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Lechmere T Stop

I have to go to Petco near Cambridgeside Galleria tomorrow AM. I don't know the area well.

Anything interesting and worth checking out? We'll be there about 11 and on foot. Only real request is that it be something I can't find in Chinatown; as I lve next door.

TIA

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  1. Boca Grande is not far from there. Solid burritos.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Frank Enbean

      Definitely not-solid. In fact, I literally can't imagine a worse burrito than the ones served to me on several occasions by the Boca Grande near the Galleria. Dried-out, too-thick tortillas, undercooked and unseasoned beans, burnt (like, the whole place was filled with smoke when I walked in) meat, old-tasting pico, totally absent of salt or spice or anything. Seriously, this place is awful.

      1. re: Luther

        Since this thread continues to resurface, I'll throw in a positive nod to Boca Grande. I would definitely consider it solid...in the area, Skampa (roast beef, pastrami, fried fish, chicken/"chicken-salad" salads) and Boca are my go-to places for lunch. Granted it's not the most competitive area, but these two turn out good food.

        In particular, I would say I've never considered the tortillas to be thick or dry, and the smoke is actually a positive in my book. The grill is right there front and center, and they're just throwing a nice char on a huge volume of chicken every day - and the smell of the grill is always welcome in the middle of a workday. The smoke doesn't deter most folks from lining up out the door. In terms of the meat, I like the chicken colorado, but also find the carnitas and carne asada to be good options...just depends on which bin looks tasitest that day.

        I'll side with you that it's not spectacular, and the beans and pico are far from inspired (I favor the black beans)...but it's a big, solid, yummy burrito. I just wish it wasn't so cold all the time for my walk.

    2. Restaurant Dante is nearby.
      Helmand is nearby too. Not sure if either has any relevance to your trip on Sunday morning.
      Other than that, I feel like that area is a wasteland, esp. on the weekends.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Bob Dobalina

        Helmand is only open for dinner, unfortunately.

      2. Sunday morning on foot in Lechmere (especially with the snowstorm!) is pretty brutal.

        All of the above are unfortunately closed when you'll be there, as is 2nd Street Cafe, a terrific little weekday breakfast and lunch spot, and Courthouse Seafood, one of my favorites for fish and chips.

        If I were in your shoes, I'd make sure those shoes were snow boots and hoof it over to the Blue Room for brunch, which starts at 11. Roughly a 15 minute walk from Lechmere, maybe a tick longer in the inclement weather.

        1. Atwood's Tavern is close by and I think they have Sunday brunch, although we've never been for brunch. We do love the regular menu and the beer selection.

          6 Replies
          1. re: digga

            Atwoods is 10-15 minutes from Lechmere on foot, depending whose feet. It's a good solid pub with good taps.

            I'd suggest Bambara in the Hotel Marlowe, about a block from the station. Brunch starts at 11:30. Very good (not tops) hotel restaurant.

            If you're really up for a walk, Blue Room is a great choice. You could take the T from Kendall on the flip side.

            1. re: jajjguy

              You can always take the 69 bus from lechemere to Atwoods. That's a real favorite of mine in that area. And if you were taking the 69 anyways, you could always go an extra few blocks and hit up the east coast grill brunch.

              I think 15 mins would be very conservative for a walk between lechemere & atwoods, though as you say, it does depend on whose feet are involved

              1. re: digga

                We stopped in tonight after a too long absence. I had the fisherman's or seafood stew... whatever the hell it is called, it was fantastic. Fresh seafood (mussels, clams, grilled shrimp, chunks of some white flesh fish - cod or haddock?) from New Deal across the street in a thin tomato broth, topped with some grilled bread. WOW! And B had the burger and fries - both very good. I had a couple of reds by the glass and B had the Dogfish 60 min and Sixpoint IPA. And to top it all off, there was live bluegrass. LIVE BLUEGRASS, people! Made us happy.

                1. re: digga

                  I was there Friday night, too! I agree--totally great. We had the fish sandwich and hamburger. Great band. I wish Atwood was in walking distance....it would be such a perfect neighborhood bar.

                  1. re: dulce de leche

                    I was there Friday night as well. Had a bite to eat and a couple of beers. I really like that band. I guess they play there every Friday night.

              2. Atasca in nearby Kendall Sq. I believe they open at noon on Sundays. No sandwiches served on Sunday unfortunately.

                1. The Snackbar, up at 691 Cambridge, is rather lowbrow (or, as another poster here put it, "looks like a dump") but serves some excellent Portugese fare as well as standard "sub shop" type stuff. My menu of unknown vintage says they're closed on Sundays, but I'm pretty sure I've eaten there on a Sunday so I'm not sure what to believe; definitely call ahead if it's of interest. It's a small bit of a walk; normally I wouldn't even mention it, but in tomorrow morning's snow it might be a lousy trip even if they are open.

