July 14, 2008

Christopher’s Defends “Boston’s Best Chowder” Title

Posted in Pro-seminar assignments at 11:07 pm by shhville

There are few things that Bostonions take as seriously as their sports teams, and one of them is arguably their clam chowder.


This past Sunday, July 6th, marked the 27th annual Boston Chowderfest – the traditional finale of the Boston Harborfest – where thousands of people pay to sample local chowders and render their verdict. The Boston City Hall Plaza was packed with over 12,000 people earnestly debating the merits of the various chowder selections. They stood in lines up to 50 people deep as a small brass band played and a stilt-walker in revolutionary era garb mingled with the crowd. 


Christopher’s of Maynard (51 Main St., Maynard) successfully defended their 2007 title of “Boston’s Best Chowder” with a light, creamy creation laden with rosemary and pepper. Parker’s Restaurant at the Omni Parker House Hotel (60 School St., Boston) came in second with the richest of the bunch – a chunky chowder so thick it was almost the consistency of soft butter and packed with grit-free clams. Third place was awarded to Farmer Brown’s (210 Maple St., Middleton) for a sweet and chunky, but otherwise unremarkable, chowder that for all we could tell could have come from a can.


The rest of the four chowder selections ranged from should-have-won to widely reviled, the best coming from The Daily Grill (105 Huntington Ave., Boston) which offered Trappey’s Louisiana Hot Sauce and fresh cracked pepper to compliment a hearty, sage-infused soup. An almost perfect chowder, it lost points for grit content.


At 2 p.m., with four hours left to go, the chef of the Daily Grill, Daniel Greenough, looked out over the 100 or so people waiting in front of his booth and said, “I made 300 gallons. I don’t think it’s going to be enough.”


The Oceanaire (40 Court St., Boston) served up a hearty, creamy chowder with a sharp cheese flavor while the Daily Catch’s (323 Hanover St., North End, Boston) was sweet, bready, and occasionally gritty. As the afternoon progressed, word rippled through the crowd that The Chicken Bone (1260 Boylston St., Boston) booth should be avoided.


“It’s like drinking salad dressing,” said Emily, an angular blonde in her early teens.


The one non-restaurant competitor of the bunch, the USS Bataan – an amphibious naval assault ship currently docked in Boston Harbor – served something resembling dish water with bits of fatty bacon floating in it. Luckily for the latecomers, the Bataan ran out of chowder around 3 p.m.


The Harborfest, a “celebration of Boston’s colonial and maritime history,” is a six-day event featuring musical acts and family activities.



  1. Tamara said,

    I really enjoyed your article 😀 I mean I don’t know if I can ever eat clam chowder, but maybe next year I’ll go to the event!

  2. angelia said,

    Okay EB — get posting. I know from your stories and nots you have a lot of interesting thing in your head!

  3. angelia said,

    Oh wait missed the tamara comment. What!! Can’t eat clam chowder? What is with that? So is it the whte or red version that gags you?

  4. nadiq said,

    I really like your style!
    And I really like clam chowder…but wait…there’s a red version??

  5. Alicia B. said,

    Sorry, I have never tried clam chowder and don’t hink I ever want to. Yeah I know that’s bad, but, once I get to Boston I will defintely check this out next year!

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