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Downtown:3/22-28 daily Tasteful for brunch, ethiopian dnr etc?

Adventurous eaters, adult and teen...We'll be in Boston for 1 week..
looking for

Brunch Sunday ? Gaslight?

Breakfasts daily -staying at the Hyatt Regency dowtown
(no way I want to spend $28 pp daily on a buffett---though my son (athlete) can eat ALOT!
someplace to get eggs etc...I nearly fell over to see the Hyatt wants $4 for grits..lmao..

Lunches on the fly (near BU, Tufts, Harvard, MIT,Northeastern) hearty sandwiches/salads

Dinners- daily

ethnic options welcome-- we love everything

Has anyone tried the Ethiopian place Addis Red Sea? Missing Ethiopian food since we moved out of Wash DC years ago..

also Gaslight? for Sunday brunch has a prix fixe...anyone tried it?

Is Legal Seafood really the best place for a great lobster meal? IS it true there are 2 locations--one on the water and one intown--past downtown heading towards the hospitals??

all recommendations welcome---

Staying intown--using the T and cabs only...

(coming from sunny FL so getting great shrimp here is easy)

Thanks in advance.

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  1. Lots of ?'s here... I can try to hit a few.

    Addis Red Sea is quite good, though not as good as what I've had in DC.

    You should plan an evening in the North End, probably nothing like it in FL. My favorite place there is Neptune Oyster (although it is not Italian). Pizzeria Regina is also yummy and would be a hit with your teen.

    There are many more than just 2 Legals. There are 2 in the Prudential alone. Not a chow favorite, but would fit the bill if you just wanted steamed lobster.

    1. if you've had ethiopian food in dc then most likely you will be disappointed with the ethiopian restaurants in boston

      1. I'm going to concentrate on your lunch questions near all those colleges:
        BU: I would try the Super 88 food court on Brighton Ave for all kinds of cheap and delicious chinese, korean, and vietnamese delights (If you were at the Agganis Arena on Comm. Ave head up the hill away from the city, if you stay straight you'll be on Brighton Ave- its on your right, about a 10 minute walk). A little farther up Brighton Ave is Gitlo's Dim Sum (on your left) next to Harper's Ferry (the sign above Gitlo's fell down).

        MIT-Right in the student center there's an Anna's Taqueria. It not my favorite burrito in Boston but its decent enough and cheap. Upstairs in the student center is also a falafel place. Oh and I know you'll be downtown for brunch but if you feel like taking a cab back to Cambridge near MIT on Sunday, the brunch at Craigie on Main is truly outstanding.

        Harvard- There are tons of restaurants in Harvard Sq. but I really love the sandwiches at Hi-Rise bakery. Its on Brattle Street. Lots of interesting combos on yummy bread. Also good for sandwiches in Harvard Sq. is Darwin's Ltd on Mt. Auburn Street.

        Tufts- I'm less sure about but you could go into Davis Sq in Somerville where there are a lot of restaurants. For sandwiches the Blue Shirt Cafe comes to mind but I haven't been there in over 7 years.

        Northeastern- I don't know why I'm stumped here since I actually went here but your probably better off venturing into the South End. In the opposite direction about a half mile past the Museum of Fine Arts (across the street from Northeastern) is the Savant Project which wasn't there when I was in school but I haven't always wanted to try. I think they have lunch. Other CHers want to chime in?

        2 Replies
        1. re: heypielady

          Actually, the Hi Rise in Harvard Square has changed its sandwich situation drastically. I went in and was like, "Oh, awesome! They lowered their prices!" The sandwiches are now like $6 but also about the size of your palm. They have 4-5 daily special sandwiches, not a subset of the main store like they used to. That was my last visit for lunch!

          For Harvard Square, I have to second Bartley's and Darwin's. And add Charley's Kitchen.

          Near MIT, I would recommend Miracle of Science, which is more like halfway to Central Square, but not a long walk. The food is nice, and the interior is consistent thematically with your MIT visit. There is a Legal Seafood's on MIT campus and they are pretty quick for lunch. Not super inspired cooking, though.

          1. re: dulce de leche

            To add onto the Northeastern Lunch suggestions, if you like West Indian food try out Flames II in Brigham Circle and Ali's Roti in Roxbury Crossing. Excellent food, affordable, authentic and large portions.

