hidden meal deals in boston?
i know this is sort of a difficult question to answer (and probably pretty gauche to ask of 'chowhounds'!), but i'm trying to compile a list of places that have decent, affordable food for those times that you'd really like to go out, but don't feel like you can spend much money. perhaps you know of some gems that are really affordable? or, maybe even some sort of special deals around happy hour or something? i feel like i often hear about places that i should try, but then forget them when it actually comes to planning an evening... can anyone help contribute to my list?
1. mccormick and shmick's $1.95 bar menu mondays through fridays from 5-7, i think?
2. johnny d's half-price menu mondays through fridays from 4:30-6:30
3. bukowski's cheap burgers at lunchtime during the week
4. the summer shack had some sort of deal during happy hour, but can't recall what it is
5. i'll add more as i remember them...
Well, pretty much everything in Central Square, Cambridge is a good deal - you can have a complete meal (dinner, drink, even dessert) for under $10 any (PM) time of any night. A lot of restaurants have lunch buffet specials that can be $7, $6, or less for all-you-can eat. Finally, I believe the new Spike's Junkyard Dogs by Mass Ave. on Boylston has some special deal at a certain time, but no idea what it is.
There's Grendel's Den's half-price food during off-peak dinner times, but the quality ain't great. They also have 5 items for $1 on Sunday nights.
When I lived in Allston, I used to go to Our House, a bar close to Comm/Harvard Ave that had 2-for-1 burgers and appetizers from 4-7 on weekdays. They make a pretty good burger and have great cris-cut fries, and their honey hot wings are awesome. It's the kind of place where you could go with a buddy for dinner and watch the Simpsons or Family Guy on TV while sitting on a comfy couch eating good burgers. And all that for a grand total of 10 bucks including tip for two people (2-for-1 burgers plus fried = $6.50).
Not really hidden, but I rarely see folks order off the fixed price menus at many Chinese restaurants. That's usually a good deal relative to ordering a la carte.
At pretty much any pho restaurant you can easily spend less than $10 and have a full, happy belly.