As waitresses at the Boston Hotel Steak & Crabhouse are rushing around the restaurant, my family – Mom, Dad and my younger sister – are sharing stories about the many times we've dined here.
This seafood shack on Genesee Street might not look like much to some, but to my family, the Boston Hotel is an important staple. It's a place to end an amazing day and the perfect spot to enjoy cold, raw clams and a beer over good conversation. We've been going to the Boston Hotel for years, making memories along the way as we talk and laugh over steamers and surf and turf.
Basic chairs and tables are scattered throughout the dining room with specials written on chalkboards. Locals crowd the nearby bar ordering standard well drinks and bottled beers.
The prices and the quantity of the food on your plate are a deal. Fresh clams are only $4.99 for a dozen medium-sized and clams casino are $5.49 for a half-dozen. I generally prefer salty oysters, but the Boston Hotel often has fresh buttery, creamy and milder oysters for only $1.09 each, which is a deal. You generally don’t get that price unless you buy them at the grocery store and shuck them yourself.
My dad and I have shared many special talks over a table full of raw clams and always tasty bloody marys (an inexpensive $4). A waitress at Boston Hotel got us hooked on eating raw clams with lemon juice, hot sauce and celery salt. It tastes like a Bloody Caesar cocktail with all the delicious ingredients of a bloody mary and the briny taste from the clams. We loved the flavors so much that when my family traveled to Siesta Key in Florida, we would bring our own celery salt. Judge us all you want, but trust me when I say that once you try it, you won’t want to eat them any other way.
Delicious appetizers like the large lobster dainties ($7.50) taste and look like bite-sized lobster tails served with drawn butter. They are my mom's favorite. For a meal, pair that with a salad or cup of soup like the New England clam chowder ($3.50-$4.99 on Fridays) or a half-dozen Captain Jack oysters served with tangy hot sauce, crisp bacon, colby jack and spicy jalapeños ($8.50).
Keeping with family tradition on a recent visit, mom offered us a piece of her lobster dainty app and we took turns sprinkling the celery salt, hot sauce and lemon on our clams on the half shell.
If you're in the mood for basic pub staples, your options include chicken wings (10 wings for $9.95), crispy chicken fingers ($9.95), cheeseburger ($5.49), grilled chicken sandwich ($7.50), fried bologna and onions sandwich ($5.99) and beef on weck ($7.50).
The Boston Hotel serves plenty of seafood dishes for a fair price even though some prices are higher than our Cheap Eats range. If you’re having trouble deciding, order the broiled seafood platter ($29.95) that includes shrimp, scallops, fresh haddock, clams casino and lobster tail, or one of my favorites, the surf and turf ($29.95) with a suggested serving of 16-ounce strip and 4-ounce lobster tail.
The Friday Fish Fry ($11.95) is incredible, with a fresh and crispy beer batter. It is served with an abundance of sides like coleslaw, macaroni salad, potato salad and french fries with enough food to feed you for three days.
This is the place to take your family and fill the table with delicious seafood for a beyond fair price. Just remember to bring cash because the restaurant does not take cards.
5555 Genesee St., Lancaster (681-6938)
Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday
Gluten-free options: Yes
Note: Cash only