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With Hilltop almost gone, what is now the most Iconic Boston Area Restaurant?

L2k Oct 15, 2013 09:05 AM

Not saying Hilltop was the most Iconic, but we are losing the old stalwarts.

I expect Kowloon or Union Oyster House or Parker House will be the most popular answer, but with Hilltop and Locke-Ober and Pier 4 gone what do you consider to be the most Iconic restaurant around?

  1. t
    teezeetoo Oct 15, 2013 09:16 AM

    Maybe Durgin Park?

    1. t
      treb Oct 15, 2013 09:20 AM

      Maybe Ken's Steakhouse, No Name, The Continental or
      Prince Pizza, not necessarily good.

      1. Boston_Otter Oct 15, 2013 09:33 AM

        I'd say either Durgin-Park or Legals.

        12 Replies
        1. re: Boston_Otter
          Allstonian Oct 15, 2013 09:50 AM

          The thing about Legal Seafood is that the name is "iconic Boston" but the original location is long gone. To me, at least, there's no current Legal's location that really fits the bill.

          I'd nominate Durgin-Park, Union Oyster House, or the Thacher Street Regina Pizzeria.

          1. re: Allstonian
            Boston_Otter Oct 15, 2013 10:03 AM

            I totally agree. It's like the old "fishcakes and baked beans" problem. Everyone from out of town thinks of Legal Seafood as the iconic Boston restaurant, but then they get here and realize oh, it's a chain, huh. And oh, I can't actually get fishcakes, baked beans, and brown bread anywhere?

            1. re: Boston_Otter
              nsenada Oct 15, 2013 07:10 PM

              Don't forget Indian Pudding

              1. re: Boston_Otter
                CapeCodGuy Oct 15, 2013 07:19 PM

                What Boston area do you eat in? There are TONS of places where one can order fish cakes and beans (cod cakes usually). That said, I can't name anywhere that serves that iconic dish that itself qualifies as such.

                1. re: CapeCodGuy
                  b
                  Bellachefa Oct 15, 2013 07:23 PM

                  I miss the disgusting gordon's cod cakes in a can. we would slice them in four and brown them in butter in a cast iron skillet and eat them on a Thomas' english muffin with Hellman's mayo.

                  1. re: CapeCodGuy
                    Boston_Otter Oct 16, 2013 05:56 AM

                    I'm in Camberville vicinity. I just remember a thread from last year where people were trying to actually find the classic dish of fishcakes/beans/brown bread and were having an extremely hard time finding it on the menu anywhere. I've only seen it at one restaurant myself, out on the Cape (Spanky's Clam Shack in Hyannis).

                    1. re: Boston_Otter
                      Allstonian Oct 16, 2013 06:16 AM

                      Yep - that's the issue. There are plenty of diners etc. that offer just about any combination of 2 out of the 3 - fish cakes + baked beans + brown bread. But there is hardly any place (and no place in the GBA) that has a plate with all 3 items.

                      (BTW, Boston_Otter - I think it was you who mentioned that Mandy & Joe's in Brighton Center has a liverwurst sandwich on the menu. Jenny Ondioline & I found ourselves lunching at the Agawam Diner up in Rowley this past weekend, and I was pleased to see that they, too, offer a liverwurst sandwich.)

                      1. re: Allstonian
                        h
                        hyde Oct 16, 2013 01:52 PM

                        actually it was me, im always looking for the triple (fishcakes/beans/brown bread) and its a rare bird,

                        It seems to be the brown bread that brings it down as i would take Pearl hot dog/beans/brown bread as a sub

                        More a tribute to The Big Guy, my father, who would live on this combo if he could, but hell, call me Ishmael.

                        1. re: hyde
                          b
                          Bellachefa Oct 16, 2013 01:54 PM

                          Ishmael

                2. re: Allstonian
                  opinionatedchef Oct 15, 2013 12:40 PM

                  yes.

                  1. re: Allstonian
                    u
                    uman Oct 16, 2013 02:00 PM

                    I would still say Legals...even if they aren't in their original location. Oldies but goodies remember the original place, and visitors and locals go there seeking old fashioned New England seafood.

                    1. re: uman
                      c
                      cambridgedoctpr Oct 18, 2013 01:07 PM

                      legals and cheers are boston for out-of-towners. For natives, that has to be settled be someone born and raised here.

                3. BostonZest Oct 15, 2013 09:46 AM

                  I have more questions than answers.

                  Does iconic have to mean so-so, unevolved food?

                  How old does a place have to be to rate iconic?

                  If iconic, as in representative of Boston, is that Boston back when or Boston today?

                  And, is that the Boston of Chowhounds or the Boston of the average Joe who just wants to go out to dinner?

                  Penny
                  http://www.bostonzest.com/

                  1. l
                    libertywharf Oct 15, 2013 10:11 AM

                    Even though local, legals has turned into a mass producing chain which I wouldn't consider iconic.
                    I think the Chart House has to be considered. It's been on a prime piece of real-estate for years and survived the big dig

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: libertywharf
                      g
                      Gabatta Oct 15, 2013 10:14 AM

                      The Chart House is a chain as well, with nearly 30 locations.

                      1. re: Gabatta
                        l
                        libertywharf Oct 15, 2013 10:43 AM

                        Ok, then I guess the chart house is out. But I still think of it when the way back conversation comes up and there's just the one in Boston.

                      2. re: libertywharf
                        Veggo Oct 15, 2013 10:15 AM

                        I don't think a national chain makes the cut as an iconic Boston restaurant finalist.

                      3. g
                        Gabatta Oct 15, 2013 10:18 AM

                        It's sad to say that there really aren't many iconic Boston restaurants left.

                        If pressed, I'd say L'Espalier (even in its new location) or Pizzeria Regina (NE original). No 9 Park is probably getting close. You could ague Durgin Park and Union Oyster House as well, but it's hard for me to sincerely name places where the food is middling.

                        13 Replies
                        1. re: Gabatta
                          Veggo Oct 15, 2013 10:31 AM

                          The iconic Boston restaurants, to the chagrin of many, is narrowing down to the old private clubs - Chilton, Union, Somerset, TCC.

                          1. re: Veggo
                            a
                            ac106 Oct 15, 2013 12:25 PM

                            I can't see how these are iconic, I have lived here all my life and don't know what any of them are.

                            1. re: ac106
                              trufflehound Oct 16, 2013 01:25 PM

                              If you haven't heard of them, your family hasn't been here long enough and doesn't have that kind of money.
                              What about the Algonquin?

                              1. re: trufflehound
                                CapeCodGuy Oct 16, 2013 01:29 PM

                                How do private clubs belong in a discussion of iconic Boston restaurants when over 99% of the public can't get into them? The Hasty Pudding Club would certainly qualify otherwise, but even though I've been there numerous times, it wouldn't be on my list because the average mook from Medford to Minneapolis can't eat there.

