Brunch and Learn

I’ve lived in Boston for almost two decades now. Over the years, I’ve seen the Paramount in Beacon Hill on various lists of hot brunch spots. Every time I’ve seen it on a list, I’ve thought, “I should check it out.”

Well, I’ve checked it out. My friend Mary and I went on a weekday morning during the holidays. I was surprised to see how small the place is. Like, maybe 14 tables small. The restaurant has been open since 1937 and, probably because it is so small, it has always required patrons to order and pay for their food before sitting down.

“Wow, I had no idea…” I exclaimed as Mary and I stood outside in line. Mary had been before so she knew what to expect. When all was said and done, we waited in line for an hour before ordering.

Paramount Beacon Hill
Constant line of patrons waiting to order











I ordered a basic plate of eggs, bacon, and toast. It was solid, but would I wait in line for an hour for it again? Probably not…but I’m happy to have checked it off the “quintessential Boston” to-do list.

I love it when I can double up on birthday list items in a single day. The Paramount is close to Massachusetts General Hospital, where the Ether Dome was waiting for us.

The dome’s exact location was hard to determine from the map I found on the website. So we headed in the general direction and then asked some employees standing outside of a neighboring building for help. No one knew where it was, so they pointed to another employee who pointed to the building directly behind him.

It’s a very grand-looking building, named after its architect, Charles Bulfinch.

Charles Bulfinch Building







We wandered in the building and followed signs to the 4th floor. We didn’t run into anyone—staff, other tourists…it was kind of strange. We had the room to ourselves for a few minutes before two other tourists mosied in.

What is the Ether Dome, you ask? It’s the location of the first public surgery done with anesthesia (ether) in 1846.

Ether Dome







It’s a lovely little amphitheater that is used for staff meetings today (and is a historical landmark open to the public when not in use by staff). It randomly houses a mummy and not-so-randomly a skeleton from the 19th century.

Mummy, Ether DomeSkeleton, Ether Dome









An intriguing little piece of history tucked away on the campus of one of the nation’s best hospitals. All of us should feel grateful that we were born after 1846. Can you imagine having surgery without anesthesia??


Ether Dome
The dome of the Ether Dome









It’s the first week of February = four months left to complete 30 things. A little daunting…

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