Thought this might turn into a fun thread. This not a top 10 list, just 10 things I go back again and again for. In no particular order, other than how they happened to come to mind:
1. Jeff's Maki at Oishii in Chestnut Hill: sheer genius--who'd have thought of toasting spicy scallop and crab mixture atop California rolls? Surprisingly filling and utterly delicious
2. Chinese-style dumplings at Hong Kong Eatery in Chinatown: yummy shrimp-filled goodness. Watching them make it is fun, too
3. Steak and cheese with lettuce, tomato, hots, salt and pepper at Il Panino Express in Harvard Square or the North End: good bread is key--go when the weather is not humid
4. Kumamoto oysters at Legal's in the Prudential: the best price I've seen so far in Boston (8 for $15), though the sauce they add to the Kumamotos at Oishii is quite good (3 for $7)
5. Home fries/roast potatoes at Charlie's Sandwich Shoppe in the South End: usually puts all others to shame. When they're "on," these are golden, crispy on the outside with a beautiful crust on at least one side
6. The complimentary baguette and hard-boiled eggs at Brasserie Jo on Huntington when eating at the bar: the bread is so good that I occasionally wish I could buy one to take home. Try the eggs with the mustard.
7. Goi cuon (Vietnamese fresh spring rolls), ordered specifically with shrimp and grilled pork, at Pho Pasteur on Washington St in Chinatown: the grilled pork adds so much flavor--I also like the brisket and steak pho extra-large
8. Carnitas quesadilla with jalapeno peppers at Anna's Taqueria: the grilled tortilla is like the Mexican equivalent of a crepe
9. "Super shumai" (don't know what they're called, but this is what my wife and I call them) at Chau Chow City in Chinatown: they're like regular shumai augmented with two more shrimp--they come in a bamboo steamer and are usually available from the cart with the lobster dumplings, which are also quite good. Try them with a little hot mustard on top and dipped into soy sauce mixed with the hot (spicy) oil with chili pepper flakes
10. Okay, this isn't exactly a bargain, but the Sunday brunch at Henrietta's Table in the Charles Hotel in Harvard Square has an amazing assortment of pates and cheeses, as well as all-you-can-eat oysters and shrimp and other delicious items in their buffet (eggs Benedict, Belgian waffles, nice desserts, fresh OJ). Although the oysters have been a bit dry the last two times, they can be quite good. The cocktail shrimp are very tasty, and I can eat two or three dozen of them, making this a relative bargain if you add the other brunch items to it (for example, the cocktail shrimp are 5 for $12 at Legal...Henrietta's shrimp are almost as tasty, so if I eat at least thirty, plus other brunch items, that's a pretty good deal!).
p.s. you can tell I like shrimp, and I should add the "live swimming shrimp" at Peach Farm, which are incredibly fresh and sweet. Don't worry--they're boiled before serving. I only wish they were a bit bigger!
p.p.s. hungry now, am going to have a late breakfast at Charlie's!