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Okay, probably been done before, but "Guilty Pleasures"?

The Contrarian view on popular restaurants had me thinking. What are the places you're ashamed to tell the other foodies that you love (McDonald's? Vinny T's?) Come on, time to fess up! I already admitted I like Vinny T's on the previous post. :-D

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  1. Fenway frank with mustard and onions. So good, so good!

    1 Reply
    1. re: kittychow

      There is ZERO shame in loving a Fenway Frank. Those are great dogs any way you slice it.

      I'd say mine would be a few slices at Papa Ginos, but I never feel guilty about it. I'd say their pizza is about as good as it gets for chains.

    2. Don't want to read your post too literally, but I think there are tons of places that "foodies" would sniff at, while chowhounds would nod in agreement.

      1. I love getting a burger, a bowl of chili, and a beer or five at the 99. AND.....[gulp]....I don't mind the....[don't say it]......the beer being in a...[you can still turn back]....a frosty mug there.

        Oddly enough, I feel better now that I said it. Maybe I'll talk about the culinary genius of the chefs at Del Taco next. :-O

        2 Replies
        1. re: hiddenboston

          I go to the 99 once in a while as there isnt much out my way if you want something quick without driving too far. I always get the fish and chips, its actually quite good there belive it or not. As for the rest of the menu... the boneless buffalo wings are ok.. nothing else i have had has been all that good.

          1. re: hargau

            I think 99 is pretty decent and definitely cheap - I had a steak that was cooked properly and quite tasty with very good mashed squash - few places do steak 'n' squash, and it's wonderful.

        2. It has been done, but it's always fun to revisit...The sausage calzone and Oreo cake at Bova's. Stupefying.

          1 Reply
          1. re: tatamagouche

            OMG I love Bova's! I love scoring croissants there in the middle of the night. They're especially good after an accidental stop at the Corner Cafe.

          2. whenever the wife is away, i'll always get the lobster sauce with fried rice and chicken fingers from Happy Garden (used to be in somerville, i think they just moved to brighton). Then I'll stop by 7-11 and get a six pack of bud light and some camel lights. Disgusting chinese food but i absolutely crave it sometimes.

            1 Reply
            1. re: cambridgeMike

              holy crap....You an I must be kindred spirits. When my fiance is away I call up Wisteria House, a favorite for authentic Taiwanese, and order spare ribs, egg rolls, and pork fried rice with lots of extra duck sauce. She would never let me eat it, but I do crave the chinese of my youth sometimes!

            2. Folks, please help us keep this board focused on chow in Boston. We'rve removed some posts about chain restaurants. if you'd like to discuss "guilty" chain food, please start a new thread on the Chains board. Please do continue to share your guilty little secrets about chow that's unique to the Boston area!

              1. Perhaps ironically, a sort of chowhound-reverse-guilty-pleasure for me is any meal that is healthy and/or low in calories, but isn't really chow-worthy.

                Two prime Boston examples would be KnowFat and b.good. Healthy, nutritious, and low-cal? Arguably yes. Chowish and delicious? Not so much. Riddled with irritating punctuation and capitalization? You betcha!

                [Although I really do like the b.good fries and stir-fried veggies.]

                1 Reply
                1. re: finlero

                  I agree with this one. I think it's more being lazy as I used to grab something "healthy" from Low-fat after the gym when I lived in Watertown then at b.good when I lived in Bay Village.

                2. As a guilty pleasure, I'm going to read this as "hangover helpers", not that this EVER happens:

                  Stuzzicante sub from Artu
                  Gyro at Mediterraneo
                  Junior roast beef, sauce, mayo, and lettuce with a side of fried shrimp at Mike's Roast Beef
                  Duck pad thai delivered by Rock Sugar Thai
                  Billy Tse's chicken wings, chicken fingers, Peking ravioli, and/or crab rangoon
                  Frites from Sel de la Terre
                  Pizzeria Regina's Napoletana Pizza
                  Bellinis at Neptune

