any dinner suggestions for couple w/ opposite tastes?
I like Thai, Mexican, and Caribbean food, grilled salmon, Caesar salad. He likes steak, potatoes, and maybe corn. I'm looking for a place for dinner, with meter/free parking (no valet), nothing super romantic or where you have to get dressed up. Preferably not much more than $20 per person, anywhere between Boston and Wellesley. We both like BBQ, but since we're just getting to know each other, I don't want anything too messy! I'd like to avoid a chain restaurant. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance!
A couple of thoughts:
Jasmine Bistro, Brighton -- French, Hungarian, and Baluchistani (something like Persian, Afghani, and Pakistani cuisines, lovely). I love the whole menu here (Hungarian is otherwise non-existent in Boston), and maybe the European dishes wouldn't be too weird for your beau. Menu link on this page: http://boston.menupages.com/restauran...
Equator -- decent Thai, less interesting pan-Asian (Japanese, Korean, Chinese), plus American prime rib and steaks and Italian pastas. It's a bit bizarre, and I've only ever really liked the Thai dishes here, which have improved since the owners closed their other South End place, Thai Village. But it's one of those rare East-meets-West places that isn't fusion cuisine. http://www.equatorrestaurantma.com/
Bars with good, slightly creative menus might serve your purposes, too: better than average food, relaxed atmosphere, low prices. Some of my favorites along these lines include The Franklin Cafe, Coda, Silvertone, Audubon Circle, the Blarney Stone, The Alchemist, Green Street, Miracle of Science, Columbus Cafe, B-Side (though parking in that last one's neighborhood is a challenge).
A little pricey by your guidelines, but Elephant Walk's menu has two halves: French for him (steak frites), Cambodian for you. Cool atmosphere at the Brookline location; I'd choose the Waltham location next; I don't like the Cambridge one for some reason.
This is probably too small or casual for you, but Something Savory in Arlington Heights has Caribbean food, grilled salmon and a grilled steak. The jambalaya and jerk have been fresh and tasty when I've had them. They also have ribs, but I haven't tried them yet. It's not a destination place, but parking in the Heights is usually pretty easy, the food is good and not too expensive, and the room is cute. You could also hit up The Chilly Cow in Arlington Center for frozen custard afterwards.
The website seems to be down, but I did find this online menu.
Anyway, if you opt for something a little more upscale and things work out, SS is a good casual compromise place to keep in mind for the future. Have fun!
re: North Ender
Green St. was my first thought and with their offal plate and some fun apps, there's a good amount for the more adventurous person to eat. And maybe it's time for their corn chowder w/ bacon and fried clams to come back on the menu. And there's the statler chicken and steak for the boring eater.