By Jennifer Currier
Visiting the Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market area of Downtown Boston is quite the experience as a whole. As many facets of city life make up this small community, though, it’s hard to describe said experience in general terms. But no matter how old you are, where you come from or what your reason for going to this area might be, everyone who goes to the markets should have something to say about one particular thing: the food.
Like most of traditional New England, the restaurants of Quincy Market take pride in making the tastiest and most memorable meals they can. When standing next to popular tourist attractions such as Cheers and Dick’s Last Resort, it can be tough for the smaller and possibly less noticeable restaurants to fill their tables.
For anyone who knows it’s there, Durgin Park is a traditional restaurant that is the perfect place for people of all ages to enjoy a classic New England meal. This experience starts when you walk through the ground-floor door and ends long after you have left the restaurant.
The ground floor has a small, wood-paneled lobby complete with windows that peek into ovens used to slowly roast the restaurant’s fresh meat selection. From there, guests are asked to walk up a steep flight and a half of stairs to reach the main dining rooms.
Once upstairs, the first thing you see are the checkerboard tablecloths covering tables that hold anywhere from four to twenty people. All the chairs surrounding the table are refinished antiques that glide nicely along the restaurant’s original, hardwood floors. Waiters and waitresses wear old-fashioned uniforms: black bottoms with a white, collared shirt and a small white apron.
Then you finally get to enjoy one of Durgin Park’s famous New England dishes. Here are some of most popular menu items: clam chowder, roast beef sandwiches, chicken potpie, boiled lobster, baked macaroni and cheese, filet mignon and Thanksgiving On A Bun. Don’t let the title be cause for intimidation; this sandwich is everything New Englanders love about the holiday—that hits very close to home—and then some.
No matter what other restaurants across the country claim, there is no better place to eat real, New England food than New England. Durgin Park is a master at providing diners with an incredible array of traditional, northeastern, home-cooked meals as all of their food is prepared in-house, made with secret recipes and always served fresh.
More importantly than the food, this restaurant creates a comfortable atmosphere that is warm and comfortable, much like what you could find in most New England homes.
For this college student, a visit to Durgin Park can be just what I need to make me feel like I’m at home and to remember why I love being a New Englander so much.