Finding some place to eat in Quincy Market in Boston has been extremely frustrating to me in the past. There are lots of places serving food al fresco (outside), but it’s sometimes tough to tell where the areas are divided; it’s not always perfect rectangles. The first meal I ever had in Quincy Market was a pink slime burger on a supermarket bun served with a quarter of a pickle, and ruffled potato chips while a person sitting inches from me, separated from me with a thin, almost transparent metal chain, was eating a beautiful sandwich with fresh cut fries.
On this trip, I wanted a better meal. I also wanted a beer, so I saw a fun looking place called “The Hideout” that I thought would meet my requirements.
Once we got down the stairs and realized what it was, the menus indicated that it was part of a restaurant, Durgin Park, that I walked past and vetoed upon viewing the menu. Once I saw their cute, dingy little “beer garden,” I figured it would still be ok.
The most notable thing about this place is the dollar bills stapled to the ceiling.
Harpoon makes a special beer for them, John Durgin Ale, that I thought would be a fun thing to order.
It was served fairly cold. It was very refreshing after the walk from the coast, where we parked the car.
In my head, I wanted a big platter of fried seafood. I have no idea why. I just did. What I ended up settling on was a fried shrimp entree that was $21.99. There were a number of lunch specials I could have ordered, all pub favorites and all under $10, but I had to have $22 shrimp. I actually had plenty of time to change my mind before ordering. The service was kind of slow in this area. I felt bad for the one kid that was dealing with everything from the bar to a family of 8 who were playing hide and seek throughout the restaurant looking for a sign left there by a long lost family member and who wouldn’t leave him alone.
When the shrimp and fries came out, the little kid in me jumped for joy.
Aside from the fact that they added so many damn lemons to the plate, this was very good. The fries were fairly standard pub fries. The slaw was good; it was fairly creamy and crunchy, just what you want in slaw.
The shrimp were something special. At first, I sulked that the batter wasn’t heavily seasoned. The coating was very bland. The shrimp, however were nice and large, and were cooked just to the point where the shrimp were firm. This led to the texture of the shrimp being soft and fluffy. The shrimp were seasoned nicely, so, as you bit through the breading and the shrimp, the flavors really started to meld. So, while it was unforgivable that the outermost layer was unseasoned, the way the shrimp were cooked totally made up for it. The sweet and creamy tartar sauce put the shrimp over the top.
The beer was really nice, too. It was smoother than an IPA. The body was more like a brown ale, but was more bitter. From my understanding, this is how the British ales usually are. I really liked that it was cold and that the bar wasn’t only serving domestics; there was a whole booklet of craft beers they had on tap and in bottles.
The little bait and switch with the appearance of what the place was and the menu that was served was a little annoying, but the experience was a good one. If you don’t want to fight your way through the food court in the center of Quincy Market, this is certainly a fun and decent place to eat before or after you flip through records and comic books next door at Newbury Comics.