I have a great job, for many reasons. The organization I work for is a non-profit, so we’re dedicated to helping people. The folks I work with are generally nice folks. I get 3 weeks of vacation and a free T pass. But by far, my favorite thing about my job is the travel.
I don’t get paid trips to Paris, or even to Peoria. However, between visiting schools and companies, I get to do a significant amount of travel around the city of Boston. Not just the popular tourist spots and neighborhoods of my friends, but every part of the city, from Charlestown to Chinatown to Jamaica Plain to Allston.
The best part of new neighborhoods? Nearly always, it’s the food. There are all sorts of tiny restaurants and cafes and bodegas and carts that often don’t get covered in the local papers, and that one might never learn about without walking past. And one of the richest neighborhoods, maybe my favorite for this, is East Boston.
Before this job, I’d never really been to East Boston. Sure, I’d been to a house party once, and a concert at Suffolk Downs, but those trips were all simply on the T from point A to point B. There had never been a chance to wander on foot until I had to take my first trip to the Donald McKay School.
Located at Maverick Square, the McKay is right in the middle of what used to be a predominantly Italian neighborhood (most recently), but is now mostly home to folks from Central and South America. This seems to equate to amazing food.
One of my personal favorite places to visit is La Sultana bakery. (check out the link, other people agree!) In addition to serving up fine Mexican and Salvadorian street food, this is a magical bakery. The magic can be summed up in one word – caramelo. The bakers at this fine establishment seem to work dulce de leche into all sorts of tasty treats, from donuts to churros to flaky pastelitos. There is no describing the joy of biting into something fried and having delicious caramel ooze out of it – especially when the dough is still hot.
Maverick Square and East Boston have more to offer than just baked goods, of course, but I think I will save for a later post the reasons I feel that they serve the only real burritos (special exception for my beloved Tacos Lupita) or the joys of fried sweet plantains. For now, f you can make the time to hop on the Blue Line, stop by La Sultana and get something caramelly for me.