                                1. re: CapeCodGuy
                                  MC Slim JB Oct 16, 2013 01:43 PM

                                  Apparently, they are iconic to the people who have been here long enough and have that kind of money. The only problem with dining at them is that you have to endure the company of the members.

                                  http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                  1. re: MC Slim JB
                                    CapeCodGuy Oct 16, 2013 01:48 PM

                                    That....AND it the food!

                                  2. re: CapeCodGuy
                                    Veggo Oct 16, 2013 01:53 PM

                                    I'm public and I'm acquainted with all of them. I'm a skillful interloper..:) Food is good, especially at Somerset, and members at all of them are a hoot. Nice experiences over the last 40 years.

                                    1. re: Veggo
                                      CapeCodGuy Oct 16, 2013 01:56 PM

                                      I'll stick with world renown, ever-iconic, Mug n Muffin.

                                      1. re: CapeCodGuy
                                        Veggo Oct 16, 2013 02:00 PM

                                        Norwood is where it's at. When I lived in Westwood, which is dry, we had to go to Norwood for beer. And a muffin.

                                  3. re: trufflehound
                                    C. Hamster Oct 16, 2013 04:06 PM

                                    The Algonquin did not allow women to use the front door until the 1990's.

                                    A pox on them!

                                    1. re: C. Hamster
                                      hotoynoodle Oct 16, 2013 04:28 PM

                                      but you can wear pants to the ritz. :)

                              2. re: Gabatta
                                BostonZest Oct 15, 2013 12:34 PM

                                I would add Hamersley's Bistro to any list that includes the more modern, chef driven options. I believe it opened in 1987 and is still going strong.

                                1. re: Gabatta
                                  opinionatedchef Oct 15, 2013 12:50 PM

                                  i know what you mean about "middlin' "(and ones own taste), but i also am aware of quite a few visitor reports (sophisticated eaters included)that have included positive accounts of eating at DP and UOH. Like the recent British visitors who were very happy to have a ($17) salad at Steph's while watching and feeling part of that Newbury Street scene, there's something to be said for memorable visuals and ambience in the iconic places....

                                2. b
                                  Bellachefa Oct 15, 2013 10:40 AM

                                  No Name - for the chowder and location -nothing else.

                                  Durgin Park for the service, room and servicable food. Sadly as time goes by it is hard to replace the salty waitresses.

                                  Regina's North End - great pie and classic waitstaff

                                  Woodman's - why I often don't know - I'd rather eat across the street.

                                  Does Ken's Steak house remain old school? My mom worked there and at Duca's/Maridor back in the day.

                                  Newbridge Cafe - oh those steak/lamb tips and smothered chicken

                                  Santarpios for a garlic pie and grilled combo and iconic waitstaff.

                                  Mr and Mrs Bartleys - lime rickey (why is it no longer mrs.?why the name change?)

                                  Sullivans - Castle Island hot dog all around

                                  Never Union Oysfer House - that they preshuck oysters is unforgivable for an oyster house - no matter how historic.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Bellachefa
                                    m
                                    mmocpi Oct 17, 2013 06:49 PM

                                    Just went last Saturday to Ken's. It is old school, still. I had my onion roll, iceberg&tomato salad, and a very nice Queen cut prime rib. To top it off, an old school dessert = Baked Alaska. I enjoy taking the elders to this place, I have to say. It's replaced Pier 4 (which replaced Jimmy's Harborside) for me on the old school night out with the elders circuit.

                                  2. t
                                    Tucker23 Oct 15, 2013 10:57 AM

                                    Durgin Park or the Union Oyster House

                                    1. a
                                      antimony Oct 15, 2013 11:01 AM

                                      At opposite ends of the spectrum: Parker House and No Name. Those were the only two I'd heard of as a kid living outside Boston.

                                      1. a
                                        ac106 Oct 15, 2013 12:45 PM

                                        Interesting topic. Although, I do love arguing over minor details :)

                                        When you say "iconic" I associate that with at least a regionally but more likely nationally known place. That's why I don't really understand listing places like Woodmans, New Bridge or Prince Pizza. I don't think people on the South Shore or Worcester would have heard of them never mind nationally.

                                        So, maybe if it got noted by Michelin in the 1970s or mentioned by Zagat or Julia Child on PBS back in the day it could qualify.

                                        I guess you have to discount Legal as there isn't a historic flagship location. Since Ken's is in Framingham and most people probably only think its the name of salad dressing, I am going to disqualify that too. Chart House, no.

                                        I would say Durgin, Union, and maybe Regina.

                                        I don't think disappearing institutions is unique to Boston though. Bourdain did a whole episode on "Disappearing Manhattan" and has noted similar patterns in other cites (London comes mind)

                                        Hilltop didn't HAVE to fade into oblivion. It's not like it was per-ordained. The manager saying "people don't want big steaks anymore" is just flat out stupid considering the amount of steakhouses in Boston proper alone.

                                        They didn't adapt. They could have modernized their menu or embraced the kitschy old school vibe of the place, but increased the quality, ran a better bar program. Plus probably a million other things but they didn't and now they died.

                                        7 Replies
                                        1. re: ac106
                                          brandywiner Oct 15, 2013 01:23 PM

                                          FWIW, Woodman's is regularly written up in travel articles, especially NYC-based ones (e.g., NYT, New York magazine), and has been for a while. It's the best-known representative of a particular New England experience. (Whether it's the best representative is another argument entirely, though I admit to being a fan.)

                                          That said, I agree that Durgin Park, UOH, and Regina are probably closest to what the OP had in mind as Boston icons.

                                          Legal has a higher national profile than any of 'em, but, as stated, it doesn't have an original location to represent it, unlike, say, Pizzeria Uno in Chicago. (Which, ironically, has its headquarters in Boston!)

                                          1. re: brandywiner
                                            t
                                            treb Oct 15, 2013 03:48 PM

                                            I'd opt for The Clam Box over Woodman's, CB has been here since 1933.

                                            1. re: treb
                                              b
                                              Bellachefa Oct 15, 2013 03:57 PM

                                              Maybe for food quality, but a guy actually named Chubby invented the fried clam at Woodman's which whether or not it is a superior product, makes the establishment more 'iconic' imho

                                              1. re: treb
                                                c
                                                cambridgedoctpr Oct 18, 2013 01:10 PM

                                                i think of them more as part of the north shore than Boston itself.

                                            2. re: ac106
                                              Boston_Otter Oct 15, 2013 06:31 PM

                                              I imagine the really bad press around them being sued for skimming tips from their waitstaff didn't help, either.

