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HELP! Last minute trip to Boston and need quick recommendations for a family of 4!!!!

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Just booked a last minute trip to Boston for three nights and have no time to do my typical research on restaurants. Heck, I haven't even firmly booked my hotel yet. I need some serious recommendations quick!

We are a family of 4 with 2 kids ages 7 and 8 who love all kinds of food although our least favorite would be a steak joint or Italian. We are blessed in that we can afford most restaurants. We like big flavors and lively restaurants. We will be touring all over the area. Restaurants could be almost anywhere in the area!!

A few things I know we need are:
Lunch in the Harvard area (Garden Cellar? Petsi?)
Lunch in Faneuil Hall?
Need to Eat Steamer Clams somewhere as I here they are the best

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  1. "our our least favorite would be a steak joint or Italian"

    what does that even mean? Huge swaths of cuisine are covered by "Italian", what, specifically, are you trying to avoid?

    Lunch in Faneuil Hall? just don't. Maybe Neptune Oyster (nearby, serious seafood, not really as Italian as they'd like you to believe)

    Steamers? Summer Shack Back Bay (since you have no time to research you'll not see how controversial a rec that is here, it's actually a good rec)

    As for non-Italian "big flavors" maybe Eastern Standard?

    Have a great visit, let us know what you find.

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    Neptune Oyster
    63 Salem St Ste 1, Boston, MA 02113

    Eastern Standard
    528 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215

    Summer Shack
    310 Northern Ave, Boston, MA 02210

    4 Replies
    1. re: Carty

      Thanks for the quick reply.

      As far as italian, we just aren't into much classic Italian and end up searching high and low to find the one or two things on the menu that we would really desire. As for steaks, my wife makes a killer at home so no need to eat it out.

      Nepture Oyster Menu may be a bit much for lunch looking at the menu. Will check it out more later. Summer Shack looks pretty awesome.

      Eastern Standard's menu had me as soon as I noticed the Marrow Bone. I've been craving one since last summer at Black Hoof in Toronto. Wonder what the Offal of the day will be!

      Still need more recommendations. Just wrote down Ming Tsai's Blue Giner and a couple of Chinatown places that serves XLB. Keep them coming!

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      Eastern Standard
      528 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215

      Summer Shack
      310 Northern Ave, Boston, MA 02210

      1. re: Raboi

        For Harvard Square I would definitely go to Russell House Tavern. The oysters are good, they have a nice brunch menu on Sundays, decent burger and really nice crabcakes. In Chinatown, I would opt for Shabu Zen on Tyler St for hot pot cooking.

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        Shabu Zen
        16 Tyler St, Boston, MA 02111

        Russell House Tavern
        14 JFK Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

        1. re: Pegmeister

          They also happen to have marrow bone on the menu at Russell House Tavern. I would recommend it too.

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          Russell House Tavern
          14 JFK Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

        2. re: Raboi

          i strongly recommend the pan-fried lobster at Summer Shack and oysters. The rest of their food is merely good. By the way, i have only eaten at the Alewife location in Cambridge.

          I am a fan of Tamarind Bay for Indian food but cannot abide Indian buffets. Rialto is also great and is located in Harvard Square.

          I am no fan of Blue Ginger; you would do better at any of the fish-in-the-tank restaurants in Chinatown, my favorite: East Ocean Seafood.

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          Tamarind Bay
          75 Winthrop St, Cambridge, MA 02138

          Blue Ginger
          583 Washington St., Wellesley, MA 02482

          Summer Shack
          149 Alewife Brook Parkway, Cambridge, MA 02140

      2. Neither Garden or Petsi are really in H. Square. Close, but particularly Petsi's would be a bit of a poke on foot. How about Bartley's? Iconic burger joint in the Square.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Splendid Spatula

          take the kids to the buffet lunch at Kebab Factory on Beacon and Washington in Somerville. Head up Beacon after to buy treats from Petsi's to take back for desert later. Unlike cambridge doctor I like blue ginger, especially for lunch, when it is of particularly good value. You can stop for a walk around Wellesley's lovely campus and pop into it's little art museum which makes a nice break for kids. ESK is a great choice because it can please everyone from the burger-loving to the offal-loving, with cocktails to make you happy. summer shack is fine and kid-friendly as is brasserie jo. if the weather's good, consider taking the water taxi, and the kids, to scups on the harbour for lunch or brunch and a walk around the great park on the harbour there.

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          The Kebab Factory
          414 Washington St, Somerville, MA 02143

          1. re: Splendid Spatula

            I think Petsi's is closer to the Square than Garden (there is a second, small and cute location on Putnam at Mt Auburn). Lunch there is very good (and generous!).

          2. Second taking the water taxi to Scup's in East Boston for lunch or brunch. The water taxi trip will give you a good view of the waterfront, the skyline, etc. That alone is worth the price to me-never mind the lunch at Scup's!