on December 4, 2008
Durgin Park is something of an institution in Boston. Founded over 130 years ago by John Durgin, Eldridge Park and John Chandler with the philosophy that the best advertising is plenty of food on the table. Over the years that has grown to include a reputation for crusty waitresses and family style dining. Celebrities have made it pretty much a household word and everyone from John F. Kennedy to visiting dignitaries has eaten here. Now of course Al and I and Amie have been added to the list. We did however get off to a bit of a rocky start. The sign at the bottom of the stairs says wait there, don’t listen to the sign. We waited there and no one asked us if we wanted a table. We then saw some people walk up the stairs and get seated, okay we walked up too and yep we were sent on up to the third floor.I have to start by saying we ate on the third floor, we had our own table for three and our waiter was both friendly and efficient so I guess we did not have a typical experience. One the wall where we sat al the table were for two and there were 5 or 6 of them. I have to admit that they are close together and it might as well have been communal. We were privy to every word our neighbors on either side said. On the upside the size of the portions made us all giggle and we started talking to other guests. The menu offers the gamut of typical New England fare. You don’t need to order an appetizer because the corn bread they serve you while you wait will fill you right up.Al ordered the Poor Mans Roast Beef and I had Thanksgiving on a roll . While we were waiting for our meals we watched our neighbors get theirs. The clam chowder came in a dish as big as your head and the shepherd’s pie and the chicken pot pie pretty much sent the ladies into a spasm. They are huge, be prepared to take home leftovers.I loved my turkey sandwich, it was just like I make at home, fresh turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce all served on a nice bulkie roll. Al’s roast beef was cooked rare just the way he had asked for it and was served with mashed potatoes and butternut squash. Amie had the children’s portion of chicken fingers and she ate about ¼ of the portion. It was a very satisfactory lunch. What we could have had, a lobster roll, fish chowder, raw or steamed mussels, little necks, oysters, steamers or cherrystones. They have a really impressive array of seafood everything from lobster, clams, shrimp, scallops, oysters, swordfish, fish and chips and broiled or fried seafood platters. Beyond that there are things like their specialty prime rib and the mundane grilled or steamed frank. They serve Boston baked beans, apple pan dowdy and their own coffee jello. The strawberry shortcake has a bit of a cut following and though I was too full to eat it I did see a neighbor of our laying intone and it looked delicious.
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