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Cheap, quintessential Boston nearish to general hospital.

The Chemist Mar 6, 2011 06:18 AM

Hi Boston hounds!

I'm coming from Montreal for a few days and I am looking for some very Boston suggestions for places within public transport distance from the Massachusetts General Hospital. The more quintessentially Boston, the better, the cheaper, the better.

I am planning on a dinner on Monday and Tuesday night, and breakfast/lunch.

Thanks a bunch!

EDIT: The SO is requesting Irish Pub food to be consdiered. Maybe a a cliche, I am not sure.

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  1. hotoynoodle RE: The Chemist Mar 6, 2011 07:15 AM

    what speaks boston to you? yankee pot roast and indian pudding? because nobody here eats that anymore. red sauce italian? lobster? what's cheap to you? there are plenty of faux-irsh pubs, most of which have mediocre to awful food.

    you're walking distance to many places, including the north end, and an easy hop on the t will carry you far.

    10 Replies
    1. re: hotoynoodle
      Matt H RE: hotoynoodle Mar 6, 2011 07:42 AM

      Agreed, the demographics of Boston have changed considerably and now eating at a Dominican or Brazilian restaurant is just as "Boston" or even more so than an Irish Pub.

      If you are looking for affordable and good (All are easily reached by T or walk from MGH)

      Breakfast: Mike and Patty's (Bay Village); Paramount (Beacon Hill)
      Lunch: Courthouse Seafood (East Cambridge); Cafe Latino (Government Center); Villa Mexico (Beacon Hill); Gallaria Umberto (North End) or one of the Banh Mi places in Chinatown (163 and Mei Sum are my favorite)
      Dinner: Peach Farm (Chinatown); Helmand (Kendall Square) and if open by the time you arrive Floating Rock (Central Square) call ahead though. Also do a search for the favorites in Chinatown and Allston, both neighborhoods are filled with great cheap eats.

      1. re: Matt H
        MC Slim JB RE: Matt H Mar 6, 2011 08:41 AM

        Did Floating Rock open yet? Oh please oh please oh please!


        1. re: MC Slim JB
          Matt H RE: MC Slim JB Mar 6, 2011 09:52 AM

          I wish! A friend of mine told me that they expect a soft opening in the next week, but we have been hearing that since August 2010.....cant wait for it to finally be open though.

          1. re: Matt H
            Madrid RE: Matt H Mar 6, 2011 10:18 AM

            facebook photos posted 2/28 show ongoing construction.

            1. re: Matt H
              Luther RE: Matt H Mar 6, 2011 02:03 PM

              More like April 2010

            2. re: MC Slim JB
              galangatron RE: MC Slim JB Mar 6, 2011 10:41 AM

              they plan to open this month

          2. re: hotoynoodle
            The Chemist RE: hotoynoodle Mar 6, 2011 11:25 AM

            Just looking for anything which I can get in Boston that can't be found elsewhere, or at least to the same standard. I suppose, if pressed, I would have to admit that Clam Chowder, Lobster Rolls, etc. speak of New England to me.

            Cheap being <20$ per person.

            1. re: The Chemist
              barleywino RE: The Chemist Mar 6, 2011 11:34 AM

              unfortunately even a plate of fried clams or Nantucket bay scallops can run you over $20. you might consider getting a Speeds hot dog for lunch (rated #1 in America http://www.bostonspeeddog.com/ take Red Line from Mass General hospital to Andrew station and walk several blocks)

              1. re: barleywino
                The Chemist RE: barleywino Mar 6, 2011 11:39 AM

                Money is flexible in that case. If 20 is too low, I'll just have to spend more. Just want to avoid haute cusine prices it all. Speeds dog sounds good. Any idea what time it's open until?

                1. re: The Chemist
                  barleywino RE: The Chemist Mar 6, 2011 02:27 PM

                  Speed's website has full details. they have a couple picnic tables you can sit at if it's sunny out.

          3. r
            robwat36 RE: The Chemist Mar 6, 2011 09:11 AM

            If Irish pub food is a must, choose carefully. Maybe hop the green D line to Brookline Village and hit Matt Murphy's. The best is probably The Druid in Inman Square, but that's a hike from the subway.

            Avoid the lousy, waste-of-a-liquor-license faux Irish pubs that are easy to find in the downtown area.

            5 Replies
            1. re: robwat36
              Madrid RE: robwat36 Mar 6, 2011 10:22 AM

              If you can afford a cab, especially affordable not at rush hour, Inman Squ. Cambridge is not all that far as the cab drives from Mass General...across the river. Druid is the real thing. Or, take the red line two stops from Charles/Mass General over the river (look at the view!) to Central Square...lots of cabs lined up there if you don't want to tackle the walk to Inman...

              1. re: Madrid
                jgg13 RE: Madrid Mar 6, 2011 11:37 AM

                From MGH walk to science park (~5 mins), take the green line to lechemere and then either walk (~15 mins) or wait for the #69 bus from there. I do it all the time.

                1. re: jgg13
                  The Chemist RE: jgg13 Mar 6, 2011 11:39 AM


              2. re: robwat36
                The Chemist RE: robwat36 Mar 6, 2011 11:29 AM

                Nice. I will check it out for sure. I suppose that I should specify that a walk of up to 30 minutes is totally doable.

                1. re: The Chemist
                  jgg13 RE: The Chemist Mar 6, 2011 11:38 AM

                  You can quite literally cover most of the city in 30 mins. I'm assuming you're staying at the liberty hotel, and if so there's a red line stop (Charles/MGH) right outside your door - the red line is the best subway option by far, and you can transfer to others just a stop or two away.

                  From MGH I pretty regularly walk deep into cambridge, and pretty much anything downtown in less than 30 mins.

