You know the places. Formica counters. Smelly regulars. Steamy windows. Depressing lighting. But something on the menu keeps you coming back. Maybe it's a stellar chili. Maybe it's a Reuben that just won't quit. Maybe it's a waitress who always supplies you with an extra tipple of coffee, even when you don't ask for it.
Tell me about some radar-shy, publicist-free restaurants that, for some goddamn reason, have a following.
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McMenamy's Hamburger House is Easton on Rte 138 sort of fits the bill. Fairly decent burgers, but the place has been updated since around 1952.
These kinds of places are certainly disappearing. (Agree - never gross or smelly - those would probably be dealbreakers)
But of the quiet, tucked-away, unassuming spots -
- Hungry Traveler - for the Korean dishes
- Cafe Delicato
- Deli One (Arch St.) - classic greasy spoon Greek cafeteria operation - the mac-n-cheese, beef-n-mac and Greek salads are cheap, plentiful and quite decent in their own way.
- Falafel King at the Winter Street arcade - and you get the falafel dipped in hummus to snack on while your order is being put together.
I don't consider it gross or smelly, but it's certainly not going to win any awards for its ambiance, but I like the original Demo's in Watertown. The shishkebab is pretty good and you can't beat the prices. I also like the weird evening service where you place your order, sit down and then they find you and bring your meal to the table without using any numbers or anything.