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lunch near mass general

mjoyous Jan 31, 2008 07:37 AM

Have to be at MGH for a late afternoon appointment. Any recommendations for a nearby (walking is limited right now) lunch and/or great bakery?

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  1. hiddenboston Jan 31, 2008 07:44 AM

    Actually, the food right at MGH isn't all that bad, but if you want to eat away from the hospital, Phoenicia on Cambridge Street (more or less across from MGH), which serves Middle Eastern cuisine, isn't bad.

    For a bakery/cafe nearby, Panificio might be worth going to. They are on Charles Street near the T Stop.

    1 Reply
    1. re: hiddenboston
      Gin and It Jan 31, 2008 12:26 PM

      I like their whole wheat crust pizza.

    2. yumyum Jan 31, 2008 07:49 AM

      I think the Spotted Apron is also close (bakery on Cambridge Street). For lunch I'd head to Pierrot Bistrot ... within shuffling distance from MGH.

      2 Replies
      1. re: yumyum
        saltyair Jan 31, 2008 12:11 PM

        I 2nd the SA

        1. re: saltyair
          mocooks Jan 31, 2008 12:24 PM

          The Spotted Apron has closed (a sign on the door says it is closed and will be relocating elsewhere).

      2. m
        mwk Jan 31, 2008 07:53 AM

        Harvard Gardens is also a good option, right on Cambridge St. near the rotary.

        1. c
          cots Jan 31, 2008 09:51 AM

          You might also want to try Cafe Podima across the street, or Ristorante Venice for a cheap slice of pizza. Also, Viva Burrito is right behind the hospital on Staniford St - recommended if you're after a more substantial lunch <$10.
          And if you're really in chowhound mode, step into Grampy's gas station for a burrito. They are rumored to be great.

          5 Replies
          1. re: cots
            chilibaby Jan 31, 2008 05:11 PM

            Second the burritos at Grampy's gas station across the street. You could get it to go and eat it in the MGH cafeteria... A way better option than the strange burritos at Viva, IMHO.

            I also like the salads and sandwiches at Panificio on Charles St (that's a little further, about a block down Charles).

            1. re: chilibaby
              Alcachofa Feb 1, 2008 09:14 AM

              Why are they strange? I like the Viva Burritos. Not "best in show" or anything, but quite decent. Above average.

              B-Bob3: they let you take in food there?

              1. re: Alcachofa
                Bostonbob3 Feb 1, 2008 10:42 AM

                Into the Beacon Hill Pub? Sure, I've never had a problem, at least at lunchtime.

                1. re: Alcachofa
                  chilibaby Feb 3, 2008 05:04 AM

                  Well, this is based on very faint recollections that are dated from years ago. I seem to recall the burritos being overwhelmed by rice that I didn't care for and had too many peas for a burrito. I stopped going because I thought they were weird. Do you have a more recent experience?

                  1. re: chilibaby
                    Bostonbob3 Feb 4, 2008 05:02 AM

                    Are you talking about Villa Mexico (the place in the gas station), or Viva Burrito? I'm the Villa Mexico fan. Viva Burrito is okay though. Not great, but okay in a pinch.

                    EDIT: Oh, see you're talking about Viva Burrito as having strange burritos. Don't necessarily disagree, but again, in a burrito-pinch, they're okay IMO. But nothing like Villa Mexico. (Or Angela's, but that's a bit of a walk from Beacon Hill.:))

            2. b
              Bostonbob3 Jan 31, 2008 09:55 AM

              My perfect lunch in that area:

              Villa Mexico takeout (good mole, tacos, burritos, tamales) eaten with a beer (or three) at the Beacon Hill Pub around the corner.

              1. b
                Bmayo Jan 31, 2008 11:46 AM

                Antonio's on Cambridge Street is very good!

