Quincy: Inexpensive/ethnic/mom & pop suggestions wanted
For Vietnamese, definitely check out Pho Yuen Dong on Quincy Avenue. The food there is terrific, and the atmosphere is a bit less hectic that other Vietnamese restaurants in the Boston area.
For seafood, Tony's Clam Shop on Wally Beach has all kinds of good seafood dishes, with an emphasis on clams and other shellfish. They also have some good Middle Eastern and Greek dishes there.
I used to go to a good Thai restaurant on Hancock Street in Quincy Center, but I don't know if it is there anymore. Does anyone know if it is?
Pho Yuen Dong definitely for Vietnamese. The Pho's are excellent and cheap.
For Thai, Little Duck (as mentioned) on Granite St. is very good, but not much atmosphere there (most of it's business is take out). On Hancock St. is Siam Garden which is a very good Thai place, with more of a "sit-down" atmosphere.
Also in that same block of Hancock St. in Quincy Center (near the Registry of Motor Vehicles): Terra Brasilis, a decent Churrascaria; Fuji 1546 and Kagawa, both excellent Japanese places; Little Q, a Chinese Hot Pot place which I HIGHLY recommend if you are adventurous. It's really good.; in the same building as Little Q, is an Asian food court that has an excellent Sushi place (Sushi Time), and a Taiwanese place which looks very good (but I haven't tried it yet); Hong Kong Eatery, which is a branch of the one in Chinatown. It's not quite as good as the original, but it's very good nontheless; there are also two Irish pubs with decent pub grub--The Holy Ground and Bad Abbott's.
Outside of that block in Quincy Center:
Webster's Lebanese restaurant in Scammel Plaza off of Quincy Ave. Nothing fancy, but very tasty food. I like the Kibbe and the kebobs are good too.
In the Kam Man chinese supermarket, they have a deli department with a wide assortment of hot and cold Chinese dishes for take home. Everything I've tried from there has been really tasty. You can get a huge portion (they call it "small") for $6.
In North Quincy, there's East Chinatown restaurant in Hancock St., and around the corner on Billings, is Quincy Dynasty. I tend to lean towards East Chinatown, as they do my personal favorite dishes a bit more to my liking. At the other end of town, just before the Fore River Bridge on Rte 3a, is Mandarin King, which is an excellent place with well-done dishes that avoid the greasy/gloppy/salty pitfalls of most Chinese places around here.
You didn't mention Indian, but Punjab Cafe on Rte 3a is very good.
For American, as mentioned, Grumpy White's on Sea St. is excellent. Huge portions, very fresh and tasty, and dirt cheap. If you like fish and chips, theirs is one of my favorite renditions. They also have a killer meatloaf.
For seafood, the places mentioned, Burke's and Tony's, are excellent.
La Paloma...that's a bit of a difficult sell. People seem to either love it or hate it intensely. Personally, I don't think their Mexican "standards" are that great, but I like their Paella and that's usually what I order when I go.
Although you didn't mention Italian, if you like it, Gennaro's on Quincy Avenue does an excellent job with classic Italian-American food, like chicken parm, spaghetti and meatballs, etc. Prices are cheap and portions huge.
If you like steak tips, there's an Irish pub called Cronin's Publick House, in the Quincy Point area, that does a great job. Tender, juicy and grilled to perfection.
Oh, and if you are looking for breakfast places, definitely try the Wheelhouse diner on Hancock St. It's an old-fashioned dining car and they serve huge, homemade breakfasts. Also, if you like Irish breakfast, Mannion's on Copeland St. serves a really nice full Irish breakfast.
Well, that should keep your tummy full for a while, huh? :)