                  There's a basic sub-and-pizza shop, Skampa, much closer to Lechmere on Cambridge. (Corner of 5th.) I wouldn't go out of my way for it, but the calzones are pretty good, and it's probably a better bet than anything in the mall if you just want a bite.

                  Finally, Royal Pastry, even further up Cambridge, is open 8-3 on Sundays and has awesome baked goods. See royalpastryshop.com for more on them. (I would and have gone out of my way for both Royal and the Snackbar.)

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: kf2vv

                    Skampa has been on my list for a roast beef sandwich. Wisteria House is around there too, according to my takeout menu open at 11, corner Cambridge & 7th. My Snack Bar takeout menu says catering-only on Sundays; their website has disappeared. 617-491-8292.

                    1. re: Aromatherapy

                      Skampa's roast beef is very good. I only get my sandwiches as takeout these days so that I can increase the horseradish/mayo ratio at home. Their horseradish sauce just doesn't have enough kick for my tastes.

                  2. There's always the food court at the Galleria Mall. Not!

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Uncle Yabai

                      Where the free sample "bourbon"/"teriyaki"/"barbecue" chicken tastes the same regardless of which stall serves it. ;)

                      1. re: Prav

                        You can get like six chickens and one shrimp for freezay

                        1. re: Luther

                          Several years ago the Galleria was on my walk home from work. On particularly cold nights, I'd cut through the mall, always making sure to do the loop by the food court to hit all of the free samples. Hey, it was free and then I wouldn't be quite as hungry when I got home :)

                      2. re: Uncle Yabai

                        Actually, the kheer at the Indian kiosk is really nice. Not too rosy, just gentle and appropriately sweet.

                      3. I also suggest Royal Bakery on Cambridge St. - about 2 blocks from Lechmere and on the opposite side of st. Tiny but excellent baked goods, especially their hermits.
                        Also, if you like Greek, Delfina's which is a block down from the courthouse heading towards Kendall.

                        1. Since its close to your departure time, some quick ideas...

                          Snack Bar has experimented with Sunday opening, but I believe they are closed as is La Hacienda.

                          In addition to Roast Beef which I would recommend, Skampa isn't bad for haddock sub (although with Courthouse nearby is more of a backup.) Its also does an acceptable Pastami (Maria's used to do an excellent one, this isn't quite as good).

                          Dante or Marlowe for burger at the bar, former a bit better.

                          Portugalia is just a bit further than Wisteria (which doesn't meet the different from Chinatown), you might be able to convince them to serve the lunch menu in the bar (and they have some other snack food which you can order there). Opens around 11:30 and 1/2 bottles of Portuguese wine a plus. Can check out Royal across st, plus if you walk (its more than 2 blocks, its a good 10 minutes) you can check out 660 Liquors for the imported liquers and brandies, portuguese wines, plus fried favas/pumpkin seed packets for the walk back.
                          s
                          Casal has a cafe open until about 1pm (one of those Portuguese businesses that opens in the morning and stays until after Mass), further than Atwood's but you can also check out Fernandes fish market (Sunday's I don't think they have prepared food and close around the same time as Casal, maybe an hour later.)

                          Atwoods brunch was pretty basic, but unhurried compared to B-Side or East Coast (Blue Room is a zoo at that hour), but they did change menu/chefs a while back. Pires market (Cape Verdean) nearby should have some brazilian salgadinhos and other snacks, but don't know if they are very fresh on Sundays.

                          Pugliese's near Wisteria doesn't officially do lunch on Sundays, but do make meals for regulars and on a snowy day would probably be willing to pull something out (tips or burger, no fryer)... better option than the Karaoke place near the Courthouse. I think East Side Grille might be open for decent red sauce, but inconsistent cooking on the kitchen's part (flavored vodka martinis..).

                          The Olive something on Gore used to be Maria's which was pretty special, closed on Sunday. I think the Olive thing might be open and claim to have kept the recipes, but it hasn't be hounded much by folks that liked Maria's.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: itaunas

                            I tried the Olive something (?? can't remember the name either) and it was fine. Super nice folks making big sandwiches for reasonable money. My greek chicken sub had a lot of iceberg lettuce but sadly the rest of it wasn't memorable.

                          2. Thanks for the ideas. Petco didn't answer the phone this AM..so we went to Plan B.

                            CVS near Chinatown and dim sim sum from China Pearl.

                            Pricey but close. We needed a lot of cat supplies as we're leaving for an extended trip to Mexico (so Boca Grande didn't heve much appeal..:) but the poster couldn't know that, so thx)

                            That holiday gift of snow boots came in real handy..:)

                            Thanks again for the ideas...next time.