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Reasonably priced Saturday lunch in Back Bay/South End?

  • j

I've received so many good recommendations for restaurants by reading these boards (just got home from Essex Seafood!) that I'm hoping the chowhounds can help me out.

I'm looking for a place to have lunch with a friend this Saturday. The place shouldn't be too loud so that we can catch up with each other. We're students, so I'd like to spend $20 per person or less. In terms of location, Back Bay/South End would be preferable, but we could hop on the T for something more interesting.


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  1. Parish Cafe on Bolyston and Arlington has a good variety of reasonably priced sandwiches. I've also had good experiences with the pizza at Picco in the South End. I think you could easily get out of both of these places for under $20 per person.

    I don't know if Orinoco is open for lunch, but judging from their dinner, if they offer lunch, I would recommend it.

    1. Reasonably priced meals in the area are hard to find. My most reliable choice is Laurel on Berkeley St. at Columbus Ave.

      1. I'd like to suggest Aquitaine for their Saturday brunch (I know you said lunch but this may allow you to be even more leisurely). Here are the details and the menu:

        Saturday Prix Fixe Brunch For $9.95 per person
        Offering ...

        Warm House-made cinnamon Bun and Icing

        Eggs Piperade- Pepper, onion, tomato, and ham
        Omelette à la Grecque- Spinach and Feta Cheese
        Omelette de la maison- Bacon, smoked tomato
        and Gruyere cheese

        Each is served with Caramelized onion home fries and Seven Grain Toast, Fresh Orange or grapefruit juice And Bottomless Coffee

        ...I'm a big fan not so much for the food (which is fine) but for the brunch on Saturday idea and the decent price (for Aquitaine). It goes from 10 to 3 p.m. and makes for a nice way to wake up. Very quiet space to catch up in.

        Here's the site: http://www.aquitaineboston.com/Brunch...

        1. Hi,

          I had lunch last weekend at Garden of Eden on Tremont St. in the South End. It was very tasty and reasonably-priced. The atmosphere is also nice for a relaxing chat without too much noise.

          1. I'd second the garden of eden recommendation. (They also do splendid and reasonable catering for weddings)

            1. i'll halve (that seems the appropriate opposite of "seconding") the GoE rec.

              while GoE is clearly extremely popular in the south end - just walk past their patio any day - i've had inconsistent meals there. for example, they do their famous sandwiches well, but omelettes are really not their strong suit - the taste and consistency of the egg suggests they come out of a carton (whether or not they actually do). it's not terrible, but i think one can do much better.

              as a starter, how about brunch at tremont647? it's more interesting and you can certainly eat on $20 a person there.


              1 Reply
              1. re: coookie

                I can't say I've had their egg dishes, but the sandwiches are outstanding, and I had the mussel appetizer, which was also excellent; a huge bowl of tender mussels in a rich wine and garlic broth. Certainly enough to choose from for a nice lunch.

              2. Brasserie Jo on Huntington has excellent lunch specials, as well as a traditional brasserie manu.

                1. Thanks to everyone for the recs! We're going to Aquitaine for brunch tomorrow. I'll report back on how it is. I'll definitely have to try a few of the other places, too.

                  Thanks again!

                  1. Just to report back, the plan was to go to Aquitaine, but it was so nice outside that we opted for the Garden of Eden patio.

                    Out of the mix of breakfast and lunch food, we both wanted quiche, so we tried one of each. I'd say that the spinach, mushroom, and goat cheese one was tastier than the ham & gruyere. Side salad for an extra $2.50 was a nice value, and without the salad, the quiche wouldn't have been much food. However, the place has a selection of pastries that would have been a nice accompaniment, too. Anyway, individual quiche plus salad was $10 plus $2.50 for the coffee. We can in well under $20 each for the meal.

                    All in all, the food was nothing special but a pleasant and tasty value. The patio was lovely on an unusually sunny October Saturday, and it was the perfect place to catch up with my friend. Thanks to everyone for their suggestions!