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Mission style burito & seafood

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  • Kinyo Jun 22, 2011 06:27 AM

Montreal hounder coming to Boston this weekend,

It is impossible to find mission style burito in Montreal, can we find some in the Boston Area?

Also can someone indicate me a good inexpensive seafood restaurant. I know that seafood & inexpensive are not best friends, but we are on a tight budget.

Thanks for your help!

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  1. As far as I can tell, the burritos at Anna's Taqueria are Mission-style (steamed flour tortilla, etc). I've never eaten a burrito west of Chicago though, so don't consider me an authority on these matters.

    For inexpensive seafood, Courthouse Seafood may be your best bet. In addition to their regular menu, they'll fry up anything from the adjacent fish market for an extra $2 a pound--hard to beat that! The hours are limited though (11-6 on Sat, closed Sun), so it doesn't rank highly on the convenience scale. You might also want to look for a $1 oyster special (there's a thread dedicated to that on this board) and eat a lobster sandwich at Alive & Kicking Lobsters in Cambridge.

    -----
    Courthouse Fish Market
    484 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02141

    Alive And Kicking Lobsters
    269 Putnam Avenue, Cambridge, MA

    Anna's Taqueria
    446 Harvard St, Brookline, MA 02446

    Anna's Taqueria
    1412 Beacon St, Brookline, MA 02446

    Anna's Taqueria
    236 Elm St, Somerville, MA 02144

    Anna's Taqueria
    822 Somerville Ave, Cambridge, MA 02140

    Anna's Taqueria
    242 Cambridge St, Boston, MA 02114

    1. Anna's is indeed a Mission-style burrito. Note that it's not nearly as good quality (in terms of ingredient flavor) as the best in SF but it's a pretty decent facsimile, especially if you're hungry. For example, the meats are not very well seasoned, and they are often dried out. The tortilla is steamed instead of griddled, which makes it very gummy. There is no chopped cilantro available to go in the burrito. I'd recommend the two Brookline locations if you're in Boston. The Cambridge location (at MIT) is considerably less good.

      11 Replies
      1. re: Luther

        Ooooh, this looks like fun, let me add some more.

        The black beans are often undercooked. The rice has no flavor. The pork is too salty.
        They don't drain the beans well enough thus making a "soup burrito". They rush your through the line and just assume what fillings you want unless you are quick to get your request in. And any request for something out of the norm is often met with dirty looks and reluctance to actually follow out said request. And the salsa that they give with chips and salsa is not fresh, yet, they make fresh salsa to put in the burritos each day.

        I haven't been to Anna's in at least 6 months, but they did have chopped cilantro - they would keep it by the grill for making el pastor tacos. But of course you risk getting the dirty look when daring to request that they actually take the two steps away from their station to put it it in your burrito.

        1. re: LStaff

          That's a bit harsh - I have never had any difficulty getting them to put exactly what I want into my order, and have never gotten anything I'd remotely consider a "soup burrito," though I agree that the black beans are sometimes a bit undercooked. As for being rushed - yes, they do hustle the lines through, but it's a volume business. You end up with a reasonably wholesome and filling meal for $6 or $7, so no complaints there.

          On the plus side, their chile verde is delicious and has a serious kick to it (and I say that as a confirmed chilihead).

          1. re: LStaff

            "They rush your through the line and just assume what fillings you want unless you are quick to get your request in."

            This is exactly why I almost never patron any Ana's anymore. Even when I am the only customer in line it is a never ending battle to get what I want on my burrito and preemptively stop them from adding the things I don't want on the burrito. and if you want extra of something, good luck with that. Just not worth it. The only redeeming quality of Ana's is the price and even that has gone up quite a bit over the years. I much prefer Boca Grande although it is far from above average.

            1. re: LStaff

              Authentic "Mission style" burritos I've had in SF and Oakland are much more likely to be soupy than anything I've ever gotten from Anna's, albeit from too much sauce, not too much water.
              Personally I've never had a problem with the fillings requests. Just make it snappy, there are lots of us waiting in line behind you.

              1. re: Luther

                Anna's is related to Gordo Taqueria in SF (same family, I think). Gordo is not in the Mission, but it does mean that your burrito there has an SF pedigree. Anyway, I second Luther's experience at Anna's - you need to know what you want and lay it all out quickly, but once I do that I've never had a problem. One personal preference tip - I usually get the refried beans in their burritos, as I find that the texture works much better. And I like the Chile Verde too.

                All that said, I also second the Felipe's recommendation. I've only eaten there a few times but I think they basically take the Annas/Boca model and do everything better. Not surprising given that they have the same owners as Flat Patties.

