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Creative ideas for healthy/low-cal lunch chow downtown?

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As I've mentioned before, I tend to be a chowhound by night, but a bit of a health nut by day. Like so many people who frequent this site, I'll go miles upon miles out of my way for tasty chow at dinnertime. However, in order to maintain some semblance of reasonable shape, I exercise every morning and, perhaps even more important, I'm very careful about what I eat for breakfast and lunch.

Since I'm a chowhound at heart, even by more health-conscious day, I'm always on the lookout for healthy and/or low-calorie lunch options that could actually be regarded as legitimate chow by the denizens of this site. I work in the Financial District, and while closer is better during the work week, I'm perfectly willing to venture as far as the North or South Ends if the chow merits the trip.

A few of my favorites along these lines:

Swordfish kebab plates from Sultan's Kitchen or Boston Kebab House
Interesting salads from the Good Life and the Vault
Grilled fish from Silvertone
BBQ turkey burger & fries from B Good
Veggie Chacarero

Any thoughts? Healthy/low-cal is the focus here, but the more chowish and creative, the better!

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  1. Pete's on Broad Street has some good food...their salads are large and tastey. Most of the time when I got food from them I had enough for two lunches.

    Jane's Sushi Buffet (can't remember the streets but it's a street up from Broad and on the corner of Franklin - next door to subway). Great Sushi and other salad bar stuff.

    those are two of my favorites when my office was located on Broad Street...we moved to the Pru last summer.

    1. At the Corner Mall food court, there's a Thai restaurant I frequent. They offer the option of serving dishes with brown rice, which I prefer. You can get a veggie combo with brown rice, which is pretty healthy.

      If you want a very nice salad, Sebastian's at 100 Summer St. has a fresh made-to-order salad bar that is great. There's a ton of selection of items, and you end up with a gigantic salad for $6.75

      2 Replies
      1. re: mwk

        oh my...how could I have forgotten Sebestian's....those are by far the BEST salads in town. very fresh and so good. I get so much stuff in mine every time that it rarely all fits in the container...and yup, all veggies is just $6.75

        Best Deal in Town!

        1. re: lasiciliana

          Sebastian's opened up a 2d location on High St, where Soup n Salad used to be, about 4 months ago. They're just a good as the other location, and even have some decent sushi offerings on occasion.

          Another option is Pressed Sandwiches on Oliver St. They have a great hummus and veggie on multigrain bread, as well as my favorite, goat cheese and portobella on multigrain. I usually ask them to go easy on the goat cheese, and they willingly oblige.

      2. I haven't tried it, but Lo-Fat Know Fat Lifestyle Grill on Washington near Macy's is frequented by a similarly health-conscious friend of mine.

        I think a lot of the menu at Xinh Xinh (Vietnamese) is healthy, or at least makes me feel healthier than I do after a small sandwich from Chacarero.

        4 Replies
        1. re: MC Slim JB

          How about this... on Fridays walk over to Haymarket (the actual "farmer's" market), see what looks good and make yourself a fresh fruit salad.

          Also, you can walk over to Chinatown and get a veggie stir fry. Most Chinese places there have a few very healthy items on the menu.

          1. re: heWho

            Am not downtown anymore, but if I were and they still had them, I'd buy a lemon to squeeze and stand & eat freshly shucked cherrystones at Haymarket.

          2. re: MC Slim JB

            Yeah, KnowFat is a sort of chowhound reverse guilty pleasure for me, in that the food is certainly reasonably low-calorie and low-fat, but it isn't quite tasty enough to merit the relatively high prices.

            A lunch of grilled steak tips, mashed sweet potatoes, and steamed vegetables sounds an order of magnitude better to me than a wilted iceberg lettuce salad from a hole-in-the-wall deli, but KnowFat's version isn't good enough to justify the $12 asking price. And still, I'm there every couple of weeks...

            1. re: MC Slim JB

              I don't know..i've been to lo-fat know fat a few times and i've never left feeling all that impressed or satisfied. their air blown french fries are good, i'll give 'em that...but the other stuff is really just so-so.
              I personally would get a large chicken sandwich at chacaero, eat half and save the other half for later. It's just grilled chicken, green beans and a bit of avocado spread..the bread is really probably the only high-cal thing and if you're not eating the whole sandwich, i'm thinking it's a good bet.

            2. I'd add Bahn mi from Mei Sum Bakery.

              Hit up the Vietnamese spots for pho (don't overdose on noodles) or even better, fresh rolls or the salad that is shredded cabbage, poached chicken/shrimp, plus sprouts, ground peanuts. That is my #1 healthy option.

              1. I really like the vegetarian mezze at Sultan's Kitchen.

                In Chinatown, you can get a number of vegetarian dishes based on gluten at New Shanghai - these typical Shanghainese dishes include kao fu, vegetarian chicken or duck, gluten puffs with a variety of vegetables etc...

                1. I am a big fan of Temptations on Devonshire (off Summer Street). They have delicious soups and do a very reasonable soup/salad combo. The staff is very friendly and the lunch line moves quickly. I personally am very wary of the hidden calories in the oils and sauces in chinese food.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: DowntownChick

                    Kaze, on Essex St.

                    Great shabu-shabu. Choose one of the healthier broth options, then go with anything, really. Most of it's lean meat or fish and veggoes that you cook in the broth.