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Boston Area's Best Lunches?

n
ngaffin Oct 17, 2007 08:08 AM

My husband and I are staying around here for our vacation next week and are looking for suggestions for places to go to lunch in the Boston and Metrowest Areas. So what are your favorites?

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  1. b
    bakerboyz Oct 17, 2007 08:17 AM

    Where are you staying, food preferences, price range, will you have car to travel?

    2 Replies
    1. re: bakerboyz
      c
      chuck s Oct 17, 2007 08:30 AM

      Galleria Umberto on Hanover St. in the North End, Monday through Saturday for arrancini (rice balls) and pizza, Durgin Park (good lunch specials), Oishi in Chestnut Hill for excellent sushi, Bartley's Burger Cottage in Harvard Square, and several places in Chinatown for dim sum.

      1. re: chuck s
        p
        Pegmeister Oct 17, 2007 09:31 AM

        Just a caution on Durgin Park. I was there a few weeks ago for lunch and the 86 list was longer than the menu. They didn't have oysters, lobster, or clams.

    2. n
      ngaffin Oct 17, 2007 08:28 AM

      I live here in Waltham but usually am not out and about for weekday lunches b/c of work.

      2 Replies
      1. re: ngaffin
        b
        bachslunch Oct 17, 2007 08:40 AM

        Waltham has a boatload of good places for lunch: New Mother India (Indian buffet), Erawan of Siam or Green Papaya (both Thai), Bison County (BBQ), Taqueria Mexico (Mexican, and for the area pretty authentic), and Domenic's (Italian and subs) will start you off. Sadie's is a board favorite for steak tips (haven't been) and some like Carl's for huge steak subs (less a favorite of mine, but there's much worse). There are also a few Salvadoran spots that are good whose names escape me.

        1. re: ngaffin
          maillard Oct 18, 2007 07:47 AM

          The two places I'm planning to hit for lunch when I take a few days off next month are Galleria Umberto and Chacarero.

        2. a
          autopi Oct 17, 2007 09:07 AM

          my current fav for lunch is to to go the super 88 food court in allston--there are quite a lot of options (vietnamese, ramen, indian, chinese, taiwanese, some others i'm forgetting) that are tasty and not very expensive.

          1. mtm7654 Oct 17, 2007 09:21 AM

            Sultan's Kitchen for Mediterranean food-Broad St. in the Financial District. Redbones in Davis Square for BBQ.

            1. p
              Pegmeister Oct 17, 2007 09:39 AM

              Neptune for, of course, oysters.
              Antico Forno for chicken parm
              Artu for pizza with gorgonzola; potato and prosciutto
              Marias for a slice of the riccota pie with the chocolate in the middle
              Cafe Paradiso for expresso martinis
              Silvertones for mac & cheese with a nice glass of wine
              Shabu Zen on Tyler St in Chinatown for hot pot cooking
              Drinks atthe Oceana Lounge at the Marriot Long Wharf for the view

              Well, it's a start at least.

              1. j
                joebelt Oct 18, 2007 06:52 AM

                The Cheese Shop in Concord, MA!

                3 Replies
                1. re: joebelt
                  t
                  three of us Oct 18, 2007 08:41 AM

                  The Cheese Shop does have a tasty menu but it's not a sit-down kind of place. If you want to picnic at the Old North Bridge or rent a canoe at the place off Main St., a take-out from the Cheese Shop is a great idea but don't expect to eat there.

                  1. re: three of us
                    j
                    joebelt Oct 19, 2007 06:53 AM

                    Why not they have a bunch of tables if you want to sit down. Yes they do not do table service if that's what you mean.

                    1. re: joebelt
                      t
                      three of us Oct 20, 2007 03:48 PM

                      If I was on vacation and looking for a destination place, the tiny tables in cramped quarters wouldn't be my thing. If I was looking to grab lunch and was already in the Center, I still wouldn't find the place a comfortable setting for a sit-down lunch.

                      At the intersection of Walden and Main, down the street from the Cheese Shop, is a coffee/sandwich place with more spacious seating. There is no table service but it's got more room and a nice view of the street for people watching. The food is better at the Cheese Shop, though.

                2. f
                  FoodArt Oct 18, 2007 10:22 AM

                  Sam Lagrassa's for some of the best pastrami sandwhiches. I'll second Silvertone, just great simple food and some of the best bartenders and staff in Boston. Also Hi-Rise in Cambridge has some great sandwhiches.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: FoodArt
                    t
                    teezeetoo Oct 18, 2007 02:37 PM

                    the fireplace grill in brookline has excellent lunches at great value. their french fries are first rate and they make a fine mussels dish as well. lunch prices range from about 9 dollars for a first rate hamburger and fries up to about 14.

                    1. re: FoodArt
                      resipsaloquitor Oct 19, 2007 07:26 AM

                      I went to Lagrassa's for the first time yesterday and had its turkey sandwich with stuffing and cranberry sauce. OMG, it was so fabulous. The stuffing was homemade and they laid down a nice, thick layer of cranberry sauce. The bread was also excellent. My only thought here, though, is that it seems better to take out than to eat in that frenetic atmosphere.

                    2. b
                      bear Oct 18, 2007 02:39 PM

                      Sel de la Terre has a very good lunch menu, and is a pretty space.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: bear
                        j
                        joebelt Oct 19, 2007 06:54 AM

                        agreed except for the one in the Natick Mall. That one feels like you are eating in a Crate & Barrel store. :)

                        1. re: joebelt
                          b
                          bear Oct 20, 2007 05:10 PM

                          I've never been to the Natick location, but I can certainly imagine that to be the case. Part of the charm of a restaurant of SDLT's quality are the location, and it is pretty tough to create an ambiance that tricks someone into thinking that they are in a special location. Better to go to an authentic destination.

                          I actually hesitated to post the rec, thinking that if ngaffin lives in Waltham, she could easily make it to the Natick location some other time. Now I feel that the rec stands, since the original location is the one to go to.

                      2. Joanie Oct 20, 2007 09:29 AM

                        I'm surprised no one's suggested more upscale things, like the 3 course lunch at L'Espalier for $25. i think Radius and No. 9 have that too for about the same price. Abe & Louie's only serves their burger at lunch and brunch and that's a good deal. I'd also hit Rachel's Kitchen on Fri. for the lobster roll, which I haven't had but who knows if you'll be able to get it again. I also like going to Charley's Sandwich Shoppe on a weekday right before it closes when it's not packed. If you're downtown, I'd grab a sub to go from Al's on State St.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: Joanie
                          limster Oct 20, 2007 11:24 AM

                          No. 9 Park has stopped lunch service.

                          1. re: Joanie
                            b
                            bear Oct 20, 2007 05:15 PM

                            Hey, Joanie,

                            Check out this thread for Rachel's Kitchen update.

                            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/451980

                            1. re: bear
                              Joanie Oct 23, 2007 12:58 PM

                              Right, that's why I said they should go this week when they're on vacation.

                          2. limster Oct 20, 2007 11:26 AM

                            Angela's Cafe (East Boston) for chicken mole.
                            China Pearl Best Cafe (Chinatown) for char siew/glazed roast pork rice.
                            Flat Patties (Harvard Sq.) for burgers and onion rings.

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