Seems I have seen this request on so many threads lately - My visiting relatives want to go to a "typical" Boston place. What is that exactly?
History tells me that "typical" Boston and good chow often did not often intersect.
My chowhound instinct tells me that the places generally regarded as "typical" Boston that still exist - Union Oyster House, Durgin Park, Anthony's Pier 4, No Name Restaurant, and the more recent Summer Shack - are not currently where a "typical" Bostonian EVER eats, except with said relatives, i.e., they are touristy places. Moreover, they represent some nostalgic, but warped vision of Boston that may have existed at one point, but certainly does not now. At least not for us hounds.
What really is "typical" Boston? Must it involve seafood? Chowda?
For me, it would be a place which, through the FOOD, and the ambience, I can get an accurate sense and even a connection with the people and heartbeat of a cross-section of our city - its sounds - its smells - its moods.
So my hope, hounds, is that we can re-define the paradigm of "typical" Boston and point some folks, respectfully, to this thread when the topic comes up in the future, to some more accurate FOOD choices.
To start off...I would suggest that Eastern Standard is "typical" Boston. Range of food, range of people - Sox to suits - chow that is not too adventurous, but very satisfying. The prices have a moderate range.
On the downbeat, for me, Santarpio's is also a great example.