Two-hundred miles north of Manhattan’s sleepless streets, Boston, with it’s infamous midnight subway curfew, is known as a snoozing city. For insomniacs and late night foodies, however, there are diamonds in the rough.
South Street Diner, Parish Cafe, Apollo Restaurant, Saus, and Bova’s Bakery offer diverse options for midnight cravings.
[caption id=attachment_381379 align=aligncenter width=400 caption=Sidle-up to the bar and order some frites with “Saturday Night Chive ” sauce at Saus. Barbara Platts/Beacon Staff]a href=http://berkeleybeacon.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/DSC_3505.jpgimg class=size-full wp-image-3813790 title=DSC_3505 src=http://berkeleybeacon.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/DSC_3505.jpg alt= width=400 height=265 //a[/caption]
Down in Faneuil Hall, a fresh-faced, Euro-crossover eatery called Saus got off to a rocky start this past spring.
“We were young post-grads and we got laid off from our first jobs,” said manager Renee Eliah of her and her co-owners’ journey. “We decided to pursue the restaurant thing. It’s something we all had an interest in.”
Saus sports traditional Belgian street fare, hawking signature dishes like chewy-sweet Liège waffles and the cross-pond counterpart to the American french fry — pommes frites.
“If I recommended a dish to someone new, I’d say go for a waffle — they’re very different, and it’s a dough not batter. We also use pearl sugar that we import from Belgium,” Eliah said.
Frites are a menu standout, and the plethora of sauces available to top them with includes playfully delicious options like “Saturday Night Chive” to “Ole Chipotle.”
Another staple is poutine — frites laden with cheese curd and thick gravy. The cheese curds, sourced from Vermont, packs colossal kick and the made-from-scratch gravy rounds out the flavor.
The casual, coffee-shop setting is accompanied by an artsy vibe, with red and orange walls that are plastered with framed, cartoon-like images. The scrumptious food and hang-out scene make this place feel like home.
“We put a lot of care into the food and our restaurant,” Eliah said.
Saus can be enjoyed until 10 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 12 a.m. on Thursday, and 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.
[caption id=attachment_3813792 align=aligncenter width=265 caption=The Cookie Monster would definitely overdose at Bova’s Bakery. Barbara Platts/Beacon Staff]a href=http://berkeleybeacon.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/DSC_3366.jpgimg class=size-full wp-image-3813792 title=DSC_3366 src=http://berkeleybeacon.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/DSC_3366.jpg alt= width=265 height=400 //a[/caption]
Mike’s might reign supreme on the North End pastry scene, but Bova’s Bakery is the place to be for some late-night, Italian bakery nommage.
“People just follow their noses in here,” said Vicky Bova-Cluse, an employee at Bova’s Bakery in the North End and granddaughter of the founder.
The smell of fresh bread lures passersby into a small shoppe filled with enough goodies to satisfy any sweet tooth. Glass cases show off multi-colored cookies, cream-filled cannoli, chocolate smothered eclairs and creamy cheesecakes. The warm aroma of baked goods galore makes Bova’s feel like grandma’s kitchen.
“Customers feel a certain energy in this bakery,” Bova-Cluse said as she took out a piece of biscotti.
Bova’s also offers a wide array of fresh meats, full wheels of cheese, pizza, calzones, and frozen foods displayed on a lineup of racks throughout the market-like space.
Bova-Cluse said she takes pride in the bakery’s history as well as its success. She said her grandfather would make loaf after loaf of bread without selling a single one. He resorted to going door-to-door, selling the bread that has become a mouth-watering legend.
Many students have fallen in “cannoli love” with Bova’s. Angela Ferraguto, a freshman, said she buys bread there as a substitute for grocery store options.
“The pastries are delicious, but you should definitely pick up scali bread,” the journalism major said. “It definitely beats getting Wonderbread at CVS.”
[caption id=attachment_3813794 align=aligncenter width=233 caption=Enjoy the view of bustling Boylston Street from Parish Cafe’s window seats. Lauren Foley/Beacon Staff]a href=http://berkeleybeacon.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/DSC_0443.jpgimg class=size-full wp-image-3813794 title=DSC_0443 src=http://berkeleybeacon.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/DSC_0443.jpg alt= width=233 height=350 //a[/caption]
A short walk down Boylston will land you at Parish Cafe, a small sandwich shop with a lively vibe and sumptuous selection.
Anna Flesher, a manager at the cafe, commended the unique menu concept created by founder Gordon Wilcox.
“Gordon went to local renowned chefs and asked them to create a sandwich based on either their restaurant or personal taste,” she said. “Each sandwich is named by the chef from their own name or some other form of inspiration.”
