Boston Hot Dog in Salem is a hidden gem - one item done extremely well - the buns are toasted perfectly, the dogs snap properly and some of the condiments (e.g., onion relish) are great homemade versions. We loved the Chicago and New York styles exactly as recommended by the owner serving us - and the Mercury Diet Root Beer was great, too.
Still hungry, we tried NE Soup Factory down (Washington St) a couple of blocks based on recs I think I saw on this board. We had Lobster Newburg soup after tasting several of the options. It was OK - but pretty much at the same level as the Soup Nazi soup sold at CostCo that you heat yourself at home in a pouch - with the same extreme salt preservative flavors. This location is not on the NESF website - maybe its a storage, freshness, and warming issue?
We stopped back at Boston Hot Dog and split one more to finish our lunch - what a find that place is!!
I have to caveat that as a working stiff downtown I STILL haven't been to Speed's for true expected nirvana, but this was a nice option to come across in the meantime...