I decided to spend about an hour in East Boston yesterday in the early afternoon before picking up L at the airport, which is in East Boston. (I never thought that the day would come when I would write, “East Boston,” twice in the same sentence. Yet that day is here: Who among us can know the future? Especially when it comes to proper nouns.)
I love Santarpio’s: It’s one of the top ten pizzerias in the United States. But solo the idea of wolfing down an entire pie was obviously not a good one.
There are numerous Mexican, other Central American, and Brazilian restaurants in East Boston, and many looked good and probably are very good. In fact, it seems to be a community in which immigrants, like long ago, open up simple places where food is sold. In Boston and Cambridge, the rents are too high for this level of entrepreneurship. That’s too bad. These places add a lot both from culinary and social perspectives.
I settled on Meridien Food Market. It’s a storefront restaurant with a few tables in front and a deli counter in back. The chicken parm sub I had was first-rate. The staff was friendly in that curious, confident neighborhood kind of way.
It’s good to discover a neighborhood like East Boston. I wish it wasn’t cut off by the bridge and tunnel. Few places have its ability to convey identity through food.