02 November 2009

Lobstah Rolls and Aeroplanes

What's the most interesting thing you might imagine finding within a couple hundred yards of runways 4R and 4L at Logan?

Belle Isle Seafood; of course! This joint, sandwiched between the Belle Isle Marsh and situated on a neck of land just feet from the East Boston-Winthrop line, and just hundreds of yards across the water from Logan, defines "no-frills." But after all, you don't go to Belle Isle Seafood for the decor and ambiance...

...unless your idea of ambiance involves chain link, billboards, various dockside smells, and the frequent hum of planes landing. That said, you'll be hard-pressed to find a vacant curbside parking spot within a hundred yards on a good many days. Locals, and the enlightened foodie alike know that this is the place to get fresh seafood of all sorts or to enjoy a hearty lobster roll that leaves out the "recipe twists" and piles-on the lobster.

Urban Mechanic (a former Eastie denizen) can't make the trek through the tunnels enough to get his fill of seafood; or other culinary delights to be found throughout Eastie! While locals may not give much thought to the ignorance of their fellow Hubsters on the mainland, any half-serious, self-respecting foodie in Boston should pay serious attention to this neighborhood. Seriously!

Without giving more than a moment's thought, Urban Mechanic also recommends checking out eateries such as Dough Pizza, Restaurante Montecristo Angela's Cafe, Rino's PlaceSantarpio's Pizza303 Cafe, and the delightful It's Slush Time Again! (summer) served from a window (and not the drive through sort either). The Hubster Blog provides a good deal of coverage to the food and life and Eastie for those interested in digging further!

Oh...if you make it over to Eastie, don't just dash to dinner and back. Take your time, perhaps enjoy the several beautiful waterfront parks. The place has some great history to take in, and amazing cultural life today. 

A recent visit to the Belle Isle Seafood also led to a venture through Orient Heights. The sights from the plaza of the Madonna Queen of the Universe Shrine are great! Plus, the 1950's complex is itself worth a visit it for architectural geeks. Think early 1950's modernism!


  1. Thanks to the quick readers and contributors over at Universal Hub to catch my obvious omission of how to get there (except by car). The Winthrop bus does run right by that spot and for nicer days one can certainly ride the blue line to Orient Heights station. The stop is roughly a mile straight up Saratoga Street. Both will save you a couple bucks and ensure you see a bit more of the neighborhood.

  2. When we first started taking the Blue Line to Orient Heights (for Royal Roast Beef) we would wonder what the Madonna Shrine was since it looks vaguely Oriental from the back.

    We've since visited and gotten some good, inspiring photos, as you seem to have done, and visited the underground church too. It's all out-of-fashion modernism but very interesting and, taken in context, especially with a respectful, contemplative mind, a tour is very enlightening. The place doesn't make a Catholic of me but I have to respect the congregation that makes this place not only a shrine, but a place of community and spiritual renewal despite the cheap materials and bankrupted bombast. There are always people milling around.

    It's an inspiring conundrum and one that I respect while not having figured it out yet. Definitely worth a visit whether you are a beleiver or not. The summit of Orient Heights is a locale of its own, as is the shore opposite Logan's runways. Ah....Eastie!