NFT Boston South Boston (West) / Fort Point

South Boston (West) / Fort Point

Essentials
Southie seems to be in its renaissance. The formerly locals-only neighborhood has attracted yuppies, artists, and college students with a flurry of new condos, restaurants, and a short commute downtown. For proof of this, take a look at the Fan Pier by the ICA, which is Boston's hippest address, currently exploding with restaurants and new buildings.

Sundries/Entertainment
For after-work drinks in the summer, nothing beats Barking Crab. Drinkin' establishments are great here -- especially Lucky's and Shenannigans. Finish your new pad with retro pieces from Front. Foodies go crazy for See more.

>Sportello -- their inventive cuisine is fantastic. Try the Bolognese.

Transportation
Oh you can drive to Southie, but parking here is a bloodsport where the locals have been training longer. The Red and Silver lines both hit the neighborhood at its edges, so think about taking the 7, 9, or 11 bus depending on your starting point.




         


This Neighborhood Featured in...
Chasing Andy Heidel

By Rebecca Katherine Hirsch
Rebecca is the lifeblood of Not For Tourists. The lynchpin that holds the unit intact, the polestar that guides the destiny of its guides. She only has one weakness: The ones who serve her.
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On Our Radar:

Posted By:  Patrick Hellen
Photo:  Patrick Hellen

St. Alphonzo's Kitchen
You know how every neighborhood has that little hole in the wall spot, locals only, that makes amazing food and always seems to fly under the radar? Alphonzo's seems to be that place for Southie, but for some reason it also seems to be one of those spots that local chefs eat at when they're not behind their own stoves. Originally named Potbellies when they first opened up four years ago, Alphonzo's has been steadily gaining buzz and Best of Boston awards ever since, but it's the steady draw of the local cooks that has me the most fascinated. I can no longer count how many people in the industry seem to be filling this spot whenever I head in for a bite, but if your peers find you delicious enough to grab dinner, then most diners would do well to follow. If you're coming in from outside Southie, parking is pretty easy right on Broadway, and if you're in need of a suggestion or two, you really can't go wrong with either the Cuban or the Flat Iron Steak. Be forewarned, it's absolutely tiny. That can be a bad thing if you are dying for a table, or a great thing if you're there on a date. So stop in, grab a table for two, pop a bottle of wine, and try out that local joint you've always wanted to stumble on. Just consider me your stumbling block.



Posted By:  Patrick Hellen
Photo:  Patrick Hellen

Institute of Contemporary Art
I wish I had a posse. Unfortunately for me, Shepard Fairey already had that idea, and instead of using my shaggy mug, he went with a Giant. Worked out pretty well for him, considering that he's currently rocking a show at the ICA, and it's easily the best exhibit they've put on. Fairey's show mixes a great deal of his send up of corporate advertising (look for his parody of OK Soda), right next to his anti-propaganda propaganda. A long line of OBEY posters featuring some of the worst dictators in history, also holds a spot for Ming the Merciless. While Fairey does have a great sense for drama and politics, I still find some of his best work to be pure pop culture absurdity. I really can't say enough good things about this exhibit. From Fairey's original stencil for Andre, to the huge Print Grid at the end of the show, everything is amazingly well done. The Obama HOPE print is fantastic to see up close, and when you find a Thank You letter from our President to Fairey a room over, it ties in how important art can be. You MUST attend this show. It's that good.



Posted By:  Emily Doutre
Photo:  Emily Doutre

Kingston Station
There's a lot of competition with restaurants downtown and sometimes I really don't know where to start when making a selection. The trendy places are too trendy and you can't wear jeans. The dives are too dive-y--and not in a cute, ironic way. Yes, times are tough for the fiscally challenged hipster who finds himself downtown with nowhere to go. But tucked away at the corner of Kingston and Bedford Streets lies the hipster oasis in the middle of trendytown: Kingston Station. It's shiny and white and wooden--a clean slate for everyone. The menu's got a little bit of everything and is priced like it thinks it's on the other side of the Charles (please do not correct it). I recommend ordering the truffle fries, followed by more truffle fries. Booze selection is sufficient and they also serve absinthe (it's legal now, BTW) in case you haven't taken a trip to the floor recently. It's okay to venture downtown, alt friends: we're welcome here now.



