A Wicked Awesome Weekend

by Jenn (eating bender) on May 17, 2011

I’m back…from Beantown!

This past weekend, Jill and I traveled to Boston to participate in Tory Johnson’s Spark & Hustle conference. We arrived on Thursday and stayed through Sunday, with a lot of exploring along the way.

For more details on our conference experience, you can check out my Pursuing Our Passion or DreamChamps blog.

So many blogs these days! It’s a good thing I love writing. 😉 I’m focusing this recap on the more delicious aspects of the weekend. Namely, the food!

On Friday, we had the chance to try out Legal Sea Foods, after hearing rave reviews from my sister-in-law Susan (who until very recently lived Boston) and every other local we asked once we arrived.

We decided the night was fitting for a bottle of wine and ordered J. Lohr Wildflower.

It was very smooth and touted as a perfect complement for fish.

All weekend, Jill and I had been looking forward to trying some authentic New England Clam Chowder…er, I mean, chowda. We were not disappointed. It was rich and creamy, just as promised!

For my entree, I went with two smaller plates. The Oysters Legal, which is their take on Oysters Rockefeller. These were absolutely incredible and I did not want them to end. Wow.

I also had the jalapeño polenta side dish. It was a bit flavorless, so I only ate half.

Our dining experience was wonderful! We had great company in Ja-Nae Duane, a very inspirational female business owner, speaker and author. She gave us insightful feedback on DreamChamps.

Once the conference was over on Saturday, we headed into the city. You’ll never guess who we bumped into in front of the Old North Church

None other than Miss Caroline of Banana Cabana! Ok, so perhaps it wasn’t a coincidence after all. 😉 This was the third time Caroline and I had the chance to meet up — and it’s also the third city. We have found ways to connect on the West coast, in the Midwest and now, in the Northeast!

Caroline gave us a tour of the North End and eventually sent us on our way to dinner.

We had heard the Union Oyster House was the oldest restaurant in America, which of course intrigued us enough to try it out! Upon arriving, we realized that there was a long wait, so we headed over to the oldest pub, The Bell in Hand Tavern, to grab a beer first.

I chose Newcastle. It went down smooth and hit the spot.

Once the hour had passed, we headed back to the restaurant.

Inside, they had a lot of fun and patriotic artwork, including a map of the Freedom Trail.

The waitress seated us with a plate of cornbread apiece. Now that is how you know it’s going to be good!

Jill and I both couldn’t resist starting with another cup of clam chowda. This one was heavenly!

For my entree, I went with sautéed shrimp and scallops, served over rice pilaf with a sundried tomato cream sauce. A little on the heavier side, but definitely worth trying! The sauce was an absolute dream. They ought to bottle and sell the recipe.

We were rolling out of the restaurant by the time we finished, but I’m glad we tried it. 😉 The next morning, Caroline brought us to the Boston Common Coffee Co. for a perk me up.

Their iced skim mocha was a perfect blend and wake-up call. I also had a pumpkin-walnut muffin top.

After breakfast, it was time for our Sunday morning tourist excursion…trolley style.

Oh yes, we did. :) We wanted to see as much of Boston as possible in the few short hours we had left, so off we went! We ventured into the Quincy Market…

…paused outside Faneuil Hall

…admired the Old State House

…meandered past the place where everybody knows your name

…and sang Take Me Out to the Ball Game.

We got off the trolley in Cambridge and walked the same path as Mark Zuckerberg once did at Harvard, eventually finding ourselves in front of one of another foodie landmark: J.P. Licks!

I was so giddy that I decided it was definitely not too early for ice cream (debatable) and we went inside. Immediately, I sought out the Peanut Butter Ripple and topped it with chocolate chips. What can I say?

It was completely worth it.

Our time in Boston was over way too soon, but we enjoyed every moment and vowed to return!

Big thanks again to Caroline for being such a wonderful tour guide and hostess. :) You’re awesome!

Have you traveled to or lived in Boston? What was your favorite thing to do? To eat?

Hope your week is off to a great start! Now that I’m finally grounded for a while, expect plenty of new recipes in the coming weeks. Bobby and I have decided to branch out and try some new ones.