                  1. My favorite guilty pleasure is, in my opinion, one of the best sandwiches in the world. It's called the Boot Mill Sandwich served at Arthur's Paradise Diner on Bridge Street in Lowell. The sandwich is named after the old Boot Mill adjacent to the diner. The bread is a lightly-grilled, soft, smooth, rounded-top roll made fresh in the middle of the night and dropped off at 5am daily. The sandwich starts with a layer of home-fried potatoes, perfectly cooked, not hard or blackened. That's right, potatoes IN the sandwich, it's awesome. The next layer is eggs any way you like 'em followed by bacon, ham or sausage and topped with melted cheese. You can request double or triple meat if you really want to push it. I put ketchup on the warm bun before putting the top on. The combination of flavors and textures with the warm spuds on the bottom is sex on a bun. It's the ultimate "hangover helper". Please let me know if you've ever had the pleasure of enjoying the world-famous Boot Mill sandwich, what a great memory!!!!

                    PS- Does anyone know if they're still open??? Thank you.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: BostonBarGuy

                      They're still listed in yahoo yellow pages.

                      1. re: BostonBarGuy

                        that sounds freakin amazing...I'm a big fan of putting potato products in my sandwich (schmear of mashed potatos, french fries, or smashed potato chips)

                        1. re: BostonBarGuy

                          They are still open, and i like it with the egg over medium so the yolk runs down through the home fries when it breaks.

                        2. There is a Chinese place at Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Jen Lai, that has really yummy, greasy Americanized Chinese food that I sometimes have a fixin' for...You start off with a 2-1-1 styrofoam container - I get two types of entrees - usually get the "spicy" chicken and the "barbeque" chicken - lots of big chunks, surprisingly good flavor - the spicy chicken is boneless, skinless and slicked with a thin sauce - addictive - I get the gooey barbeque chicken merely as a counterpoint to the spicy - and then lo mein noodles in the double-sized section. I think it's about $6.50 - a ton of food and really good.

                          1. A small steak bomb from Harry-O's in the South End. That's about as generic and unremarkable a Greek Formica-booth counter-service pizza-and-sub place as you can get. We're talking low-grade frozen shaved steak and a not very good roll. But they're nice people, it's cheap and close by, and it fulfills the occasional basic human urge for dribbling beef fat and lots of salt. Proud of it, I am not, but I have three or four of those a year.

                            1. The triple play on Comm on BUs main campus does it for me: nud pob (thai), beijing cafe (chinese), and university grill (pizza/everything). Close by, cheap, and greasydelicious. Beijing has the best crab rangoon around, IMO, and they advertise the best General Gaos in Boston on their whiteboard, and they just might be right. There are probably better versions of pad thai in Boston, but theres just something about Nud Pob that does it for me. There was a short stretch of time when I'd get an order of pad see ew with duck and extra vegetables once a week. UGrill is a sentimental favorite, its the only place within a mile I know of with a gyros spit and theyre always super nice. They always have fresh toppings and a killer chicken parm.
                              I don't walk away from any of these places feeling healthy or like a gourmand. But full and content? Yes.

                              1. My guilty pleasure are the clam fritters at Tony's Clam Shack on Wollaston beach. Big, greasy, debatable if there is actually any clam in it at all...but gosh darn tasty with a cold beer and a side of cole slaw. Also, another one I hate to admit, is Egg Foo Young from Moon Villa at 3am. Sometimes, you just need something like that to soak up the extra alcohol...

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: mwk

                                  So basically you like breading. :) Not to cast aspersions, I do too!

                                  1. re: mwk

                                    I used to love the roast pork strips with gravy (loster sauce?) at Moon Villa. I'd usually defeat the purpose of soaking up the alcohol by ordering cold tea.
                                    Have you been to the Villa lately?
                                    Another guilty pleasure is boneless ribs, french fries and gravy, and beef lo mein at China Pagoda on Dot Ave.

                                  2. Vegetarian combo sushi roll from... shaw's at porter sq! (Yes, I realize there is good sushi very close at the Porter Exchange -- but I happen to like the veggie ones at shaws).

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: SEH

                                      Cake batter ice cream from Erickson's in Maynard. All that is missing is the frosting.

                                      1. re: Kat

                                        Mashed potato sandwich and a PBR at Goody Glovers, Fried pork at Rincon Limeno, crab rangoons at Billy Tse, a sicilian slice at Prestos, Saugus wings at kowloon.

