It’s a Portland thing
I recently returned from a whirlwind mini vacation to Boston where I spent time visiting my daughter and seeing as many sights as we could jam in to my short stay. It was so much fun!!! I love Boston and I especially love the T subway system. That transit system is fabulous, in my opinion! It allowed us to see all the amazing places my daughter had planned for me to experience. I enjoyed seeing nearly every neighborhood I wanted to meander, as well as a trip to the beach; all on the T!! The weather was gorgeous and I always have such a great time hanging out with my kid.
We had casually talked about a trip to see her, but I didn’t think it was the right time to travel across the country considering my recent circumstances. It just felt too stressful. However, as things smoothed out for me and with now stable housing that would keep me in Portland, my daughter took the chance and booked the ticket. She wanted to give me a break from everyday life with all I have gone through and you know what? She was so right!! Being distracted in the best kind of way was exactly what I needed. I am so grateful to my girl, who has become quite an amazing young woman. She has an incredibly generous spirit and a big heart for her mama, which makes me feel so happy. Considering some tumultuous adolescent and young adult years, we have developed a close bond of mutual respect and admiration. I am deeply proud of the woman my daughter has become and I relish our time together.
Knowing I wanted a good food experience during my stay, my daughter had a list of reviewed places that offered gluten free, dairy free dishes. We were regularly dashing off to various restaurants, cafes, bars and pubs to peruse their menus, always excited to try an impressive new dish.
There are so many wonderful places to eat gluten free and dairy free in Boston. It certainly is not as prevalent as Portland, and there is a bit more planning involved to find the establishments that cater to my dietary preferences. Some of my favorite places to eat that offered the easiest menu for me or were willing to customize an order for me are worth a mention here. They are all on my “must visit” list each time I go to Boston. Besides offering my kind of food, generally the staff and overall environment of each of these businesses is an awesome in it’s own way.
Thinking Cup, Day 1 The Theater District Location
Thinking Cup, Day 2
North End location
Thinking Cup deserved two visits. This trip I got to try out a new location in the Theater District. Both locations offered to customize my breakfast sandwich and both were equally amazing. I had smoked salmon with an egg on gluten free toast, one had arugula. What really makes this a must visit place is their absolutely heavenly hazelnut lattes. They are the first shop in the Downtown Boston area to offer Portland originated Stumptown Coffee; my personal favorite. They make their own roasted hazelnut paste to use in these lattes and I have to say, it’s simply fantastic.
Avana Sushi is a tiny hole in the wall place in Boston’s Chinatown. By appearance, it is one of those places that I would not consider without the high recommendation of someone who has already been there. It sits in a tight corner of a space that is also occupied by other equally small, squeezed in businesses. There are just four tables and 5 counter stools. One of the tables sits at the edge of their kitchen. It’s an experience! I wouldn’t recommend this place to someone who experiences claustrophobia because this space is small! What they manage to prepare and plate is simply amazing. This is some delicious and fresh sushi for a fantastic price. The line that develops into the lobby and spills out onto the street is proof this place is worth a visit.
Sweet Lavender coconut based frozen dessert on top of a gluten free cone!! My first ever!!!
Fomu (premium alternative ice cream) has totally got it right. This ice cream is d.i.v.i.n.e. !!! After my happy dance subsided about my first gluten free cone, my first taste of this creamy goodness made me stop walking because all my concentration had to be with my palate. Seriously, so good. Boston has one up on Portland, where there is no exclusive vegan ice cream shop. I fantasized a kick starter business for a while on this idea! We are missing out here in P-town. I will crave this delicious dessert until the next time I can satisfy it in Boston. This place is definitely worth a visit. Additionally, the staff are lovely to watch at their skill and will happily share their knowledge. It is a fun place that takes me right back to childhood ice cream memories!!
This place is fantastic! It was my first visit to this place located in the Cambridge area. My daughter was really excited to take me here. Their menu boasts some unique and tantalizing dishes that are organic, therapeutic and nurturing for the body and soul.
whole food goodness!
I wish I could remember the name of this delicious salad I had, but as you can see from the picture, it is filled with some whole food goodness. We enjoyed this lunch outdoors on a warm, sunny Boston day. It was a perfect afternoon!
Other establishments worth mentioning is Ula Cafe in my daughter’s neighborhood of Jamaica Plain. Sadly, I have no pictures of the most incredible gluten free coconut macaroon I have ever tasted. We walked to this cafe’ for a morning cup of coffee and I discovered them in a display case while waiting in line. They were so moist and full of coconut flavor goodness. The edges were perfectly caramelized crispy and chewy. It was ridiculously good. When we walked back on my last day in Boston to get one more, we learned they were all gone. It was a specialty item for Passover. I am so glad I got to enjoy one before they disappeared!
Fresh and colorful! Canary Square offered a pretty amazing and tasty beet salad dish that was beautifully plated.
The Friendly Toast is worth the trip to the Cambridge area strictly for the eclectic experience you will have. People will wait for over an hour to enjoy dining here. They have huge portions of comfort classics and I must admit, their classic egg breakfast is pretty heavenly.
kitchy eclectic decor!
My trip to Boston was outstanding. It was the break I needed. I came home with such a completely different perspective on my situation. I feel more solid in my future and I am a lot calmer; more accepting. My daughter and I both got exciting news while I was visiting. She will begin working at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, one of the leading research institutes in the country. My daughter will be working among some of the top scientists and I am so proud of her! My news is still developing, but I can definitely say it will be life changing! Stay tuned!
Life is moving on and I am feeling good. Everything happens for a reason and I am finding mine moment by moment. Crazy how life works, isn’t it??