            Ali's Roti Restaurant
            1035 Tremont St, Roxbury Crossing, MA 02120

            Flames Restaurant II
            746 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02115

        2. As mentioned, Bos Eth. isn't the same as DC but if you can't get it anymore, by all means go to Addis. It's in a nice part of town too. A cheaper breakfast also in the south end would be Charlie's Sandwich Shoppe on Columbus Ave., closed on Sun. There's a basic greasy spoon on Berkeley St. (10-15 min walk from the hotel) where you can get a basic breakfast next to a nice cafe w/ good sandwiches (MC Slim, help me out with the names). I've heard conflicting reports on the Gaslight brunch. Union does a good fixed price as does Aquitaine on Sat. and Masa, all in the south end. Also in the south end is Morse Seafood for no frills fish.

          the kebab/falafel place by Northeastern is good, can't remember the name. Also Moby Dick for the same kind of food, both on Huntington Ave. In Harvard Sq., you should check out Bartley's Burgers. I second eating in the north end, lots of talk on places and you can check out this site:

          If you want to spend some money, I like Prezza.

          1. First of all, that week is part of a promotion in Boston called Restaurant Week. Many restaurants have special menus for that period. Opinion on the Board is generally not positive about the experience during those times. Learn more at:

            Breakfast: Not much near the Hyatt. There are good places near the South End and Back Bay that are reasonable. Here's a recent thread:

            Tufts: Not far from the campus is Ball Square which has the breakfast rivalry to end al rivalries. I'm a fan of the Ball Square Cafe. Search the Board for entries for that or Soundbites.

            Northeastern: The best (and closest) lunch places tend to be near Symphony Hall near the eastern end of the campus. Most are just OK. If you like sushi, Symphony Sushi on Gainsborough is good. Woody's on Hemenway has good pizza.

            Harvard Square: A visit here would not be complete without a stop at Bartley's Burger Cottage, a local institution. Some hounds think it's the best in Boston.

            Ethnic: The Hyatt is next door to Chinatown with lots of terrific places. A short walk away is the North End, Boston's Italian neighborhood. In both places, where to go depends on what you like and want. Both are covered extensively on the Board.

            Seafood: Legal is just OK. Frankly, if you want a steamed lobster, almost any place can do it decently; it's pretty hard to screw this dish up. Near you is Kingfish Hall in Quincy Market which is decent and is participating in Restaurant Week. Do not go to the Union Oyster House. .

            For brunch, I have not been to Gaslight. I do like Sel de la Terre not far from your hotel which now has a prix fixe brunch on Sat/Sun. SDLT is at Long Wharf near Quincy Mzarket. See this web site: http://www.seldelaterre.com/menu/brun...

            Let us know where you went and how it was!

            1. Adding a couple:

              Addis Red Sea: there are now two, one in Cambridge and one downtown. Nothing wrong with em. Not like DC but then, DC probably isn't like Addis Adaba, so you take what you get.

              North End: consider Antico Forno, and Mike's for cannoli (the various cannoli options in the North End are a matter of great debate, but whatever; go to Mike's and you'll be just fine)

              Near(ish) to MIT: Atasca (Portuguese)--Portuguese food is great in New England, and this is a favorite

              Harvard lunch: Bartley's Burger Cottage is sort of a schtick-y place, but the burgers are good, good frappes (milkshakes), sweet potato fries, etc, etc; sort of an institution

              also Darwin's, on either side of the Square for good sandwiches

              MIT lunch: I second Miracle of Science

              By Northeastern: consider going over to the South End for dinner

              Sorta near BU: Super 88 food court

              Super 88 Market and Food Court
              1095 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA 02215

              148 Mt Auburn St, Cambridge, MA 02138

              1629 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02138

              Antico Forno
              93 Salem Street, Boston, MA 02113

              Atasca Hampshire
              50 Hampshire St, Cambridge, MA 02139

              Mike's Pastry
              300 Hanover St, Boston, MA

              Bartley's Burger Cottage
              1246 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138

              1. Thanks for the help...

                Trying to keep the expenses down--and getting a quick breakfast in before being on the run -- I think thats going to be a challenge but if we even find 1-2 that work--it'll be good

                I have searched the boards and printed some threads re taco nights etc...
                Since I am with a teen-- 1/2 price apps in bars and martini workouts sound fun to me but dont fit the agenda ...

                and reading that Boston restaurant weeks reviews by chow here is very iffy---

                as far as Chinatown--
                any suggestions re best sushi, best shabu shabu, best pad thai etc...

                also---how hard is it to get down Tremont? or Harrison? etc to some of the places chow members recommend.
                The Hyatt is in which neighborhood? (downtown corssing, yes?)
                so which neighborhood is moving inland and I think closer to Emerson college area?

                Never been to Boston so hoping to get my bearings through the T web site and thats once on the ground things will hopfully come together quickly...(sigh)

                4 Replies
                1. re: fogfog

                  For a reasonable breakfast near the Hyatt, Sebastians at 100 Summer St might work. It is cafeteria style with lots of options. About three blocks from your hotel.

