HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >


Help me pick the right restaurant

Ok, here's a challange. I have an 81 year old friend...health nut. He walks 6 miles /day and follows a very strict low salt, low fat , low sugar diet. He will only eat whole grains, nonfat dairy, fish and a little poultry. NO red meat. Loves fresh fruits and veggies. He eats a ton of garlic, drinks green tea and supplements his diet w flax seed and Co Q 10.He lives on a fixed income and NEVER eats out. He has trouble justifying the high price of whole grain versions of regular foods like ww pasta and low salt bread so he dosn;t buy them. I just put together a TJ's goodie bag filled w whole grains, figs, garlic, lentils, greek yogurt, evoo for him for Christmas.. I want to take him to lunch but I'm having trouble coming up w a place that has food he would eat and enjoy. I live North of Boston but would take him in town too. Any ideas???

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. i don't know whether to envy or pity this man.

    1. I am sure this is not tha answer you want,but I do not think there is any place that will satisfy. In this circumstance I would make a home coooked lunch of his favorite items and invite him to my house for lunch.

      1 Reply
      1. Veggie Planet in Harvard Square might do the trick.

        1. Maybe Rendevous in Central Square?

          1. Maybe take him to the Buddhist center on Mass. Ave. in Cambridge, between Central and Harvard. Haven't been personally, but folks have talked about the surprisingly good quality of the food there. Here's an earlier discussion - http://www.chowhound.com/topics/323579

            Isn't there also that place in Waltham?

            1 Reply
            1. re: Bob Dobalina

              I think Asian in some form may be the way to go for your wonderful, vibrant friend! I was just about to suggest the Buddhist Center as well. Austere, but a peaceful and inexpensive lunch. Somehow, Tibetan feels virtuous to me - there's the delicious lunch buffet at Rangzen, or if you are in the mood for Nepalese, Kathmandu Spice in Arlington (where I enjoyed a delicious dinner recently; never tried lunch there, but I think Striper Guy has some good experiences? Prav or Aromatherapy might also be able to chime in). My Thai in Brookline for faux meat, done Thai-style. May's Cafe in Allston might also be a charming lunch spot for your friend.

            2. You are such a great friend. I'm pretty sure Masao's Kitchen on Moody St. in Waltham is still going strong. It is vegan and macrobiotic. I haven't been for a couple of years.

              The website has few details, and it is pretty bare-bones, but worth checking out and maybe giving a call.


              1 Reply
              1. re: bear

                Masao's - thanks, Bear - that's the place I couldn't recall.

              2. Im not sure where north of boston you are but he might like this place in lowell. Its not a fancy restaurant or anything but is a nice space with counter serice and some tables to sit at. Very nice people. Just soup/salad/wrap sorta thing

                1. I will give credit to him for living to 81. I don't know if he managed that by doing this diet or it was a "come to Jesus" moment when he realized that he may meet his maker sooner rather than later late in life.

                  I'm all for watching what you eat on a regular basis, being health and aside from any serious health issues precluding certain food items, life is way too short to not enjoy the more flavorful foods. Personally, I would not want to sacrifice everything just to squeeze a few more years out of life...I kind of feel sorry for him.

                  That said, I friend of mine frequents some restaurant up in the North Shore that is only organic and healthy. The name escapes me. Perhaps another poster can recall?

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Sal Monella

                    Believe me, I've been trying to get him to relax about his diet for some time to no avail. He's deathly afraid of Doctors and medications and wants to handle any medical issue through diet. I feel bad for him too and I keep working on him.

                    1. re: shaebones

                      That's very thoughtful of you. After re-reading what I wrote, it may have come off a little harsh so I apologize. I can't say that I blame him but like everything in life, one needs a happy middle-ground unless there are underlying health issues. Good luck and hopefully, he'll lighten up a little enjoy the rest of his years. :>)

                  2. I think your gift box is a great idea. Dinner at home with some new ingredients may help to expand his food horizons.

                    Oleana might work for a night out.

                    Off topic, but many of my ancestors lived well into their 90's eating bacon and eggs every morning. Don't do bacon myself and I love a well-cooked egg.

                    In my experience, the challange of dining out is that many places compensate for the lack of meat by adding excessive salt. Wherever you go, I would call ahead and request a low sodium meal.

                    1. This reminds me of the old joke: Doctor: You've got to stop drinking and eating fine food. Patient: If I do that, will I live another 50 years? Doctor: No, only ten, but it will feel like 50.

                      How about Dok Bua (with brown rice)? Or Peach Farm, steamed whole fish in ginger and scallions (skip the white rice)? Or the many excellent vegetarian salads and pates (and maybe some chicken kebabs) at Saray (skip the white-rice pilafs)?

                        1. How about a late lunch/early dinner at Helmund in Cambridge. They do great vegetarian with tons of lentils, etc. They open at 5:00 PM though so it may not fit the time requirement.

                          You are truly a great friend.

                          1. My report. Lunch got cancelled yesterday b/c of the storm so I left work early today to take my walking pal to lunch. Ate locally at my FAVORITE local joint..Zaleks. Couldn't have chosen a more perfect place. Food was supurb as always. Charlie got broiled haddock ,spring salad w o & v. and grilled asparagus. The special was fried flounder. When I said I that I didn't eat fried food he
                            prepared it specially for me sauteed w some lemon, buttr,capers. OMG, 4 filets cooked perfectly. Tasted right from the sea. Had the spring salad and asparagus too.
                            Charlie loved it and ate every last morsel. Said it was the best lunch ever ...even before this crazy diet. Merry Christmas Charlie!

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: shaebones

                              So happy to hear of your fabulous lunch. I'm sorry, if I'd known you were in the Wakefield area I definitely would have recommended Zalek's. Guess I didn't have to!!