NFT Travel Guides: Food, Pets, and More in Boston

Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture

One of our travel guides partners, Not For Tourists, has several unique offerings on their website this week. Check out the following highlights from their Boston correspondents this week...  

Go Sit, by Patrick Hellen

South Boston Yoga

When I was about 14, and trying to find a way to differentiate myself from my fellow high schoolers, I found myself interested in Eastern religions and ended up sitting in my room for hours at a time, eyes closed, legs crossed, trying to find enlightenment. This ended with the discovery that girls liked to chat on the phone. Lately though, I've found a new way to get my Gautama on, through the meditation classes held at South Boston Yoga. Held nightly, the class allows you to really let go of the outside distractions by putting you in a warm dark room, with an instructor whose voice is like molasses, and makes you sit still and dig into your own brain. No BlackBerrys, no televisions, just you. The teacher really helps people like me, who have a hard time just sitting, go further than I could alone. I like to take the Sunday night class, to clear out the cobwebs so I'm ready to hit the week hard. As each class is only five bucks, this might be the easiest way to reboot your software in the city. It's 15 steps from the Broadway T stop. Go sit.


A Hard Truth, by Patrick Hellen

Mike and Patty’s
I'm about to break every cardinal law about reviewing a restaurant, but screw it. Mike and Patty's makes the best fucking sandwich in the Boston area. If you don't agree with that statement, you are not only dumb, you are ugly. I'm serious. Not enjoying Mike and Patty's to the fullest actually makes you less attractive. Let me explain. Located where Rachel's Kitchen used to reside, this tiny storefront is always packed, always welcoming, and has a menu on which I've made it my goal to try everything. Mike and Patty, the two owner/chefs, stand less than 10 feet from you the entire time you're inside, quickly preparing whatever amazing bite you've chosen from their offerings. I highly recommend you try the Torta. They serve up, on amazingly fresh bread, a chicken chorizo sandwich, with taters, avocado, black beans, and some goat cheese. It's so good it practically cures cancer. I've really got nothing else to tell you about them. I could probably write a thousand words to convince you to go, but don't you think that the place that makes the smarmy reviewer speechless is worth a shot? It's just that phenomenal.


All That and a Bag of Cat Food, Patrick Hellen


If you're ever in the mood for a traditional Irish breakfast, a big mug of coffee, and need to pick up some cat food and milk on the way home, I've found your new go-to location. In order to enter Gerard's Restaurant, you need to walk through the attached convenience store. This might be the most convenient store ever, as you can get your 5 Hour Energy and Globe and scratch ticks all in the same place as a meal. One-stop-shopping at its finest. As for the restaurant itself, it's pretty damn decent. It's family-feeling, with great service, decent coffee, and pretty much everything you'd expect from a spot in an Irish neighborhood. The breakfast was good and hearty, and the corned beef hash gets a solid 7 out of 10 from me. The real treat is that it’s 100% a neighborhood destination. A family will file in and ask for "a table for nine," as it's Sunday and time to feed the brood post-Church. Give it a visit and just sit back and observe, and if you're lucky you'll hit it big on the scratch tick.


Bring Your (Furry) Friends, by Emily Doutre

Animal Spirit
After the pet food contamination scare in 2007, many pet owners now think twice about what their pets nosh on. You can kinda sorta find healthy, safe pet food at big chain stores like PetSmart and PETCO, but that involves dragging yourself out to a big chain store. (Kitty, I love you, but this parking lot is ridiculous.) But in Cambridge, the days of the little neighborhood pet store have yet to pass, so places like Animal Spirit are perfect for picking up munchies for your furry friend. Considering their smallish space, they carry quite a varied selection of food, treats, toys, clothes, beds, crates, dental products, and shampoo for several animals, from dogs and cats to bunnies, guinea pigs, and chinchillas. Their prices are more than reasonable, so your pet parent ethics are never questioned. And, if you're like me and have a frisky 20 year old cat and a lot of questions regarding her care, the owners are more than happy to provide answers. But don't worry if you walk through the door and the front desk is empty. A friendly golden retriever, Welsh corgi, or sleepy black kitty will be happy to greet you.


Urban Hiking, by  Emily Doutre

Somerville Community Path-Alewife to Davis Square

No matter how many winters you've spent in Boston, it never gets any easier. Surely we'd all like to hole ourselves up in our apartments for the duration, storing up body fat to keep us warm. But bathing suit season will be here before you know it, so, like it or not, you'd better get out for some exercise. Might I suggest the Somerville Community Path, a lovely little oasis that runs roughly from the Davis Square T station to the Alewife T station. This paved path combined with brick is surrounded by grass, trees, benches, links to nearby streets, and a community garden. You can jump onto the Minuteman Bikeway or the Fitchburg Cutoff Path near Alewife to the west, or, heading east, go all the way to Cedar Street in Somerville. It's a great alternative to the subway no matter what time of year. The path is well lit at night with emergency call boxes interspersed along the way, and it's plowed in the winter--sometimes even better than the sidewalks on the main roads. So get outside and enjoy this wonderful, community-supported jewel. It's such a pleasant experience you won't even realize you're exercising.


Check out their website - they have free downloadable guides, maps, gear, and of course, the travel guide books. Not to mention, they are pretty funny people. I am always laughing when I visit their site, or read their newsletter.

Not For Tourists has offered a coupon for Wandering Educators - please use the coupon code: WE for a 10% discount.


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