Sunday, April 3, 2011

Southie Eats, Redefined

Whenever I’m visiting a new city, I feel a breath of jealousy when I put my new surroundings up against Boston. In contrast, it feels like every other city is filled with original, quaint little corner bars and funky, inventive restaurants and that my city, especially my neighborhood, is just one Boston Beer Garden after another. As great as Southie is, it lacks a certain level of diversity – something that both attracts and disappoints me. On one hand, within a mile of my apartment, I have almost my entire social circle, multiple waterfronts and easy access to different parts of the city. On the other hand, the food scene is totally flat. For the most part, Southie gives you three options: bar food, Chinese food or sub shops.

But whenever I can, I try to step away for a moment to appreciate where I am. These past few years, I’ve stood witness to a slow, subtle shift in the scene. Amid countless pizza joints, cookie-cutter sports bars and outdated hair salons, a bit of color is rising in South Boston. Where there once was little to no culture, we now have authentic Indian food at Café Mamtaz, homemade chocolates and baked goods at Blue Tierra Chocolate Café, and novelty groceries at American Provisions. There’s a Newbury Street sister salon, Avanti, and Sophia’s Café, a gourmet sandwich shop.

Keeping up with this momentum, the Farragut House down on P Street has reinvented itself as Local 149. Modern, trendy and young, the once-tired restaurant now serves up an eclectic mix of tasty bites, all made with local ingredients. The menu is difficult to navigate (so unclear that I mistakenly ordered a non-alcoholic beer) and the servers are overwhelmed, inattentive and clueless, but the food makes up for the frustrating service. Their brunch menu was clearly crafted by a food lover, filled with homemade doughnuts, generous lobster “macmuffins,” and incredibly rich sirloin burgers. The fact that mid-brunch, I was dying to check out their dinner menu proves that the food really is so good that you’ll want to go back for more.

This week, I’m going to try to be a really good girlfriend so that hopefully I get rewarded with a date night and the short rib entrée next weekend!

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