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Fatty, Salty, Starchy and Cheap

Hey guys,

Lately I've been stuffing myself with the fatty salty, starchy and expensive, I need some cheaper options that remain yummy but that don't hurt my bankbook so much. I'd like to keep "greasy" off of the list if possible. Any ideas? Cambridge and most of Boston is convenient for me, I'd prefer $15.00 for a main course or less.

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  1. Probably not very chowish, but the alimento grande dinner I had at the Freeport Tavern in Dorchester last night probably cut three years off my life, and all for $14.95.

    It had:

    garlic bread
    Italian sausage
    breaded chicken parm
    eggplant rollatini
    ziti in marinara sauce

    But if you're looking for something of slightly higher quality, perhaps the salisbury steak with mashed potatoes at the Centre Street Cafe in JP would do the trick. It's somewhere around $15.00, give or take a couple of bucks.

    BTW, I think alimento grande is Portuguese for "great food." Or maybe it means "big stomach." The way I feel today, it may be the latter. ;-/

    1. As a frame of reference, might you provide a few examples of your preferred "fatty salty, starch and expensive" experiences?

      3 Replies
      1. re: finlero

        I like foie gras, pate, liver and offal of all sorts, expensive cheeses, steaks dripping in sauces and blue cheese, cream based soups and sauces, just about anything wrapped in bacon or, even better, fat salt pork.

        1. re: sailormouth

          The pate plate at Petit Robert is a pretty big size and is in the neighborhood of $7.

          1. re: sailormouth

            I like your style, sailormouth.

            I think you'd enjoy one of my Patriots' tailgates. But they're booked for a lifetime, basically.

        2. Northend-dwelling officemate came in at 11:30 on this rainy, dark day laden with warm squares of pizza, arancinis & panninis from Galleria Umberto - perfect for this type of weather.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Taralli

            Was just thinking Galleria Umberto. Specifically their panzarotti (essentially a fried potato croquette with a melted cheese center). They meet all of your criteria, especially cheap.

            At the opposite end of the swankiness spectrum, you could go to Toro and order patatas bravas and keep 'em coming. I also really liked the oil-cured tuna pintxos (sp?), although you'd have to get a lot more orders of those to fill up.

            The salt&pepper fried squid at Peach Farm seafood (or at Lucky House as gini mentioned below -- very similar prep) is fabulous.

            Also the chinese broccoli with fried pork at Dok Bua. I know, you're thinking "chinese broccoli? that's not on my list." but the fried pork most definitely is.

          2. This is a great topic!

            If memory serves, Vinny's at Night has a giant pasta puttanesca for under $15, big enough for a couple of meals.

            Lunch at the Midwest Grill might do the job, too: Brazilian churrasco rodizio with some visits to the buffet table for starch. It might $18 at lunch, though no less food than at dinner, which is to say a ridiculous amount.

            Yu-shiang pork at Mary Chung hits all those notes, and adds garlic and chili with a vengeance. Why not have some suan la chow sho for extra pork and wonton goodness?

            Korean barbecue at Koreana, though you'll have to spring for more like $20. A lot of food, though, with fine variety in the panchan. Beef short ribs are probably the least lean meat on the BBQ menu.

            Burger with bacon at R.F. O'Sullivan's, with those starchy wedge fries and/or onion rings.

            Cubano at lunch at the Plough and Stars.

            Pork and clams with those awesome fried potatoes at O Cantinho.

            Anchovy pizza, maybe add some pepperoni or sausage, at Pizzeria Regina in the North End.

            Kielbasa sub at Cafe Polonia at lunch; carb yourself some more with a couple of pierogi.

            Pupusas stuffed with chicharrones at Pupusa Guanaca in JP, plus a side of runny black beans and white rice. That's all of $6, maybe.

            Tacos de carnitas at La Mexicana in Union Square, Somerville, or El Rancho Grande in Eastie.

            The Bobby Orr (steak and cheese sub) with fries at The Fours near North Station.

            1. The squares at T. Anthony are great.

              1. Kelly's roast beef (the one in revere, although Saugus will do in a pinch I guess)


                Get a surf n' turf (what I call a small roast beef w/your toppings of choice and a lobster roll), and a small (which is actually quite big) side of their clams, fries, cheese fries, or onion rings. Salt the latter liberally.

                Wash down with Coffee Frappe.

                PS if you want to go truly cheapo....order a corned beef sandwich. You get chips and the pickle spear. Outstanding.

                1. Cheese fondue at BSide

                  Blue cheese, bacon & ranch fries at the bar at Gargoyle's (or the buttermilk fried duck legs if they have them)

                  Duck pet pet at Dok Bua. Eat with some rice to make it starchy.

                  Roasted meat of your choice on rice plate at HKE

                  Fried salty street snacks at Lucky House Seafood

                  The fried cookie at Match - not salty, but excellently starchy nonetheless

                  Grilled cheese at the Paramount

                  Nachos. Everywhere possible

                  Fisherman's platter at Rincon Limeno

                  Pizza at Regina's

                  Brunch items at Taiwan Cafe

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: gini

                    I was just thinking the salt and pepper fried pork or beef with poblanos at Taiwan Cafe (plus rice for more starch). Then again, I'm always thinking of those two dishes.

                    1. re: Dax

                      Woah, could you tell me more about this salt and pepper fried pork? That sounds wicked good...

                      1. re: maillard

                        Sooooo good! My wife swears if they'd open up drive through franchises they'd put KFC out of business.


                        1. re: maillard

                          It tastes essentially like fried, S&P strips from pork chops, served on a bed of lettuce with maybe some chilis mixed in. Dipped in th chili garlic sauce, it's the best hangover food I can imagine (or with a few Tsing-Tso beers).

