Poopin' Around Town

A guide to where to poop while out and about primarily in and around Boston, MA.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Flying Fish Cafe - Wellfleet, Ma

Flying Fish Cafe - 6.8

There's not much better than a summer stroll up the cape for a weekend. Many folks get right over the Sagamore Bridge and are content that they are "on" the cape. Many others are eager to take one of the ferries out to P-Town and take part of some of the best people watching this side of a stroll down South Beach. Few and far between are the folks who wind up somewhere in the middle. Those willing to make the 2 or so hour drive from Boston will find a some hidden gems including the Flying Fish Cafe. Opened for breakfast, lunch and dinner, this quaint cafe offers great food (as well as a full bar) at reasonable prices. Did I mention that the food is great? If you're looking for some food and driving up the cape, this place is definitely worth a stop. The Flying Fish Cafe is located at 29 Briar Lane in Wellfleet, MA.

Location: Head through the entrance and turn right. There will be a small seating area in front of you which you'll walk towards. After you finish passing by the counter, the bathroom is diagonally ahead of you and to your left next to a refrigerator. There are a few hand written signs, and while not hidden, it's not right out in the open either.
Grade: 6 out of 10

Accessibility: There is usually a lot of traffic here and walking in and using the facilities shouldn't be too big of an issue.
Grade: 8 out of 10

Number of Stalls: They only have one bathroom with one toilet, that's all. It fits the building and you wouldn't really expect it to have too much more.
Grade: 3 out of 10

Stall Quality: The toilet was a bit short and small. That was really the biggest problem with the bathroom. Otherwise you're in pretty good shape.
Grade: 6 out of 10

Toiler Paper: What kind of toilet paper do you think they have in Cape Cod?? Quilted two-ply of course! Wasn't protected, but there was back up right on top of the tank, so we're good to go!
Grade: 9 out of 10

Cleanliness: This place was pretty tidy. Perhaps folks like using a well designed garbage can?
Grade: 7 out of 10

Scent: In most restrooms, simply opening a window doesn't cut it. At the Flying Fish Cafe, it sure does. Perhaps there is something in the air in Wellfleet? Or perhaps the city air just sucks that much. I have a hunch it's both.
Grade: 8 out of 10

Flush: Small town type of place, small toilet. That's the logic anyway. To be honest, I pretty much had this bathroom pegged before walking into it (and those who I was with can testify to this!). Anyway, wouldn't some large industrial toilet seem a bit out of place? Anyway, back to the flush. It wasn't too bad.
Grade: 6 out of 10

Aesthetics: They put some effort in here. If you are going to put in some, why not put in even more and make it great? It's a small room and the whole place feels relatively quaint. Aside from the decorative garbage can, their bright pink soap is in one of their maple syrup holders.
Grade: 7 out of 10

Extra Credit:
Plunger: +1

The Bottom Line: This place is worth a stop. If you're looking for some grub and need to use the facilities, this place will fill both needs. You'll leave a happy camper.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Letter to the Editor!

Over the last several months and 30 plus reviews of restrooms in and around the Boston area, I felt it was time to really branch out. Ok, perhaps that's over-stating things a bit. Anyway, look for some new features (hopefully) to the blog. All ideas are welcome, feel free to email The Shit Critic anytime.

Anyway, to start things off, we have an email from a reader who will help illustrate why Poopin' Around Town is so damn practical! This is an email I received on 6/16/07.

Dear Poop Critic,

I stumbled upon your blog while trying to find the address for the Brighton Stop n Shop. I will remember not to use the facilities there. I live in NYC now (think old delicate plumbing and scant seat covers), but I did live in Boston for a few years in grad school.

And while I was in grad school, I was diagnosed with this nasty, genetic poop disease. It's called Ulcerative Colitis and it means I have this mega over-zealous immune system that reacts to the normal bacteria in my large intestine and makes messy, bloody ulcers in the walls of my colon. Gross, right? Anyway, the worst part about this disease is that when it's bad, it means you have to poop frequently and urgently. Oh so very urgently. I'm all good now--it's gone into remission--but for nearly a year in Boston, I lived in constant fear of pooping my pants. Sometimes there would be very little warning. My whole life was one big pooping-preoccupation. I once yelled at the ticket taker at the Loews on the common because he wouldn't let me past to the bathrooms because I hadn't purchased my ticket yet. I actually screamed I'M GOING TO BLOODY DIARRHEA ON THIS FLOOR, YOU FUCKING ASSHOLE! It was a real low point in my life.

Anyway, I just wanted to say that I enjoyed your blog and that's likely a very valuable resource for all people with or without digestive woes. And also, these are my top Boston poop sanctuaries: The Omni Parker Hotel, Trader Joe's in Coolidge Corner, and the Marriot Hotel at the Kendall Square stop in Cambridge.

best wishes,
(anonymous to protect the writer's name)

Ahhh Poopin' Around Town. What an adventure!

- The Shit Critic

Monday, June 11, 2007

Au Bon Pain - Cambridge, MA

Au Bon Pain - 5.0

Everywhere you go in Boston, you won't be far from an Au Bon Pain. With their roots in Boston, Au Bon Pain has over 200 outlets in the United States as well as South Korea, Thailand and Taiwan. If ever in need of a quick stop to get some food, they have it all from fresh sandwiches to croissants and soups to salads, it's a great option. Thing is, most of you knew that. The real question we need to answer is whether it's an option if you need to drop the kids off at the pool, so to speak. This Au Bon Pain is located between Central and Harvard at 1100 Mass Ave in Cambridge.