Posted By:  Patrick Hellen
Photo:  Patrick Hellen

Front
Bob's Your Uncle might be the perfect addition to a area populated by artists and their studios in the Fort Point Channel area of South Boston. Both a wholesale greeting card company and a storefront--Bob's serves up some of the ironic stuff that you never really need, but you always love to show off to your friends. Luggage tags that say "Heave," and "Haul," for instance. A cookbook written by children called Dinosaur Soup, and bags for gifts of wine that opine it's "gay and fruity texture." There's also plenty of random photographs, and esoteric pieces for home decoration--guaranteed not to be seen elsewhere. If you like ironic t-shirts and chuck taylors--you'll undoubtedly enjoy Bob.



Posted By:  Patrick Hellen
Photo:  Patrick Hellen

Boston Sailing Center
As a wee boy, I always thought the idea of boating was very romantic and adventurous. You and the open ocean, salt and sun, the whole works. Turns out it's hard as hell and you need to know a crap ton about knots, winds, submerged rocks, etc. Thus, I present the following: For those of you out there, like me, who would like to learn more about the skills needed to sail, or would appreciate a free sailing trip--then June 27th from 1 to 5 pm, you need to get yourself down to Lewis Wharf for the Boston Sailing Center's Open House. Free and open to the public, these cats are offering free sailing trips around our lovely city, as well as discounted sailing lessons to those of us who are lacking in trimming the mizzenmast. Bring sunscreen, and check it out. P.S. First come first served, so plan accordingly.



Posted By:  Patrick Hellen
Photo:  Patrick Hellen

Regan's Motivated Fitness
Writing for NFT, I get friends who call and say, HEY! Let's go here and you can write about it! Usually, this involves booze in some variety, and is generally later in the evening. This morning though, I was invited to a Boot Camp and I got my ass wupped, and had ZERO cocktails. Tom Regan of the Motivated Fitness Gym runs this Camp Monday to Thursday, from 6 to 7 am and he will take the quivering blob of lard you call a body, and with timed mile runs, boxing drills, ab work, etc, he will mold you into fighting form. He does all this all in a charming and funny way--encouraging you through the pain of doing 15 reps of biceps curls by reminding you of what the eventual outcome of all your hard work will be. You want to look good on that cruise? Time for pushups. Now for full disclosure. I do NOT get up early to work out. At ALL. Yet, this was one of the better workouts I've done. If you're an early riser, and you need something to trim you down for the summer--this seems to be a pretty enjoyable option.



Posted By:  Patrick Hellen
Photo:  Patrick Hellen

Mul's Diner
If you pay any attention to these pages at all, you know that 4 out of 5 of my reviews revolve around breakfast food in some location, so I present to you Mul's diner. A retro spot at the beginning of Southie, this is working-class deliciousness. Now, I don't have the menu in front of me as I write this, but they have the typical "hungry man" breakfast, which they call the Truck Driver. This was my standard Sunday breakfast for the first four years I lived in Boston. It's 10 dollars of pure delicious heart-stopping lard which includes: 3 eggs, bacon, ham, sausage, home-fries, and a side of pancakes or french toast. I couldn't stand up straight after such a feast, and It made my Sunday afternoon a long lazy siesta. I'd say go early--the hangover crowd tends to fight the post church crowd for seats. I do still miss the best waitress they had, who was a tall gorgeous punker chick with two full sleeves of amazing tats, who filled your coffee before it even got slightly cool. Here's to you punker-girl, Mul's is still kick ass, but we, your patrons, salute you.




Posted By:  Patrick Hellen
Photo:  Patrick Hellen

Joan
Old people rock. The best are those who are old enough to not care what people think anymore, and just coast through retirement. In some Oldy McAncients, this manifests itself in a cranky and surly outlook, but in Southie it turns old women into some of the most friendly and chatty people in Boston. I give you Joan. I met Joan about 3 years ago, while waiting on a load of laundry at my laundromat. She strolled on in, sat down next to me, ignored the fact that I was reading a book and started a conversation. I have no idea what we talked about, but I've bumped into her constantly since that first meeting, and every time we chat it up for at least a half-hour. The only regret at buying my own Washer/Dryer was the loss of Joan telling me how "thrilling," the Bruins game was the night before, or how she never did like that Manny. I bumped into her this past Saturday, and asked her if she minded if I wrote a Radar on her. Her only request? "Don't use my last name. I don't need to be any more famous." If you've got twenty minutes, she's worth a salutation.



