History with a side of hash
On the Cheap by Alison Cicchetti
Despite rumors of its demise -- Boston magazine even reported last
fall that it had closed -- the venerable Ann's Restaurant soldiers on, just as
it has since 1958. Ann herself is still behind the counter, with husband Elias
in the kitchen cooking the food that keeps this old-school cafeteria near
Symphony Hall so popular with a mix of local students, retirees, and music
nabobs. (Arthur Fiedler's favorite was the egg-salad sandwich.) Not much has
changed in 40 years, and it's the traces of the past, like the
still-functioning copper air conditioner, circa 1920, that make Ann's unique.
The menu reflects Elias's Spartan heritage; a few Greek specialties are listed
alongside the old-fashioned American comfort food. Not many menus in Boston
still offer these dishes -- or these prices. Beef stew with rice costs $3.49,
baked macaroni and cheese is $2.50, and a hot turkey sandwich with veggie and
potato is $4.99. And not many restaurants have a character like son-in-law
Chris behind the counter, calling out orders like John Belushi in the old
SNL "cheeseburger" sketch. Another novelty: breakfast is served all day.
The corned beef hash alone will make a believer out of you.
Ann's Restaurant, located at 250 Huntington Avenue, in Boston, is open
Monday through Saturday from 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Call (617) 266-1980.
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