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visiting boston 1st time, any advice?

minneapolite Oct 6, 2008 10:15 AM

Hi everyone! I'm interviewing at Boston College for graduate school this Friday and am looking for good lunch and dinner recommendations for the trip. It will be my first time in Boston! I am hoping to do lunch around Boston College, something casual, eclectic, inspired, and relatively quick and inexpensive. Then I'm sure i'll be going somewhere downtown, getting together with an old friend, and would be interested in going somewhere with great seafood and good beer (something also casual since it's old college buddies getting together). I've heard I should see the North End, but i don't have any definitive plans. I'll be taxiing around town so i'm pretty flexible. I'll be staying at the Sheraton Newton. Thanks for any help!!

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  1. Bob Dobalina Oct 6, 2008 11:01 AM

    There really isn't anything near BC that fits your description. Sad, but true.
    For a taste of local flavor, you could check out Buff's Pub, which is across the street from your hotel. Otherwise, there is also not a heck of a lot near your hotel either. Are you getting the sense that Newton is somewhat of a chow wasteland?

    7 Replies
    1. re: Bob Dobalina
      minneapolite Oct 6, 2008 11:31 AM

      thanks. I'm sure that's partly why it was the cheapest hotel i could find. I definitely want to eat well out there, so I'm not going to allow myself to be overly tethered to my hotel. I'm finding some good stuff on this board, so i have some good ideas. looks as though I will for sure be checking out the north end.

      1. re: minneapolite
        Taralli Oct 6, 2008 11:44 AM

        Are you interviewing at the Newton, Chestnut Hill campus or elsewhere - will make a difference on where we suggest lunch.

        1. re: Taralli
          minneapolite Oct 6, 2008 01:28 PM

          chestnut hill campus. sorry, i should have been more clear.

        2. re: minneapolite
          9lives Oct 6, 2008 12:48 PM

          I haven't spent much time lately in that area, but Amarin used to be pretty good Thai..near your hotel.

          There's an express bus nearby that brings you downtown nonstop..502 or 504? North End or Chinatown are short walk.

          1. re: minneapolite
            nickls Oct 7, 2008 12:57 PM

            Be careful where you go in the North End. Personally, I find most of the places there not worth it. Last time I went I made a reservation and they still made me wait an hour. Since I'm not a huge fan of red sauce Italian, I avoid the restaurants around there.

            I like East Coast Grill for seafood and drinks, they have a nice raw bar. Probably too far out of your way.

            1. re: nickls
              Joanie Oct 7, 2008 01:13 PM

              Am I the only one who doesn't think of the North End as all or even mainly red sauce? Prezza, Lucca, Carmen, Taranta, Terramia, Eclano, Mama Maria, etc. Certainly enough places to get non red sauce if you want.

              1. re: Joanie
                Rubee Oct 7, 2008 06:10 PM

                No, I'm with you Joanie. I'm always suprised when someone defines the entire North End as all mediocre red sauce and tell people to stay away. I just assume that they haven't been there in years, or maybe chose the touristy places to eat at.

                What a shame to miss out on all the good restaurants in the North End. Of course, Prezza is my favorite, but in addition to those recommendations you've listed in, I'll add Neptune.

        3. f
          fets Oct 6, 2008 06:03 PM

          One of my fave places for seafood is Jasper White's Summer Shack - the pan roasted lobster is heavenly and the greasy RI calamari is delish. I really like Jasper's b/c the food is top notch but the atmosphere is casual - great place for your beer and seafood combo...

          2 Replies
          1. re: fets
            bachslunch Oct 7, 2008 10:45 AM

            Eeek, no. I wouldn't steer anyone to Jasper White's. Lousy food, very expensive, extremely noisy -- and I ought to know, as I've been dragged there on several occasions. One can do lots, lots better at Neptune Oyster or B&G Oysters in Boston or Dolphin Seafood in Cambridge, and none of these are far away from a subway stop.

