The Birthplace of the Boston Cream Pie

Tradition meets Tastey

Where: Omni Parker House 60 School St., Boston, MA – Directions
When:  Hours of operation for Parker’s Restaurant, Parker’s Bar, The Last Hurrah
How Much: $9 served in the restaurant and bars, $8.50 from the hotel gift shop

I have ate a few Boston Kreme donuts in my life, but never had I ever ate the original Boston cream pie at Omni Parker House hotel in downtown Boston– until now.

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A six foot tall sign outside of Omni Parker House urges pedestrians to come inside and try Boston’s official state dessert. Photo by Catherine Trudell.

The first Boston Cream Pie was created and served at Parker’s Restaurant when the hotel opened in October 1856. This pie is almost 160 years old! It was originally called “Parker House Chocolate Cream Pie”.

This dessert was revolutionary at the time. Chocolate had never been used as an icing. In the 1850’s, people were either consuming chocolate as a beverage, or putting it in puddings. So when Armenian-French chef, M. Sanzian, drizzled it on top of sponge cake and pastry cream, people went nuts. I’m not sure America has ever recovered.

The taste: I was surprised by how light and fluffy the boston cream pie was. If you’re expecting the level of cream that oozes out of the Dunkin’ Donuts version, you’ll be disappointed. I thought this version was superior. The Omni Parker House Boston Cream Pie is not a pie at all, but a sponge cake with layers of light pastry cream and a thin layer of hardened chocolate on top. It wasn’t too rich or overpowering. I split it with a friend, and between the two of  us the plate was clean of every last drop of chocolate and whipped cream. The original recipe.

“There wasn’t nearly as much cream on the inside as I’d hope” said self proclaimed food critic, Thomas Villareal.

We ordered two Irish Coffees to pair with our snowy day treat. The coffees were strong… as in whiskey strong! I had to ask for cream to take some of the edge off–but it warmed me up on the winter night.

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Frank McCabe, Anne McDade, and Eileen McDade traveled from Scotland to celebrate Anne’s birthday… and for the pie. Photo by Catherine Trudell

Two tables over, a group of three Scottish tourists were eating the original dessert. They said they came in to the hotel bar just for the famous pie.

“It’s really nice,” said Frank McCabe. “Can you spell mmmm?”

“It was definitely worth the the visit to Boston,” said Eileen.

 

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