January 7, 2016

Missed Boston Area Resturants

This was a tricky list to put together. It really made me think of all the various restaurants that I visited in the Boston Area over the years and which ones that I would want to go back to.

Today's post is all about three restaurants that I wish were still open and get one last meal. I had to think really hard of places that are no longer open that I would like to eat at again. The criteria for this list is simple; the location must be in the Boston area, closed for at least 5 years and a place where I ate their many times.

So here's my list:

  • Thompson's Clam Bar (Harwichport) - "Best Seafood Experience"
  • The European Restaurant (North End) - "Yummy Pizza"
  • The Tasty (Harvard Square) - "Best Hot Dog"

Thompson's Clam Bar

Location: Wychmere Harbor, Harwich Port

Ah I can still remember hearing something like this over the loud speaker:

"Miles, Miles party of seven your table is ready. Go down the stairs and down the dock and see the waitress name Nancy. Miles Party of seven."

Then there is the classic radio commercial:

"Hey, Where are you going... I am going where the tasty clams are...Thompson's... Where? Thompson's Clam bar, it's where the tastes clams are...come by boat, come by car, come the way you are. Thompson's Clam Bar in Harwichport"

Here's one version of the famous New England Commercial:

This was the place to go if you wanted fine seafood by the sea. It would be cool to see boats that would pull up to the pier by your table and see people get out just to get some excellent New England Cooking.

When I was little my family use to go at least once every summer as part of our summer tradition. It was fun to sit and watch the boats go by. At the time we were members of the Yacht Club, which was on the other side of the channel, and we would look over to see what was going on at the club while we were eating.

I remembered that they had a great mix of rice crackers on the waiting tables on the patio. (Basically bar snack food) I remember them tasting really great and they weren't too spicy. For years, every time I would see a similar pack of Rice crackers in the grocery store I would buy it wishing it would be the same. I never found one that had the same taste.

The last time you could get fried clams at Thompson's Clam Bar was Labor Day Weekend in 1995.


The European Restaurant

Location: Handover Street, Boston Massachusetts. (North End)

This was a great go to restaurant in the North End. I remember my Dad would park the car under the causeway and we would walk over to Hanover Street and to the European. It would be an awesome treat.

The pizza was good and I remember some of the decorations around the restaurant. I remember the back room had a tall ceiling and their were lots of tables. I believe that they had family seating similar to Durgin-Park.

We didn't make it an annual tradition, but if we were going to get a bite to eat in Boston it would be at the European.

After we left the restaurant we would head over to Mike's Pastry and some awesome deserts. That is if we were still hungry from eating the large Italian Pizza.

The Aprile's European Restaurant in Chelmsford is supposed to be the modern version of the fine food served at 'The European.' I haven't been there to try it out, might be worth the drive to check it out.

For over 80 years, The European was an institution in Boston's North End. Now Eddie Aprile has brought back the recipes and the spirit of the European to North Chelmsford. Located in a historic brick millhouse, Aprile's European Restaurant has a comfortable, yet elegant atmosphere while that serves rustic Italian cuisine. Come join us for lunch, dinner, at the bar, or to book your private event.

The The European Restaurant open in 1920 and served it's last pizza on January 7, 1997. Today CVS occupies the space that was the historic European.


The Tasty

Location: 1 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge Ma (Harvard Square)

Nothing like getting a cheap hot dog for lunch in Harvard Square. The Tasty was a very small diner where people could get a quick hamburger or hot dog. They were very well known for their hot dogs and very small counter that surrounded the kitchen.

When I was working in Harvard Square for a few years, I would intentionally take later lunch breaks so I didn't have to wait to get a seat. I remember many times sitting up on the counter at lunch time and asking for 2 hot dogs and a coke with fries.

Don't remember much of the fries, but I do recall that the hot dogs were very good and snap when you bite in to them. They would have about 10-15 hot dogs on the warm part of the grill and would move the hot dogs to the hot burner as soon as you place your order.

It was kind of cool to just sit at the counter and listen to people talk to the cook about what's going on in their world. Since it was Harvard Square, you never know who would be sitting next to you. Would it be some famous Professor, future lawyer or even a future President.

Federico Muchnik did a film of the history of the Tasty:

THE TASTY DINER of HARVARD SQUARE - A film by Federico Muchnik from Federico Muchnik on Vimeo.

'The Tasty' served it last hot dog in November 1997. (It was in business for 81 years.)

How did I do?

Do you know any places that I might have forgotten about that should be included? Let me know, send me an email or catch me on Twitter.

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