HOLE IN THE WALLS...
I'd like to invite you all to post your favorite boston area hole-in-the-wall restaurant. What's a hole in the wall? Here is some criteria:
1) food is king. Ambience is an afterthought.
2) diners are willing to forsake certain comforts for quality of food.
3) cheap unpalatable food doesn't count. It's gotta be good - cheap isn't enough.
4) bonus points for any restaurant not already mentioned here
LET THE GAMES BEGIN!
Shwarma King, Beacon St. in Coolidge Corner
Delicious falafel and good specials. Lots of vegetarian items and non-veg alike
no atmosphere to speak of, but delicious food
Arirang House, 162 Mass.Ave, Boston, (between Berkely College of Music and City Sports.)
A Korean Buffet that transcends the Asian Buffet stereotype.Usually around 12 cold salads,(kimchi, seaweed---all the expected Korean wizardry with raw and lightly marinated vegetables!), and another 12 or so hot dishes,stir-fried veggies, kim-chi with tofu, cellophane noodles, more noodles, more veggies,little zucchini pancakes, also a meat and chicken dish, from what I've seen( I don't eat meat)...But I DO eat seafood!! There's usually one, little fried fish fillets(real!!) or on fabulous days, squid---really, really great squid! White rice, brown rice, miso soup, seaweed soup...Fresh fruit for dessert, and usually, california or veggie sushi rolls....All amazingly fresh, healthy, and non-guilt inducing!! And for $6.95 at lunch, and $8.95 at dinner, I have NO idea why anyone would bother with the next-door McDonalds! I love this place! Whenever I do work for a client I have in the area, they know I'll come back breathing garlic and smiling!!(they also do it take-out, by the pound; a great deal!!!!)
Thanks for starting this thread---I thought THIS was what chowhounding was all about...
Hey I tried this place over the weekend--it was a great find. I think it more than lived up to the hole in the wall requirements. The food was surely no frills (it is of course a buffet) and boy was it good. Some of the main entrees were a little touch-and-go, but the salads were so good, great rice, great soup, and they had those delicious little fish fillets. It was a big hit with all four of us who went.
And how can you go to McDonalds next door with that there? I completely agree!
65 Maverick Sq, East Boston, MA 02128, (617) 567-4449
A salvadoran/mexican place: pupusas, tacos, and a really good sopa de mariscos. Spanish skills are a +.
Taqueria Tapatío on Broadway in East Somerville (not sure about cross street). Very similar to Cancun, better al pastor here.
Tacos Lupita (mentioned on these boards already) on Elm Street near Somerville Ave. Better pupusas than the previous two.
710 Broadway, Somerville, MA 02144 (617) 625-3076
(Ball Square, Medford/Somerville). The best chicken/veal parms.
Izzy's Restaurant and Sub Shop
169 Harvard St, Cambridge, MA 02139 (617) 661-3910
Puerto rican on Harvard St/Windsor in Cambridge, near the Kendall Square Cinema. Located in a corner surrounded by public housing, probably one of the only places for latino fare of this sort. Good empanadas, jamaican pies, fried pork, chuletas, ropa vieja, oxtail stew, etc. Subs are also OK.
Banh Mi Ba Le
1052 Dorchester Ave, Dorchester, MA 02125
Good ol' banh mi (vietnamese sandwich) shop.
1430 Beacon St, Brookline, MA 02446, (617) 738-4977
Probably the best thai place in Boston.
289 Hanover St., Boston, MA 02113, (617) 227-5709
Only open for lunch or until they run out of stuff, which is usually around 2pm. Really good calzones, panzarotti (breaded fried mashed potatos with herbs and cheese filling), panini (pizza bread pastry stuffed with spiced ham and cheese -- nice and gewy, drips if you're not careful), arancini (rice balls, breaded and fried, filled with beef and cheese). Pizzas just OK. Wine by the dixie cups too.
Blue Ribbon BBQ (Arlington and West Newton) not really a hole in the wall, but spare in decor and better BBQ than anything else in town -- and don't tell me about Redbones.
23 Edinboro St, Boston, MA 02111, (617) 482-7328
Pretty decent standard cantonese fare at really good prices. Gotta love their $6.95 evening menu. They make a really good ma-po tofu as well. Someone in the kitchen knows what they're doing.
83 Harrison Ave., Boston, MA 02111, (617) 426-9410
Very good vietnamese place. Not for your typical pho and bun house. Really good vietnamese "fondue".
re: Eric Eto
I think the rotisseria Cancun is a lot better than Taqueria cancun - it's just a couple stores down from the taqueria, on the same side of the street, right there in maverick square. There's really no room to eat in there - get take out and enjoy the roast chicken. Really great tacos, too...
I've been to both places, but I've had a problem in the past (almost 2 years ago now) that when I went to Maverick Sq., I found the rotisseria closed or barely open. They've probably got that straightened out by now, and also when they first opened, I think they had trouble figuring out whether they would just be a Cancun jr., or offer something slightly different. Regardless, you don't know how happy I was to discover Cancun when it was (and still is to some degree) so difficult to find decent Mexican fare in Boston. The other taquerias opened sometime after. By the way, have you explored parts of Chelsea for more Mexican food? I've heard there's some good places popping up in that neighborhood as well.