Also, thank you so much to everyone who sent positive thoughts to Papa Bender during his surgery last week. I’m happy to report that it went as well as it could have and he is still as devoted to cooking and cheesy humor as ever. :)


{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

1 lawfullyweddedwife May 17, 2011 at 11:57 am

Looks like so much fun! I went to college in the Boston area and my husband (then boyfriend) and I would go to Legal Seafood for Valentine’s Day! Boston has some great food!


2 Megan (Braise The Roof) May 17, 2011 at 12:03 pm

I’m so glad you had a good time in Boston- not that I’m surprised, I knew you’d have a blast! :)


3 Jaime May 17, 2011 at 12:30 pm

haha, I have lived in Boston my entire life, so all this is my back yard. So glad you had fun!!!! Come back again soon :)


4 Cara (Twinthusiast) May 17, 2011 at 12:45 pm

Awww, nostalgia – you’re making me miss Boston…glad you had fun!


5 Erica May 17, 2011 at 12:52 pm

Such a fun trip :) I went to middle school and high school in the Boston area, so this definitely brought back memories!! My parents were HUGE legal seafood fans.I wish I truly cherished how good New England lobster is while I lived there!


6 Jenny May 17, 2011 at 1:32 pm

I sit bad that I mainly studided the photos of food you posted? haha!! Looks delicious!!! I LOVE LOVE fried oysters to the MAX!

Glad you had a blast!


7 Jenn (eating bender) May 22, 2011 at 8:25 pm

Haha! Not bad at all. 😉 I love fried oysters, too!


8 glidingcalm May 17, 2011 at 1:57 pm

As you know, I lived in Boston for 13 years! and have visited many times! :)
So excited you got some of the Boston favorites!!!!!!!!!!!

loved the recap! and jealous you got to see Caroline!!

hugs always,


9 Shannon May 17, 2011 at 3:54 pm

ummm…. you were in boston and didn’t tell me??? :( glad you had a good time anyways 😉


10 Jenn (eating bender) May 18, 2011 at 1:08 am

I was definitely thinking of you, Shannon! Unfortunately, the conference was in Woburn Thursday through Saturday and we spent less than 24 hours in the actual city of Boston! But I have vowed to make a return trip for fun and when that time comes, you will be the first person I email. Seriously — I would love to meet you!


11 Lauren May 17, 2011 at 6:58 pm

What fun! So glad you enjoyed your weekend in Boston. All that clam chowder looks incredible. :)


12 Salah May 17, 2011 at 7:06 pm

What a wonderful time! That peanut butter ripple ice cream looks amazing!!!


13 BroccoliHut May 17, 2011 at 9:16 pm

Boston is such a great city! I haven’t been since the Healthy Living Summit a few years ago–I need to go back!


14 Sarah Marie May 17, 2011 at 10:19 pm

I live north of Boston and am in grad school right on the Fenway. I love the sights and shops of Newbury St… JP Licks is awesome, but I usually go for Pinkberry… so close by, and I just love the tartness of it! I haven’t done much ‘fine dining’ 😛 in Boston, but there are some little cafes I love… Pavement on Boylston St. and Cafe Royale on Newbury are cute little hipster/indie places with good sandwiches, baked goods, and espresso. And there are quite a few good pizza joints in Boston!


15 Jenn (eating bender) May 22, 2011 at 8:27 pm

Love it, Sarah Marie! There is so much of Boston I still want to explore when there is more time. A re-visit is definitely in order!


16 Monique May 18, 2011 at 12:45 am

I love Boston :) You’re making me want a vacation/trip so bad!! And that oyster house looks AMAZING


17 Kinsey Michaels May 18, 2011 at 10:36 am

Yay, you squeezed in quite a bit in such a short period of time! The Union Oyster House is a neat experience, I ate there for the first time last year.
How did you like the North End, did you try any pastries? :)
Still so sad I missed you girls though! Hope we can reunite soon!


18 Foodie (Fab and Delicious Food) May 18, 2011 at 11:16 am

Mmmm, I love clam chowder! One of the best soups ever!

So cool that you got to meet up with Caroline! Yay for blogger meetups!


19 Foodie (Fab and Delicious Food) May 18, 2011 at 11:18 am

P.S. I have a giveaway on my blog for NuNaturals products – NuStevia Packets and NuNaturals Vanilla Stevia Liquid – if you or any of your readers are interested. (Giveaway ends today!)