                                              1. re: ac106
                                                CocoDan Oct 16, 2013 09:55 AM

                                                ac, Even though I agree with you regarding Woodman's and Prince Pizza not being iconic, I have to tell you that Quincy (which is the South Shore), had a Prince Pizza right next to the original Dunkin' Donuts, and right next to 7E's Clam Shack, which was the Quincy version of Woodman's. I would have to say that one of the last "icons" would be the North End's Regina Pizzaria.
                                                Enjoy,
                                                CocoDan

                                                1. re: CocoDan
                                                  d
                                                  devilham Oct 18, 2013 10:20 AM

                                                  I remember that pizza place from when I was a boy, it was right near the bowling alley my dad had a league at! I always wanted us to go because I liked the leaning tower (in fact, I thought the place was called The Leaning Tower of Pizza, what do you want, I was a kid) and we never did. Oh well *sigh*

                                              2. m
                                                marilu Oct 15, 2013 02:08 PM

                                                The Continental is in a time warp although not in a bad way. Their food is decent and some of their specials are quite good.

                                                I have never eaten in the dining room, only the bar. They still give you chicken wings, fritters (?), bean dip and popovers before the meal. Very old school, but charming in a way. The majority of servers seems like they have been there for quite some time.

                                                I wouldn't hesitate to go back there. Much better food than what the Hilltop offered, from what I hear, in the past few years.

                                                1. CapeCodGuy Oct 15, 2013 04:39 PM

                                                  I'm in the group that believes "iconic" doesn't mean "great food", but rather just by mere mention conjures up "Boston" . So chains don't count. Jimmy's Harbourside, Locke Ober, and Pier 4 used to be at the top of the list. Union Oyster House and Durgin Park certainly belong on that list. So does Top of the Hub, Regina's in the North End, and maybe No Name. If pressed, I name The Parker House as the most iconic of all.

                                                  1. C. Hamster Oct 15, 2013 07:14 PM

                                                    A cultural icon is an object that represents some aspect of the values, norms or ideals perceived to be inherent in a culture, or section of a culture

                                                    Because the definition doesn't = good food, I'd nominate Union Oyster House.

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: C. Hamster
                                                      g
                                                      Gabatta Oct 16, 2013 03:42 AM

                                                      If something doesn't = good food, does the discussion even belong here in the first place?

                                                      1. re: Gabatta
                                                        L2k Oct 16, 2013 06:26 AM

                                                        If people want to talk about it, I'd say "yes".

                                                    2. MC Slim JB Oct 15, 2013 11:09 PM

                                                      Please don't let the world think the Union Oyster House is an icon of Boston dining. It's a relic of a bygone age, an awful tourist trap whose one reason for existing, a decent first-floor raw bar that shucks to order, is thankfully no longer a novelty.

                                                      Maybe the problem is that "iconic" is synonymous with "long-running", and Boston doesn't have many places that have been around for more than 30 years that you'd willingly go to on your own without out-of-town visitors insisting on it.

                                                      Boston is a bit like London: lots of amazing history, but our culinary past is pretty awful. We've come a long way in the past 20 years, but the stuff before that is mostly kind of embarrassing.

                                                      http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                      7 Replies
                                                      1. re: MC Slim JB
                                                        C. Hamster Oct 16, 2013 06:03 AM

                                                        An "iconic" restaurant is about perception, not reality.

                                                        It doesn't necessarily have to serve good food.

                                                        Exhibit A: Hilltop itself.

                                                        I think Union Oyster and Durgin Park serve bad food but they are iconic in my book.

                                                        1. re: C. Hamster
                                                          MC Slim JB Oct 16, 2013 06:15 AM

                                                          Part of my problem is that I think that The Hilltop, Durgin-Park, and to a lesser extent Anthony's Pier 4 and the Union Oyster House all used to be significantly better, but an acquirer bought them or a second generation took over and milked profit from them by sharply dropping the quality.

                                                          Memory is a tricky thing here -- did the place really get that much worse, or is it that my tastes have changed? -- but I tend to believe lifelong fans of The Hilltop who never stopped going and noted the steep decline. Maybe we need to bound the status by time period -- "It was the cat's pajamas in the Seventies" -- as opposed to iconic for all time, especially for places that are still going.

                                                          http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                          1. re: MC Slim JB
                                                            u
                                                            Uncle Yabai Oct 16, 2013 06:20 AM

                                                            Good question. Did my palate evolve such that even if the Hilltop had maintained its mid-1980s standards (last time I went there with any regularity), I would say feh to it now?

                                                            I think the milieu (how'd you like that 10 cent word, huh?) made a difference. In college or graduate school, setting out in the world, doing "adult" things like going to the Hilltop as pretty much an event.

                                                            Looking at it objectively, I don't think the food was any good even back then, but the atmosphere, the dining companions, and the sense of boundless possibility just made things "taste" better, maybe.

                                                            Look what you've done, you've got me all misty-eyed, damnit.

                                                            1. re: Uncle Yabai
                                                              MC Slim JB Oct 16, 2013 06:26 AM

                                                              I also wonder how much the circus atmosphere, the enormous crowds that places like Anthony's and the Hilltop drew in their prime, and the attendant long waits might have colored my youthful perceptions. "This place is overrun: it must be good!"

                                                              I know better than to trust the wisdom of crowds now, but I imagine being caught up in the proverbial herd as a younger diner.

                                                              http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                              1. re: MC Slim JB
                                                                c
                                                                cambridgedoctpr Oct 18, 2013 01:14 PM

                                                                the wine list at Anthony's was stupendous in the 90s when i arrived while the food was serviceable. It was worth it just for the wine prices which were better than at Troquet.

                                                                1. re: cambridgedoctpr
                                                                  j
                                                                  jajjguy Oct 18, 2013 07:54 PM

                                                                  That was true right up until they closed, though you had to be choosier.

                                                              2. re: Uncle Yabai
                                                                StriperGuy Oct 16, 2013 06:40 AM

                                                                I went to the Saugus Hilltop a few times in the late 80s, early 90s after moving up here from NYC after college, and the food wasn't particularly any good in my book, steaks that they sometimes cooked well, sometimes didn't. Lobster pie that was a bit of a mess, sides that were sort of edible...

                                                                Maybe they went downhill a bit, but also the world of Boston food has come a LONG, LONG way.

                                                        2. Infomaniac Oct 16, 2013 03:54 AM

                                                          A different side of the story.

                                                          Hilltop was iconic because of Route 1 and their massive sign that people recognized who traveled that area of Route 1.

                                                          This goes back before Rte. 93 and Rte 95 where even built, as Route 1 was the main highway north and south of Boston.

