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So-Gross-They're-Good Faves

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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  1. Aren't these places somewhat of the point of these boards? Maybe not gross, but certainly the unassuming type of places that wouldn't attract your average diner. I think Wai Wai in Chinatown epitomizes this concept.

    3 Replies
    1. re: kobuta

      yes yes yes!

      now I don't feel so guilty about my greasy cravings...

      1. re: tammyh

        I don't feel guilty about Wai Wai. They serve a delicious plate of rice and cooked duck/chicken/roast meat. They used to offer darn good noodle soups too. Their ginger-scallion sauce is so good.

        1. re: kobuta

          Just wish they would use a better quality white rice...otherwise it's a treat, right down to the unassuming ambiance.

    2. The original comment has been removed
      1. 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.

        1. 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.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Bob Dobalina

            Yes! to the Falafel King. Love the chicken kabob roll up. I long for the shish taouk sandwich at a Lebanese place called Nate's from my Cleveland days, and Falafel King's is the closest thing to satisfying my craving.

            1. re: MrsCheese

              I think Deli One took a huge turn for the worse when they moved from Kingston. Plus that part of Arch smells like piss. I avoided Chac there too until the other one closed.

          2. 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.

            1 Reply
            1. re: pemma

              I would add Pleasant Cafe in Roslindale and the Galway House in JP to the list RE decor and pretty good food with excellent value. GH is bad enough that I always get takeout.