Boston Has The Omni Parker House To Thank For Its Beloved Cream Pie
The Boston cream pie is as woven into the fabric of Beantown as the Boston accent. Whats now revered as the state dessert was once merely a simple cake produced at the Parker House.
Bostonians are quick to remark that the Boston cream pie is a charming, storied slice of the citys history. These days, its just as ubiquitous in Beantown as clam chowder, cannoli, baked beans and oysters, and is found in forms that arent merely cake, but shaped into donuts and churned into ice cream.
The Boston cream pie has long been a staple, thanks to the Omni Parker House Hotel and chef Augustine François Anezin. Anezin arrived in Boston from France in the mid-19th century, armed with a Rolodex of French specialties: green turtle soup, roasted beef and fowl speared onto spits and spun over coals, silky mayonnaise and ham sunk in champagne sauce. He transformed the newly opened restaurant into a fine-dining destination, introducing and perfecting a host of dishes in the Parker House kitchen.
It was Anezin and his staff who dreamt up the Boston cream pie, looking at popular American desserts for inspiration, like American pudding-cake pie and Washington pie, cakes that were sliced into two layers and swiped with a filling in between. But one of the biggest differences between the then haute desserts and the Boston cream pie was the introduction of chocolate.
In Literature And Music
For more than 150 years, the Parker House has appeared in prose and poetry set in and around Boston.
Edith Wharton included a private meeting between characters Mr. Newland Archer and Countess Ellen Olenska at the Parker House in her celebrated work of the early 20th century, The Age of Innocence. Archer is told that the Countess Olenska is staying in Boston at the Parker House, and he flees Newport to meet her there.
Quentin Compson treats himself to a meal at Parkers Restaurant before committing suicide by flinging himself from the Anderson Memorial Bridge into the Charles River in William Faulkners 1929 novel The Sound and the Fury.
In Arthur Millers Death of a Salesman Willy Loman claims he met a salesman in the Parker House. One imagines that as today a salesman would meet people in the public areas of such a grand hotel but stay, like Willy, at somewhere like the Standish Arms.
Although many haunting books and ghost tours claim that Stephen Kings 1999 short story 1408about a writer who experiences a haunted stay at a New York hotel called the Dolphinwas based on Room 303 of the Parker House and the supernatural events surrounding the room, Kings personal assistant says that claim is false.
In Donna Tartts 1992 novel The Secret History, the characters stayed at the Parker House, mentioning it was where Dickens had stayed. In Anita Diamants 2004 novel, The Boston Girl, the main character experiences a bad date at the Parker House.
Eat Cake And Be Married
Today individual sized pies are still served in Parkers Restaurant. The hotel states that it is in this restaurant at the table 40 that John F. Kennedy proposed to Jackie Bouvier. You can request the table for dinner if you are planning a romantic getaway in Boston. The hotel is gorgeous and worth a visit just to marvel at the beautiful architecture. Although, there is also Martins Tavern of Georgetown that claims the proposal happened in their booth 3. Where is the truth?
If you dont have time, drop by a gift shop called Morsels inside the hotel. They have coffee and a variety of desserts, including Boston cream pie. I chose this option since a dinner at Parkers Restaurant costs a pretty penny. I grabbed this baby to go and enjoyed it in a nearby coffee shop. Its a genuinely good cake: moist sponge, not overly sweet cream and delicious chocolate ganache. Almond flakes add a beautiful nutty note to it. A good old classic that you can rely on, but it wont blow your mind away.
I was a bit underwhelmed at the first bite, but after giving it some thought I realized: maybe this pie isnt supposed to blow your mind away? Since when has a piece of good cake stopped being enough? This is the traditional recipe this is how the pie used to be made 160 years ago its delicious. What else can you ask from it? So I say when in Boston, definitely head down to this historic site and have a bite of the legendary dessert!