                                                          That area of Route 1 made a lot of restaurants iconic, including Kowloon, Prince Pizza, Augustine's, Putnam Pantry, and although not a restaurant, The Green Apple (anybody remember that place). There are probably some I'm forgetting, but this area of Route 1 was developed, and you could pull off and get something to eat without getting off the the highway.

                                                          I remember summers as a kid in my dads car with no air conditioning, driving to visit relatives in Quincy from the Merrimack Valley, with the windows in the car down, and the smell of steak grilling as you past by Hilltop.

                                                          Hilltop was only iconic if you traveled that part of Route 1, and Union Oyster, Parker House, Regina's, Woodman's, and the like are iconic for a totally different reason, and what that reason is we can all have our own views.

                                                          5 Replies
                                                          1. re: Infomaniac
                                                            L2k Oct 16, 2013 06:27 AM

                                                            I'm going to guess Green Apple isn't related to a Golden (other fruit)?

                                                            1. re: L2k
                                                              Infomaniac Oct 16, 2013 07:19 AM

                                                              Green Apple was before my time but I think it went through stages as a jazz club, them Gentlemen's club, them who knows what.
                                                              The building and neon sign were very sketchy, and the parking lot never really looked like anyone was there.

                                                              1. re: Infomaniac
                                                                macca Oct 16, 2013 10:19 AM

                                                                Female Impersonators at the Green Apple!!

                                                              2. re: L2k
                                                                C. Hamster Oct 16, 2013 07:51 AM

                                                                The Golden Banana!!!!!

                                                              3. re: Infomaniac
                                                                b
                                                                Bloombee Oct 16, 2013 10:00 AM

                                                                I grew up in that area - so I would add the Ship and the Continental to that classic Route 1 string. many memories

                                                              4. hiddenboston Oct 16, 2013 06:55 AM

                                                                Probably Durgin-Park or the Union Oyster House. And Doyle's Cafe in JP is sneaking up there as all these other spots close.

                                                                7 Replies
                                                                1. re: hiddenboston
                                                                  h
                                                                  hazelhurst Oct 16, 2013 09:33 AM

                                                                  I'm glad you mentioned Doyle's since it is one of the few things has has barely changed since my time in the Commonwealth in the 1970's (which is probably why I vote "Eddie Coyle" the best Boston movie of all time). UOH has been there for so long I think it qualifies as iconic even if one cavils about the food. people of my generation wax sentimental about Emerson's in Randolph (getting "grogged") but it was far from an icon. DP must qualify. If they were still around I'd vote Jimmy's over Pier Four although I did have a perfect farewell lunch at the latter back in 2007. It was exactly what I wanted it to be,which is not to say that it was excellent.

                                                                  No Name lingers, too. But so much is gone I agree with the poster about the Clubs but even they have changed. And Doyles now sells Budweiser! Horrors!

                                                                  1. re: hazelhurst
                                                                    C. Hamster Oct 16, 2013 09:35 AM

                                                                    Doyles has tvs now too!

                                                                    1. re: C. Hamster
                                                                      h
                                                                      hazelhurst Oct 16, 2013 09:47 AM

                                                                      Oh, GOD!

                                                                      I knew we were on a long, historic downslope when the Mass Pike took the arrow out of the Pilgrim's hat.

                                                                    2. re: hazelhurst
                                                                      hotoynoodle Oct 16, 2013 04:09 PM

                                                                      if you're adding doyle's i'll toss in jacob wirth. 1868.

                                                                      1. re: hazelhurst
                                                                        u
                                                                        Uncle Yabai Oct 16, 2013 09:42 PM

                                                                        Eddie Coyle, what a great movie. Obligatory food/drink comment: Much of the movie was filmed at their hangout bar which used to be on Mass Ave between Newbury and Boylston, roughly where the Tower Records/Virgin/Best Buy/whatever in the Michael Graves building is now.

                                                                        1. re: Uncle Yabai
                                                                          MC Slim JB Oct 17, 2013 05:55 AM

                                                                          I love that movie, too, and just reread the novel, which accounts for the film's gritty, authentic feel: most of the film's dialog was directly lifted from the book's pages. Mitchum's Boston accent is impressive.

                                                                          The Newbury Street bar was the Kentucky Tavern. I don't remember it, but local dive-bar historians like Brother Cleve do, and fondly.

                                                                          http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                                          1. re: MC Slim JB
                                                                            h
                                                                            hazelhurst Oct 17, 2013 08:50 AM

                                                                            I recall it very well and practically cry when I pass by visiting town.

                                                                            We used to see GV Higgins holding court in Locke-Ober. he was a hoot.

                                                                    3. b
                                                                      Bellachefa Oct 16, 2013 08:30 AM

                                                                      Hilltop and Union are apples and oranges in any definition of iconic. Therefore the torch could not be possibly be passed to Union.

                                                                      Union is purely an international tourist trap destination. I don't know a single person who would walk thru the doors of Union unless they were forced by an out of town guest - for at least the passed 20 years. (I just looked at over 300 pictures posted on yelp and not a single one looked edible)

                                                                      Is there a local chowhound amongst us who has voluntarily visited Union a couple of times in the past year?

                                                                      Suburbanites will come to Boston on the weekends and will still go to Durgin, would still go to Jimmy's or Anthony's Pier 4 as part of their local adventure of exploring the city or shopping at Haymarket. In the fall a road trip to pick apples and have a banana split at Kimballs. That's what Hilltop was. An adventure to be part of a cattle call. And sometimes we would take out of town guests there. And some people actually liked the iceburg salad and dressing.

                                                                      Union may be iconic to the tourism board, but as far as the residents of the greater boston area for the past few decades and beyond

                                                                      They are apples and oranges.

                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Bellachefa
                                                                        Veggo Oct 16, 2013 08:57 AM

                                                                        Must the pleasures of an iconic restaurant be confined to locals? Many out of territory travelers get a real thrill putting their elbows on the bar at UOH, with it's rich history.

                                                                        1. re: Veggo
                                                                          StriperGuy Oct 16, 2013 09:09 AM

                                                                          Agreed.

                                                                          1. re: Veggo
                                                                            MC Slim JB Oct 16, 2013 09:22 AM

                                                                            Looks to me like many of the places we might call iconic are ancient tourist traps well past their prime. I don't know how you avoid that: old is old, after all. But I'm crossing my fingers that visitors look past the icons, which all date from an era before our local cuisine was very interesting or well-prepared, and often don't even represent their native eras as well as they used to.

                                                                            I think the Lydia-era Locke-Ober was about as good a Boston restaurant icon as we ever got: she shined up the gorgeous trappings and updated the menu enough to take it out of fly-in-amber status while leaving a few historic dishes untouched. Really a shame it's gone.