Posted By:  Patrick Hellen
Photo:  Patrick Hellen

God I love ice cream. It's the only sugary treat that transforms me into a 4 year old again, fist full of dollar bills, desperate to score some cone. To my horror and delight, the Hood Milk Bottle, one of Boston's most famous landmarks, recently reopened after a brief renovation to serve ice cream in the summers. I'm going to gain about seventy pounds this July. I can feel it. The Milk Bottle itself has been a constant installation at the Children's Museum since the 1970s, so much so that I have old childhood pictures of myself at the Museum, COVERED in sundae fixings, and smiling like a madman. It now stands right outside the Au Bon Pain that's connected to the Museum, and is run by them as well. Unfortunately, this has a drawback. By which I mean children. Both the Au Bon and the Milk Bottle are swarmed with children everyday and all the sticky things that children do. If you can stomach the screaming, terrified pigeons and Mom hitting you with her stroller 15 times, then head on over and belly up to the bottle for that waffle cone of swirl.



Posted By:  Patrick Hellen
Photo:  Patrick Hellen

Yada Yada Cafe
Yada-Yada is my workplace oasis. Everyone has one. If you don’t have one, you’re the creepy person in the office who spends too much time in the bathroom. We all know it’s you. Please stop. Regardless, Yada is family owned and operated in the old tradition of remembering you from the first time you roll in, and knowing your order before you do. I’m officially going on record in saying that their Western Omelet, which I add cheese to and take to-go so my workmates get jealous, is one of the best in the city. Note: I don’t award that lightly, as I consider myself a city breakfast connoisseur. They make everything fresh as hell, delicious, and frigging CHEAP! When your options are overpriced financial district lunch, or bringing the same soggy sandwich from home every day, Yada gives you variety at a price you can rationalize. Finally, for those of us in the city that spent our college years at one of the five schools of the Amherst area, Yada-Yada gives you a taste of your old home with Rao’s coffee. This alone should have you down here in a heartbeat. Close out of this browser, and GO.



Posted By:  Patrick Hellen
Photo:  Patrick Hellen

Teriyaki House
How often do you, as a city resident, call out for delivery? I’m assuming that a good chunk of you hit up the local spots at least once a week instead of cooking, and I’m sure when you try to decide what to eat most of you go, “Oh I’m so sick of pizza...what ELSE is there?” Loyal readers, I’ve got a new option for you. Living in Southie, my options are mostly pizza places too, so a Japanese joint with a decent sushi bar down the street makes me say, “Hell Hai?” I’m talking edamame, fantastic teriyaki, great soba, amazing udon, and gallons of sake. Granted, this isn’t Fugakyu. They do 90% delivery, so if you’re a soy snob, be forewarned. If you’ve got a pocket full of crumpled ones, old movie tickets, and assorted lint then you’ve got enough for a feast. I’ve done my best to run the bill up, ordering tons of lettuce wraps, gyoza, and miso soups, and the bill barely cracks the mid $20’s including tip. Delivery area is pretty wide, so I say check ‘em out. If it’s not your bag, dig through your couch cushions to cover the costs.



Posted By:  Patrick Hellen
Photo:  Patrick Hellen

Sorry Lindsay Lohan, as addicted as you may be to the paparazzi and driving into trees while blotto, I am a far worse junkie when it comes to the foodstuffs at Café Arpeggio. I’m sure that even if I entered rehab, I’d find myself a week later scratching at the glass of their front display for a cup of their Italian Wedding soup, perhaps even with a crusty roll. If I’m hungry or hung-over and my fridge has tumbleweeds, you can find me settled on the couch, devouring an ice coffee, and waiting for my Number 12 (Bacon, Turkey, and Cheddar on a pita) to arrive. It’s also the go-to spot for visiting guests; I currently have friends in Florida and Amsterdam who beeline it there as soon as they hit town. A place so good local politicians routinely order sandwich platters for campaign meetings, there’s never been a time when I haven’t seen someone in there studying, on a date, or waiting patiently in line for their delicious homemade ice cream. It’s a nice alternative to the typical chain coffee shop most of us are familiar with, and it’s much better than getting arrested for DUI.



