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Jul 7, 2007 02:12 PM

ISO cheap eats near rte 128/Pike exchange

Meeting a friend for dinner Monday night. She lives in Holliston, I live in Wakefield so we need to meet some where in the middle. She's on a tight budget but like me , wants GOOD cheap eats. Any ideas where we can meet and eat?

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  1. Waltham. Carambola (I think it's now Elephant Walk, like the others), Solea (tapas, can have as few or many to be less expensive), is Erewan of Siam still good for Thai?, one of the indian places (New Mother India, Little India,Bombay Mahal), Iguana Cantina (kitschy, but not bad), or up 128 a little, right off the highway on Waters St., the Green Papaya is good thai, IMO.

    6 Replies
    1. re: raddoc

      The one time I went to Erewan, I enjoyed it. Wasn't at all impressed with Iguana Cantina, especially since there are some real Salvadoran spots nearby that seemed both better and (needless to say) more authentic. And Carambola is indeed now an Elephant Walk outpost. Will second New Mother India and Green Papaya.

      There's also been much positive said about the steak tips at Sadie's, also in Waltham, on this board. Haven't been yet, myself.

      1. re: raddoc

        Hmm, forgot to mention, my pal is NOT and adventerous eater so Thai and Indian food are probably not options.

        1. re: shaebones

          Since she's not adventurous, the Border Cafe (Tex-Mex) or the Cheesecake Factory in Burlington might fit the bill.

          If you want better and less expensive food, and don't mind eating in what's primarily a take-out place, there's Dominic's in Waltham which has great panini. They do have a few tables.

          1. re: pollystyrene

            What about Bertucci's just off the hgwy next to Green Papaya. Have not been to a Bertucci's in years. Any good?

            1. re: shaebones

              I think the only thing that's still good at Bertucci's are the rolls. I used to like it there, but then their pasta dishes went down hill, followed by their pizza, followed by their salads.... Too bad.

            2. re: pollystyrene

              Dom's closes early. It is a lunch place with terrific sandwiches and decent steam-table pastas.

        2. Moody street in Waltham is probably your best bet, easy to get to from 128/pike exit. Some SAFE choices: Watch City Brewery - good pub food, great beer. Gemelis- standard red sauce Italian. Francas (not Francos which might be ok too) - up next to the RR tracks - good standard pizza and pasta choices. Something else to consider - Blue Ribbon BBQ in West Newton. Great BBQ and looks like a funky BBQ shack. Inside has stools and counters but there are tables outside. Also in West Newton, Comellas (next to the cinema) - good standard Italian comfort food and Sweet Tomatoes (across from the cinema) - very very good pizza.

          1. A few more Waltham choices:

            Taqueria Mexico on Charles St. is good, and most of the food isn't spicy. It is more like comfort food. The food is fresh and prices quite reasonable, the atmosphere nothing to write home about.

            Bison County on Moody is also decent, with cheap-eats prices. They have burgers and dogs in addition to BBQ, and you could linger over drinks. Lizzy's ice cream is right up the street.

            Joe Sent Me on Main St., another place where you could linger, has very good burgers and fries.

            I second Franca's for decent pizza. Not super thin crust, but worth eating. I haven't tried the pasta.

            2 Replies
            1. re: bear

              I come from Holliston, so I know it's hard to find good places right in between. I do think Blue Ribbon, Comella's, and Sweet Tomatoes are all great choices for good, inexpensive food, but Blue Ribbon and Comella's are tiny inside, and I don't think you'll enjoy eating on the siedwalk if it's > 90 tomorrow. Sweet Tomatoes is very casual, just pizza and salads, but I do like their pizza. In Wellesley, which would be right in the middle, there's Alta Strada and a couple of Chinese places, the latter of which have gotten good reviews here. I only know what I've read here about Alta Strada, so I'm not sure if you could make it inexpensive with apps, salads, etc. Same is true for Aquitane Bis on Rt. 9, and The Metropolitan Club- I think the locations are good, as she could take 16 to 9, and you could pick up 9 from 128- the question is if you could make it cheap enough. You may want to peruse the menus on-line. There's Paparazzi in Wellesley and at the Chestnut Hill Mall, as well as a Chinese restaurant at the mall. I know some don't like Paparazzi, but it may work if you want to linger over a glass of wine in AC and have salad and a small pasta or something.

              1. re: AnnieP

                Alta Strada is not cheap. If you want to try really cheap eats- try the Maugus in Wellesley Hills Square-across from the clock tower. Stick with fried zucchini, chicken or pork souvlaki, shish kebab, greek salad, and you can eat well for little. Another really great option with a wide selection of yummy food but very inexpensive is the Biltmore Cafe on Chestnut Street in Newton Upper Falls. Call for directions. Great fish and chips, fish specials, steak tips, meatloaf, burgers, nice salads, excellent steamed mussels etc.

            2. Several cheap eats options in West Newton, on Route 16 just about a mile or so east of Route 128. Blue Ribbon for great barbecue. Sweet Tomatoes for decent pizza. Camella's for their "messes" and other cheap Italian-American-style food.

              1. Hey shaebones,
                I'd recommend The Biltmore, already mentioned, and Buff's Pub, which hasn't.


                Obtw, Bertucci's is still perfectly fine for what it is.

                The Biltmore
                1205 Chestnut St, Newton Upper Falls, MA 02464

                Buff's Pub
                317 Washington St, Newtonville, MA 02458

                8 Replies
                  1. re: shaebones

                    While not cheap eats you can get out of there fairly inexpensively; soups are $4.00, salads $7-9.00 and sandwiches $8-9.00. It's a great spot for a conversational meal.

                  2. re: Harp00n

                    Count me in the "only good thing is the rolls" camp for Bertuccis.

                    1. re: Blumie

                      plenty of good reco's, I'd go wiith taqueria mexico for good cheap eats but it's a personal favorite.

                      only restaurant i'd add would be Luigi's on rt 20 in wayland. Decent italian fairly cheap if you stick with specials or pasta.

                      although now that i think of wayland, they used to make a mean burger at Le Chateau de Dudley Pond and pitchers of beer are cheap too ;)

                      1. re: Bighead

                        OMG, The Chat finally made Chowhound, will wonders never cease!

                        1. re: Harp00n

                          LOL! I actually know some one contemplating buying and upgrading that hole last i heard

                          1. re: Bighead

                            It must be about 10 years ago that there was a lot of p*^$'in & moan'in by town newbies in Le Chateau de Dudley's environs. They took umbrage to the townies drinkin' & partyin' at a place that was one of Babe Ruth's favorite speakeasies back in The Roaring '20's. It got a lot of play in the local papers for awhile. One Welcome Wagon Queen was quoted as saying; (paraphrasing here) "Oh, I thought The Chateau was a French restaurant. Otherwise, I would never have moved here!"