                                                                            While the food is pretty meh these days, I kind of like the idea of Doyle's Cafe as an icon. It's historic, an Irish pols' hangout, an original among Boston's countless cliched Irish-American taverns. There are a few that escape phoniness that way (J.J. Foley's Cafe in the South End comes to mind), but you could make the case for Doyle's as the archetype.

                                                                            http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                                            1. re: MC Slim JB
                                                                              CapeCodGuy Oct 16, 2013 10:02 AM

                                                                              I put Doyle's on par with Kelley's Roast Beef (the orig. in Revere) and would not consider either iconic because, although they are institutions for locals, most outside of Boston have ever heard of them. Whereas many know of The Parker House, famous for their namesake rolls, Boston Cream Pie, and baked schrod, each an iconic food IMHO.

                                                                              1. re: CapeCodGuy
                                                                                l
                                                                                LeoLioness Oct 16, 2013 10:16 AM

                                                                                Very good distinction, between "iconic" and "institution". I'd argue that Cheers is "iconic", though hardly an institution.

                                                                              2. re: MC Slim JB
                                                                                BostonZest Oct 16, 2013 10:03 AM

                                                                                I haven't been to either in a while. Must get to Foley's every so often.

                                                                          2. trufflehound Oct 16, 2013 01:30 PM

                                                                            I'll add the Pleasant Café in Rossie, Mug n Muffin in Norwood, and Wayside Inn in Sudbury.

                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                            1. re: trufflehound
                                                                              CapeCodGuy Oct 16, 2013 01:49 PM

                                                                              As iconic ? Really? WTF is Mug n Muffin?

                                                                              1. re: CapeCodGuy
                                                                                hotoynoodle Oct 16, 2013 04:26 PM

                                                                                haven't heard of any of those either.

                                                                                1. re: hotoynoodle
                                                                                  c
                                                                                  catsmeow Oct 16, 2013 05:22 PM

                                                                                  Mug and Muffin...now that brings back memories! Never been to the one in Norwood.

                                                                                  1. re: hotoynoodle
                                                                                    Gio Oct 17, 2013 08:40 AM

                                                                                    You've never heard of the Longfellow's Wayside Inn? 'Course you have!

                                                                                    http://www.wayside.org/

                                                                                    1. re: hotoynoodle
                                                                                      d
                                                                                      devilham Oct 18, 2013 10:41 AM

                                                                                      Never heard of the Pleasant Cafe in Roslindale??!!?? It's not amazing food, but the decor is like walking into a time machine, my grandfather and my uncles would drink there back in the day (50's and 60's). It's not destination dining, but people love there pizza (I just think it's okay, but whatevs), and I have said before on these boards that the fried clams are a hidden gem, if not as pricey as a gem!

                                                                                      1. re: devilham
                                                                                        Science Chick Oct 22, 2013 10:23 AM

                                                                                        +1

                                                                                2. c
                                                                                  catsmeow Oct 16, 2013 04:23 PM

                                                                                  There's always Amrheins in Soutie.

                                                                                  16 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: catsmeow
                                                                                    CapeCodGuy Oct 16, 2013 05:37 PM

                                                                                    I think people need to look up "Iconic" in the dictionary.

                                                                                    1. re: CapeCodGuy
                                                                                      b
                                                                                      Bellachefa Oct 16, 2013 05:48 PM

                                                                                      Blinstrub's was iconic back in the day! Amhreins? not so much. imho

                                                                                      1. re: Bellachefa
                                                                                        CapeCodGuy Oct 16, 2013 05:56 PM

                                                                                        iconic
                                                                                        adjective
                                                                                        › very famous or popular, especially being considered to represent particular opinions or a particular time:

                                                                                        1. re: CapeCodGuy
                                                                                          b
                                                                                          Bellachefa Oct 16, 2013 06:08 PM

                                                                                          ?????

                                                                                          If Blinstrub's wasn't iconic, I don't know what you would suggest?

                                                                                          http://billrrrr.hubpages.com/hub/Judy...

                                                                                          1. re: Bellachefa
                                                                                            CapeCodGuy Oct 16, 2013 06:20 PM

                                                                                            Well, color me 'edumacated'.

                                                                                            You have a fair point although I think, compared to someplace like The Parker House or Durgin Park, Blintstrub's is relatively unknown to middle America. But you could talk me out of it!

                                                                                            1. re: CapeCodGuy
                                                                                              hotoynoodle Oct 16, 2013 06:23 PM

                                                                                              i've lived in boston since 1981 and this is the 1st time i've heard of blinstrub's.

                                                                                              1. re: hotoynoodle
                                                                                                CapeCodGuy Oct 16, 2013 07:16 PM

                                                                                                Thanks for posting. Now I feel less ignorant. I've lived in the Boston area since 1958 and it was news to me also.

                                                                                                1. re: CapeCodGuy
                                                                                                  b
                                                                                                  Bellachefa Oct 17, 2013 06:22 AM

                                                                                                  This is pretty interesting in case you want to educamate yerself som moa of an old icon lost. I only know about it from the older set of friends and family who frequented it.

                                                                                                  http://blinstrubas.com/blinstrubsclub...

                                                                                                  1. re: CapeCodGuy
                                                                                                    Gio Oct 17, 2013 08:54 AM

                                                                                                    I've lived in the Boston area all my life and we had our high school "after prom" dinner at Blinstrubs. A little bit before your time, though. Simply put, an icon is a symbol. So in that sense I suppose Blinstrub's could possibly be referred to as an icon, but not now. Only Then.

                                                                                                2. re: CapeCodGuy
                                                                                                  Veggo Oct 16, 2013 06:23 PM

                                                                                                  R.I.P. Buzzy's. It was iconic. Those drunkards who successfully navigated the Grand Prix turns of Storrow Drive after closing time at the bars for a knish and RB sandwich without getting killed or caught (credit to J.J. Walker) are retiring now with good memories. Include me in.

                                                                                                  1. re: Veggo
                                                                                                    hotoynoodle Oct 16, 2013 06:29 PM

                                                                                                    BUZZY'S!! good call.

                                                                                                    the owner of buzzy's cashed out for a small mint to dick friedman so the latter could build the liberty hotel.

                                                                                                    one sommelier job i had, that buzzy's owner brought screaming eagle to a very special collectors' dinner. 1st time i got to try it. he holds a special place in my heart even if the wine wasn't "all that".

                                                                                                    1. re: hotoynoodle
                                                                                                      u
                                                                                                      Uncle Yabai Oct 16, 2013 09:47 PM

                                                                                                      Buzzy's and Hilltop, they were on regular rotation back in the day for me. On odd days it would be a pizza from Pizzeria Uno in Harvard Square, which was one of the first outside of Chicago, so it was different back then. Then upscaled into Division 16 (a minute of silence for the best burger in town, evah).

