Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Back from Boston

My wife and I spent a fine weekend in Boston, indulging in some mutual interests--history, eating, and drinking. When we can combine all three in one place we’re particularly happy.

Friday night we visited the Jacob Wirth Restaurant in the Theater District. This was one of those old-style German saloon/restaurants (it was established in 1868) that were once a fixture in any American city. It seems to me that good German food is getting hard to find these days--too fatty, perhaps? But I had a plate of sauerbraten, and Monica a jaegerschnitzel, that would have brought a smile to the kaiser’s face. Harpoon, a local brewery of some renown, brews a Kellerbier specially for Jacob Wirth, and it was a perfect complement to the meal.

Saturday we visited Boston’s famous North End, an old Italian neighborhood full of bakeries, delis, and restaurants, and where the Italian language is still regularly spoken. I think I can safely say that we had there for lunch the best pizza we’ve ever eaten--at Pizzeria Regina, a Boston institution since 1926. They were making pizza in brick ovens there before anyone here in Ashland even knew what pizza was.

After lunch we strolled back downtown for a drink at the Green Dragon Tavern, known as the headquarters of the American Revolution. It seems the Sons of Liberty used to meet at this place, and it was a favorite hangout for Samuel Adams and Paul Revere. Moreover, it was in the Green Dragon that a boy (I guess they weren’t checking IDs that night) overheard two British officers talking about a plan to march on nearby Lexington to arrest Adams and other patriot leaders, and to seize a store of gunpowder and supplies that the locals had socked away. As you may know, word of this impending march ultimately reached Paul Revere, who made sure the good patriots of Lexington and Concord knew about it, too.

As we left the Green Dragon, I couldn’t help wondering how many other pivotal moments in early American history began in bars. Just try to tell me that the Boston Tea Party, for example, was the work of sober, clear-headed individuals. "Hey, fellas, let’s dress up like Indians and throw some British tea in the harbor!" "Okay, but let me finish my Sam Adams."

Discussions - 5 Comments

Taverns were a very important meeting place for colonists to drink, build community, and angrily (and drunkenly) denounce British taxes and tyranny. It’s one of the most interesting topics of the Revolution and great to do field trips!

A great post. Thank you.

I seem to recall hearing that Berghof’s in Chicago has bitten or is about to bite the dust. Of course, since we’re no less eager than before to eat huge amounts of food that aren’t good for us (guilty as charged), I suspect that culinary fashions have more to do with the demise of German restaurants than does health.

Joe, when I saw your post I was shocked--I was just in Chicago in early December, and it seemed to be doing fine. But yes, apparently you’ve heard correctly. Depressing news, indeed.

Pizzarina Regina serves the best pizza in the world!

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