                                    2. OK, I can't remember the guy's name but he operates a hot dog cart on campus at MIT. Vassar near Broadway? who can remember. My chow mentor, Chris Mau introduced me to it. It's the "Frito Bomb" Grap bag size Fritos covered with foil; pop open one end; spoon in some VERY good chili, cheese, onions, etc; tie it up like a burrito.

                                      1. Wow - there's a hot dog cart at MIT that serves a Frito Pie like the ones at the formerly Woolworth's in Santa Fe? BFP is *SO* there!

                                        A couple of guilty pleasures: one is the Great American sandwich at Brigham's. Ham, turkey, cheese and bacon, with lettuce, tomato, and mayo, on a grilled roll - it doesn't sound particularly special, but I've always found it inexplicably good. There aren't many Brighamses left around the area. We go to the one in Arlington Heights, or the one in Belmont. Both also serve killer raspberry lime rickeys. We were at the Arlington one today, in fact, hitting Penzey's and Lakota Bakery, and the middle-aged woman working the counter turned out the best rendition I've had in years.

                                        I'll second those whose guilty pleasure is egg foo yong - it's probably the only "old-school" Chinese-American dish I still have a taste for, but it's great for a comfort-food takeaway order on a cold evening. We get ours from Quan's Kitchen on Comm. Ave. - it's not on the menu anymore, but they'll still make it if you ask.

                                        5 Replies
                                        1. re: Allstonian

                                          As hiddenboston said, nice bump. I'm still strangely fond of the Great American, but nowadays we often make our own at home.

                                          Quan's has gone severely downhill, but I discovered more or less by accident that Kantin does quite respectable versions of many old-school American Chinese dishes. We've had good egg foo yong from them, but my seriously guilty pleasure lately has been their sweet and sour popcorn chicken.

                                          1095 Commonwealth Ave Ste 203, Boston, MA 02215

                                          1. re: Allstonian

                                            I used to be fond of the Great American. Of course, i think I ate my last one at the Brigham's in Newton Centre about 30 or so years ago!!

                                            1. re: Blumie

                                              The Great American! So yummy. A real trip down memory lane. There is a Brigham's in Hingham Center. I am heading there to see if it is still on the menu. By the way, I do not think anyone makes Chocolate Chip ice cream as good as Brigham's.

                                              1. re: Pomegranate Martini

                                                I agree - I'm aware that in general the term is considered negative when applied to ice cream, but I love the "gritty" texture of Brigham's chocolate chip.

                                                1. re: Allstonian

                                                  Brigham's('s?) chocolate chip is in a class of its own. Their vanilla is also the best pie accompaniment I've ever found (creamy and not so sweet or strongly vanilla-flavoured that it overwhelms the pie), and their strawberry ice cream sodas and black-and-white frappes are pretty well unmatched.

                                        2. Chili cheese fries at Spike's Junkyard Door -- with one of their dogs, of course.
                                          Buffalo wings at Buff's.
                                          Red beans and rice at Popeyes's -- and the chicken too (but the beans and rice is better)
                                          I could go on, but just writing this is making me feel guilty (and hungry....)

                                          Oh yeah, worth noting: I just saw that Jake's Dixie Roadhouse has started serving chicken fried bacon accompanied, natch, by cream gravy. Haven't tried it, but could anything be more of a guilty pleasure?

                                          1. Around once every month or two:Taco Bell crunchy taco supremes or McChicken sandwiches. I also tend to eat entire containers of pork fu and entire bags of TJs cheddar popcorn in one sitting (not at the same time), feeling guilty about this afterwards.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: steinpilz

                                              The empanadas at Lechmere station.

                                            2. Oh, I have a few (hundred!!). To name a couple - The 1 buck Sundae at McD's and a donut at Kane's in Saugus. Oh, also the $1.25 soft serve at Costco's. You do not need to be a member to eat there...

                                              1. The No Name at Grasshopper. Crunchy, sweet, salty, gluten-y goodness.

                                                1. The Half Moon at Lyndells. All that sweet sweet frosting and moist cake.

                                                  Half Moon
                                                  1650 Nooseneck Hill Rd Unit A, Coventry, RI 02816

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: viperlush

                                                    +1, while my wife was pregnant she craved one almost daily.