20 Susan Krenn May 18, 2011 at 11:45 am

Awesome! Looking at all the chowdah makes me hungry… :) So glad you guys had fun and got to see a bunch of stuff! I used to get my hair cut at a place in Harvard Square and was tempted by that J.P. Licks every time…


21 Jenn (eating bender) May 22, 2011 at 8:21 pm

Thank you again for your restaurant and navigation expertise! It was so helpful and helped us make the most of our time there. I hope to go back again someday!


22 Michelle May 18, 2011 at 2:42 pm

Ohhh noooo saad i completely didnt get to see you!! Cheers is literally a 3 minute walk away from where i live! You may have walked right past my door! It looks like you had a fabulous weekend with Jill though, full of busy-ness and delicious food. :) The Weather here sure sucked though. *sigh* Maybe next time my dear…next time…dont forget me!!!

Hope everything is going well!



23 Jenn (eating bender) May 22, 2011 at 8:24 pm

I was definitely thinking of you, Michelle! I’m so sorry I never got my act together this time around — it was truly a whirlwind weekend and we were up in Woburn for most of it (where the conference was held). As a result, I think another, more Boston-centric trip is in order and I would love for you to show me around town the next time I’m there! Hope all is well with you, too!


24 neurosciency May 18, 2011 at 6:54 pm

i love boston! lived there for 7 years (4 for college, 3 for work). i never went to the union oyster house … i don’t really enjoy seafood so that sort of complicated living in such a coastal area, haha. i would hang out in harvard and kendall squares and did the freedom trail (it was part of my work commute since i worked at the navy yard. :)) ah, good memories.
anyways i’m glad you had fun + some good eats!


25 Jenn (eating bender) May 22, 2011 at 8:28 pm

Very cool! Next time I go, I would love to walk the entire Freedom Trail and see more of the historical aspects of the city.


26 Tori (Fresh Fruition) May 20, 2011 at 2:35 pm

Jalapeno polenta sounds delish! Looks like you had some amazing eats 😀


27 Jenn (eating bender) May 22, 2011 at 8:28 pm

It was truly a wonderful city to eat in! :)


28 CaSaundra May 21, 2011 at 9:04 am

Boston is such a great city! I love being able to say I am from the east coast–and yes, gotta love the seafood :-)


29 Jenn (eating bender) May 22, 2011 at 8:29 pm

I definitely need to explore more of the East coast. It’s one area of the country that I just have not had a chance to go as often as I would like!


30 Kendall (On An Inhale) May 22, 2011 at 11:39 am

I’m from Boston! I live in Charlestown and work downtown. I’m glad you had fun and enjoyed the city!!


31 Jenn (eating bender) May 22, 2011 at 8:30 pm

Awesome, Kendall! You live in an amazing city. :)


32 Ginny May 23, 2011 at 6:04 pm

I love living in Boston. The North End has some amazing Italian food, just an FYI for the next time you visit. It’s a shame the weather has been cold and crap the whole month of May.


33 natalie (the sweets life) May 24, 2011 at 2:33 pm

Boston is one of my FAVORITE cities I’ve ever visited! We ate at three diff ice cream places there (JP Licks included) and also had so much good food (and shucked oysters for the first time :))


34 Jo May 24, 2011 at 8:39 pm

I went to college there, i loved the North End and I miss how easy it was to walk everywhere.


35 jobo May 31, 2011 at 7:35 pm

Oh so cool!! My neck of the woods :) McCormick and Schmick’s is so good! Where I went on my second date with M, so it makes me smile whenever I think about that place! You picked some good places for meals, that’s for sure :)


36 diana@mymarblerye June 26, 2011 at 2:59 pm

That is the next place I wanna visit!! That, Seattle, or Portland


37 Paige October 1, 2012 at 11:46 am

Boston has always been on my bucket list and I’m hoping within the year to go. However on vacation my favorite thing to eat is all the local foods of wherever I am. I just like to soak up the entire culture. Doing this however can be deadly to my waistline especially if I am somewhere tropical. Thats why when I discovered http://www.fullbar.com I was thrilled!!! I take my fullbar with me on vacation and still eat it at normal times and am still able to eat the local foods however now I just eat less of it and savor more!!


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