The Boston Phoenix
January 29 - February 5, 1998

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Ann's Restaurant

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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