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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!

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  1. ahhh, the start of a new relationship. chnewbie, you are about to learn two key things about relationships: (1) Be realistic (a lot of restrictions you've listed up there) and (2) Compromise.

    My advice...head to the Washington Square Tavern

    1 Reply
    1. re: CambridgeFoodie

      Oh no, I thought I was keeping things open! :) I'm willing to eat just about anything, he isn't. And since he's already told me that he's paying and driving, I don't want to leave him penniless. Thanks for the suggestion!

    2. 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.

      Good luck!

      1 Reply
      1. re: MC Slim JB

        Jasmine Bistro sounds great, and I like the strategy of foods that won't scare off my guy. Elephant Walk sounds tasty too, and the Brookline location would be perfect. Thanks for all of the options!

      2. 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.

        http://www.usdiners.com/cgi-bin/menup...

        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!

        1 Reply
        1. re: bear

          I checked out their menu, I think I would like it and may end up going on my own this weekend. It might be a bit adventurous for him. But it looks great. Thank you!

        2. May be a little tame for you, but Green Street Grill in Central Square, Cambridge?

          7 Replies
          1. 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.

            1. re: Joanie

              I still have not made it to Green Street. What's the sound level there? Can you hold a conversation? How about the bar--is it full menu?

              1. re: BostonZest

                The sound level is pretty low in both the dining room and the bar. The bar is L-shaped and also has high tops if you prefer. Full menu available at the bar. I hope that corn chowder is back on the menu now.

                1. re: gini

                  I must disagree. It gets loud in Green Street, in all areas. I like it there anyway, but always make sure I can sit very close to my DC, side by side if possible.

                  1. re: jajjguy

                    After going in to get a drink on Sat. nite w/ one free table available in the bar, I have to agree that it was pretty freaking loud. I think the dining room side is better but I was surprised at how noisy it was. We opted for the Rendezvous bar.

                    1. re: Joanie

                      Hmm, my own loudness may skew my perceptions. Thanks for the update!

                      1. re: gini

                        I'm no shrinking violet myself, we both were surprised at how loud it was. I think weekdays will work, and definitely on the early side.

          2. I suggest Silvertone. The steak tips are delicious, and plenty on the menu for you too.