                -----
                Flat Patties
                81 Mount Auburn St, Cambridge, MA 02138

              2. re: LStaff

                You're not kidding about needing to be johnny on the spot with them in terms of fillings. I can't tell you how many times they've already put the wrong beans on by the time I say "black beans".

              3. re: Luther

                Re: griddled or steamed tortilla. I've recently started getting a quesadilla at my local Anna's (Porter Square -- another Cambridge location), and as near as I can tell it is the same as a burrito (super burrito even) for less money, with the bonus of a nicely browned griddled tortilla as well.They roll it up fat in foil like the burritos, and I've failed to see the difference between what they allow in a burrito and what they allow in a quesadilla, as I'm receiving rice and beans without question, whereas they refuse this in a quesadilla at Boca Grande across Mass Ave.

                Looking at Anna's menu online, perhaps quesadillas are limited to 10" tortillas, so in that sense wouldn't get as big as a super burrito.

                Boca Grande might have the edge for vegetarian tastes, since they have some tofu fillings as well as vegetables.

                1. re: chickendhansak

                  It's not on the menu but they'll do a "super" quesadilla with the large tortilla on request. That was my son's standard order for years. Pricing is similar to the super burrito.

                  1. re: BobB

                    Thanks for the tip!

                    1. re: chickendhansak

                      I should add that this was at our local outlet, Harvard St in Brookline - I don't know if the others will do the same but probably.

                      1. re: BobB

                        My experience with the other Anna's outlets has long since led me to believe that the Harvard Street location is the best of the lot. I certainly have never experienced any form of attitude from the lineworkers there, and the beans (pinto or refried, because as far as I'm concerned, black beans have no place in a burrito) are neither undercooked nor under-drained. Add in the more-than-decent horchata and the fact that they've finally started taking plastic and I'm entirely happy to have it within walking distance!

              4. What are you lookking for in a seafood restaurant?? if you are looking for chinese I like Peach farm, or new golden gate in Chinatown sections of Boston. Other places in the suburbs of boston for seafood, but not fancy are The Mount Vernon in Somerville and Moulton's in Medford, search this board the subject of cheap eats and seafood. There was a great thread about a month ago for people visiting Boston looking for cheap eats around tourist attractions that you might be interested in.
                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/782641

                Also opionionatedchef has many good posts for visitors to Boston

                From Opionionatedchef
                Guide to Boston by Areas and Restaurants:
                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/781155

                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/781156

                shopping for Boston food souvenirs:
                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/781171

                -----
                Peach Farm
                4 Tyler St, Boston, MA 02111

                New Golden Gate
                66 Beach St, Boston, MA 02111

                Mt Vernon Restaurant
                14 Broadway, Somerville, MA 02145

                1. You could also try Felipe's in the Garage in Harvard Square (corner of JFK and Mt. Auburn St). They steam their burritos as well, and I find their fillings to be pretty tasty. Lately I can't seem to order anything but the pollo tinga super burrito.

                  18 Replies
                  1. re: Dea

                    Okay, I have always avoided Felipe's cause it was in Harvard Square and well...

                    Based on this thread, I just had one.

                    In my book, hands down best burrito in Boston. And the salsa bar is excellent.

                    And the prices are great.

                    Nuf said.

                    1. re: StriperGuy

                      Nice. I haven't had every burrito in Boston (the gas station place is a notable gap), but I'd say Felipe's is the best I've had as well.

                      1. re: celeriac

                        Heck, my bro lives two blocks from the Mission in SF and Felipe's was as good as that. I had filling of half roast pork and half pork al pastor. It was just yummy.

                        1. re: StriperGuy

                          Next time I'm in Harvard Square I'm SO trying Felipe's. I find myself there often, but avoid eating (despite my hunger) cuz, well it's the Square - for the same reasons. Thanks, StriperGuy!

                      2. re: StriperGuy

                        I personally had skipped it because it's operated by the same folks as Anna's... so I'd assumed it was the same product. Now I gotta try it...

                        1. re: Luther

                          No it isn't.

                          1. re: rknrll

                            StriperGuy made that pretty clear, thanks

                            1. re: Luther

                              I mean it isn't operated by the same people.

                              1. re: rknrll

                                IIRC the Felipes ppl are related to the Boca Grande folks, but in an estranged way

                                -----
                                Boca Bar & Restaurant
                                11 Pine St, Waltham, MA 02453

                                1. re: jgg13

                                  That's what I'd heard too.

                                  Felipe's is good but if it is as good as the Mission, the truth is really less harsh on Boston than has formerly been claimed on this board, because IMO it's only marginally better than Anna's / Boca.