            1. re: bachslunch
              Bob Dobalina Oct 7, 2008 12:43 PM

              Which raises the question: Exactly why aren't there better fish and beer places in the greater Boston area and on the Green Line in particular ?! Overheard getting off the Gov't Center T - "Wow, I can smell the ocean..." Yes, we are a coastal city. So what gives? Why are we forced to choose over-priced glam-fish or the tourist racket? I know, I know...I should check out Dolphin and I haven't been yet, but I get the sense it is a very basic restaurant - not exactly the kind of place I have in mind...a place to get huge buckets of oysters, mussels, or clams, and good beer, somewhat informal but where the chow is the focus too. My reference point is the Cross Street municipal market in Baltimore, were on Friday happy hours, you can get cheap bottles of beer, cheap raw bar, shrimps from the steamer, grilled fish from the grill guy or fresh-made sushi from the sushi guy. Are rents in Boston just that prohibitive of such a thing?

              Sorry for the rant.

          2. TheTrout Oct 6, 2008 06:38 PM

            If you want to grab a good lunch near the BC campus, Appetito, 716 Beacon Street in Newton Centre is less than a mile from BC. Grab a seat at the bar, enjoy one of the tasty soups, a small salad and glass of vino. What's not to like?
            If you want to go back to your hotel, there's a place about a mile from it where you can also get a good lunch- Stellina in Watertown Square.
            For dinner- the North End on a Friday night will be busy! A reservation will be a must, otherwise you may be looking at 1+ hour wait. For North End choices, do a search on the board.
            Good luck with the interview.

            1. p
              pollystyrene Oct 6, 2008 08:53 PM

              I agree that you should see the North End. They don't take reservations, but Pizzeria Regina has the best pizza in the city, and afterward go to Mike's for cannoli. Then you'll know why you've heard you should go to the North End. Plus it's got historic charm galore.

              On Sunday, you could have brunch at La Morra, which gets acclaim here. It's on rt. 9 in Chestnut Hill.

              1 Reply
              1. re: pollystyrene
                Bob Dobalina Oct 7, 2008 06:01 AM

                BTW, La Morra is fully in Brookline (Brookline Village T on the D Green line is the closest.).
                If you are going to go that far, check out Pomodoro or Orinoco in Brookline Village as well.

              2. e
                emilief Oct 7, 2008 08:45 AM

                You can take the Green Line to Waban CEnter stop and have lunch at Kouzina- a really nice fun place with excellent food. Owned by couple- one Greek and one French- serves modern twist on greek food, pizzas , etc. Has wine and beer license. Also it is a short cab ride- just ask to go to Waban Center- Waban is part of Newton. Kouzina is not open on Mondays.

                2 Replies
                1. re: emilief
                  Bob Dobalina Oct 7, 2008 12:36 PM

                  Two thumbs up also for Kouzina - It's on the D Green Line - you can walk down to the Chestnut Hill stop from the BC main campus and take an outbound train. I did not realize they are open for lunch.

                  1. re: Bob Dobalina
                    emilief Oct 7, 2008 02:39 PM

                    Yes! Open for lunch. Thanks for help with the directions - I drive in that area.

                2. m
                  minneapolite Oct 8, 2008 08:31 PM

                  thanks for the advice everyone! I plan on going to apetito for a late lunch/dinner thursday night. i'll also probably hit up that Buff's Pub across my hotel for a drink to calm my nerves and help with sleep before the big interview. my friend and I are going to try for Neptune on Friday night. I know it's going to be busy, but if we expect a wait at least it'll be much easier to deal with. What's a good place to grab an after dinner cocktail in the North End? Any suggestions on a back-up if Neptune is ridiculous busy? Thanks again everyone. After reading Chowhound for nearly a year now, this was my first post!

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: minneapolite
                    Rubee Oct 8, 2008 11:30 PM

                    For after-dinner cocktails in the North End, I love Prezza, and for later last-calls, we head to Bricco or Lucca.

                    1. re: minneapolite
                      Bob Dobalina Oct 9, 2008 04:34 AM

                      Buff's is not a quiet pub - pretty lively place. But it should not be too bad tonight, since most people will be saving their drink for the Sox tomorrow.

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