While I don’t live in Boston proper, I am in the city fairly often. My husband, Chris, works in Boston, so he’s in there all the time for work, but even on his days off – we always seem to find ourselves in the city for one thing or another. We go in to the city to eat quite a bit because the food just doesn’t compare out in the boonies where I live. I’ve walked past the Parish Cafe numerous times, but for some reason I never made it inside to eat. Until last week.
The Parish Cafe opened in November 1992 and usually has a line anytime you walk by. And now I know why! Owner Gordon Wilcox approached local Boston chefs and asked them each to create a sandwich for the Parish Cafe menu. Each sandwich on Parish Cafe’s menu is named for the chef and the restaurant they are from. I love this concept and was super excited when the Parish Cafe invited my husband and I to come in for dinner.
We grabbed a window seat (inside) so that we could do some people watching and started with some appetizers. Here’s what we got:
The Benny is stuffed with Vietnamese-style, spicy grilled chicken breast, assorted julienned vegetables, and mint-coriander mayonnaise. It’s served with spicy purple cabbage slaw tossed with diced tomatoes, fresh mint, Thai basil, and cracked peanuts on the side.
Sean’s Simple Meatball is over-sized and made with homemade beef, pork, and veal. It’s topped with tomato sauce and grated pecorino cheese, and served with toasted crostinis!
The Bowl-O-Rings, which is their famous homemade beer battered and deep fried onion rings served with a size of homemade chipotle aioli.
All three were fresh and absolutely delicious! We were very happy with all three of them and completely stuffed. But I was there to write about the Parish, so we went ahead and each ordered a meal…..and I am so glad we did.
Chris got the half order of the Baked Mac & Cheese. It’s a casserole of macaroni is mixed with a homemade sauce of Romano and Monterey Jack cheeses and finely diced white onions. Baked in the oven and topped with Gruyère cheese and Ritz cracker crumbs.
I got Sean’s Meatloaf Club. It’s homemade chipotle meatloaf on country white toast with applewood smoked bacon, Romaine, sliced tomato, and a chipotle aioli. Served with garlic mashed potatoes and gravy.
Chris and I shared our meals because well, that’s what we do. It’s the best of both worlds that way and we were both so happy with the two entrees we chose. They were both phenomenal.
It dawned on me after we left that I never caught our server’s name so I can’t give him a proper shout out, but he really made our dining experience even better. He took great care of us and made sure we had everything we needed all night.
The Parish Cafe has two locations – one in the Back Bay and one in the South End. We ate at the 361 Boylston St location in the Back Bay. The casual upbeat atmosphere makes it a great hangout. The Parish Cafe features outdoor dining in the spring, summer and fall and it’s perfect for people watching. There is also indoor seating and a bar area, which is first come first serve.
Remember when I mentioned that we grabbed a window seat? Look at this view we had from our table.
Parish Cafe serves their full menu until 1:00 AM every night and last call is at 2:00 AM. In a city of expensive meals, I recommend eating at the Parish Cafe if you’re looking for great food at a great price. In addition to the great food and excellent service, the relaxed atmosphere makes it a comfortable place to eat, drink and hangout with friends.
The bar at Parish offers quite a few signature drinks plus they have a full bar with a really nice selection of wines and beers. They have a huge beer selection, too. Sandwiches were both eclectic and fresh.
If you are looking for something outside the box when it comes to sandwiches look no further. The really unique combinations have a lot of flavor and I highly recommend eating at Parish Cafe if you are a foodie! The portions are huge and the breads there are ah-mazing!