                                  1. re: chickendhansak

                                    My bro lives two blocks from the Mission in SF and I've eaten in numerous acclaimed burrito places there. They day I hit Felipe's it was as good as any.

                                    Keep in mind, the Mission has other Mexican fair the like of which Boston will never see. I know a real working class taqueria, that is mind blowing. The meats at that joint blow away Felipe's, but a Burrito is a singular Cal-Mexy thing and not really the most typical Mission-Mexican thingie.

                                    Anyhow YMMV and maybe I got Felipe's on a good day (it was early, everything was fresh, and they had the time to be really good on the service as well.

                                    The roast pork was absolutely spot on. The carne al pastor I've had better, but was certainly fine.

                                    1. re: StriperGuy

                                      "the Mission has other Mexican fair the like of which Boston will never see"

                                      Care to give us the details?

                                      A burrito is a California food but in the Bay Area they are frequently served at places that otherwise cook typical mexican fast foods like tacos and tortas.

                                      1. re: Luther

                                        Don't have the time for a full post, have posted on the SF board but, cesos (brains), and stewed lengua (tongue) like I've never had; house made tamales that brought tears to my eyes. Charcoal grilled meats. Mexican bakeries with items including buns shaped like fully formed, scales and all, alligators with red candy eyes, and I'm just getting started...

                                        Fly to SF, head to say 26th and take a LONG, LONG walk in the mission.

                                        1. re: StriperGuy

                                          Yes, I have done these things (actually took two long walks around the mission so far this year). I won't argue with you about the quality available there but it's kind of like discussing most other types of ethnic food in say, Boston vs. NYC. Most of the time it comes down to a diversity/quality issue where the city with the larger # of restaurants gives rise to the opportunity for more specialties of higher quality. It's not like you can't have a damn good lengua taco in a number of places in Boston, but the scale isn't similar.

                                          1. re: Luther

                                            Not sure what your point is here?

                                            If you read the thread I only started waxing prosaic about SF because I was asked to above. I was in no way making the silly comparison "SF Mexican is better than beantown, blah blah blah." Of course with 100 times the population of Mexican Americans.

                                            And of course the thread IS "Mission Style Burritos" so some comparison to SF is necessary to the whole intent of the thread.

                                      2. re: StriperGuy

                                        I have to say, I had a religious experience on carnitas at Felipe's, so I'm by no means disagreeing that it is an excellent spot on its day. Even if it were exactly the same as Anna's and BG then the condiments bar would still make it stand out. Just always interested in the Mission comparisons and one day I hope to compare directly for myself. Cheers.

                                        1. re: chickendhansak

                                          If you want a religious carnitas experience, I can't recommend Taqueria Jalisco in Eastie strongly enough.

                                    2. re: jgg13

                                      Anna's/Boca is the estranged sibling thing.
                                      Not sure who the Felipe's guy is, but it's co-owned with the guy from Flat Patties.
                                      There are also two Felipe's in New Orleans.

                        2. I definatley second Felipe's in Harvard Sq. It's much better than Anna's in my opinion and just as cheap. Also has a free topping bar with lots of good sauces, radishes, pickled veggies, and limes.

                          8 Replies
                          1. re: nachovegas

                            So I think it will be Felipe's & Mount Vernon.

                            If you have other good suggestions, please let me know!

                            Thanks

                            1. re: Kinyo

                              What do you want for seafood? If you want an inexpensive twin lobster special and perhaps prime rib Mt. Vernon is a great place, but any preparation other than a boiled lobster is an upcharge and otherwise they are not that remarkable for seafood. There are other options depending on what you want, but some of them vary (for instance the Dolphin in Harvard Sq has a decent scallop stuffed lobster, but some of their fried stuff isn't great; several Italian restaurants do nice baked stuffed schrod; Courthouse is one of the best suggestions, but is more of a lunch place). Peach Farm is a good option. Moulton's is much better than Mt Vernon including for selection, but for certain things is far from cheap. There are clam shacks (serving other fried seafood for less than clams) you can get to via the T.

                              -----
                              Peach Farm
                              4 Tyler St, Boston, MA 02111

                              Mt Vernon Restaurant
                              14 Broadway, Somerville, MA 02145

                              1. re: itaunas

                                I'm looking at boiled lobster, fried clam, steamed clam, fried shrimp, etc. ... Nothing too fancy, just good savory food. I don't want asian style seafood.

                                Do you have other suggestions instead of Mt Vernon?

                                -----
                                Mt Vernon Restaurant
                                14 Broadway, Somerville, MA 02145

                                1. re: Kinyo

                                  Will you have a car? How far are you willing to travel? Some of the NE-style seafood places are outside of Boston.

