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Dining choices from Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives

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Dining choices from Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives

My girlfriend and I are making our first trip to Boston in a few weeks. I love independent restaurants and watch Guy Fieri on DDD on a regular basis. Using Guy's DDD show as a guideline, I have come up with the following (tentative) schedule:

Thursday lunch: Sam La Grassa's

Thursday dinner: Rino's Place

Friday breakfast: Kelly's Diner

Friday lunch: Greek Corner

Friday dinner: @ Fenway Park for game

Saturday breakfast: Mike's City Diner

Saturday lunch: Mr. Bartley's Burger Cottage

Saturday dinner: OPEN FOR SUGGESTIONS

Can any locals or recent visitors give me suggestions or criticisms as to this schedule? Pros and cons? Picks and pans? A friend who just ran the Boston Marathon recommended The Barking Crab so was keeping that in mind for Saturday night.

Thanks in advance for any help and/or suggestions!!

Mike

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1. Re: Dining choices from Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives

I can only personally vouch for Mike's City Diner and Sam LaGrassa's, and both are excellent choices for lunch or breakfast. Be prepared to wait in line for Mike's on a Saturday morning, unless you get there before 8am.

I've heard that since DDD's show, Rino's place is packed and nearly impossible to get into, so I'd plan to go very early or at the very end of their dinner hour.

I'd also say that you are going to be doing a lot of running around the area with these places, as they are scattered about from Revere to North Cambridge to Boston, to East Boston, and they are not necessarily near a T station, but may require long walks or a bus to get to.

I can tell you that the Barking Crab is not terribly good and very expensive. I'd strongly urge you to skip it, and maybe go to Yankee Lobster instead. I'd also recommend you go into the North End for at least one of your dinners, as it's a very tourist thing to do (for a reason). You can look at recent threads for ideas on North End restaurants. Everyone here has an opinion and has recommended various places frequently.

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2. Re: Dining choices from Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives

Kelly's Diner in Somerville? Surprised you would go to someplace so out of the way. Last time I went there for breakfast, was not overly impressed by the food. Diner ambience is authentic, but so is the Rosebud. Do you know of the Rosebud? (on the redline subway at Davis)

http://www.rosebuddiner.com/

-----

The Neighborhood in Union Square, while not a diner, always has a line out the door on the weekend, justly, because of their brunch menu, and is a 'genuinely local' Somerville place. If it is al fresco weather, eating under the grape vine is a treat.

http://theneighborhoodrestaurant.com/

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Saturday lunch: Mr. Bartley's Burger Cottage

Arrive prepared for a looooooong wait in line, outside.

---

If you want a quirky local Italian experience, I'd recommend Vinnie's on Broadway in Somerville.

http://vinnysonbroadway.com/

Happy eating.

Edited: 18 May 2011, 20:17
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3. Re: Dining choices from Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives

Skip the Barking Crab if you are looking to eat, it is fine for a beer.

I would only travel on a sure bet, and Somerville can be a little hike. So I would take tcant's advice and skip kelley's.

Mike's and Bartley's are sure bets and you will enjoy these places.

Vinnie's is worth the travel.

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4. Re: Dining choices from Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives

Yeah ... I'm not thrilled with the barking crab either. And while I'm not familiar with all your choices ... I agree with whoever said they are pretty spread out. Where are you staying?

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5. Re: Dining choices from Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives

Thanks so far for your replies.

We are staying at the Sheraton Back Bay...got a great rate of $102/night on Hotwire back in March. I use "Taxi Fare Finder" to estimate local travel costs and we're there to have fun so I expect to and don't mind paying if places are spread out (if they are worth it). I did look at The Barking Crab menu and was iffy on it because of menu and prices so I'm glad I got some other input (I'll pass...thanks!!).

My breakfast choices are very tentative because we like to enjoy some late nights (no dancing...just fun). We're a bit older (late 30's-mid 40's) but like to stay out late finding good food and drinks.

I just got off Rino's website and was surprised to see they open at 11am because I had heard/read that they opened at 4pm. I think since we get in on Thursday, we may check in at hotel, stop by Faneuil Hall, and then head to Rino's for an early dinner. That will give us the entire Thursday evening to bar/restaurant hop through the North End.

Saturday night is still open and would like to find a place on the water with a great view. I like Yankee Lobster's menu but don't know about the view.

Thanks...Mike

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6. Re: Dining choices from Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives

Are you flying into Logan? East Boston is home to Rino's AND the airport. Maybe lunch would be more convenient. It would be a short trip via taxi from the airport or you could use public transportation:

free shuttle bus to airport station, blue line one stop inbound to Maverick and take the121 bus towards Wood Island, getting off at Putnam St near the little "park' and making your way over to saratoga.

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7. Re: Dining choices from Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives

Yankee Lobster is not a place with a view. They have a few tables inside and a few outside on a patio, but you go there for the food and not the ambiance.

Since you say you are willing to wander, and you are looking for seafood with a view, I have a suggestion. Come down to Quincy and eat at one of our fine waterfront clam shacks, either Tony's or the Clam Box. You can sit outside on the patio, have a wonderful lobster roll, or a pile of fried belly clams, and look out over Boston Harbor and downtown Boston. I like either for the food, but if you want beer or wine with your meal, go to the Clam Box.

It's also a very nice walk along Wollaston Beach. You can get there via the MBTA Red Line to either North Quincy or Wollaston Stations, and about a 10 minute walk from either to the beach.

http://www.tonysclamshop.com/

http://clamboxquincy.com/home.html

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8. Re: Dining choices from Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives

If you go to Yankee Lobster one option is to get the food to go. Walk over to the tent next door and walk to the rear. It may look like pedestrians are not allowed but they are, and there is a harbor walk sign. I was there a few weeks ago and I am pretty sure there are benches overlooking the water.

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9. Re: Dining choices from Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives

Third voice saying don't go near that Barking Crab.

For your late nights, Trident Booksellers Cafe serves breakfast all day. You can have what you want for wake up food any time of the day. It's a short walk from your hotel on Newbury Street between Hereford Street and Massachusetts Avenue,

http://www.tridentbookscafe.com/Menu.html

You can also get a lobster roll at James Hook & Company Lobster and settle into a bench on the Greenway to enjoy it.

http://www.jameshooklobster.com/

And, right near where South Station and the Greenway meet is a Clover Food Lab food truck that may be the future of fast food in this area. http://www.cloverfoodlab.com/

Other food trucks and carts will be set up along the greenway. I don't know how many are open yet. Silk Road is getting great reviews.

Penny

http://www.bostonzest.com/

Edited: 20 May 2011, 00:32
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10. Re: Dining choices from Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives

Since you mention dives, I'll recommend the delux cafe at the corner of Clarendon and Chandler Sts. in the South End -- an easy walk from your hotel. It's a good late night place. with simple dinners and good sandwiches. It's best described as a bar with tables, and the food is better than you would ever think it could be.

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