Casual places near Park Plaza hotel (I'm craving lobster rolls, but my kids are not)!
Our family of four (hubby, two girls ages 9 & 14, and I) are coming into Boston for a quick stopover from August 9-11. We're staying two nights at the Park Plaza, doing the Freedom Trail, maybe the Duck Tour and then we need to head out quickly to visit family in VT.
I've spent most of my life on the east coast - living in NYC, Boston and CT - but we've now lived in CA for 5 years, so I'm feeling out of touch w/good Boston restaurants. Not only am I out of touch, but by now I am DESPERATELY CRAVING a delicious lobster roll. After perusing the board, I'm thinking maybe B&G Oyster is the place for me.
Any advice for good, but not too upscale, other places would be appreciated - not only for lobster rolls, but all kinds of chowish food. My husband and I will be scarfing down as many lobster rolls, clams and everything New England-y as we can, while the kids, although generally adventurous eaters, will probably be more inclined to lobby for places serving burgers, pizza and anything with noodles. They also like lamb, good shish-ka-bob, Chinese, Thai, etc - mostly anything that's casual and tasty.
All advice/opinions appreciated. Many thanks in advance.
B&G can be a little tough on seafood haters, but they do make a tasty lobster roll. I'm partial to the warm lobster roll from Neptune Oyster (very rich, served with drawn butter on a brioche roll), but it's also a little tough if you don't like seafood.
Upscale casual: check out Eastern Standard in Kenmore Square. A little something for everyone here, about the same price range as B&G. If cocktails are your thing, they have some serious mixologists on staff as well. And you're in luck, the Red Sox are out of town during your trip, so Kenmore won't be obscenely mobbed.
Not near your hotel, but I'd argue worth the trip, is the original Kelly's Roast Beef on Revere Beach. Not only do they have plenty of great fast food made with fresh ingredients (I do love their roast beef sandwiches), but their lobster roll was the one that got me addicted to lobster rolls in the first place.
As for your other requests, your best bet would likely be a board search, but a few quick picks relatively near your hotel: Baraka Cafe (North African, in the close section of Cambridge), Chow Chau (Chinese, dim sum), Xinh Xinh (Vietnamese).
You might find Summer Shack a good compromise; you could get your seafood, the kids could get something else, and it's a kid-friendly atmosphere.
Pizzeria Regina in the North End should keep everyone happy, too.
I had a lobster roll at McCormick & Schmick's on Thursday. It was decent, but no more than that, but since the restaurant is in the hotel where you are staying, you might want to try it. I agree with Finlero that the tastiest and tenderest lobster roll in town is at Neptune. It's five dollars more than the one at McCormicks but five dollars less that at B & G, not that the money seems to make that much diffrence any more. I also love taking the T out ot Revere Beach to Kelly's for a very fresh lobster roll, but your short time in town probably doen't allow for that. If you are in Quincey Market, Kingfish Hall used to have one of the best rolls around, but I haven't tried one recently.