Japan/USA diary, day 10

Wednesday, 10 June, 2015. 21:00

I had another restless night. I finally got up just before 07:00 and did some stretches before getting dressed to leave for the conference. Breakfast there this morning was hot porridge with add your own brown sugar, flaked almonds, and mixed berries. I left the sugar out. There were also bacon and egg rolls on “pretzel buns”, whatever they are, and turkey biscuit sandwich things, neither of which I touched. I want to avoid anything too unhealthy and eating too much rich food while away from home, as it’s far too easy to do if you’re not careful.

Porridge and berries
Porridge and berries at the conference.

The morning session had some interesting talks for me, related to my work, so that was cool. The lunch today was pasta and antipasto, with Caesar salad. There were two types of pasta: a rolled ball of spaghetti so you could pick up a ball in the tongs, with pesto sauce I think, and cheese tortellini in a creamy sauce. I had a few of the latter, but mostly filled up on the salad and the antipasto, which was marinated mushrooms, grilled red capsicum, and cannelini beans in a pesto sauce. There were hot chicken pieces as well, but I didn’t take any meat. There were also the huge chocolate chip cookies again, but I avoided those too.

After the afternoon session I met M. in the Prudential Centre shops. She had gone there to get out of the sun after spending the morning at Harvard, checking out the university grounds and the surrounding streets. We came back to the hotel by about 17:30 and rested for an hour before heading out for dinner. We went to Otto’s pizza restaurant in the cluster of shops about five minutes walk away, which we’d seen a couple of nights ago near Bottega Fiorentina.

Otto's Pizzeria
Otto’s pizzeria.

When we arrived, the place was full, and we had to go onto a waiting list for a table, with the waitress telling us it’d be about 25 minutes. So we walked around a little to kill the time, going into a Gap shop to look at some of the clothes in there. M. tried on a top but decided it didn’t suit her. We walked back to Otto’s to wait the last five minutes or so, and the waitress spotted us as we walked in and said we’d arrived just as a table became free, so we got seated straight away.

Margherita pizza
Margherita pizza at Otto’s.

The menu looked good, with an interesting variety of eclectic ingredients. M. picked the Margherita pizza, while I chose one with chicken, caramelised pears, and fontina cheese. I’d never heard of fontina cheese before, but I assumed since it was cheese it must be good. The Margherita came with slices of fresh tomato on top, sprinkled with finely chopped basil. The pizzas were very thin and crispy, with the crust crunching as we bit it – perhaps just a bit too crunchy. But otherwise they were very nice.

After the pizzas, we went to J.P. Licks for a scoop of ice cream for my dessert. This time I chose the “black raspberry”, which basically tasted like blackberry. It’s good ice cream though.

We bought some more apples and pears for M. on the way back to the hotel. And now we’ve showered and are watching a Red Sox game on TV, against Baltimore. We’re in relatively early tonight, so are relaxing a bit before bed time.

2 Responses to “Japan/USA diary, day 10”

  1. Jeff Zeitlin says:

    “Pretzel buns” or “pretzel rolls” are ordinary bread rolls that have had their surfaces treated such that when they’re baked, they come out looking like a pretzel in color. They’re also often strewn with the same sort of coarse salt that you find on true pretzels. Sometimes, they even have a “pretzel-y” flavor to them.

    Note that the pretzels in question are not the little crunchy ones that are often sold in bags like chips (“crisps”, to you), but instead are the large “soft” or “pushcart” pretzels that can be found sold on the street in many large American cities (and probably elsewhere, though I have no foreign exposure to compare).

  2. Cool, that makes sense. Yeah, we get those soft pretzels here, mostly in German places.

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