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Truly Bostonian Restaurants

Hi, I'm going to be in Boston (first time) for a conference at the Hynes Conference Center for 4 nights and am looking for reasonably priced but good dinners. (I have little hope for anything interesting at the conference itself but hope to have some nice meals at night...with your help.) I'm from the Bay Area — well, I live there but I'm from Washington State — and I'm not rich so I'm looking for something reasonable but good and, if possible, "regional". And by regional, I could mean Portuguese or Cape Verdean. I mean, the Tadich Grill is a SF institution but it was started by Croatians.

But really, I'd like something good that will make the trip and change in time zones worth it. Really, something amusing or with integrity would do just fine.

Oh, and I'm gluten-intolerant. Which sucks but what can you do?

Thanks for any and all suggestions.

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  1. Doyles, Galleria Umberto, East Coast Grill, PICO, B & G Oyster, Legal Test Kitchen, Charlie's, Mr. Bartley's, Sullivan's (South Boston)...

    www.shrinkinthekitchen.com

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    East Coast Grill and Raw Bar
    1271 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139

    B & G Oysters
    550 Tremont street, Boston, MA 02118

    Legal Test Kitchen
    12 Harborside Dr, Boston, MA 02128

    6 Replies
    1. re: scotty27

      I'd 86 Galleria Umberto since there's really nothing gluten free there (it's pizza & calzones, with other breaded & fried things) . Marco & Nebo in the North End, as well as Erbaluce seem to be pretty aware of the gluten issue & go out of their way to make sure there's no cross contamination. I believe that the chef (Charles Draghi) at Erbaluce's wife has celiac, & I also remeber reading that if you call Marco ahead of time, they will even make gluten free bread for you.

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      Nebo Restaurant and Bar
      90 North Washington Street, Boston, MA 02114

      Erbaluce
      69 Church Street, Boston, MA 02116

      1. re: southie_chick

        Forgot about the gluten when I mentioned Galleria Umberto. Even the arancini has bread crumbs, right?

        1. re: scotty27

          Correct - all arancini tend to.

      2. re: scotty27

        scotty27 has a great list here. I couldn't agree more.

        1. re: scotty27

          pico? and the food at ltk is horrible.

          i'll add neptune oyster and island creek oyster bar to this list.

          east boston has some amazing central american restaurants if you're not scared of the "t" and bare-bones environemnets, like rincon limon and jalisco.

          per the post below, erbaluce is one of my total new faves.

        2. When you mention Tadich Grill, I wonder if you might like Amrheins in S Boston. It's there sincee 1890...about 50 years newer than Tadich; but similar ol Boston feel..reasonable prices. Short cab or a little cumbersome T.

          Charlies's is good and close for breakfast..think urban diner.

          Sullivan's is basically a hoy dog place with 1 of the best views in the world.

          I'd pass on B&G. Not that it isn't great but I'm guessing you've got plenty of oyster bars in WA

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          Amrheins Restaurant
          80 W Broadway, Boston, MA 02127

          2 Replies
          1. re: 9lives

            Think the prices at Amrheins have experienced price creep. Went there recently and some entrees were below $20 but several were $20 - $30. The bar is something to be seen though, although a brand name martini was $12.50 (steak house level price)

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            Amrheins Restaurant
            80 W Broadway, Boston, MA 02127

            1. re: Fort Point

              I'll take yout word fo it; but when the the OP mentiomed Tadich Grill, even with Amrhein's price creep. It' less than TD and give a true feel ofhistoric Boston

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              Amrheins Restaurant
              80 W Broadway, Boston, MA 02127

          2. I lived in Boston for eight years before moving to the Bay Area. For regional, not-too-expensive choices (my expertise, since I was a grad student at the time) I would suggest:

            The Barking Crab - in South Boston. Picture long tables on the waterfront covered with brown paper. People in bibs all around you cracking crabs. You get the idea.

            Grendel's den in Harvard Square, Cambridge. Come here for the atmosphere. The food is adequate, not great, but really cheap - especially during happy hour. But the crowd is great! Lots of students and academics. While you are in the square, get a hot chocolate at Burdick's or stop by Cafe Pamplona.

            Mary Chung's is an MIT institution. Not too fancy chinese food, good spicy noodles (dun dun noodles) can be found here. Or you could just try wandering around chinatown.

            Addis Red Sea is a great Ethiopian place in the South End, not TOO far from the convention center.

            Just some ideas...

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            The Barking Crab
            88 Sleeper Street, Boston, MA 02210

            Mary Chung Restaurant
            460 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139

            Burdick's
            Cambridge, MA, Cambridge, MA

            Cafe Pamplona
            12 Bow St, Cambridge, MA 02138

            5 Replies
            1. re: Aimless Wander

              You trying to kill him at the Barking Crab or at the very least, give a bad impression of Boston food? :-O
              Good to hang out for drinks but the food is not choworthy imho (and others from the last thread on it)...

              Take a walk into the South End and hit B&G Oysters for a lobster roll and fresh oysters...

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              The Barking Crab
              88 Sleeper Street, Boston, MA 02210

                1. re: Spike

                  Very funny, can't stop laughing. Very true.

                2. re: Aimless Wander

                  Im really sorry, but I think this is really bad advice.

                  In a seacoast town advising someone to go to the most laughed at (behind Anthonys Pier 4) frozen seafood house? Crabs are NOT local.

                  Grendel's den is poor but cheap bar food. Good in a pinch but NOT a destination restaurant.

                  Addis Red Sea is a sad imitation of complex Ethiopian food.

                  Go to the North End for a great taste of boston, Galleria Umberto for lunch for great Arancini, Maurizios for well priced Sardinian food, and Neptune Oyster for excellent seafood. A bit pricy, but I believe it's a must for any seafood loving visitor. (If you can afford it)

                  Cambridge has some decent Portuguese restaurants, however I'd head over to Helmand in Cambridge for great Afghani food.

                  I agree on the Erbaluce rec- Sit at the bar, tell them you're gluten intolerant and have a fabolous dinner!

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

                  Erbaluce
                  69 Church Street, Boston, MA 02116

                  1. re: jessabella617

                    You're seriously going to tell someone who's gluten-intolerant to go to Galleria Umberto, where everything except the dixie cups full of wine has either breading or dough?

                3. I'd suggest Erbaluce. They are very friendly to gluten allergies and the food is pretty awesome.

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                  Erbaluce
                  69 Church Street, Boston, MA 02116

                  1. If you can afford one splurge, go to Locke Ober, It defines Boston the way Galatoires defines New Orleans. Have Jack Kennedy's lobster bisque.http://www.lockeober.com/menu.htm

                    5 Replies
                      1. re: 9lives

                        I thought it had re-opened..I am sending a spy over there in the next week because it worries me, here in Louisiana, to have a place like that in flux.

                            1. re: Allstonian

                              Thank you...hard to thinkof the place without butter and cream but it was always an odd amalgam on a menu...maybe the new menu will be equally odd.