It has been far too long since my last post. My apologies. But I’m back.
My mom came to visit me in Boston. I really enjoy having family and friends come to visit me. I like showing people my city. And since I have begun this blog, something that I am trying to do when I have visitors is to include them on my journey down Centre Street.
So I invited my mom to join me one night to eat at the next restaurant on Centre Street: Tostado Sandwich Bar. I have mentioned multiple times that this end of Centre street, the end that starts at Jackson Square, is a bit sketchy. Most of the restaurants do not particularly exude an aura of friendliness and good food. Tostado is a notable exception to that rule. In fact, since moving to Boston, I have looked inside the window of Tostado and thought that I would like to check that place out. But I decided I would wait until my eating journey brought me inside.
For better or worse, I have high hopes as my mom and I enter the restaurant. It is small. Not much room to maneuver. In fact, I think it has even less room than Young Kong. But the vibe is entirely different. The menus and decorations are colorful and warm. The place is clean and well maintained. In one corner on the floor there is a little decorative fountain that does not seem to work. They should probably get rid of that. It doesn’t really add to the atmosphere.
Tostado is a sandwich bar, but they appear to also specialize in fruit juices and smoothies. Fresh fruit is seen behind the counter, along with an interesting assortment of machines that I can only imagine are used to create juices. I notice on the wall that they have received multiple accolades for their food, including a feature in the Boston Globe! This is promising. I look at the menu, not that it matters, since I won’t be choosing what to eat. Frankly, I’m grateful for that. There are so many things that look good, I don’t know where to begin.
I approach the counter and the girl at the register asks me what I would like.
“What do you recommend?” I ask her. She hesitates. It’s interesting how this question catches people off guard. I try a different tack: “What is the most popular item?”
Immediately the question registers, and she replies definitively, “The Tostado Club.” I whirl around to look at the menu (it’s placed a bit awkwardly on the wall opposite the register). The Tostado Club, the first sandwich on the menu and the bearer of the restaurant name, both good indicators, is listed on the menu to include “delicious chicken, pork, ham, cheese, tomato, ketchup, mayonnaise, onion.” I wonder, is the adjective “delicious” referring only to the chicken or to all the meats or to the entire ingredients list? Besides, it seems a bit presumptuous to put in the description that the food is delicious. I’ll be the judge of that, thank you.
“Great! I’ll take that!” I respond, turning back to her. “Also, I’d like a juice. What is your favorite?”
This time she considers for a second before answering, “Passionfruit.” This is a good opportunity. I had Passionfruit juice at Yely’s Coffee Shop, so this will give me the chance to make a comparison. I pay cash for the sandwich and the juice, as they do not accept credit card. $7.50 for the Club, $1.99 for the juice. Not bad. I step back to let my mom order, noticing as she does so that the sandwich featured in the Boston Globe article affixed to the wall is the Tostado Club. Another good sign.
My mom, true to the spirit of my quest, asks the girl what is her favorite sandwich. The Real Dominican, containing “Dominican cheese, grilled ham, ketchup, green tomato, mayonnaise, onion.” She also orders a Piña Colada.
My mom and I sit on stools at the window-side bar-style table. The food takes a good while to arrive, but, though I know looks can be deceiving, especially with regards to food, it really does look worth the wait. My sandwich is cut into quarters, which mayo and ketchup drizzled over each piece. Toothpicks hold each quarter together. There is quite a lot of meat on this sandwich.
I bite in. Yes. Just yes. This place was not a let down. This is a delicious sandwich. The different kinds of meat are very flavorful and tender. There is not much ketchup and mayo, but really just the right amount to blend in with the other flavors. The sandwich is a bit messy, but that’s only because they are loaded with good things. This was worth waiting for. The only negative is that it is not enough. I’m not hungry after eating the Tostado Club, but I could have eaten at least another half sandwich and been quite pleased. No matter. I am content.
Somewhere in there, I try the passionfruit juice. This is far less appealing to me. I have a sweet tooth. I am not ashamed of this fact. Very rarely will I say that something is too sweet. But I said it of the passionfruit juice at Yely’s, and Tostado’s passionfruit juice is even sweeter. The flavor is good, but I have a hard time getting all of it down. I sort of flinch every time I take a drink. I’m pretty sure I can feel my teeth rotting.
Now to my mom’s sandwich. I only eat a bit of it, so I really can’t get very descriptive here, but it was good. It doesn’t seem quite as full of meat and other ingredients as the Club, but it’s got a lot of flavor packed in. Definitely on my list of sandwiches to try again. That’s right. I’m coming back here. The prices are reasonable and the food is great. I will not only be coming back, but I will also bring friends to Tostado to have them experience this. And what’s more is that it’s only a block away from where I live!