                                                                                                      Nowadays, I would probably kill myself in 6 weeks with that rotation, so it's more Emma's salads and sandwiches for me when I'm feeling the need for grease. Or a High Price sausage sandwich. Or maybe a Pinocchio's cheesesteak, with all the trimmings.

                                                                                                      1. re: Uncle Yabai
                                                                                                        h
                                                                                                        hyde Oct 17, 2013 06:18 PM

                                                                                                        Division 16 burger was great but i will go to my grave defending the one at Tims Tavern as the best ever.

                                                                                                        1. re: hyde
                                                                                                          StriperGuy Oct 17, 2013 07:07 PM

                                                                                                          I'm with you, sob, I miss Tim's.

                                                                                                          1. re: StriperGuy
                                                                                                            MC Slim JB Oct 17, 2013 07:24 PM

                                                                                                            And it was a great ancient neighborhood bar. Watching the Quencher close causes similar pangs. They're not making 'em like that anymore.

                                                                                                            http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                                                                3. re: Bellachefa
                                                                                                  Small Plates Oct 17, 2013 06:22 AM

                                                                                                  Blinny's was awesome!

                                                                                        2. 9
                                                                                          9lives Oct 16, 2013 06:15 PM

                                                                                          Cafe Marliave deserves a mention. Though not open continuously the whole time, they did open in 1875.

                                                                                          Though the original is long gone, Legal Sea Food is probably one of Boston's best known

                                                                                          I don't think it's necessary to be among the city's best restaurants to be "iconic." In NYC, I'd guess that Tavern on the Green would be considered by many to be iconic.

                                                                                          7 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: 9lives
                                                                                            Veggo Oct 16, 2013 06:20 PM

                                                                                            Tavern on the Green was indeed iconic. I enjoy Legal in many cities, but I think iconic requires more history to qualify.

                                                                                            1. re: Veggo
                                                                                              Veggo Oct 17, 2013 05:01 AM

                                                                                              P.S. - Any restaurant in a mall, e.g. Legal in Chestnut Hill, will never be called "iconic"...:) Good food, though.

                                                                                            2. re: 9lives
                                                                                              c oliver Oct 16, 2013 09:33 PM

                                                                                              Since Legal Sea Food started in Boston over a hundred years ago I think it definitely qualifies as "iconic"

                                                                                              1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                c
                                                                                                chompie Oct 16, 2013 10:02 PM

                                                                                                anyone remember the Russian Tea House? I think Prince will have to take over for the Hilltop spot as iconic Rte 1 or the orange dinosaur mini golf, but that's not really food... The Ship is another iconic landmark on Rte 1 although its changed owners so many times and I have no idea how the latest incarnation is.. Having grown up in Metro West , I don't think that area has ever had an icon besides Kens, which I actually never ate at, although Joan and Eds and Ho Jos may have qualified as minor icons if they still existed..

                                                                                                1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                  Science Chick Oct 17, 2013 07:33 AM

                                                                                                  Legal Sea Food did not open over a hundred years ago. There was a "Legal Stamp Market" grocer owned by the Berkowitz family, which was not a fish market. The Legal Sea Food market opened in 1950, and the original restaurant opened in 1968.

                                                                                                  1. re: Science Chick
                                                                                                    Veggo Oct 17, 2013 07:40 AM

                                                                                                    Thank you, SC.

                                                                                                    1. re: Science Chick
                                                                                                      c oliver Oct 17, 2013 08:35 AM

                                                                                                      Sorry. I was over-connecting the dots :) I'd still say that something that age that's still in business is pretty iconic.

                                                                                                      http://www.legalseafoods.com/About-Re...

                                                                                                2. p
                                                                                                  pappabear Oct 17, 2013 03:23 AM

                                                                                                  In its heyday Hilltop defined who we are - as opposed to who we were, what others had pigeonholed us as, or who we aspired to be. The Chateau currently fits this bill.

                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: pappabear
                                                                                                    StriperGuy Oct 17, 2013 07:15 AM

                                                                                                    Well said.

                                                                                                    1. re: pappabear
                                                                                                      Science Chick Oct 17, 2013 07:35 AM

                                                                                                      Yes, this translates well to the true meaning of iconic. Prior to their chain-like globalization, I believe Legal's may well have fit that definition as well. Now....not so much.

                                                                                                    2. StriperGuy Oct 17, 2013 07:47 AM

                                                                                                      Personally I think it is not about the food in the end.

                                                                                                      Union Oyster House is a crappy tourist trap, but it is also (I think some debate this) America's Oldest Restaurant, and the look and feel give you some nice old Boston vibe. The food sucks, I know this is chowhound, but in this particular case you are talking about a cultural institution, historic location, tourist destination that happens to serve (crappy) food. I don't think I've ever even had more than a beer there, but I certainly consider it a living icon of Boston culture and history. I'm glad it exists, I just choose not to eat there.

                                                                                                      I would put Durgin Park also in a similar sphere though some of the chow used to be at least passable, and I have eaten there long ago.

                                                                                                      22 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: StriperGuy
                                                                                                        t
                                                                                                        treb Oct 17, 2013 09:14 AM

                                                                                                        Well stated.

                                                                                                        1. re: StriperGuy
                                                                                                          CapeCodGuy Oct 17, 2013 10:25 AM

                                                                                                          Exactly, and I agree with both choices to be at the top of anyone's list as iconic Boston restaurants. I would add The Parker House for the very same reasons. To me 'iconic', in this context at least, means that you can mention the name to nearly anyone across this country and the name connotes "Boston". IMo far too many of the places mentioned here have been local institutions perhaps, but not fittingly called iconic.

                                                                                                          1. re: CapeCodGuy
                                                                                                            t
                                                                                                            treb Oct 17, 2013 03:16 PM

                                                                                                            One plus for Parker House, the Parker House Rolls and Boston Cream are are still great.

                                                                                                          2. re: StriperGuy
                                                                                                            r
                                                                                                            redips Oct 18, 2013 04:55 PM

                                                                                                            How would you know the food sucks if you've never had more than a beer there?

                                                                                                            1. re: redips
                                                                                                              StriperGuy Oct 18, 2013 05:04 PM

                                                                                                              Countless, countless reports from hounds I trust and admire, ain't that the point of this whole thing.

                                                                                                              1. re: redips
                                                                                                                C. Hamster Oct 18, 2013 05:17 PM

                                                                                                                The food us horrible . The beer is cold

                                                                                                                This is a universal truth.

                                                                                                                1. re: C. Hamster
                                                                                                                  StriperGuy Oct 18, 2013 05:53 PM

                                                                                                                  Thank you, I knew that to be true before CH even existed.

