329 Columbus Ave. Boston; (617) 247-7894 Formerly Tim's Tavern, this tiny nook in the South End has been known to locals for years as a funky neighborhood bar that serves up great, cheap barbecue, with a bit of seafood thrown in. The front of the joint is a divey bar with plenty of smoke, chatter, and good tunes. Walk through to the back and you'll find a cluster of formica tables, a waitress or two, and the kitchen.
The food, meanwhile, is incredible and among the cheapest in town.
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Starting with the burgers, which are billed as eight ounces or better, you will indeed have fun wrapping your hands around one. Order it loaded with lettuce, tomato, onions, and mayonnaise. Even with all that the regular burger is $2. 50; a cheeseburger is $2. 75. Believe it!
Crispy French fries or onion rings are a dollar extra.
For dinner, how about a good-sized rack of barbecued baby back ribs for $6. 95, with rice, rings, or fries and that's the half-rack! A whole rack, at $10. 95, will feed an army. Marinated steak tips ($4. 95) or lamb skewers ($5. 95) come with the same choice of side dish.
In fact, one of the priciest items on the menu is the X-Large Sirloin Steak, cut to order, at a whopping $9 with a salad and rice or fries.
And $7. 95 will get you seafood specials like boiled lobster or baked stuffed shrimp.
Beers at Tim's are strictly basic, like the food. There are no taps, and probably the fanciest bottle is He-ineken. But hey, this is unpretentious dining at its best. Hours are 11 a.m. to 1 A.M. Mondays through Saturdays.