So this review has been a long time coming. I have a serious love-hate relationship with this place but for some reason I keep coming back time and time again.
There are really only 2 reasons why we ever come back to The Lower Depths – the $1 hot dogs and their soft pretzels. Everything else here is the worst. From the service to their overpriced beers and cash only policy, everything about this place screams “we hate our customers.” This place seems like a bunch of hipsters got together to make a bar and then figured out that they actually had to “work” to keep people interested (I know, too main-stream for them). However, to their credit, the soft pretzels are delicious and their $1 hot dogs are amazing (both in price and taste).
Basically every time I’ve come here (probably 20+ times by now), the experience is ALWAYS exactly the same. Here’s how it goes: we show up and seat ourselves, the annoyed waiter/waitress eventually notices us and our non-hipster appearance (i.e. clean) and reluctantly comes over to take our order. No sort of greeting or anything, just “what do you want?” Then he/she proceeds to get irritated that we are only ordering $1 hot dogs and a beer each (we have outsmarted the hipsters at their own game…they don’t like that). Furthermore, I always get the feeling that I have personally wronged them and their children in some reprehensible way whenever they figure out we’re only ordering hot dogs. Why have $1 hot dogs if you hate it when people order them???
Onto the beers…they do have a good selection of bottled beers but why pay ~$7 for one? Plus their tap selection is always pretty non-interesting. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a beer that I’ve truly wanted on tap (but that is just personal preference). I just stick to my overpriced Lone Star and enjoy my food quietly. Next, the food comes out in a reasonable time and is delicious as always. But after that, there the waiter/waitress becomes non-existent and basically ignores you and talks to their friends at the bar until you finally summon them for the check.
Advice: make your order as simple as possible and try to get everything in at once because if you don’t, it’s apparently your fault.
Now that my rant is over, onto to main reason you’re here – the food.
Pictured below is their soft pretzel. At only $4, it is reasonable for what you get. It comes with spicy mustard or cheese dip but sometimes it doesn’t matter which one you want because they will bring out whichever one they feel like. Not a big deal because we like both but for those people who like to get what they ordered/pay for, it may be a small problem.
They also offer $2 foot long hot dogs which are just as tasty. However, the $1 are still a better value because the hot dogs have more girth (yes, I said girth) and you get more food for the same price.
Here are the infamous $1 hot dogs served on a toasted buttered roll. These are the only reason to ever come here.
They also offer a wide variety of unique toppings for your hot dogs including mac & cheese, pickle spears, and sautéed onions for $1 each but I tend to just get my plain and add the free condiments (they also probably hate that).
These are their Mexicana Tots. Also good, but overpriced for tots, cheese and some guac.
This is their devil ATM that Selma has had the unfortunate pleasure of dealing with in her past. She can tell you all about that one though…
As you can see, you can order upwards of 20 hot dogs to feed a small army and still not even come close to breaking the bank.
In summary, if you have time to kill and are looking for a non-frills, cheap meal in a good location (next to Fenway Park), this is the place for you. Just come prepared for terrible service and some post-dinner guilt. Nevertheless, we will continue to come back though because we can take it.