                                                                                                                  1. re: C. Hamster
                                                                                                                    CapeCodGuy Oct 18, 2013 07:10 PM

                                                                                                                    I too have only had a cold beer and some acceptable, yet pricey, raw bar there, but honestly, how bad can a plate of fried sea scallops or scrod actually be? I'll give you that $22-$25 is borderline criminal, but is it really that lousy? Sometimes I think certain places get piled on because that's the fashionable thing to so here at Chowhound. Just like everyone is "supposed" to be enamored with Neptune Oyster. (which on my admittedly limited sampling is severely overrated)

                                                                                                                    1. re: CapeCodGuy
                                                                                                                      StriperGuy Oct 18, 2013 07:47 PM

                                                                                                                      Sorry disagree, you can really screw up fried food, I had some fried clams at Legal in the Pru that were so oily soggy I couldn't eat them.

                                                                                                                      1. re: StriperGuy
                                                                                                                        hotoynoodle Oct 18, 2013 07:50 PM

                                                                                                                        ever walk by a place and smell the rancid oil from outside?

                                                                                                                        <<shudder>>

                                                                                                                        1. re: StriperGuy
                                                                                                                          brandywiner Oct 18, 2013 07:54 PM

                                                                                                                          I can top that. I once ordered fried haddock at a seafood restaurant/market (not in Mass.), and was served exactly that. Fried. Haddock. No coating, batter, or anything else. The cook apparently though you just dropped the filets in the fryer like french fries!

                                                                                                                          1. re: StriperGuy
                                                                                                                            C. Hamster Oct 19, 2013 05:05 PM

                                                                                                                            The Legal at the Pru is a training restaurant. avoid it!

                                                                                                                          2. re: CapeCodGuy
                                                                                                                            9
                                                                                                                            9lives Oct 19, 2013 04:38 AM

                                                                                                                            I am not interested in theories of CH having "fashionable" or "piling on" with certain restaurants.

                                                                                                                            The fact is that fried fish is limited by the quality of the fish that you start with.

                                                                                                                            How bad can it be? Being that you are on Cape Cod, you have to know that some scallops or scrod are right off the boat and are consumed a short time later. Some fish tends to be served in not as timely a fashion. Delicate, white fish is or bluefish are particularly sensitive to freshness. Tuna, if properly maintained has a better shelf life.

                                                                                                                            Mention and UOH both serve cod. I ok now they don't start with the same quality fish.

                                                                                                                            I've had some really good fried fish.perfectly flaky fish, not oily and crisp crust. I've also had soggy, oily batter with just a slight off taste or overcooked fish, likely to try to mask the less than pristine fish.

                                                                                                                            1. re: 9lives
                                                                                                                              CapeCodGuy Oct 19, 2013 07:22 AM

                                                                                                                              So educate me then in how the fish quality or prep at UOH is lacking, as all you've said is somehow "you know" they don't use a high quality cod.

                                                                                                                              My "piling on" comment relates to the fact that although I've seen dozens of posts calling out UOH, as horrendous, I've yet to read even one specific comment actually describing someone's personal experience eating the food. Your's included.

                                                                                                                              I certainly understand the difference between fresh and not fresh seafood (although I'd shoot any cook that tried to batter fry bluefish, fresh or otherwise), but it is reasonable to assume fresh product when eating at any place that does a brisk business. I specifically mentioned fried cod or scallops as, being on the Cape, those are two relatively safe choices here, even in the most dreadful of places. And we certainly have our fair share of those. It's difficult to make oily and soggy fish as even the most unskilled cook can usually work the fryolator. Both conditions can only occur when the oil isn't hot enough. I have a hard time believing that a place with such a small menu, where 50% is fried, doesn't have it's deep fryers up to heat.

                                                                                                                              You may not be interested theories. Well, I'm not interested in conjecture and generalities.

                                                                                                                              1. re: CapeCodGuy
                                                                                                                                StriperGuy Oct 19, 2013 07:30 AM

                                                                                                                                I bread and fry bluefish at home, but only super fresh if I catch it myself, awesome stuff actually. And sorry I totally disagree, in my experience more places wreck a fry job then those that consistently get it right.

                                                                                                                                1. re: StriperGuy
                                                                                                                                  CapeCodGuy Oct 19, 2013 07:36 AM

                                                                                                                                  I understand. And perhaps I am blessed having so many places locally where frying is all they do, so they do it right consistently. But I hate to read bash after bash after bash, with no specifics to back it up. That's the real point. While it may indeed be true, but until I read "I ate at UOH, had the XXX and it was lousy because...", it will seem like piling on.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: CapeCodGuy
                                                                                                                                    Veggo Oct 19, 2013 07:40 AM

                                                                                                                                    About 40 years ago, a friendly shucker at UOH suggested a very old-school way of enjoying oysters, with just a little salt and white vinegar. I still often enjoy them that way.

                                                                                                                                  2. re: StriperGuy
                                                                                                                                    b
                                                                                                                                    Bellachefa Oct 19, 2013 07:49 AM

                                                                                                                                    please call me when the blues are running! It is one of my favorite fish I was introduced to while waitressing in Woods Hole back in the day. When it's good and jumped out of the water, it is the best! I would love to try it fried. The best I ever had was tossed to us by a fisherman in the harbor which we grilled on a hibachi and ate with our fingers!

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Bellachefa
                                                                                                                                      Veggo Oct 19, 2013 07:54 AM

                                                                                                                                      I think their best eating size is July-August, when they are about 3-4 pounds.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Bellachefa
                                                                                                                                        StriperGuy Oct 19, 2013 08:07 AM

                                                                                                                                        My fishing is a bit limited as I have two kids under the age of three... When they are a little older...

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Bellachefa
                                                                                                                                          m
                                                                                                                                          mvi Oct 19, 2013 08:31 AM

                                                                                                                                          Love bluefish and had similar experiences, but we were on Nantucket. Every August. The best fish when it is right off the boat. We grilled it, as well, often right on the beach as the sun went down. A little lemon, sometimes a little mayo and a tweak of celery salt. Nothing finer.

                                                                                                                                      2. re: CapeCodGuy
                                                                                                                                        9
                                                                                                                                        9lives Oct 19, 2013 09:54 AM

                                                                                                                                        You are the one who has theories about piling on and CH faves, not me.

                                                                                                                                        I have eaten at UOH in the dining room several times when work functions required it. Wasn't' recently but I remember soggy fried clams. A broiled scrod was "acceptable" which is the same way you described your meal. I happen to enjoy the original oyster bar, where the oysters are shucked to order..as opposed to the dr, where they are pre shucked.

