Being a vegetarian at Durgin Park/ A Bale of Hay

Wanna get Scrod? Well, you could at Durgin- Park in Boston’s Faneuil Hall.

Or at least you could while it was open. It closed 3 years ago at the age of 193!

You could also get abused by their surly waitresses…famous for it and seemingly having some fun with it too. Call them terribly rude, but they have a reputation to uphold!

The restaurant began in 1827 as a small dining room in a market house near the waterfront. It grew over the years becoming more recently ,a multi-level extravaganza featuring the Gaslight Bar and a comedy club. It operated continuously until the pandemic did it in .It was a hallmark of traditional Yankee cooking.

Once a “must-see” on any tour of Boston, and a long time family favorite of tourists and many local families alike including the Boston Cabots, it sported a menu unique both in it’s inclusiveness and in it’s adherence to tradition. They’ve enjoyed a fiercely devoted following over the generations for their Yankee cooking and large portions.

Known initially as a seafood restaurant , they also featured nice hand cut steaks, dry-aged prime rib and New England favorites such as Yankee Pot Roast,corn bread and baked beans. Their Indian pudding was scrumptious and practically unchanged since Colonial times, except for the vanilla ice cream.

Of course there was lobster and all manner of seafood…but the only nod to a vegetarian was called humorously “The Bale Of Hay”. A vegetarian at the time of my visit I had to laugh…four different vegetables and a potato made up the plate. But kudos to them for offering it. It wasn’t notable but it wasn’t bad.

The property is now owned by a restaurant group and there is talk of a re-opening using some of their original staff …fingers crossed for another round of good natured abuse and fresh fish.