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Where do you go for quick lunches around downtown crossing?(assuming you work in the neighborhood)

trymonlam Mar 24, 2008 09:44 AM

hello guys,
i work in downtown crossing and i am looking for new lunch spots. been tired of the chain establishments around here. any recommendations from hounds working in my area?

a few places i used to eat at:
d'angelo's on franklin st (new chiken salad sandwich actually pretty good)
i track to chinatown for lunch every other day.

thanks for all suggestions/replies.

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  1. d
    DotDiner RE: trymonlam Mar 24, 2008 10:14 AM

    these are the places i find myself going to again and again:
    Pita Kabob (Chauncy Street)
    Falafel King (Winter Street)
    Herrera's (Temple Place)
    Lu's Sandwich Shop (Knapp Street)
    Pressed (Bedford Street)
    Know Fat (Washington Street)
    Chacarero (Arch Street)
    Sushi at the Corner Mall food court

    1 Reply
    1. re: DotDiner
      9lives RE: DotDiner Mar 24, 2008 10:32 AM

      I'll add Sam LaGrass's..corned beef, pastrami..Province St

      Pace..cold Italian subs..Devonshire

      Viga..hot Italian subs/pastas

      Sultan's Kitchen..Turkish..State St

      Al's Subs..State St

      Sakura Bana..pricier but better quality than Corner mall...Broad St.

      Burrito Express..Bedford St..sort of between back of Macy's and C Town

      edit.. to add Silvertone and Good Life for "sit down"..rest I mostly do takeout

      For a Thai craving..Rock Sugar on Battermarch...possible "downhill alert"..lunch the other day seemed to cost more and have more rice than the dish. I'll give them another shot. Call well in advance, they're slow.

    2. finlero RE: trymonlam Mar 24, 2008 10:36 AM

      Check out Blumie's "2008 definitive Financial District lunch thread":


      1. f
        FoodArt RE: trymonlam Mar 24, 2008 10:45 AM

        I'll second Sam LaGrassas, also Silvertone.

        1. b
          beacon_hill_boy RE: trymonlam Mar 24, 2008 10:50 AM

          Do you mean "grab a bite"?

          96% Burrito Express (Cancun Express? It has 2 names) : the chimichanga!
          4% Chacarero: the chicken sandwich

          Seasonal Herrera's fan, but only at the carts. There's also an Armenian cart (basic chicken wraps & a tasty spicy sauce) that I enjoy, in the summer months.

          8 Replies
          1. re: beacon_hill_boy
            DotDiner RE: beacon_hill_boy Mar 24, 2008 11:11 AM

            why only Herrera's carts? i like the carnitas at the storefront location.

            1. re: DotDiner
              beacon_hill_boy RE: DotDiner Mar 24, 2008 12:13 PM

              For me, bean burritos are a 'lunch thing.' I prefer them dry (from the cart), not sloppy (in the resto). When I dine in Mexican, its usually Tu y Yo (Powderhouse Sq, SOM) or something better than Herrera's.

              H. is ridiculously overrated, IMO. Better than MickeyD's yes, but barely worth mentioning EXCEPT as cheap 'grab-it grub' street food. Quiznos ($) is an alternative. This is bland comfort food, really.

              For the money & the flavor & the quantity, Burrito Express is much much more authentic. I like the dinge-y hole-in-the-wall character of the place, and the clientele (always a sign) tends to be younger, more hip, latin.

              1. re: beacon_hill_boy
                DotDiner RE: beacon_hill_boy Mar 24, 2008 12:25 PM

                interesting. i have had many a bean burrito from the herrera's cart, but once i discovered they had carnitas at the storefront, i go there more often. i wouldn't consider it a "dine in" destination, though they do have tables. yes, it's on a totally different playing field than Tu y Yo.

                i have been to burrito express many times and have been disappointed on a few occasions (in contrast to the general Chowhound opinion). i've found an inconsistent assortment of weird ingredients in my burritos such as lettuce, peas, carrots, etc. i have given them a second chance and a third chance, and have always been dissatisfied.

                1. re: DotDiner
                  beacon_hill_boy RE: DotDiner Mar 24, 2008 01:00 PM

                  When I "dine in" Mexican it's dinner, not lunch. So yes, Tu Y Yo is a different ballgame! (Have you tried the burned grasshoppers?)

                  Your point on 'inconsistency' at Burrito Express is duly noted (I've found the same); otoh, its cheap & I don't have high expectations in that regard. Such is life!

                  The ratty-kitschy decor of Burrito Express is like something out of a movie. The more bizarro they make, the better imo!

                  I also play 'Count the Mexicans' - I believe the more (ethnics) you see as customers, the more authentic the food is. Herrera's is bland & for gringos - sorry!

                  Outside of the FD, I do favor El Pelon Taqueria for carnitas (which I'll only eat at night.) How do those compare?

                  I recently took a Mex-snobby Texan to El Pelon ; he declared it the best burrito he'd eaten in Boston in 3 years, rating it a 7.0 on a scale of 10, fwiw. (I prefer the caramellos.)

                  Sorry to go off-topic/ off-nabe!

                  1. re: beacon_hill_boy
                    Nechushtan RE: beacon_hill_boy Apr 1, 2008 11:21 AM

                    "I recently took a Mex-snobby Texan"

                    Ahh, Tex-Mex.... You should have taken him to Border Cafe...

