Trying to do my part for the old school joints, Boston area 2019

this was a post about old restaurants


I understand the general notion of trying to suppory local, non-chain restaurants. At the same time just because a restaurant is around for a long time (and locally owned) doesn’t make it automatically worth supporting. In my opinion in any business it most of the time only matters if the final product is good and competitive. If a restaurant can’t deliver a good product anymore, even if it exists for a long time and it is locally owned, perhaps it is fine and perfectly normal that is goes out of business. I just found it quite odd that you listed a number of restaurants where you already wriote that the food will be bad - so why support them at all and not locally owned restaurants who actually deliver great products even if they might have opened very recently.

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The title of the thread is broad enough to allow un-famous (not infamous) restaurants that have been around a long time.

Let me then softly sing the praises of Andy’s diner at 2030 Mass Ave (roughly across the street from the old elephant walk). It’s literally a greasy spoon joint (and greasy tables and dingy bathrooms). But the food is surprisingly tasty, at times. They don’t always have corned beef hash, but when they do it’s usually better than most (especially the version at Deluxe Town Diner in Watertown). Their St. Patrick’s Day corned beef and cabbage package has also been decent the 3 or 4 times I’ve had it. Their cook (“chef”?) and waitress (the singular is deliberate) have been there for well over a decade, and I think it’s a good place to support.

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Trying to think of some other places for you. Perhaps twin lobsters at the Mt. Vernon? Franks Steak house in North Cambridge; Amrhiens’s; Billy Tse?

I can comment on a few of the places on your list:

  • Winthrop Arms: I actually love this place. It reminds me of dinner out with my family when I was very young; rolls & butter and all. It is quite warm in that way. My in laws love it because salad is included with the entrees. Need to get back there soon.
  • Union Oyster House: oysters at the raw bar are fine. everything else is pretty mediocre. the owners are not hurting in any way, so don’t go there out of charity.
  • New Bridge: The food has really gone downhill. Steak tips were inedibly chewy on our past few visits.

but it’s not any more.

This is a discussion board and that doesn’t mean every topic/action has to be agreed on and seen as worth supporting. If you don’t like any discussion about a topic why post about it all ?


Let’s look at your review:
greasy tables
dingy bathrooms
inconsistency: 'surprisingly tasty, at times"
Food is only “decent”

This place sounds terrible. Yet you’re trying to make a case for it to exist? I’d hate to see your review for a place you dislike.

It’s your right, of course, to only pick out the bits from what I said to prove the point you want to make, whatever that may be, but I do seem to think I said that their corned beef hash is usually better than most, and that their St. P day corned beef and cabbage package has been decent. As I said at the start of my comments , I was only softly singing the praises of Andy’s.

Is it worth writing about places that have some modest strengths, but also weaknesses? In my view, yes, especially if they’ve been around a long time. As should have been obvious, Andy’s is a local community kind of place – because the cook and waitress have been there a long time, they know many of their customers by name, and there’s a degree of comfort that comes from these familiarities. To me that’s part of the charm of a place. To you it may not be. But you’ve gained something out of my review after all – you know you should not go there. Otherwise – the horror! – you might have wandered in by mistake and had to deal with ordinary people.


FWIW, I have a soft spot for community eateries, especially the long-standing ones. While some can be uneven and perhaps rough around the edges, they bring soul to the neighborhoods where they are.

I’m thinking: Diners. Sandwich shops. Sports bars that serve decent chow. Old-school restaurants where nothing will never, ever have the trendy moniker of “bowl,” even when said menu item is soup, stew, or chili.


I had my biennial encounter with Andy’s corned beef plate today. I usually have it there around St. Patrick’s, but it was on the menu as a special today, listed uninvitingly as “boiled dinner.” Despite the description, it was very, very good – the best I’ve had there, and as good as anything similar I’ve had anywhere else.


The meat was tender and had nice fatty streaks, but it was the vegetables that were really impressive. There were beets, partially hidden at 10–11 o’clock, potatoes from midnight to 2, cabbage at 4, carrots at 5:30 (almost completely hidden), and turnips from 7 to 9. Every vegetable was perfectly cooked and salted, neither too hard nor too mushy. They must each have been steamed separately. The cook at Andy’s clearly took great care with this, and must be applauded. A little spicy mustard and it made a very satisfying meal – enough for lunch, and with leftovers that we shared (along with other stuff) at dinner.

Price, you ask? A princely $9.65.


An inquiring mind wants to know: Where is Andy’s?

Ah, ye with inquiring minds might also consider adding to thy repertoire some scrolling fingers. (And I say that, I hope you know, with affection and respect.) From upthread

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What is this scrolling of which you speak? :wink: Thank you for the answer, which I missed upthread!

It’s listed as a weekly Thursday special.

All these years, and it never occurred to me that Andy’s might have a website. It has such a pre-Internet atmosphere about it. You’re right that the NE boiled dinner is indeed a regular Thursday special. (The website also revealed that the stew on the specials menu yesterday must be left over from Tuesday – not such a bad thing for stew, of course.) The other daily specials sound interesting, as well.