                2 Replies
                1. re: Bmayo
                  raddoc Jan 31, 2008 12:36 PM

                  Ma Soba (156 Cambridge St) is only a couple of blocks up Cambridge St. I don't know if that's in your range. They open at 11:30 and have pretty reasonable sushi in my experience. I haven't tried the Chinese dishes, probably standard Americanized Chinese. I'm not sure how much love they've gotten on this board.

                  1. re: Bmayo
                    Notorious EMDB Jan 31, 2008 12:37 PM

                    Second Antonio's Cucina Italiana. It's pretty red-sauce, menu-wise, but their sauteed escarole in garlic is different and tasty, and the menu is very inexpensive.

                    The Spotted Apron on Cambridge, down toward Charles Street, is a nice but slightly overpriced bakery. They do have sandwiches, salads, and soups, and a nice sunny seating area, as well as decent coffee and espresso drinks.

                  2. a
                    alansm Jan 31, 2008 01:52 PM

                    Actually, Antonio's is one of my favorite restaurants and it's practically right across Cambridge Street from Mass. General.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: alansm
                      AnnieP Jan 31, 2008 09:40 PM

                      Antonio's is a good solid choice; very popular, though with the MGH crowd and other locals. Tables are close together and it's a bit noisy, so if you don't have to eat right at noon, it's a good option. The chicken ziti saldati is my favorite lunch choice. The Grampy's takeout is a great recommendation as well; reminded me how long since I've done it. Go with the burrito if you do it, as people don't find the tacos as satisfying. Should you decide to eat at MGH, the cafeteria has a lot of variety for a hospital cafeteria, but it gets packed right at noon, and for an hour or so after. Worse if the weather is lousy. If you can eat even a little before noon it makes a big difference (or closer to your appt, since it's late afternoon). The cafeteria in the Yawkey building, where you may be going for your appt. is smaller, but also a good option- menu choices are more limited, but different from the main caf. Artu on Charles St is a good choice that I didn't see yet, but if you are having mobility issues, the stairs to its basement location may be problematic. Good luck...

                    2. a
                      admiralackbar Jan 31, 2008 09:00 PM

                      clink at the liberty hotel. Classy without pretention. Large portions and nice straight forward offers for lunch.

                      1. C. Hamster Feb 1, 2008 06:02 AM

                        Big Antonio's fan here. If you like red sauce, the "veal special" is excellent.

                        I also like their non-red offerings like chicken, broccoli and ziti and sausage, potatoes and hots.

                        1. m
                          mjoyous Mar 13, 2008 12:56 PM

                          A belated thanks to everyone for the recommends! My appt. was postponed, but made it there (I'm in the Berkshires) this week. We ended up at Phonecia, as my companion wanted to try middle eastern food for a first time. What we had was good, but not superlative. I had their version of moussaka, which bore no resemblance to the Greek (with meat) version, but was tasty...they just should have used canned ripe tomatoes instead of insipid under ripe fresh ones. Friend had the spinach pie which was underseasoned.
                          But all was worth the baklava for dessert. I'm a baker and pastry hound, and had never had baklava like this. The pan had just come out for sale, so we had to try it. Not a moist, honey & rosewater version. Rather dry, but very buttery when you bit into it. And a different and totally delicious filling. Thick layer of walnuts and sugar ground to almost a paste, really sweet and very yummy. Then topped with a rougher chop of fresh pistachios.
                          They had some day old baklava that didn't seem to have the paste and pistachio layers; if you see this stuff try it! It's a nice change of pace.

                          1. n
                            nm424 Mar 15, 2008 04:31 PM

                            I recently discovered that Lala Rokh is open for lunch (I believe sister restaurant Bin 26 might be too). Lala Rohk's lunch menu is a modified version of its (glorious) dinner menu, with some sandwich and salad options for those who don't feel like eating a lamb shank for lunch (apparently i have no problem doing that, however :). Quicker service than I expected too - you can be in and out in 45 minutes.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: nm424
                              mjoyous Mar 18, 2008 12:56 PM

                              Thanks. Sounds good, and I have to go back for an appt. in May!

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