                                  1. re: emannths

                                    I'll have a car & super willing to travel if the food is good!

                                  2. re: Kinyo

                                    One option might be to try Mike's in Everett (bus to Everett Sq out of Sullivan Sq) for the fried clam and shrimp, then do the boiled double-lobster at Mt Vernon (same T stop). I haven't been to Mike's in a while. Mike's is open until late (1-2am on weekends).

                                    If you can go before 6:30 PM Courthouse has everything except the steamed clams on their menu, but as mentioned above you can select the lobster and clams at the fish market and say you want it cooked in the restaurant. The breading is different from the North Shore shacks.

                                    You can catch the Ipswich Essex Explorer off the commuter rail to downtown Essex and go to Woodman's (the Clam Box and Farnham's are bit more off the track).

                                    Neither are exactly near the relevant train stop, but Tony's Clam Shop/The Clam Box in Wollaston and Kelly's original location at Revere Beach are directly off main T stations. Royal Roast beef (I think only fried) is walking distance from another (and across from a beach). Kelly's has another location walking distance from Wellington Station.

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

                                    Clam Box
                                    789 Quincy Shore Dr, Quincy, MA 02170

                                    Mt Vernon Restaurant
                                    14 Broadway, Somerville, MA 02145

                                    1. re: itaunas

                                      I always found the fried clams to be too greasy for me at Kelley's (in Revere - haven't tried the seafood @ their other locations). Now it's been awhile since I've eaten there - I'd get too sick after eating them - and stopped me from going back.

                                      Never tried Mike's in Everett (one of those places I would drive by a million times & wonder how the food is there). Used to go there MANY years ago when the place they're at now was the donut shop, and they were next door. Do they still have those donuts (they were good - at least in my memory they were!!)

                                      1. re: threedogs

                                        threedogs actually with both Kelly's and Mike's, I have preferred shrimp and scallops to their clams. So I don't have a recent reference point on their clams, but both tended toward medium belly clams. I also don't get to Mike's much because I have been very happy with Skampa or go by there late at night. It was good although a friend has repoted it went downhill in the last year or two. I used to be able to count on the Seafood Depot in Medford for decent clams, but am not happy with them anymore (other stuff is good). So my most regular fix is from Courthouse, with annual trips to Ipswich and Wollaston, other beach offerings (NH, Cape, RI), and some from Moulton's (very good, but quite pricey).

                                        -----
                                        Skampa
                                        424 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02141

                                        Seafood Depot
                                        478 High St, Medford, MA 02155

                            2. My go to spot for fresh inexpensive seafood is the No Name Restaurant (Seaport District). It's nothing fancy, but they do the typical fried fare quite well.

                              -----
                              No Name Restaurant
                              151-2 Fish Pier, Boston, MA 02210

                              1. If you're a habs fan, I suggest Taco Bell.

                                If you're not a habs fan, I suggest Villa Mexico on 295 Cambridge Street (no ambience though, just a gas station with the best burrito's in town)

                                Cheap, good seafood. Maybe Yankee Seafood on Northern Ave between Bank of America Pavilion and Harpoon Brewery. Maybe you can see a show and tour the brewery when your there.

                                -----
                                Villa Mexico
                                296 Cambridge St, Boston, MA 02114

                                Harpoon Brewery
                                306 Northern Ave, Boston, MA

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: Guinness02122

                                  I'm not really a hockey fan, so i'll skip Taco Bell!

                                  Thanks

                                  1. re: Guinness02122

                                    And this is one of the reasons I love Chowhound - walked past the gas station recently (on one of our rare hot days) & forgot to look for the name to search on this board! I was way too tired to turn around to check.

                                    I have way too many places to try now, lol.

                                  2. Not an answer to your question, but I can't help suggesting Tri Express once you return home to Montreal. It's on my lifetime best-list.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: enhF94

                                      Tri Express is very good! I love it!

                                    2. In the end, we went to Tony's clam shop, it was so good that we went 2 times. One time to have the fried seafood plate & the other time to have the lobster roll. We also ate at Mike's City Diner, Kick ass cupcake, Bartley's Burger Cottage & Blue Moon Grill in Wakefield.

                                      By going to the clam shop 2 times we had to skip the burritos! I'll try Felipe's next time I am in Boston.

                                      Thanks everyone for the great suggestions!

                                      -----
                                      Bartley's Burger Cottage
                                      1246 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138

                                      Mike's City Diner
                                      1714 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118

                                      Blue Moon Grill
                                      955 Main St, Wakefield, MA 01880