Recommended Reading: How To Make Pie Charts In Google Docs
Many Features Centering Around Hotel’s Historical Pedigree Including An Iconic Fine
Parker’s, the stately, full-service restaurant, is as historically significant as the hotel itself. Not only did Ho Chi Minh, Malcolm X, and Emeril Lagasse all work there, but it is where the famed, buttery Parker House rolls were invented. Ditto the Boston cream pies, though the restaurant’s contemporary rendering is virtually unrecognizable from the traditional dessert . Slightly less famous, but a signature dish nonetheless, is the bland, beige New England schrod, the etymology of which allegedly once referred not to the actual type of fish but the acronym “Special Catch Received of Day.” With the exception of delicious, piping hot rolls, the food at Parker’s is much less impressive than its environs and history, so it’s best to enjoy a crock of New England Clam Chowder with a basket of warm bread, take a quick peek at the corner table where JFK proposed to Jackie, and retire to the upstairs Parker’s Bar for a nightcap. The bar has a timeless tavern-like decor, with dark wood floors, a pressed-tin ceiling, and framed silhouette portraits on the wainscoted wood walls. In one corner, round club tables and chairs are clustered in front of a marble fireplace, and in another sits a midnight-blue velvet settee with gold trim. The Last Hurrah is a well-known whiskey pub that serves small bites and hearty American fare during the week.
Who Created Boston Cream Pie
The Omni Parker House is Bostons oldest continuously operating hotel established back in 1855. Its also the oldest continuously running hotel in the United States. Plenty of sites proclaim Boston Cream Pie to have been created in 1856. They also claim that BCP was the creation of Chef Sanzian. They are wrong there, too.
The chefs name wasnt Sanzian, but Chef Augustine Anezin, who worked at the hotel from 1865-1881 . As you already guessed, the 1856 date is wrong. The exact year when Boston Cream Pie was created isnt nailed down, but its definitely sometime after 1865 and, obviously, before the chef died in 1881 or we would call this Boston Ghost Pie.
When the Parker House opened in 1855, chocolate was mainly consumed at home as a beverage or in puddings. There was no lack of chocolate in Boston, since Americas first chocolate mill had opened in neighboring Dorchester in 1765.
Since colonial times, New Englanders have enjoyed a dessert called American Pudding-cake pie, but when Parker Houses own Chef Anezin and his bake staff drizzled chocolate icing onto sponge cake filled with vanilla custard, something new and sensational was born. Originally dubbed Parker House Chocolate Cream Pie, Boston Cream Pie became an immediate and perennial hit.
Boston Cream Pie, Omni House Hotel, Accessed August 9, 2021.
It would have made an eye-catching menu item.
Also Check: Campbells Soup Chicken Pot Pie
Also Check: Damgoode Pies Little Rock Delivery
Omni Parker House History And Facts
The Omni Parker House Hotel is the oldest hotel in all of the United States. Already bringing it clout, this landmark has so much more than the lengthy Omni Parker House history to be proud of.
This prestigious upscale hotel, founded in 1855, brings visitors near and far to enjoy an unmatched experience within its walls. This Heritage site brings elegance, decor, and sophistication to visitors, impressing even the fussiest of guests in the heart of Boston.
Parker House Boston Cream Pie To Go Please
Boston Cream Pie comes up as a frequent topic on Trip Advisor’s Boston Board.
Visitors see this as a bucket list taste of Boston. I added my two cents to a recent conversation, where someone planning a visit asked if it was possible to get a piece of pie without eating a full meal at the Parker House. However, I decided that more research was needed.
Ed, Poppy, and I took a walk to the Parker House and found the gift shop that was reputed to sell the pie to go. It’s called Morsel’s and is located next to the 60 School Street entrance to the Omni Parker House.
As you may know, the Parker House is said to have invented this creation. It’s so popular, that they have it ready to go in the coffee/gift shop attached to the hotel. It’s priced at $8, at the time of this post.
It was not on display when I went in, but signs in the window said they sold it, so I asked the woman behind the counter. She asked how many I wanted. “One,” I replied, and she went to a refrigerator to get the dessert.
“And, how many forks?” She tucked the two requested forks and a supply of napkins into a small bag that was perfect for carrying the cake in its protective, domed container. She was charming and had obviously mastered “Boston Cream pie to go” hospitality.
We took our Parker House Boston Cream Pie to the Brewer Fountain Plaza on the Boston Common for tasting.
Also Check: Entenmann’s Coconut Custard Pie Recipe
Try The Boston Cream Pie
For the price I paid for one night, I was hoping for a big bathroom and a great view of the city. Instead the bathroom was small and the view from our room was of someone’s apartment. The hotel is nice & the bed was super comfy though. Pillows were a little too soft for my liking. I enjoyed being able to check in from home so when I got there my room key was already set aside and I didn’t have to wait for it. The Boston cream pie was delicious & is cheaper if you get it to go from the gift shop then at the restaurant.More
- Trip type: Traveled as a couple
Thank you for taking the time to comment on your recent stay at the Omni Parker House. It is regretful that you were disappointed with the size of the room as well as with the view. Due to our historic nature we have some rooms which, by today’s standards are small. Also, being located in the heart of a major city, there are buildings surrounding us which limit views for a few of our rooms as well. With that said, we feel our location, history and staff make up for some of the shortcomings of a 155 year old hotel.
