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Help me in East Boston?

I need to pick my mom up from the airport on Sunday, take her out to lunch, and then deposit her back at the airport. I have a 3 hour window. She's requested: "Chinese, Thai, Fish, a good hamburger, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, French, not necessarily in that order, some place comfy to sit and yak...". None of my favorite East Boston places will do! Angela's is out. Rincon Limeno is out. She doesn't want Santarpio's pizza. Right now I'm oscillating between taking her to the Legal's in one of the terminals (c?) or driving her up to Revere for Floating Rock.

Any other ideas for a hamburger, fish or chinese in East Boston? Places she loves here include Trattoria Toscona, Brasserie Jo, Gargoyles, Hong Kong Eatery, Taiwan Cafe, King Fung Garden, Zoe's, Namaskar. She disliked Sage in the original North End location. Thanks!

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  1. How about Uncle Pete's on Route 60 in Revere? That's not far away at all, and I hear their burgers are excellent. I know that their BBQ is really good. Also, they are open for lunch on Sundays (as well as every other day).

    1 Reply
    1. re: hiddenboston

      Oooh that's a good idea, hiddenboston. I hadn't thought about Pete's for a burger. Thanks!

    2. 303 Cafe? Or Belle Isle?

      1. For Seafood you have the options of Royal Roast Beef or Belle Isle, neither too far away and both open Sunday. Caffe Italia only opens at 4pm, but Carmen's looks like it might be open for Lunch Sundays. If you want to shoot for Portuguese and can navigate the roads behind the Chelsea produce market, PB Restaurant on 99 in Everett is only about 10 minutes away. (I have only had the Brazilian dishes, but the staff has definitely worked in other local Portuguese restaurants -- in fact one of the chefs, I am pretty certain I recognize from sitting at the bar at the Hampshire Atasca. In my experience they are quick, but Sundays could be more busy.) There is a decent dog place in Winthrop, but not certain about the burger unless you want a Brazilian X-tudo or maybe Floromo's (Mangia Mangia is closed Sunday).

        Update: Actually you could probably get to Atwood's and back pretty easily in your 3 hour window and they are always good for a burger. $3 toll though. 99 in Charlestown is close too, but pretty mediocre burgers.

        3 Replies
        1. re: itaunas

          I fear the roads behind the Chelsea produce market. What's good at Belle Isle besides the lobster roll? Mom's allergic to all crustaceans. Carmen's might be a good idea too! I'd like to take her to something that she can't get at home (in the woods), so I think I might save Atwood's for just me. Thanks for the ideas!

          1. re: gini

            I am a fried seafood guy, but my father swears by broiled scallops, schrod, etc at Belle Isle. Come with your usual rice pilaf. They also do the whole gamet: blackened, baked stuffed thing, and grilled. I think you know this, but not much for seating, though.

            Floating Rock I would listen to 9lives or galleygirl for recs, but in addition to some of the things mentioned I have had a nice whole fried fish there, there is the fried quail, and its not too exciting but they also do a decent loc lac. Can your mother eat squid? Another good option at Floating Rock.

            1. re: itaunas

              Oooh whole fried fish!! Now you've got me thinking! Thanks for all the ideas!

        2. Call me crazy, but I don't think Chinatown is out of the question. The greenway should be relatively traffic free and you can just throw the car in a lot. Re-hit the Best Little Restaurant and get those garlic pork ribs, squab and lettuce wrapped thing. I don't think they serve dim sum so it should be sane in the restaurant. 3 hours total should be plenty of time.

          And, if traffic going to the airport looks bad, go with your initial thought of Floating Rock. It's pretty close the airport. The only hitch with them is that service there can be s-l-o-w.

          10 Replies
          1. re: beetlebug

            Looking back at your post, the most leisurely and relaxing may be one of the Legal's in one of the terminals. Maximum yak time with minimum driving.

            1. re: beetlebug

              I have been seriously considering Chinatown for roasted duck at Hong Kong Eatery. I'm not really excited to sit down at the Legal's in the airport, but it's a last resort.

              1. re: gini

                Most (all?) of the Legal's/Summer Shacks are past the security gate and you may not be able to get to them.

                I haven't been but this place sounds OK..for traditional American seafood in a comfortable atmosphere.

                http://www.chowhound.com/topics/464753

                Floating Rock is a quick drive.

                1. re: 9lives

                  The Legals' in Terminal C is before the security gate. The LTK is after.

                  1. re: 9lives

                    Mom would have a serious cow at Winthrop Arms. Nothing against Winthrop arms, but mac & cheese is possibly her least favorite dish ever. I'm SO leaning towards Floating Rock. Got any great non-pork options besides the tigers tears??