                    1. re: Nechushtan
                      beacon_hill_boy RE: Nechushtan Apr 1, 2008 10:26 PM

                      Ha! He HATES that place.

                      I always thought "Tex-Mex" meant 'bland, Americanized-Mexican,' doesnt the the Border Cafe do fake N'awlins too? : )

                      Qdoba's edible, but it's still Tex-Mex. I should research the Mexican options more closely - another friend who lived in Texas swears there's a better Mexican joint near Burrito Express ... never could visualize exactly where... (I think its Andale, not sure there's a consensus here, maybe that will be my next Try.)

                      1. re: beacon_hill_boy
                        Nechushtan RE: beacon_hill_boy Apr 17, 2008 08:16 AM

                        he may be thinking of Herrara's which is a couple blocks away. Possibly Andale, which is pretty good but they don't do taco's, which in my mind is a requirement of any small Mexican food establishment. plus the burritos aren't as good as the Herrera's cart.

                        I do enjoy Zocalo's though, too bad its in college-ville, err, Allston...

                        1. re: Nechushtan
                          beacon_hill_boy RE: Nechushtan Apr 17, 2008 09:49 AM

                          I've now been to Andale, twice. Its worth the rave reviews, but it's sweeter to my palate, and I prefer darker, savory tastes. (I can't see my friend raving about Andale - but he recently moved to Amsterdam.) I agree the Andale menu is somewhat limited, but the office crowd is maybe 98% of the customers, and tacos might not be included because they're messy?

                          I definitely appreciate the basic 'comfort-food' quality of the refritos at the Herrera's cart (in spring & fall), but love the rich chimichanga at Burrito Express above all else.

                          I'll look for Zocalo's on my next bike trip to Allston-Brighton - thx!

          2. ebone RE: trymonlam Mar 24, 2008 10:55 AM

            The meze bar at Boston Kebab House in Liberty Sq is turning into a new favorite of mine. Everything else has been mentioned in this and the other thread mentioned.

            1. a
              amljml RE: trymonlam Mar 24, 2008 11:04 AM

              A place that seems to get overlooked on the board is Delicato Cafe on City Hall Ave. A good spot to grab soup, sandwich or a warm entree. Entrees and salad specials change daily.

              1 Reply
              1. re: amljml
                MeffaBabe RE: amljml Mar 24, 2008 01:36 PM

                M-W-F Great Chili at Delicato also

              2. kobuta RE: trymonlam Mar 24, 2008 11:19 AM

                Mmm...I miss working in the financial district. It's been a few years but these used to be my favorites:
                - Chacarero
                - Pi Alley Deli (for their chicken kebab plate with greek salad and rice pilaf)
                - Silvertone (though might not be that quick due to crowds)
                - Mei Sum in Ctown for vietnamese subs
                - Eldo's/Royal Bakery in Ctown for buns
                - Wai Wai's in Ctown (the newer one at corner of Harrison & Kneeland) for rice plates with roast meat(s), usually chicken or roast duck
                - Penang in Ctown for Hainan chicken rice (works well to go)
                - Hong Kong Eatery in Ctown for wonton noodles with roast duck
                - Sakurabana for takeout sushi (on less crowded days, great for their udon or soba to eat in)

                1. m
                  mwk RE: trymonlam Mar 24, 2008 02:07 PM


                  A nice list of places, including many of my favorites. I'll only add two I didn't see:

                  Sebastians: Great fresh salad bar and excellent sandwiches and hot food selections as well.

                  Tequila's Mexican Grill: On Bromfield St. next to Silvertone. Very tasty and fresh food. Especially good are the special plates, and the homemade salsas on the toppings bar they have in the corner.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: mwk
                    jgg13 RE: mwk Mar 24, 2008 02:13 PM

                    Second on Tequilas. Found it completely by accident one day when I really just didn't feel like dealing with the lines that were present at that moment in both the chacarero space & lagrassas. Turned the corner and saw it there. Now its my backup in that block for just the same situation (I still typically would prefer chacarero, but don't always feel like waiting in a long line)

                    1. re: jgg13
                      Nechushtan RE: jgg13 Apr 1, 2008 11:21 AM

                      I was sorely disappointed in Tequilas my one visit, my one visit to Herrera's fared much better. Both a better deal than Andale! though, so they have that going for them.

                      I've walked past Burrito Express a few times, love the sign! I'll have to try it now, with low expectations (though I don't mind random veggies in my burrito...).

                  2. TomH RE: trymonlam Mar 25, 2008 08:42 AM

                    Technically it is in the Leather District but my office frequents Figaro's on Beach Street.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: TomH
                      BBHound RE: TomH Mar 25, 2008 08:48 AM

                      I'm not familiar with Figaro's. Please tell us more about it.

                      1. re: BBHound
                        TomH RE: BBHound Mar 25, 2008 10:19 AM

                        Figaro's is an italian style deli that also does soups, salads and pasta dishes. I have been going there for a few years now so I usually go with one of the daily specials but their "Hit List" is also very good.

                        Here is a link to their web site: http://www.figarosboston.com/

                        It is a family business run by a brother and sister and one of those places where they remember your name. Definitely check it out and let me know what you think!

                    2. h
                      hojoro RE: trymonlam Apr 2, 2008 10:48 AM

                      Andale has the most flavorful burritos in the area. The Carnitas are the best I've tasted in Boston.

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