                                                                                                                                        As to the quality of the cod, the best cod is expensive and commands a premium price. Without specifics of UOH, do you think that any generic faux Irish bar in Fanieul hall is selling the same cod as the best restaurants like Clio or 9 park,le bernardin? Same scallops?

                                                                                                                                        With that said, because of it's great history and my feeling that to be "iconic" does not require great food, I consider UOH and DP rot be iconic.

                                                                                                                                        Gotta run, my fresh tuna tartare is at the perfect temp..;)

                                                                                                                            2. enhF94 Oct 17, 2013 07:45 PM

                                                                                                                              Windsor Café, where B-Side Lounge used to be?

                                                                                                                              Okay, not iconic - but maybe well-loved in its day.

                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: enhF94
                                                                                                                                MC Slim JB Oct 18, 2013 06:38 AM

                                                                                                                                "The best place in Cambridge to get an eight-ball and a stab wound." The Windsor was terrifying, and I only wandered in once, in daylight.

                                                                                                                                http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                                                                                                1. re: MC Slim JB
                                                                                                                                  c
                                                                                                                                  CportJ Oct 18, 2013 02:50 PM

                                                                                                                                  One of Cambridge's most iconic, maybe, along with The Tasty, Wurst Haus, and Nick's Beef and Beer House. Now, probably Mr. Bartley's. Cantab serves a burger greasy enough to remind me of The Tasty.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: CportJ
                                                                                                                                    jgg13 Oct 18, 2013 10:52 PM

                                                                                                                                    When did the Cantab start serving food again?

                                                                                                                                    Not too long after the folks from Tims moved in (ie the burgers) they shut down the food service. This was a few years back now, so perhaps they've returned food?

                                                                                                                              2. r
                                                                                                                                rich patina Oct 18, 2013 06:11 AM

                                                                                                                                Kelly's roast beef. iconic, regional and pretty damn good.

                                                                                                                                1. hotoynoodle Oct 18, 2013 07:03 AM

                                                                                                                                  http://boston.com/news/local/massachu...

                                                                                                                                  stuff is getting swiped from hilltop and put out on e-bay!

                                                                                                                                  1. d
                                                                                                                                    drewinmrblhd Oct 18, 2013 11:32 AM

                                                                                                                                    Parker House?

                                                                                                                                    1. m
                                                                                                                                      mvi Oct 18, 2013 02:29 PM

                                                                                                                                      I do not know if iconic is always defined as something really old, but I do know that in addition to the places mentioned already, my out of town visitors always want to go to Neptune Oyster, Eastern Standard, Craigie on Main and No. 9 Park. They also want to try the food trucks. New icons?

                                                                                                                                      I try protect them from Cheers, Durgin Park and Union Oyster House, but a couple have sneaked out of my place to give them a go.

                                                                                                                                      1. Gio Oct 18, 2013 04:10 PM

                                                                                                                                        In my mind Iconic means different things to different people.

                                                                                                                                        Iconic in what sense? Longevity, ethnicity, historical, location?
                                                                                                                                        Iconic to whom? The country, visitors, neighborhoods, natives?
                                                                                                                                        Iconic for what? Food, service?

                                                                                                                                        With these questions in mind I think it's almost impossible to name a truly iconic Boston restaurant. We have such a diverse population the demographics of which change rapidly. Is there really a restaurant that represents Boston cuisine given that an icon is a symbol/representation?

                                                                                                                                        1. MC Slim JB Oct 18, 2013 10:18 PM

                                                                                                                                          The iconic places inarguably have history, pop culture, and colloquial quirkiness on their side. Malcolm X, Ho Chi Minh, Daniel Webster, Sam and Diane, Eddie Coyle. .

                                                                                                                                          The original batter-fried steamer clam! That roast beef sandwich with a side of seagulls pecking at your fries! Two ancient pizza places deemed the old-school best! The chowder eaten by five recent Presidents!

                                                                                                                                          Don't know about you, but I'm mostly trying to talk visitors out of these places. I will grant you their iconic status -- just please don't make me eat at most of them.

                                                                                                                                          http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                                                                                                          1. hotoynoodle Oct 19, 2013 05:54 AM

                                                                                                                                            as an aside, i'd like to thank the mods for not scrubbing this thread. we're not generally allowed a stroll down memory lane.

                                                                                                                                            10 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: hotoynoodle
                                                                                                                                              The Chowhound Team Oct 19, 2013 06:02 AM

                                                                                                                                              We're happy to take the thanks but we did make a policy change a while back to allow posts about dearly departed restaurants even if they aren't relevant to the current chow scene. So if you've been dying to reminisce about Buzzy's, The Tasty, or Deli Haus, it's fair game.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: The Chowhound Team
                                                                                                                                                hotoynoodle Oct 19, 2013 06:28 AM

                                                                                                                                                so can we start a thread about which of the dearly departed was the dirtiest? ;O

                                                                                                                                                1. re: hotoynoodle
                                                                                                                                                  Veggo Oct 19, 2013 06:33 AM

                                                                                                                                                  I thought we could leave the Combat Zone out of this....:)

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Veggo
                                                                                                                                                    hotoynoodle Oct 19, 2013 06:37 AM

                                                                                                                                                    i didn't know harry's served food.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: hotoynoodle
                                                                                                                                                      Veggo Oct 19, 2013 06:50 AM

                                                                                                                                                      In the Combat Zone, beer counted as food.

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: hotoynoodle
                                                                                                                                                    h
                                                                                                                                                    hyde Oct 19, 2013 06:40 AM

                                                                                                                                                    Buzzy's was a true pit backstage but actually after visiting the bathrooms and getting a quick tour of the kitchen at China Pearl about 20 years ago, I returned to the table informed my wife that we were leaving and I have never returned.

                                                                                                                                                  3. re: The Chowhound Team
                                                                                                                                                    C. Hamster Oct 19, 2013 05:03 PM

                                                                                                                                                    OMG!!

                                                                                                                                                    Deli Haus!!

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: C. Hamster
                                                                                                                                                      k
                                                                                                                                                      kimfair1 Oct 21, 2013 10:43 AM

                                                                                                                                                      Now that's a name I haven't heard in a long while.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: C. Hamster
                                                                                                                                                        nsenada Oct 21, 2013 12:07 PM

                                                                                                                                                        Many fuzzy memories of Deli Haus. A friend of mine remarked after taking a bite out of a petrified potato pancake, "I thought I ordered them boneless."

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: nsenada
                                                                                                                                                          StriperGuy Oct 21, 2013 12:24 PM

                                                                                                                                                          LOL, awesome.

                                                                                                                                                  4. g
                                                                                                                                                    grant.cook Oct 21, 2013 02:10 PM

                                                                                                                                                    Jimmy's Steer House, Arlington, MA

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