Posted By:  Patrick Hellen
Photo:  Patrick Hellen

In Boston, it just aint easy to find a good burrito. There are a few salsa joints out there, with fresh ingredients, homemade guacamole, and authentic recipes, simmered and stewed for hours by cooks with pride in their menus. Fresh Tortillas is not one of these places. First off, the owner/operators are an Asian family who decided that instead of competing with the Chinese takeout spots on West Broadway, they’d drop Far East and go Southwest. They couldn’t abandon it completely though, as you can still get an order of Crab Rangoons, and sides of white rice. I’m all for fusion cuisine, but come the hell on people. The food is blah, but since they seem to be aiming at the drunken last call stumble crowd, it’s good enough. The tortillas themselves actually are fantastic, so when you decide to stop choking down the contents, it alone is very tasty. So, if it is 2 am, you’re down to your last 3 bucks, and you need a greasebomb to help soak up the dollar drafts you’ve been chugging, then FT is your place for mediocrity in cheap bite size bundles.



Posted By:  Craig Nelson
Photo:  Craig Nelson

Institute of Contemporary Art
Hell must have finally frozen over. Boston has a brand new building that doesn’t suck. In fact, it’s quite bold and stunning. Seriously, when was the last time Boston had a new piece of architecture this exciting? Even the computer lab’s design is cutting edge. And that’s good news for the art world, but even better for Bostonians. Civic pride has been a little low lately (perhaps you’ve heard of the Big Dig?), but that’s quickly changing thanks to the ICA. Now on to the art. The Super Vision exhibit features lots of hot shot artists, including a moving video piece on Mexican immigration by Chantal Ackerman. But of course as an NFT editor I really loved the never-ending top shelf liquor display by Josiah McElheny aptly entitled "Czech Modernism Mirrored and Reflected Infinitely." In the permanent collection, Cornelia Parker’s mesmerizing “Hanging Fire (Suspected Arson)” fits perfectly in its new home. But don’t take my word for it, go now and experience this dazzling place for yourself. Even better, do what my dad did when he visited for the first time—become a member and come as often as you want. Welcome to Boston in the year 2007.



Posted By:  Caitlin E. Curran
Photo:  Caitlin E. Curran

Anyone working in South Boston near the Children’s Museum (aka the Seaport District), where food options are limited to Metro Café and Finagle A Bagel, rejoiced when this eatery opened this spring. Sleeper Street Café features fresh-baked pastries, sandwiches, wraps, and salads. Try the Mixed Greens Salad, which includes a lot more than the name indicates, with grapes, walnuts, and blue cheese. Sleeper Street also includes healthier options, such as fruit salads and a hummus platter. Their enormous chocolate chip cookies, though not necessarily healthy for the body, are seemingly healthy for the soul and a good snack midway through a long workday. Sleeper Street can be especially crowded at lunchtime, so your best bet is to visit either mid-morning or early afternoon.



Posted By:  Kevin Spak
Photo:  none

Boston Sailing Center
If you’re a fan of not sailing, then you should definitely avoid the Boston Sailing Center’s Open House. The rest of us will be there, riding the harbor waves in boats up to 40 feet long, while stuffing our faces with complimentary refreshments. The event promises to be a good time for experienced sailor and land lubber alike, as the staff will be around to answer questions on sailing basics for the latter and nautical history for the former. And all of this—the rides, the food, everything—is totally free. And if you’re a fan of not free, I’m not really sure what to tell you.



Posted By:  Lacey Prpic Hedtke
Photo: 

Lucky's Lounge
Located on a corner and unmarked, Lucky’s is truly a lounge. Descending into Lucky’s is like walking into a swankier bygone era. The front room feels like an after-hours ‘50s diner with dim lighting, booths, enormous plates of food, and a long bar decorated with Christmas lights. If you’re feeling especially fancy, head to the other side of the bar, sit on red leather raised benches, and sip a dirty martini. If it’s Sunday, Sinatra will be there. There’s music most nights. But it’s not just about hanging out, reminiscing, and feeling cool—they’ve got great food too. The mac and cheese fed me for three days. Fort Point is a nice neighborhood in which to eat, drink, and talk poker under Lucky’s low ceilings. Hanging out here definitely increases your chance of winning…anything.




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