                    1. re: gini

                      I forgot about the no pork thing. But, the squid salad is really good as is the fish cakes. I like their soups but don't know if there is pork to flavor the broth.

                      Does mom like Vietnamese? Because Dot is also an easy drive from the airport. With highway driving, it's probably the same time to maneuver 1A to FR.

                      1. re: gini

                        A few from FR..a mussel appetizer, fish cakes, fried quail, cat fish soup w/young jackfruit/coconut milk, whatever veg is fresh, chow foon,shrimp/black pepper are all good dishes

                        If you want to go Latino,Topacio on Meridian in E Boston is close and has a great seafood soup.

                        1. re: 9lives

                          Wonderful ideas, beetlebug & ninelives. I always forget about the fish cakes and those sound great!

                          1. re: gini

                            floating rock. definately. fried quail, squid salad, rice noodle soup, chow foon, sweet and sour soup, lemon soup, spicy sour soup with beef, loc lac, spicy beef with peanuts, and spicy frog legs are all good non-pork options

                            there is also a vietnamese restaurant and banh mi shop on the same strip. floating rock is better though

                        2. re: gini

                          gini -- the only black mark on Floating Rock is it can take a WHILE to get your food. You will have to really impress upon them that you are in a hurry even with your window. I personally would be stressed about yakking and ordering and keeping an eye on the time and the meter but that's me and my chowmom, not you.

                          All that being said, there are lots of great things to eat at FR -- I love the little quails with black pepper dipping sauce. I love their fish cakes (spacing on the thai name for the fishcake app) appetizer, not mass produced like the rest of the places around here. I love the catfish soup with jack fruit and coconut. I love the Tigers' Tears which will have your mom weeping. And I love the long bean salad with funky prahok. Galleygirl would tell you to order your noodles 'dry' or else they will be gloopy.

                          Have fun!

                2. You didn't mention Vietnamese on your mom's list but Saigon Hut on Meridian St. would be another option. I haven't been myself but it came recommended to me by a Vietnamese colleague. An earlier post here mentioned it was just as good as the places in Chinatown.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: alsaman

                    Saigon Hut is an excellent idea! Thanks!

                    1. re: gini

                      Couple quick things: I would call Saigon Hut first, to double-check they're open at any given time; and Cafe 303 - although the food is not my style - is VERY comfy - only issue is whether they are busy enough to not want you to linger (brunch crowd) but then , you could always go to Cafe Italia after, which I believe would be open for espressos, etc....which also would be a good "double bill" w/Angela's....

                      1. re: fredid

                        ted williams tunnel to world trade center to eastern pier for chinese and seafood

                  2. for chinese billy tse's in revere is not far???

                    1. I really appreciate all of your recommendations! I took each one into consideration, though we actually ended up at Pho 2000 in Dorchester. The decor is a bit more comfortable than the other places that were in the running (Floating Rock & a few places in Chinatown) and the location was easier for our third diner.

                      The food!

                      We started with an order of goi cuon (fresh spring rolls) with tofu that were pretty boring - vermicelli, iceburg lettuce & bits of fried tofu - the peanut dipping sauce was definitely laced with crack though - so fabulous that mom ended up spooning it right onto some cold noodles we had later. We also had the chim cut ro ti (roasted quail) served on top of lovely little pickled vegetables and a salad. I think I liked the salad better at Anh Hong, but these were tasty. The salted ones at Best Little Restaurant are still my favorites though.

                      For our main course we asked for the whole crispy fish, which is not on the printed menu. Our very helpful waitress kept pointing the the wall above the wait station asking if that's what we wanted, so I assume it's written somewhere on a wall in Vietnamese. Anyway - the fish is probably about 18 inches long, deep fried and then seasoned with herbs and peanuts. Served with two types of sauce - a pineapple fish sauce that tasted a little funky and a lime fish sauce that most would recognize as the fried spring roll dipping sauce. Rice paper and all the accoutrements to make burritos - mint, basil, an herb looking like shiso but didn't taste like it, an herb tasting like feet, pickled vegetables, romaine lettuce, cold noodles - the usual suspects.

                      We were completely stuffed and I still had about a 1/3 of the fish left to take home with me. Service was very sweet and kind. We probably hung around for about 2 hours.

                      Now I've really got to get to Floating Rock - especially since without Mom I can eat all the pork & squid recommendations!

                      1. Take your Mom to RENO'S italian restaurant in East Boston--Princeton st. This place
                        is small but quaint with great cooked to order food!! It is delicious and right In East Boston a mile from the Airport.

                        Enjoy

                        Frankie Imbergamo