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challenge: Affordable, local, unique, not to savory/spicy for mother-in-law?

Looking for a fairly easy spot for parents, newborn and mother-in-law for a dinner out this week. MIL can't eat (doesn't like) spicy, zesty (onions and garlic) and is not really about food.

But we need to get out of the house during this visit.

Usual favorites for us that capture local color - ECG, Neptune - are not options with a MIL's preferences.

Anything with achievable parking? A little local color? Something for everyone. Summer Shack isn't a bad idea, but the Alewife one's location isn't great. Haven't been to downtown.

Other ideas?

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  1. Daily Catch, Harvard Street, Brookline
    Local, unique, fish, pasta, can do non-garlic if you ask

    Mr. Bartley's Burgers, Mass Ave., Harvard Square, Cambridge
    Local, unique, funky, huge burgers, many varieties

    1 Reply
    1. re: Pastramiman

      The Daily Catch in Brookline closed.

      I think the Blue Room and Cafe D suggestions are good, Strip T's isn't bad tho casual. What about Frank's Steakhouse, not sure if it's just on street parking there. Maybe Green St. in Central Sq., garage is right next door. Or Rendezvous and Central Kitchen. Temple Bar on Mass Ave. has a wide reaching menu, I had a good burger there a couple weeks ago and friend's scallops were great. I think they let you park in some lot off Mass Ave.

    2. Hmm, interesting question; a restaurant for someone who doesn't like food.

      My least favorite place in the North End is La Famigilia, so maybe that would be good for the MIL. Huge portions of bland, red-sauce Italian-American. No spice to speak of.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Bostonbob3

        Heheh, I like that - "a restaurant for someone who doesn't like food."

        Challenge if for us to enjoy the evening as well.

      2. I too have this problem -- Strip T's in Watertown was a big hit (lots of local color!), as was Legal's ...surprisingly she also liked Ole in Inman (loved the guac made at the table) but we only had apps there. Silvertone at Park St. is great if you're sightseeing in the area (closed on wkds I think).

        1. Maybe Blue Room? There is parking in the garage nearby, and she could order one of the more sedate options.

          Cafe D in JP has some plain preparations, and a parking lot in the back.

          1. Rendezvous is a nice idea. Cafe D in JP has good food but it is not very comfortable- little tables squashed together. Would not take a MIL there. Upstairs on the Square and Harvest, both in Cambridge have nice food, valet parking and are resonably quiet and comfortable with non- adventurous choices.