              3. PinchOfSalt RE: The Chemist Mar 6, 2011 10:00 AM

                Not cheap - more kind of mid-priced - but the Boston food you have been imagining is at Durgin Park. It is not terribly far from Mass General. You certainly could walk in nice weather, or take the T - it is only a couple of stops away (Red Line to Park, then Green to Government Center). Opinions on Durgin Park are split on this board. My two cents is the food, while not epicurean, is certainly okay, and, depending on the dish, can be better than good. If you want to try traditional Yankee cooking, this is your best bet. If you go, don't miss the Indian Pudding for dessert.

                Durgin Park
                1 Faneuil Hall Sq, Boston, MA 02109

                3 Replies
                1. re: PinchOfSalt
                  The Chemist RE: PinchOfSalt Mar 6, 2011 11:26 AM

                  Any recommendations other than the Pudding?

                  1. re: The Chemist
                    hotoynoodle RE: The Chemist Mar 7, 2011 06:47 AM

                    some swear by the yankee pot roast, but it's a place only out-of-towners frequent.

                    1. re: The Chemist
                      PinchOfSalt RE: The Chemist Mar 7, 2011 07:14 AM

                      If you like a big slab of prime rib, they do it very nicely.

                      And yes, this is a place that out of towners frequent, for the same reason as you have - they want to sample traditional Boston food. As for people who live here, we bring our out of town guests, but there is no strong reason to eat at Durgin Park otherwise. In general they serve perfectly okay food, but it's not special.

                      Durgin Park
                      1 Faneuil Hall Sq, Boston, MA 02109

                  2. Beachowolfe RE: The Chemist Mar 6, 2011 11:28 AM

                    You might consider a lobster roll as "quintessentially Boston". Though not cheap ($25), you could definitely walk to Neptune Oyster from MGH.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Beachowolfe
                      Madrid RE: Beachowolfe Mar 6, 2011 12:12 PM

                      Read trip report 2/25 just posted today if you want a visitor's review of the Neptune lobster roll. It's huge....I am a light eater and I couldn't eat half of it, plus it comes with amazing fries. Go early, very popular, gets very crowded, the Minnesota visitor in that trip report got there at 11 on Sunday (they open at 11 every day) and it was full by 11:30. Mid afternoon is also a good bet.

                    2. s
                      sweetgigi RE: The Chemist Mar 7, 2011 07:42 AM

                      You may want to try the Sail Loft on the waterfront. The place has been there for years. After dinner you can go to the North End for coffee.
                      I haven't eaten there for a while but some friends still do, Fish and Chips, Fried Clams. Boiled lobster. Burgers. Full Bar. Maybe they have a site you can check out.

                      1. mtm7654 RE: The Chemist Mar 7, 2011 08:08 AM

                        Walk to the North End and have lunch at Pizzeria Regina. You're lucky to be here on a weekday so will miss the lines of tourists. Also in the North End is Galleria Umberto for calzones, arancini, pizza. It opens around 11 and it's best to get there early. And I always suggest taking the water taxi over to East Boston for lunch at Scup's on the Harbor. In addition to the great views of the city you'll get food prepared by the owners in a quirky space.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: mtm7654
                          Allstonian RE: mtm7654 Mar 7, 2011 08:37 AM

                          I had a terrific lunch at Galleria Umberto on Saturday - for once I was able to suppress my addiction to the arancini and enjoy a slice of pizza and half of a spinach/sausage/cheese calzone. I love Regina, but Galleria Umberto is unique and well worth a visit.

                          Scup's is closed until April 1, FWIW.

                          1. re: Allstonian
                            mtm7654 RE: Allstonian Mar 7, 2011 08:50 AM

                            I've gotta take a day off and get to Umberto's! Haven't been there in years. Or maybe if I'm taking the day off I should hit up Neptune for the first time...........decisions, decisions.

                        2. m
                          Madrid RE: The Chemist Mar 7, 2011 10:41 AM

                          Not that close, but accessible by subway (change to the orange line) is Doyle's Cafe in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston. Rich in history, (including old posters and photographs) original decor, "really Boston" with actual Bostonians and neighborhood folks there for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and drinks, drinks, drinks, food is not great but certainly not worse than the average pub.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Madrid
                            robwat36 RE: Madrid Mar 7, 2011 10:57 AM

                            Pair a trip to Doyle's with a Sam Adams brewery tour. Fun way to spend an afternoon.

                          2. 5
                            5thAndNowhere RE: The Chemist Mar 7, 2011 12:44 PM

                            Several places in town have $1 oyster deals, and on the days you are here:

                            Rialto - Harvard Sq - Chef Jody Adams - Red Line to Harvard
                            B&G Oysters - South End - Chef Barbara Lynch - Red Line switch to Orange Line/Back Bay stop

                            Many deals/events listed here http://bostonchefs.com/news/calendar/

                            If it were me, I would go to Charlies Kitchen in Harvard Sq for (great) chowder (~$6?) and then across the road to Rialto for $1 oysters. Charlies also has a DOUBLE lobster roll special for like $12. (yes two lobster rolls for $12) Charlies is an institution - old diner style. The lobster is fresh (youll see the tank). It's not my favorite in town, but only cos they add lettuce and dont grill/butter their bun. It's all subjective and its certainly passable at that price!


                            the B&G special is worthy too -- esp for lunch. Dollar beers?!

                            Neptune and Island Creek Oysters, as suggested above, also good for seafood. Seafood downton isn't cheap, tho, and this is where we're probably getting hung up on recommending for you. A lobster roll downtown will run you $16-23 sadly.

                            We've also got Restaurant Week this and next week - so could be some deals had there for lunch ($33+ for dinner is out of your range).


                            Eastern Standard for lunch?

                            good luck!

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