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Hole in the Wall, Family Run

I'm looking for some opinions on the best small, typically family run, relatively inexpensive delicious, soulful, hole in the wall places in Boston or just around. Under each of the following categories:
Fish Taco
Vietnamese (bahn mi esp.)
Fried Chicken
Hot Dog
Jamaican (Patties esp.)
Fish and Chip
Clam Roll (hot dog bun, buttered, and overfilled w/ whole belly clams)
Lobster Roll

That should do it for now. Let me know your thoughts. Thanks!

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  1. lobster sandwhich: alive and kicking seafood on putnam street in cambridge and turner's seafood in melrose on main street
    mexican: many including Ole in Cambridge
    hot dog: go to chicago or new york city
    pizza: figs is ok and part of the olive's empire; go to nyc or new haven if you are serious
    burger: bartley's in harvard square

      1. re: viperlush

        would add windy city eats to speeds in the hot dog category. not sure if that really counts as 'just around' though.

        1. re: jgg13

          Italian wasn't on your list- but when I think of family-run I think of Elisa's in Newton. Elisa doesn't let you in the door until she knows who you are, how you found her, where you are from etc etc etc. Everything is made from scratch and her 90 year old Grandma helps with the prep. Great comfort food.

        2. re: viperlush

          You don't need to go any other city to find these things, you just have to look. I certainly don't know all of them, but here are my suggestions. . .

          Pizza - soooo subjective. I love Umberto Galleria in north end.
          Mexican - I grew up in texas, so I'm a little picky and very biased toward tex mex, but there is a great place in methuen - can't remember the name - anyone else?
          Fish Taco
          Burger - rf o sullivans
          Vietnamese (bahn mi esp.) - viet grill canton center
          Donuts - really good place in belmont - again, forget the name
          Sandwich - Chaccara (sp)
          Fried Chicken - if you find out - tell me
          BBQ - not really local, but there's a kick ass place out near deerfield, ma - Bums - I think
          Hot Dog
          Jamaican (Patties esp.)
          Fish and Chip
          Clam Roll (hot dog bun, buttered, and overfilled w/ whole belly clams)
          Lobster Roll - neptune oyster

          Umberto Galleria
          289 Hanover St, Boston, MA 02113

          1. re: Girl Friday

            Thanks, not so much into tex mex, I spent the last year with a bunch of Oaxacan's so I am looking for pretty traditional simple mexican, tacos or course, but tortas, and posole, housemade horchata as well.

        3. My all time fave go to fish place is Fred's in Randolph. Billy (owner) took this place over from his father, Fred. My fave is their sole and chips or homemade rings for under $6. The fish sandwich with fries is great too 1/2 a filet of usually (I get to choose cuz he knows I'm picky) cod and it's $5. They also have 2 size lobster rolls with fries $5.95 for the regular and I believe $9.95 for the larger size. The fried whole belly clams are delicious too.
          He does take a week vacation around July 4th so I always make sure I get my fix before.

          1. Have to put in a plug for Linda's doughnuts on Belmont St. in Belmont - family-run, loaded with regulars, and delicious doughnuts to boot. Was just there on fathers' day seeking my husband's favorite - cake doughnut with chocolate frosting & jimmies. There weren't any in the case (it was "late" - 7:45 a.m.) but they made me a few and gave my daughter a couple of doughnut holes to munch while we waited. Coffee is terrible, though!


            1. Pizza - Regina's or Brookline Spa
              Mexican - Angelas Cafe
              Fish Taco - El Pelon
              Burger - My favorites are far from "Hole in the Walls", so maybe Flat Patties as an option?
              Vietnamese (bahn mi esp.) - Xinh Xinh and for Bahn Mi: Mei Sum Bakery
              Thai - Dok Boa
              Donuts - Not much of an expert here but the ones at Verna's are pretty good.
              Sandwich - Cutty's
              Ramen - Ken's
              Fried Chicken - Mrs. Jones
              BBQ - Blue Ribbon
              Hot Dog - Speed's
              Jamaican (Patties esp.) - Flames and Lenny's
              Fish and Chip - Courthouse Seafood
              Clam Roll (hot dog bun, buttered, and overfilled w/ whole belly clams) - Belle Isle (Once again not an expert)
              Lobster Roll - My favorite is totally not a hole in the wall (Neptune Oyster), but I have enjoyed the Lobster Roll's at James Hook, Yankee Lobster and Courthouse.

