T-Time: Where to Eat (and Drink) Near Park Street Station
Welcome to T-Time, where local writer Will Gordon breaks down the best options just off the MBTA, stop by stop.
Illustration by Liz Noftle for Boston magazine.
This is how you should do your eating and drinking the next time you find yourself stepping out of the Park Street T stop and wondering who sustains all of the tourist-heavy neighborhood’s roasted nut vendors. I love nuts, but I’d sooner eat one of those pink “Welcome to Boston, Let Me Pahk My Cah in Your Chowdah” t-shirts than accept food from those nut weirdos. As I was saying:
Silvertone has always been my favorite restaurant in the area, and maybe it’s yours too now that that OH NO, LOCKE-OBER’S CLOSED! (as if either of us even knows for sure which alley that was in). Located at 69 Bromfield Street in the heart of the zipper repair and used coin district, Silvertone’s been selling good, cheap food and better, cheaper drinks for 15 years. The menu doesn’t do a lot of changing, nor should it. Wait, are goat cheese crostini ($6) and lobster ravioli ($15) in style again? Who cares. The Silvertone versions have always been excellent. Once the base layer has been established, treat yourself to one of the just-cool-enough cocktails, such as the What You Talkin’ ‘Bout Willis ($9), a perfect mix of Bully Boy Whisky, Lillet, Aperol, and industry pun.
If your travels take you up the hill, the 21st Amendment will provide solid comfort after you go through the motions of realizing No. 9 Park’s not open for lunch [ed’s note: except for the holiday season, that is], which
doesn’t matter because you couldn’t afford it anyway—well, define “afford,” since rent’s not due for another three weeks and there’s probably a credit card rattling around here somewhere … and there’s the 21st, warm and welcoming and a cooler number anyway (sniff). Located at 150 Bowdoin, the 21st Amendment is a very good version of ye typical olde pub: The sort of low-ceilinged, dark-wood dungeon where the nachos are loaded and the Coors is Light. The pretenses are few, the prices are fair, and the baked potato soup ($4/$6) is perfect.
If you take your lunches even cheaper, you might head back to Bromfield for a $2 pint of Bud Light at Sidebar. The place might be a little dingy, especially if you still haven’t let go of the No. 9 Park thing, but see above re. $2 pints. If you’re there with friends or problems, you could opt for the $7 pitcher and settle in for some single-digit dining. I’ve never had the gumption to order the 3 Cheese Chicken Bomb ($8) or the deep-fried Triple B Burger ($8.50)—battered, bacon-ed, bbq’d—but I can assure you that the $8.50 Sausage Dinner is worth at least $8.75.
Despite constant hype from trusted sources, it took me two or three whiles to get to new downtown darling J.M. Curley. The name had me fearing over-the-top hometown schlock and the Temple Place location had me fearing an extra block’s walk from the T. I was wrong. J.M. Curley’s every bit as great as you’ve heard. The ambiance is a laid-back version of new-bar cool, with a few tasteful nods to the former Boston mayor here and a bubble hockey table there. It’s dude-heavy when the sun’s up (18 to 3 m-to-f ratio during a recent lunch hour), but things even out at night, because everyone loves a place with the good sense to both pickle and devil their eggs ($5) and offer Jack’s Abby Kiwi Rising ($7) on tap.
If handheld ethnic is more your game, try Herrera’s at 11 Temple Place for the neighborhood’s best burritos ($5 to $7.99). If the situation demands fried handheld ethnic, then you should consult the Falafel King at 48 Winter Street, where approaching the counter gets you a big smile, and $5.50 gets you a falafel sandwich with hummus or baba ghannouj.
Have suggestions for T stop surroundings you’d like Will to break down? Let us know in the comments.