Friday, August 3, 2012

Beat Down in Boston

Parish Café
361 Boylston St.
Boston, MA

Wow. That sandwich kicked my butt.

That doesn’t happen very often to Suit757.

Sandwich 1. Suit757 0.

Like a proud eating Marine, I never leave food behind. But I’m convinced there is no human alive who could finish this lunch.

“The dbar” was at least a full pound of breaded, fried veal cutlet topped with bacon, drippy, melted gruyere cheese, tomatoes, capers and smothered in a mustardy remoulade sauce on a crunchy baguette.

It was unbelievably good.

Just lifting the gooey mess off my plate and opening my jaws wide enough to take a bite was challenge enough.

The crunchy deep fried baby cow was tender and delicious – especially covered in melty cheese and enough condiments to demand a stack of extra napkins.

My “dbar” sandwich was named after a bar in Dorchester, whose chef, Chris Coombs, invented this decadent monstrosity.

That’s the shtick here at Parish Café.

The menu lists a dozen or so sandwiches created by gourmet chefs from all over Boston.

Eating lunch at Parish is like attending an all-star game for sandwiches.

You can get a gourmet BLT. An over-the-top steak and cheese. Even a $35 bacon lobster roll.

It’s like show-and-tell for kitchen show offs. Boston’s best chefs try to top each other in culinary creativity.

If your sandwich for the gods still isn’t enough for you, Parish also offers a nice selection of appetizers and local microbrews.

I opted for a Trinity IPA brewed down I-95 in Providence, Rhode Island. With a nice hoppy kick, it complimented the kaleidoscope of flavors in my lunch perfectly.

As if all that wasn’t enough, my sandwich came with cole slaw AND homemade potato salad.

For some unknown reason, I decided what I really needed was an order of onion rings too.

Thank goodness I got the “half” order.

Thick and crunchy in a scratch-made beer batter, these were top notch onion rings, especially dipped in the accompanying homemade chipotle aioli.

I made it about three quarters of the way through my sandwich before the piles of meat, cheese, bread and gourmet condiments finally took their toll.

Sweating under the noonday summer sunshine on Parish’s sidewalk patio, I really WANTED to finish every last bite.

But I couldn’t.

I have to admit, I felt like a failure.

Suit757 doesn’t fail at lunch very often. In fact, it’s one of the things I’m pretty good at (along with beer drinking and avoiding airport naked scanners).

Looking around the patio at all the other suits enjoying their gourmet lunch, I couldn’t help but feel a bit envious.

Can you imagine having a lunch place this good within walking distance of your office?

Of course if I ate here every day for lunch I’d need gastric bypass surgery.

Definitely an “I deserve this today” special occasion lunch spot.

You know, to celebrate a big account, a major victory, Barney Frank’s retirement from Congress.

Or just another stop on my Suit757 itinerary.

But there would be no victory for Suit757 today.

Like a pair of inept Chinese badminton players, I felt a profound sense of shame.

I let my country down.

But unlike those badminton players, I will live to fight another day.

I’ve just got to regroup. Refocus. Prepare for the next meal.

Sounds good.

Hmmm. So where are we going for lunch tomorrow?

Rating: Bought the Shirt!

Parish Café (Back Bay) on Urbanspoon

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