- Room service
- Free Wifi
- Free Wifi
- Free Wifi
- Free Wifi
- Free Wifi
- Free Wifi
- Free Wifi
- Free Wifi
- Free Wifi
- Trip type: Traveled as a couple
- Trip type: Traveled on business
- Trip type: Traveled with family
Revolution And The Siege Of Boston
A south east view of the great town of Boston in New England in America
The weather continuing boisterous the next day and night, giving the enemy time to improve their works, to bring up their cannon, and to put themselves in such a state of defence, that I could promise myself little success in attacking them under all the disadvantages I had to encounter.
,in a letter to , about the British armys decision to leave Boston, dated March 21, 1776.
Many of the crucial events of the occurred in or near Boston. Bostons penchant for mob action along with the colonists growing lack of faith in either or fostered a revolutionary spirit in the city. When the British parliament passed the in 1765, a Boston mob ravaged the homes of , the official tasked with enforcing the Act, and , then the Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts. The British sent two regiments to Boston in 1768 in an attempt to quell the angry colonists. This did not sit well with the colonists. In 1770, during the , British troops shot into a crowd that had started to violently harass them. The colonists compelled the British to withdraw their troops. The event was widely publicized and fueled a revolutionary movement in America.
Recommended Reading: Campbells Chicken Pot Pie Recipe
What Else Will You Find At Boston’s Parker House Hotel
Many of the hotel’s elegantly furnished rooms feature lovely city views.
A 24-hour fitness room complete with a fresh fruit basket keeps you in shape.
In addition to the elegant Parker’s Restaurant, you’ll enjoy Parker’s Bar and the Last Hurrah whiskey bar.
Pets are also welcome at the Omni Parker Hotel – in fact, this is one of the best pet friendly hotels in Boston because of its proximity to Boston Common, where you’ll find a leash-free dog park.
High quality service makes the Parker House Hotel one of the favorite hotels in Downtown Boston with both leisure and business travelers.
Boston Ma Edition: Omni Parker House
What kind of food is Boston known for? Well, it of course has the New England influence with clam chowder, fish and chips, baked beans, lobster , and clams. But think about it … BOSTON cream pie!A Boston cream pie is a cake filled with custard/cream and then frosted with chocolate. Not so much of a pie and more of a cake. It was created at the Parker House Hotel , which is also the home of Parker House Rolls and Boston Scrod.
Owners of the Parker House Hotel in Boston state that the Boston cream pie was first created at the hotel by Armenian-French chef M. Sanzian in 1856. The cake he created, called “Parker House Chocolate Cream Pie”, consisted of two layers of French butter sponge cake filled with crème pâtissière and brushed with a rum syrup, its side coated with crème pâtissière overlain with toasted sliced almonds, and the top coated with chocolate fondant.
Recommended Reading: Campbells Soup Chicken Pot Pie
An Impressive History And A Grand Lobby Elevate An Otherwise Standard Property To Mythic Status
In a city that wears its historic pedigree like a badge of honor, even the hotels boast storied lineages. And none is more impressive than that of the Omni Parker House. Opened in 1855, the 551-room landmark is the longest continuously operating hotel in the country, and the first in Boston that offered running water and elevator service. The hotel’s famous guests — and former employees — read like a laundry list of the political and cultural elite: Charles Dickens did the very first reading of “A Christmas Carol” on American soil for the Saturday Club literary group, a salon led by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and whose members included the likes of Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Henry David Thoreau. Decades later, Ho Chi Minh worked as a baker in the basement kitchen, likely churning out the hotel’s deservedly famous, eponymous Parker House rolls. JFK proposed to Jackie at table 40 in Parker’s Restaurant, where Malcolm X once worked as a busboy. In fact, you can’t walk two feet without stumbling over some historical artifact or site of a ghostly encounter at the Parker. The concierge frequently regales guests with tales of the ghost of a 19th-century whiskey salesman who lives in the closet of room 303 and plants booze-soaked kisses on slumbering female guests.