Location: After entering, most of the restaurant will be right in front of you. Pass the cash register on your right and turn right immediately after it. The restrooms are in that hallway, ladies first then the gents.
Grade: 7 out of 10

Accessibility: There are a lot of folks going in and out of Au Bon Pain and the majority of the workers are busy dealing with customers. Should be a pretty easy in and out.
Grade: 9 out of 10

Number of Stalls: It's just a one room, one toilet type of job for the men's room. We'd prefer if there was a urinal to prevent some of the #1 folks from pissing on our seat!
Grade: 3 out of 10

Stall Quality: The bathroom itself wasn't all that bad. Sometimes you wind up in these one room restrooms and there is no sink. Maybe there is no paper towels. While not exceptional, the restroom here has the bare essentials.
Grade: 5 out of 10

Toiler Paper: Sprechen-Sie Rough? One ply at it's worst. There also wasn't a lot of it (as you can see above) and the toilet paper that was there was completely exposed.
Grade: 3 out of 10

Cleanliness: This place wasn't too clean. Full trash can, toilet paper on the floor, general ugliness. It sounds like there is the potential for a good haiku here, no?
Grade: 4 out of 10

Scent: It was a bit stale in here. Not that The Shit Critic expects roses, but something a little better would be nice.
Grade: 5 out of 10

Flush: I'd expect an industrial toilet to do a bit more. It wasn't exceptionally weak, but I also wasn't the most confident that it was going to swallow a ton of toilet paper and a "Theo".
Grade: 5 out of 10

Aesthetics: This bathroom was a bit not the most asthetically pleasing bathroom. There was little to no effort put into making the bathroom nice for the folks who might have to have a not so nice moment inside of it.
Grade: 4 out of 10

The Bottom Line: This is a usable restroom. It might be a bit messy, and it might not be interesting. Barring it being in use, keep it in mind on a stroll down Mass Ave. That said, don't be shy about exploring other options.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Sherman Cafe - Somerville, MA

Sherman Cafe - 6.2

The Sherman Cafe is a small coffee shop and restaurant in the Union Square neighborhood of Somerville. It's a popular spot for laptop users to camp out, with an array of small tables and a nook with a well-worn couch for a more relaxed visit. The cafe's menu focuses on coffee drinks, tea, and also sells some locally made bottled sodas to drink and popular food items
include sandwiches, bagels, salads and pastries. The Pissing Bandit recommends the bacon, cheddar and green apple sandwich on sourdough. The food here is pretty great, but should it go right through you, or should last night's PBR overindulgence catch up to, head to the restroom. The Sherman Cafe is located at 257 Washington St in Somerville.

Location: The restroom is where you would probably expect it to be, in the rear to the left. This isn't a very big cafe so there aren't many places in which to hide a bathroom.
Grade: 8 out of 10

Accessibility: The cafe is mostly self-service, so there's no nosy hostesses to sneak past. There is one obstacle for the mobility-challenged; the bathroom is a step up from the floor level.
Grade: 7 out of 10

Number of Stalls: There's only one restroom here, so if it's in use you may have to wait a few minutes. Because there's only one, if you're a female who gets uppity about seats being left up, the unisex status of this bathroom may not be up to your standards.
Grade: 3 out of 10

Stall Quality: It's small, which can be a minus, but its size clearly implies that this restroom is meant for one person only; nobody is going to come in and wait for you to finish your business. The throne itself is also small and appears to be a low-flush model.
Grade: 5 out of 10

Toiler Paper: The paper here is actually fairly soft. It's not ultra-quilted high end paper but it's not that rough, thin stuff you all too often find. One roll is on a free-standing spool that provides easy access. I've never seen one of these before and I think it's a nice touch. Another back-up roll was on top of the tank.
Grade: 8 out of 10

Cleanliness: Considering they only had one small restroom, you'd think it would be pretty easy to keep it clean. But when The Pissing Bandit paid a visit the throne was in need of a little cleaning. Other than the toilet the place was in pretty decent shape, and all paper products were well stocked and not on the floor.
Grade: 6 out of 10

Scent: Although the toilet didn't look like something you could see your reflection in, and also considering the sole restroom's heavy use, it had no foul odors at all. It also didn't smell like lilacs either - pretty neutral here.
Grade: 6 out of 10

Flush: This little shitter has seen better days. I would not want to taking any mega-dumps in this toilet. Not only is the flush weak but you have to hold down the handle for about 10 seconds just to get the flush going. Something tells me this toilet could be easily put out of order, and you'll quickly be outed as the culprit if that's the case.
Grade: 3 out of 10

Aesthetics: It's in this category that Sherman's restroom really shines. Rare is a bathroom that provides any reading material beyond "Employees Must Wash Hands..." or "For a good time call..." But in the Sherman's WC the walls are adorned with pages of Boston's beloved late 90's redundant news source The Weekly Week, which was published for several years as a Boston-centric version of the Onion. This is that rare restroom where you actually might spend more time than necessary in.
Grade: 10 out of 10

The Bottom Line: While this isn't a bathroom you'd want to retire to, newspaper in hand, after a chili eating contest, it's certainly worth a visit to check out the Weekly Week walls even if it's just to wash your hands.

Contributed by: The Pissin' Bandit

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