The average sandwich runs about $13 while appetizers and entrees range from $6 to $15. Colossal portions and toppings that barely stay crammed in the thick slices of bread cancel out any price-related woes a thrifty college student might have.
From luscious basil-pesto on garlic-rubbed Texas toast to heavenly baked mac and cheese, Parish Cafe puts the richest of flavors into each of their delectable dishes. Fresh ingredients and passion, according to Flesher, are what make the place one of a kind.
“We can offer four to five star sandwiches from different places with the best quality,” she said.
The mahogany and black furnishing motif lend an air of casual elegance to an otherwise Irish pub-y feel. Indoor and outdoor seating is provided, but most customers prefer to sit back and admire the food, the bar, and the beer.
Serving their full menu until 1 a.m., the Parish Cafe is a great option for students looking for a different kind of spread.
“The menu is the most unique thing, and we really try to support that,” Flesher said. “We also try to offer a unique beer list because it really is all about the beer.”
[caption id=attachment_3813795 align=aligncenter width=265 caption=Sweet, syrup-covered French toast and greasy bacon strips at South Street Diner. Barbara Platts/Beacon Staff]a href=http://berkeleybeacon.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/DSC_3018.jpgimg class=size-full wp-image-3813795 title=DSC_3018 src=http://berkeleybeacon.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/DSC_3018.jpg alt= width=265 height=400 //a[/caption]
South Street Diner
Open 24 hours, South Street Diner hides on the side of the road near a club and office complex in the heart of the Leather District. Don’t be alarmed by the frightening carousel horse perched at the entrance. Instead, focus on the welcoming sounds of bacon sizzling, coffee steaming, and the diverse group of friendly, if slightly tipsy, chowhounds giggling and devouring syrup-soaked pancakes inside.
Amidst all the ruckus, it may seem like everyone is speaking a different language. But, in fact, they all use the same dialect: plastered. Loud conversation, roaring laughter, and a hearty meal are the backbone of the diner’s laid-back, and pleasantly rowdy, atmosphere.
With the floor space of an old trailer, South Street Diner manages to cram a photo booth, ATM, and jukebox among the swarm of customers who show up at all hours.
The walls are bombarded with black and white posters of famous faces — from Marilyn Monroe to the Beatles. Colored lights set the mood for a fun, after-party spot where even the servers join in the commotion by singing and dancing.
Speedy service with reasonably priced options deliver anything from crispy home fries, savory sandwiches, and creamy milkshakes to tangy raspberry-lime soft drinks.
South Street Diner delivers food for every taste and every student. Pablo Santiago, a freshman visual and media arts major, praised its convenience for late night binges.
“South Street Diner is useful just because of the fact it’s open so late. If you’re just really, really in the mood for a traditional old-school diner, this is it,” he said.
It’s clear that South Street knows its audience — the back of the menu is emblazoned with the words “The PLACE for college students.”
[caption id=attachment_3813796 align=aligncenter width=232 caption=There’s no shortage of food in Chinatown, but Apollo Sushi amp; B.B.Q. is open til 4 a.m. Barbara Platts/Beacon Staff]a href=http://berkeleybeacon.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/DSC_3090.jpgimg class=size-full wp-image-3813796 title=DSC_3090 src=http://berkeleybeacon.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/DSC_3090.jpg alt= width=232 height=350 //a[/caption]
Apollo Sushi amp; B.B.Q.
Located on the cusp of Chinatown is a tiny Korean barbecue joint that cannot be judged until the food is consumed. Apollo Restaurant proves that appearances can be deceiving.
Walking to the door, the fragrant smell of raw fish and burning barbecue aren’t exactly enticing. The ambiance leaves much to be desired, and the lone server is clearly overwhelmed, making mistakes on checks and nervously floundering about.
But the taste bud delight that waits when the plate is presented far surpasses these minor flaws.
The cuisine is cheap, tasty, and authentic. Dishes start at $5 and provide a hearty helping at reasonable prices. The seafood is well worth it: chewy morsels of juicy salmon, shrimp, and scallops. Jack Mei, an employee, recommended what he considers the best dishes in the house.
“For people who haven’t been here, try Apollo seafood madness, tang su ki, and hamachi kama. Those are the greatest dishes here,” he said, struggling to narrow down the best.
The well-prepared tang su ki combines the honeyed scent of seasonal fruit with succulent and tender chunks of chicken doused in a perfectly balanced sweet and sour sauce. The Hamachi Kama consists of grilled yellowtail swimming in zesty ponzu sauce — a lime soy sauce — and is a perfect compliment to an evening out.
For students in need of some late night ethnic cooking, Apollo can satisfy that craving until 4 a.m.
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