menu includes a variety of bagels, breakfast sandwiches, salads, signature sandwiches and paninis. You'll also find plenty of coffee, tea, and frozen drinks. Prices are reasonable, the location is homey and comfortable, and it is an excellent alternative to national chains.

I checked out an Egg & Cheese breakfast sandwich on an Egg Bagel. It was fresh and tasty, with a nice texture to the bagel, and certainly better than the breakfast sandwiches you find at the national chains. It feels like the type of sandwich you might make at home if you had brought home some fresh bagels. Gunther Tooties is on the same block as Starbucks and I would strongly recommend you opt for Gunther's.

Donuts & Donuts, located at 1461 Hancock Street, used to be located at the Quincy Center T stop but moved more downtown. They don't appear to have a website or even a Facebook page. It is an independent donut shop, which still seems to be too rare nowadays. Interesting trivia: Back in 1950, Quincy was the location for the first Dunkin' Donuts shop. At Donuts & Donuts, you can buy scratch tickets or play the lottery while enjoying a big, fresh donut. I bought a Glazed Donut and it was a hefty size, though light and sweet, just a delicious donut which made me yearn to try more of their donuts. As I love good donuts, I would definitely recommend this spot.

The Gypsy Kitchen, a gourmet wine, food and cheese shop, has been a part of Quincy for a number of years. The owner, Lisa Lamme, previously owned Le Saucier, in Faneuil Hall, which was the first hot sauce store in the country. This is a cool and interesting shop, with a diverse selection of wines, hot sauces, cheeses, gourmet foods, giftware and more.

Wine geeks will love perusing the shelves and will find the prices to be reasonable. There are a number of organic wines, and the selection is quite good for such a small shop.

If you live locally, this would be an excellent place to pick up a bottle or two for your evening's dinner, or if you're going to a party. There is a wine that will appeal to everyone, from Champagne to Zinfandel. And if you need advice, just ask Lisa and she'll help to select a wine that will fit your needs and desires.

Chocolates, candy, cookies, candles, glassware and more.

Of course they carry a line of hot sauces, and I'm sure there's a hot sauce to please any palate, no matter how hot you like it.

Cheese and meat, a perfect accompaniment for wine. Prosciutto to Cremont to Mousse Truffle.

Crackers, cookies and more. Lots of tasty treats.

Lisa also wrote The Gypsy Kitchen, an easy cookbook which will help people transform simple ingredients into compelling dishes.

(Stay tuned for Part 2 of my Quincy adventures)

1 comment:

Unknown said...

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