                    2. Actually, it sounds like you need to hit any/all of the Brazilian churrascarias in the area. Midwest Grill in Cambridge and Green Field in Allston are a couple of the better-known ones.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: hiddenboston

                        For "offal" the Brazilian churrascarias do not offer too much (chicken hearts) and the bacon-wrapped offerings tend to be dry (chicken), Tango would certainly offer more offal but its more than $15.

                        If you went to Oasis in Medford, you could get the sampler appetizer plate -- fried pork skin/belly, chicken hearts, salt/sun-dried beef, salty sausage, and fried yucca (it is greasy, but less so than cafe brazil). Do it on a Friday if you like Feijoada and you can eat all sorts of odd pork parts.

                        Petisco's on Main St could set you up with tripe & white bean soup (dobradinho) which Oasis also has on their buffet from time to time. Not offal, but they also do mocoto made with cow hooves.

                        I like the portuguese places for basic calves liver and onions, its a staple in most bars. There are lots of asian offerings for pork belly, although one of my favorites was floating rock with bean sprouts.

                      2. Or....if you have the stuff on hand, and I bet you do, a nice, greasy fried egg sandwich (fried in bacon fat, with a little mayo on the bread?) at home? And suddenly, I'm hungry...

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: thegolferbitch

                          Or go to that place in Lowell where they make some crazy sandwich with a burger patty, cheese, sausage, bacon, ham, and mayo, they they stick a fried egg on top.

                          OK, now I really feel sick. What's the name of that place in Lowell, BTW?

                          1. re: hiddenboston

                            Well if you add potato sticks, peas, and a few other things you have a x-tudo. I can point you to a half-dozen Brazilian places that serve them. Aside from a Brazilian bakery in lowell that I think offers I am not certain where in Lowell, but there are probably a couple of places.

                            1. re: itaunas

                              Potato sticks? That would indeed be the crowning touch. Does the Brazilian supermarket on Somerville Ave. in Somerville sell x-tudos?

                              Wikipedia defines an x-tudo as a souped-up cheeseburger. This sounds like something I need to find--soon!

                              1. re: hiddenboston

                                International Market on Somerville ave further down in Union Sq definately offers them, but I haven't been as impressed with their other sandwiches. The supermarket downsized their menu and has been pretty iffy since turning Gol.

                                The places I would probably point you in Somerville are Pastelaria Vitoria on the lower part of Broadway, Petiscos on Medford (tasty, but I think they were missing something), or PicNic on the corner of Main and Broadway.

                                To eat them like a Brazilian you grab the ketchup and mayonnaise containers and just before you take a bite, you put a huge goop of both.

                                Brazilian hot dogs are less common around here, but tend to be cooked in a tomato and bullion broth (this is street food so it varies) then served with many of the same ingredients. And Brazilians add ketchup and sometimes mayo on top of their pizza.

                              2. re: itaunas

                                Lowell Portuguese Bakery on Gorham Street sells them. I was there today, but I was good and left with only a half dozen lemon squares.

                          2. I should *not* be reading this list!!

                            But do try a couple sandwiches at Flat Patties in Harvard Square:

                            1. Shredded roast pork, coleslaw and a tangy sauce, in a fluffy though greasy roll

                            2. Fresh wild haddock breaded and fried, with coleslaw, on said greasy roll.

                            3. Wash down with an order of chili cheese fries.

                            This will cost you less than $10, I guarantee it.

                            Now I must go eat salad.

                            1. I believe there is a very generous charcuterie plate at Matt Murphy's in Brookline - and a large cheese plate as well.

                              Pretty much anything at Rincon Limeno in Eastie will definitely hit on all buttons and super-cheap! Their steak a lo pobre is steak, rice, beans, fries, with an egg on top!

                              Go to Vinny's at Night and hit the antipasto table, followed by their double-thick pork chop with side of grilled mashed and veggies or the bresciola over homemade fusilli.

                              Oh, and a large roast beef or chicken salad sub from Al's State Street = $6.

                              1. Chicken fried steak...the only one I've had in the area is an extra mediocre version at Redbones on special. But...it fits the bill.

                                1. For $15, you could get TWO two-foot-long hot dogs at Doogie's in Newington, CT, with cheese (velveeta, of course).

                                  Actually, to be totally serious, if I wanted to go on a fat and starch bender and had $15, I would do the cubano at Chez Henri (and spend an extra few bucks on an order of ham croquettes).

                                  1. This list sounds like the four of the seven dwarves. Here are some other chowhound faves that meet the criteria: Fried chicken at Coast Cafe (Cambridge), Veal parm sub at Victors (Medford), Tortas al pastor at Tacos Lupita (Somerville near cambridge), Falafel from Ramis (Brookline); Chacerrero (Downtown Xing), salty spicy squid from Peach Farm. shanghai chow mein and scallion pie from KIng Fung. Nothing will set you back more than $10.

                                    1. Two more from the B-Side Lounge:

                                      blue cheese fries! available all hours of day/night

                                      At brunch: "bacon, bacon, bacon and eggs" (really there are three kinds of bacon with this, including scrumptiously fatty pork belly; you also get some awesome spicy home fries with this);

                                      Not recommended at their brunch, however, is the french toast. Even though it's made with Iggy's brioche, the slices were dry in the center and just totally bland-tasting.

                                      1. oh my, the bacon, bacon, bacon and eggs are my favorite. I usually get a side of the chipotle grits, too. mmmmmmmmm that and a few bloody mary's with extra sludge and I'm all set :)

                                        1. Great topic- unfortunately- this fave is closed for the season- but nothing beats the cheeseburgers & fries @ Sullivan's on Castle Island in Southie.

                                          Brekkie in the 'Dot on Sunday is not complete w/o McKenna's oon Savin Hill- great omlets and good homefries- great for a hangover