need recommendations for visiting relatives from SF
My friend's parents are coming for a 4-day visit next week and she's looking for good places to take them. Understanding that they're coming from the Bay Area, I figure that most Asian is right out. She has a reservation for Monday night at Blue Ginger but is looking for (much) less expensive, delicious options in Boston/Cambridge and north/west suburbs (based in Arlington). Especially interested in good options near the Aquarium stop.
Don't know if i's too late, but fusion-y places like Blue Ginger are relatively common in the Bay Area as well. Some of them (e.g. EOS, House on 9th, just to name two), are significantly better than Blue Ginger for around the same price or less.
On average, I've found the Italian food more pure and rustic than SF's offerings (exception made for the cinghiale/wild boar at Bella in SF). The North End isn't too far away from the Aquarium, and any of the good places there (check through older threads) should be fine. A sub would be actually be a pretty fine thing for lunch since they're not as good (or easy to find) in the Bay Area.
Incidentally, Sel de la Terre is right at the Aquarium, but it's by no means a cheap option.
Khao Sarn in Brookline is better than most of the Thai places I've eaten at in SF, so that blanket Asian is better there might not be true. I haven't explored the Indian food here, but SF's offerings in that direction aren't exceptional, so if your friend's parents are not from the South or East Bay, Indian might be good thing. On the Singapore/Malaysian front, Penang compares well to the places I've tried around the Bay Area.
And definitely send them out to the usual favorite ice cream shops and Italian bakeries.
P.S. Portugese and Brazilian aren't that common the Bay Area so these might be good options as well if you can any that fits your geographical specs. (Apologies -- I don't know of any offhand.)
P.P.S. Cafe Istanbul in Beacon Hill is a good choice for Turkish; didn't run into too many Turkish places back west, so that might be worthwhile.
I'm an ex-Bostonian who has lived in SF for a long time. I think Limster is right in dending you to the North End for Italian food. Not only is the food different and better than most of the Italian places in SF, but the whole ambience of the North End has to be a real interesting experience for anyone from SF.
From what I've read about Blue Ginger on the board, there are better fusion places in SF.
I would concentrate on seafood, especially lobster. I didn't get to The Union Oyster House on my last few trips, butI remember the food being good and the place being uniquely Boston.
Also near the Aquarium try Billy Tse's. Things like lobster Chinese Style are just not available in SF.