[We split this from another thread for better visibility -- The Chowhound Team]
Not sure how controversial this is, but one of the truly underrated towns for restaurants is...Lawrence. Excellent Vietnamese, Korean, Italian, Sicilian, Cuban, Puerto Rican, Mexican, Salvadoran, and so on. Also, great places for pizza and hot dogs.
BTW, this is one of the best topics I've seen on Chowhound. Thanks for starting it, opinionatedchef!