Boston, Massachusetts is certainly glowing when it comes to history. Five miles south and over the Neponset River take you into the city of Quincy (pronounced Quin-zee), the only city in the United States that is the birthplace of two presidents; John Adams and his son John Quincy Adams. Add the birthplace of John Hancock and you have the makings of the Declaration of Independence.
What better public transportation to Boston than Megabus. Leaving on an early morning trip on July 3rd, I hop the New York to Boston at 34th Street between 11th and 12th Avenue, just across the street from the Jacob Javits Center. Buying a ticket online gets you a seat, but not reserved. These double decker buses are new and quite clean. Two tables with cup holders on each deck for those toting their laptop. Lots of places to plug in to use your device or just recharge and not just at these tables. Seats are bucket with fabric that recline more than your average airline seat and like an airline have seatbelts. Bathroom is on bottom level and flush. No sink. Sanitizer provided for the hands.
This is the second time that I have used them noticing that the driver does not make an attempt to go 70 miles an hour, if you know what I mean. Although the trip was less than five hours, there was a “pit stop” in Mass at a Burger King. Luggage goes into an area in the back accessible from the outside. Ride back home has us stopping at 27th Street and 7th Avenue. Taxis seem to be aware of Megabus’ schedule! You can pay as little as $1 for a trip. Will be testing to see how far across the country I can travel and back spending as little as possible. www.megabus.com
The “T” takes you from Boston to a few stops in Quincy. However, I went with a tax service, Yellow Cab and using the same driver, Sam Clark, who knew the ins and outs of shortcuts, as well as much about Quincy itself. It’s great to have a really polite and helpful driver, especially since I walk with a cane. www.yellowcabquincy.com
I checked into the Best Western Adams Inn, located in North Quincy. Room facing the river. Had a frig but no clock and glue holding down the toilet must not have dried yet. Biggest problem came later during checkout.
Lunch is in order and I was craving seafood...I wonder why? Burke’s Seafood at 61 Billings Street was not far from the hotel. It is basically a fish market with an attached room of tables and chairs. Nothing fancy. What counts is the quality and freshness of the food, cleanliness of the store and the smell of fish not permeating . With a selection of chowders, I opted for the house special, a seafood chowder with clams, haddock, scallops, lobster and shrimp…New England style…of course. A must for chowder lovers. Lobster roll had a good portion of meat and little filling…I think just mayo. Served on a hot dog bun. Delish. Haddock appears to be "the local fish". www.burkeseafood.com
I’m now off to the Quincy Historical Society, located at 8 Adams Street. History museum takes me through over 400 years highlighting some great stuff. Granite workers and ship builders were much of the start. Info on John and Abigail Adams, Anne Hutchinson and two particular companies: Dunkin’ Donuts and Howard Johnsons. More about the donuts later. Suggested adult donation of $3. Nice old building, too. www.quincyhistory.org
I love sushi, especially if I find a place that has a good turnover and popular. It hints wisely that the sushi is fresh. Fuji Group is the company that Jimmy Liang runs with other partners. The group of restaurants includes authentic Chinese, Japanese and Asian Fusion. I decided to dine at the Japanese Fuji 1546 Restaurant and Bar located at 1546 Hancock Street opened since 2004. Jimmy introduced Quincy to Japanese cuisine with one restaurant. There has been an expansion to include not only Quincy, but will capture Cambridge as well. The décor and space here is wonderful for both those simply here to eat or “party” with others. I didn’t stay late enough to see the nightlife.
I was interested in tasting items that were less common and delved into two appetizers. Salmon Wonton Chips was a sort of tartare-chutney texture using the raw salmon, tomatoes, onion, cilantro and spicy mayo atop wonton chips. Delicious enough, the wonton chips are Jimmy’s idea and a good one as well. I think you may be able to buy a bag to go. The second appetizer was the Fried Squid as the fresh squid “rings” are dipped in tempura. It was served with three sauces: wasabi mayo; spicy mayo; and cocktail sauce.
I then chose five of Jimmy’s signature maki rolls. Cruncheese – smoked salmon, mango, cream cheese, scallions and ell sauce. Little Shrimp Gift – spicy salmon, cucumber, romaine lettuce, seared sweet shrimp, bacon, black tobiko, eel sauce. Bundle of Joy – blackened tuna steak, tobiko, lettuce, carrot, avocado, asparagus, eel sauce, spicy mayo. This one is wrapped in rice paper vs nori. Ming’s Mango Special (created by Chef Ming): shrimp, asparagus, mango, spicy tuna. Make Me Hungry: tuna, mango, taro, red crab, eel sauce. This is all making me hungry writing about it. Aside from the consistencies and flavors of these maki rolls, I appreciate that they are not “fat”. To me, sushi, whether it is served on a piece of rice or as a sliced maki roll, should be eaten in one bite. Otherwise you’re just getting mostly rice.
I would have skipped dessert if it weren’t for hearing about their fried cheesecake. The cheesecake itself is made on the premises. It’s served with a scoop of ice cream. Yummy. www.fuji1546.com
In a letter from John Adams to his wife, Abigail he wrote, “The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more.” The tradition in Quincy is to celebrate the evening of the 3rd as I ventured to the town of Hough’s Neck to view the long tradition of a bonfire on the beach and fireworks coming from across the way at Weymouth’s Wessagusset Beach. Hough’s Neck residents were barbecuing all about.
Going there I passed by the Hough’s Neck Maritime Center on Bayiew Avenue where Steve Holler docks his lobster boat, the November Gale. Every Friday and Saturday during the months of June, July and August, you can purchase the fresh lobsters right off the boat. The price for any size lobster is the same and both less expensive and fresher than you'll find in any market or restaurant. Soft shell lobsters are fab and culls even less expensive.