Breaking the Bubble

food

By 1:15 p.m. every Thursday, it feels like my weekend has officially begun. I leave the classroom and tear down the steps of Gasson, through the double doors and out into the open air where I breathe a huge sigh of relief.

With only one class at 2 p.m. on Fridays, anything work related goes out the window on Thursday afternoon. I put the draining week behind me, and all my worries fade. I forget about the test I have to study for, or the paper I have to finish because Monday seems so far away. “I’ll do it all on Sunday,” I tell myself.

On Thursdays, there is always a choice I have make. Do I watch Netflix and pick up a steak and cheese sub from Mac, or catch the T into town for a bite? Nine times out of 10, I choose the latter. While many get caught up in the BC bubble and only venture out of school a few times a month, I constantly find myself leaving campus. At times during the week, it feels like I rarely have a moment for myself. I’m constantly surrounded by my peers, so by the end of the week, I need a little escape.

All my excursions around Boston revolve around food. It should come as no surprise to anyone who knows me that food is one of my greatest passions. How do I find restaurants to go to every week? I spend hours upon hours scrolling through Boston food websites and Instagram pages looking for new restaurants to try.

But the cuisine I choose for that week normally comes from watching episodes of Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown. When Bourdain is in Andalucia eating tapas, naturally I begin to crave Spanish food. By Thursday I’m on my way to one of Boston’s many tapas joints to indulge in jamón and croquetas.

As a relatively new resident of Boston, I’m only beginning to get a taste of the lively food scene across the city. With so many places to try, and a disintegrating bank account, I’m not only looking for great food, but it also needs to be reasonably priced.  

Location is also key. Can I get there easily? Thankfully, each neighborhood in Boston is associated with a different cuisine. Allston is best for Asian fusion and hot pot. Chinatown is the mecca for dim sum and the North End is acclaimed for its Italian. If I can’t make up my mind, I’ll head to Quincy Market to choose from every cuisine imaginable. But I always seem to end up with a warm lobster roll and clam chowder anyway.

At times though, I don’t feel so adventurous and all I crave is nothing more than a good burger. I’ve tried countless burgers in my 19 years, but my favorite burgers are served at Shake Shack. Everytime I dig into one of their burgers, my mind is blown.

Occasionally, I’ll meet up with a friend for lunch, but I actually prefer to dine alone. While it may seem like I’m an introvert, I believe that the best way to enjoy a meal is when it’s just me and the food.

By eliminating all social interaction, there are no distractions when I sit down for my meal. The only focus is the dish in front of me. I even refrain from using my phone. By doing this I taste flavours that I wouldn’t normally notice, and I appreciate the food so much more.

Ichiran, the renowned Japanese ramen chain has become famous for its anti-social dining concept. Diners are seated in booths separated by walls, where you are left in privacy to enjoy the hearty umami flavours of the bowl you are about to devour.

When I finish, I don’t like to wait around. I get the check and I’m out the door on my way to the nearest Chatime to get my boba fix. When my food adventure is done, I return to the confines of my dorm room, and reality sets in. I open up my computer and make my second big decision of the day. Do I finish the reading for class tomorrow, or watch Netflix? This time, Netflix wins.

Featured Image by Meg Dolan / Heights Editor