                                                  2. Bertucci's Pizza

                                                    Bertucci's Pizza
                                                    95 Washington St, Canton, MA 02021

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: bluesjack

                                                      I like the sausage they put on their pizza - have to ask for well done though to get some char on the edges of the crust and brown on the bottom. Last pizza I got there, I forgot to ask and the bottom was flabby and pasty white.

                                                      Its an easy place to take my young daughter for a quick meal. And I like their chicken and steak sandwiches at lunchtime. Everything else I've eaten there has been a disaster.

                                                      1. re: LStaff

                                                        Yes, that sausage is very good, much better than the kind used by our regular pizza place. Now if I could just get Bertucci's to use my local pizza place's crust recipe, I'd have a pretty good pizza.

                                                        280 School St Ste G100, Mansfield, MA 02048

                                                    2. More simple pleasure than guilty pleasure, but... the fuzhou fried rice at Jade Garden..the shrimp w/ scrambled egg at Cafe Lulu... the pretzel roll w/ mustard butter at Blue Inc...the breadsticks w/ fava bean puree at Scampo...lemon curd tart at Flour...Speeds dog... B3 at Toscanini's

                                                      1. Once every few months, I break down and order a pizza from Domino's. No, it's not great pizza, but their thin-crust is the closest I've seen in the area to the cracker-crust pizza I grew up with in Ohio.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: Boston_Otter

                                                          Otter, have you tried Emma's Pizza in Kendall Sq.?

                                                          Emma's Pizza
                                                          40 Hampshire St, Cambridge, MA 02139

                                                        2. Wow, nice bump. I know chowciao and I believe this was one of her last posts. :-b Need to get her back on here...

                                                          Ok, a couple of guilty pleasures of late include the pizza at the Villa in Arlington Heights (decent Greek style) and the chicken fingers at Green Tea in Newton (they just *tasted* better than chicken fingers at other Chinese restaurants, which admittedly makes no sense whatsoever).

                                                          Green Tea Restaurant
                                                          24 Elliot St, Newton Highlands, MA 02461

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: hiddenboston

                                                            the lobster sauce and deluxe ribs at golden temple: shades of my childhood. And raspberry flat tires from the horrible bagel place on Harvard and Fuller (Kupels).

                                                          2. The buffalo chicken fingers at All Star Sandwich Bar (I think they call them "stingers," or something like that). Probably the best I've ever had!! Those, together with an order of hell fries, makes for a great comfort meal.

                                                            All Star Sandwich Bar
                                                            1245 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139

                                                            1. I actually think the crispy chicken sandwiches from Wendy's are decent. Spicy chicken sandwich and a frosty is just about the definition of guilty pleasure for me.

                                                              Also, anything pupu from the Kowloon.

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: tamerlanenj

                                                                Kowloon is definitely a guilty pleasure for me here on the Chowhound boards. I know they're generally seen as abysmal-quality barely-edible food, etc etc, but I love their Saugus wings and corny Tiki atmosphere, and the staff is awesome.

                                                                1. re: tamerlanenj

                                                                  I have never been able to resist the Saugus Wings at the Kowloon...!

                                                                2. OK, a couple more: the fried chicken at Shaw's is pretty good and dirt cheap. The honey roasted nuts from the cart in Downtown Crossing are also pretty yummy.

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: tamerlanenj

                                                                    I like that fried chicken. Better and cheaper than KFC. And does a good job of satisfying the craving.

                                                                    1. re: tamerlanenj

                                                                      I've never had the fried chicken, but my local Star (Packards Corner) has surprisingly decent pizza slices: better, at least, than the slices at any of the crummy little slice joints in the neighborhood (which are shockingly awful for such a studenty neighborhood), and certainly not a bad nosh if I want to eat something before I shop so I don't buy out the entire store.

                                                                    2. Hey CHers,

                                                                      As with all other Boston board chow pleasures (guilty or otherwise), please keep this thread focused on Boston-specific items.


                                                                      1. chicken wings from cafe 88 in winchester- good non authentic chinese take out/ delivery - big crispy salty fat bombs when im too tired/lazy to cook or leave the house. a shameful guilty pleasure- usually with a house fried rice . burp.