              1 Reply
              1. Just some suggestions that rolled off the top of my head:

                Pizza - Emma's, Cambridge
                Mexican - Sol Azteca, Brookline/Newton or Tacos Lupita, Somerville
                Fish Taco - El Pelon, Boston
                Burger - R.F. O'Sullivans, Somerville,
                Vietnamese (bahn mi esp.) - Bobalicious, Newton
                Thai - Dok Bua, Brookline
                Donuts - ?
                Sandwich -
                Ramen - Ken's Ramen, Boston
                Fried Chicken - ?
                BBQ - Blue Ribbon BBQ, Newton/Arlington
                Hot Dog - Speed's, Boston or Fred's Franks, Wakefield
                Jamaican (Patties esp.) - Camie's Bakery, Cambridge
                Fish and Chip - ?
                Clam Roll (hot dog bun, buttered, and overfilled w/ whole belly clams) - ?
                Lobster Roll - ?

                Sol Azteca
                914A Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02215

                Fred's Franks
                390 Quannapowitt Pkwy, Wakefield, MA 01880

                El Pelon
                2197 Commonwealth Ave., Brighton, MA 02135

                Blue Ribbon BBQ
                910 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02476

                308 Watertown St, Newton, MA 02458

                1. For the best local Fish 'n Chips that I have ever had, I have to mention Tavern at the End of the World in Charlestown

                  1. Don't know about all but the ones I like, I REALLY like. Mostly in the Allston/Brookline area because that's where I live

                    Italian (my addition): Carlo's Cucina
                    Mexican: Angela's
                    Fish Taco: Dorado & El Pelon
                    Vietnamese (bahn mi esp.): Pho Viet's in Super 88 Food Court
                    Thai: S&I To-Go
                    Ramen: Ken's in Super 88
                    Fried Chicken: Tupelo
                    Clam Roll (hot dog bun, buttered, and overfilled w/ whole belly clams): Tony's Clam Shop
                    Lobster Roll: Love the original Kelly's, haven't had Neptune but it's at the top of my list

                    El Pelon
                    2197 Commonwealth Ave., Brighton, MA 02135

                    Tony's Clam Shop
                    861 Quincy Shore Dr, Quincy, MA 02170

                    Pho Viet
                    1095 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA 02215

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: thegirlwholovestoeat

                      Pizza - Big Guy's on City Hall Plaza (best crazy slices--I LOVE the Charlottesville slice)
                      Mexican - Viva Burrito
                      Fish Taco - Beacon St. Bistro
                      Burger - Sunset Grill & Tap (best topping options--try the Spinach Artichoke dip on a Turkey Burger--YUM)
                      Vietnamese (bahn mi esp.) - Pho Lemongrass
                      Thai - New Rod Dee in Washington Sq
                      BBQ - Blue Ribbon BBQ
                      Hot Dog - Costco
                      Clam Roll (hot dog bun, buttered, and overfilled w/ whole belly clams) - Tony's in Quincy

                      Viva Burrito
                      66 Staniford St, Boston, MA 02114

                      Blue Ribbon BBQ
                      910 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02476

                      Sunset Grill & Tap
                      130 Brighton Ave, Allston, MA

                      City Hall Cafe
                      695 Main St, Fitchburg, MA 01420

                      1. re: kms5k2000

                        You can give your Bahn Mi a significant upgrade by hitting Mei Sum (Chinatown) or Pho Viet (Super88 Food court.). I just had a Pho Viet chicken with jalapeno (special request) today and it was downright amazing.

                        Pho Viet
                        1095 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA 02215

                        1. re: StriperGuy

                          StriperGuy - how's that chicken prepared? And is that what you asked for - literally "chicken with jalapeno?" We're regulars there so I'm sure I can get a special order and this sounds like something I'd love!


                          1. re: gansu girl

                            Pho Viet's standard chicken banh mi has jalapeno on it: lengthwise slices that have been seeded and deveined. I'm sure you could ask for extra.

                            Pho Viet
                            1095 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA 02215

                            1. re: Jenny Ondioline

                              Hmmmm, maybe the chicken usually comes with. Yesterday was my first chicken. I usually get coldcut or bbq pork which are definitely NOT hot unless you ask.

                              Disirregardless, I think all of their sandwiches benefit from a bit of heat. I usually ask for them with jalapeno, helps to be specific cause if you just ask for hot them sometimes use bottled red chili paste which is not as good.

                              Think the chicken is marinated then grilled. Nice thin slab of very flavorful chicken.

                              One other tip, if you call ahead they will have a bahn mi waiting for you...

                              (617) 562-8828