HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >


I want to get FAT on my birthday dinner!

I need your suggestions of where to have fun, get fat, and wear elastic-waist pants. I am thinking about having 10 or so of my borderline-alcoholic friends in their late-20s meet up for my birthday dinner.

One thought that came to mind was a Brazilian Churrascaria (BBQ) in Allston - am I thinking of Green Field? In DC they have Fogo de Chao on Pennsylvania Avenue which was excellent and so I am hoping Boston has something similar. Any recommendations on this place?

I also encourage other ideas too. Just remember, elastic-waist-pants-friendly, please.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Well, there's Vinny T's (formerly Vinny Testa's), in several locations. Not the best Italian by a long shot but seriously massive portions.

    And yes, you're thinking of Green Field.

    2 Replies
    1. re: BobB

      No offense but Vinny T's are really quite awful. Bad food disguised with too much garlic. Maggiano's (near thePark Plaza, Boston) has a better quality family style all you can eat concept at a similar price range. For brazilian, how about Midwest Grill on Cambridge street (cambridge)

      1. re: gourmaniac

        Maggianos was my thought too, definitely a belly-buster and a festive atmosphere.

      1. re: tamerlanenj

        Yeah, Kowloon has the unabashed kitch factor that inspires groups to be loud and silly and festive and not talk about whatever diet cult they currently belong to.

        1. re: bee

          plus you cant beat one of those pupus for massive calories!

          1. re: tamerlanenj

            Just don't order the flaming Ambrosia at Kowloon unless you plan on eating the whole thing there. I took half of mine home a couple of months ago, put it in the fridge, and the next morning the Ambrosia's chicken fingers were in suspended animation within a transparent block of congealed duck sauce. It looked like some kind of fossil you might find in Montana or something.

      2. Yes, that would be Green Field in Allston. Probably a good restaurant for you guys. It is the perfect place to say, "So long, belt!" and dig in to thousands of calories of meats and side dishes. They have nearly every kind of meat you can imagine, and sides such as yucca, yams, beans, collard greens, fried bananas, and rice.

        The yucca is excellent, as are the fried bananas, but I'd concentrate more on the various meats. I really like the prime rib, pork loin, and lamb there.

        It's definitely the type of place where you will need a crowbar to get you out of your chair at the end of the meal. And all that for a shade under $20 (plus drinks)!

        1. Thinking one price buffets, you could hit Minado in Natick for all-you-can-stand sushi and Asian foods. I went about a year ago and it was really not a bad deal. Super casual too - elastic sweatpants welcome.

          1. Another thought along the same lines would be Tango, an argentine restaurant in Arlington -- go for the parilla and enjoy the meat fest...

            1. These suggestions are excellent. Definitely laughed out loud with hiddenbostons, "So long, Belt!" comment. Forget the salad bar and side dishes, bring on the meat. Kowloon is particularly an excellent suggestion - one look at the list of "celebrities" makes it a worthwhile trip. Chuck Knoblauch "sports celebrity"? Or the two token Playmates and their pictures. Excellent!

              1. I love the idea of an all out gorge fest for your birthday - I might steal it from you.

                Just a thought - one plan might be to hit up Rincon Limeno in East Boston for their fried seafood platter, yucca, etc. They serve beer; they're super cheap; it's very casual. I'm not really sure about the over abundance of meat. They do have whole roasted chickens though. Has the bar next store been taken over yet? If not, I would start with, or end with (or both) a few rounds of shots of South American liquor with your borderline alcoholic friends. That is if it's still in business.

                1. We had 18 of us for my birthday dinner last weekend at Grotto. Their food is quite good and those portions are huge. I had an order of the cavatelli with sausage for my main course and it was one of the biggest plates of pasta I have seen! Same goes for the people who had the gnocchi with short ribs.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: lissy

                    Grotto is "smart casual," though, isn't it? I think the OP wants to go to a place where they can wear sweats, or at least very casual wear.

                    1. re: hiddenboston

                      Grotto also has the occasional "Big Night" dinner that recreates that feast from the film. That's gotta be a gorge-fest. Here's the info:


                      1. re: Bostonbob3

                        This is for another thread, but yeah, I've never eaten so much at once in my entire life. The food came in waves from the kitchen. Sweats would probably not be appropriate though.

                        1. re: gini

                          Here's the info for the next "Big Night":

                          January 16 & 17, 2007, at 7:00 p.m. Grotto is once again re-creating the multi-course Big Night dinner, from timpano to whole roasted pig, Grotto will set the stage for our best Big Nights ever. Guests are encouraged to dress in fifties-style evening wear like in the movie. The dinner is $70 with house-selected wines, or $50 if you wish to select your own vintage. The event is by reservation only, please call 617.227.3434

                  2. Midwest Grill in Inman Sq, Cambridge is another option. All you can eat Brazilian BBQ. Meats on sticks. What more could you want or need?

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: beetlebug

                      I was also going to suggest MidWest Grill. I have some serious, "so long belt!" pals who insist on going here when they visit. It's also a pretty loud group and it's never been a problem there. Although one of the larger members of the posse had a tough time slithering through the tight tables... Something to keep in mind I suppose.

                    2. Go for the good stuff - someplace that cooks with excellent oil, and serves delicious bread. All the better to wake up feeling luxurious the next morning having really treated yourself the night before. Grotto sounds great. Have a memorable birthday!

                      1. This is going to sound a bit odd, but if you really want to eat, hit the Village Smokehouse in Brookline. Excellent open pit barbecue, casual atmosphere, and you will stuff yourself silly. They have an extensive drink menu and you can drink a lot in addition to eating a ton. The portions are huge, too. They have great desserts and all, as well, but heading back to Allston, I would hit Finale at Coolidge Corner, their desserts are fantastic and you can finish off with a hot toddy.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: onadietsigh

                          I've had consistently bad food both at Village Smokehouse and Finale (all locations). If you're going the bbq route I'd either do take out from Blue Ribbon and kick up the blender drinks at home or give Redbones a whirl. They aren't consistent but sometimes they really get it.

                          1. re: onadietsigh

                            Personally, I've never had a meal at Village Smokehouse I'd describe as excellent. And I'd definitely never go there if I wanted good barbecue. Same with Finale. Great concept, but lacking in execution.

                            1. re: Chris VR

                              I would have to agree with these mediocre assessments of both selections.

                            2. re: onadietsigh

                              Sorry, but the other two posters are being kind.

                              Village Smokehouse universally is proclaimed the LEAST chow worthy BBQ in beantown. And Finale is just plain mediocre-tasting with their very pretty looking desserts.

                            3. Fireflys in marlborough and framingham does all you can eat bbq on sundays. Its just about everything on the menu. BBQ chicken, ribs, all the sides, pulled pork, brisket, etc..

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: hargau

                                Was just in Framingham and hit the buffet. Lots of choices and pretty good que. I'm now sitting on my couch watching football in a food coma.

                              2. If you want a real belly buster, a bunch of hounds got a whole roast pig at Hong Kong eatery in Chinatown a few years back.

                                It was really quite impressive. A tad fatty, and not my favorite Chinese roast meat, but darn it was impressive.

                                They brought the whole 40 lb. pig out, nicely lacquered red in a giant wooden tray. It was very impressive. If you do it, definitely order in advance.