                  1. re: fogfog

                    Re Chinatown (which is a very good place to find cheap eats):

                    -For shabu shabu, I'm especially fond of Shabu Zen -- some prefer Kaze on this board, but I did not had a good experience there.

                    -Sushi: you've got three choices. Ginza had been considered the best of these options, but reports here are that it is under new management, which I cannot confirm -- and I haven't been there recently. Other possibilities include Apollo Grill and Suishaya, and I preferred the latter of these when I tried them. There are other sushi places not far away from Chinatown, both more standard (Sakurabana, in the Financial District) and stun-level expensive (O Ya, in the Leather District) that are well worth patronizing.

                    Save for the wretched all-vegetarian spot My Thai, there are no Thai spots in Chinatown proper, but Montien in the Theater District is about a block away from there and very good. There are also several Chinese (including dim sum spots and bakeries) and Vietnamese places, as well as a Malaysian spot -- a board search will be useful here.

                    Note that the Hyatt in Downtown Crossing is an easy walk from all the above.

                    Getting down Tremont or Harrison is best accomplished by taking the Silver Line south from near the Downtown Crossing stop area (it runs down Washington Street, consistently a block away from Harrison in one direction and two blocks away from Tremont in the other). Would not recommend taking the Silver Line past Massachusetts Avenue, as for one thing there are no South End restaurants of note south of this street.

                    The block between Washington Ave. and Tremont St. in the Downtown Crossing area is called the Ladder District. West of there is considered to be Back Bay (southern part) and Beacon Hill (northern part). But note that these parts of town are for the most part small, sometimes encompassing only a few blocks in area.

                    1. re: fogfog

                      Keeping costs down goes hand in hand with my law school days... I finally remembered where I used to eat when I went to Northeastern: the Churchill dining hall on campus! My favorite thing to get was an egg salad sandwich (never too mayonaise-y with a little hot pepper relish (for a kick). Honestly, as far as dining hall's go its not so bad so you could consider it for breakfast or lunch. It would give you a good look at where the students are eating too.

                      1. re: heypielady

                        If we're talking above average cheap eats spots within easy walking distance of Northeastern University, one can always consider:

                        -Moby Dick Persian Cuisine. The place looks like a pizza joint, but the food's surprisingly good. They do kebabs and other such fare.

                        -Chicken Lou's is a grungy little hole-in-the-wall take-out breakfast/lunch spot right on campus that does greasy cholesterol rich breakfast sandwiches, spicy fries, fried chicken subs, and the like. Not a good choice for those who want seriously healthy munchies, but very good for what it is.

                    2. Not too far from the Hyatt for an inexpensive, casual breakfast is Thornton's. Google says it's just under a mile and a half. Food is decent, prices aren't bad, and the menu is varied. Pretty no-frills atmosphere. Not amazing, but decent enough cheap eats for the area.


                      1. Haven't tried Addis Red Sea myself, but like Asmara in Central Sq for Eritrean/Ethiopian.

                        1. Sandwiches near Tufts: Dave's Fresh Pasta, on Holland St. toward Tufts from Davis; Tasty Gourmet on Boston Ave. near Winthrop (and you could hit the Danish Pastry House across the street). Alternatively, if son is ravenous, you could get by-the-pound Brazilian buffet (or split the daily special, it's enormous) at Oasis on Main in S. Medford, then get something Italian at Arthur's Pastry across the street.
                          ETA: Just noted the part about public transit--Davis Sq. would be easier.

                          1. You guys rock! Thanks so much---
                            as I Mapquest stuff--its giving me an idea of where we will be (Hyatt/1 Ave de Lafayette) and places nearby for meals...
                            We'll get a week pass for the T and hopefuly leave ourselves enough time to get around----
                            Any more ideas? Keep them coming ;o)

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: fogfog

                              Sounds like you're on a college tour? Good luck with all that.

                              Miracle of Science is the real MIT experience- good food in a science themed environment, lots of faculty and grad students. Turns more into a bar as the evening goes on, has an excellent breakfast.
                              The MIT area dining scene is growing with Craigie on Main, Salts, Hungry Mother's, Blue Room, Oleanna, but most of those are higher end places. Blue room has a great brunch. Avoid Cambridge Brewing company at all costs (go to Emma's pizza instead).
                              I would vote for Darwin's original location on Mt. Auburn over Hi Rise (AKA Hi-price) for a real Cambridge environment in Harvard square. One of Julia Child's favorites, the sandwiches are a bit pricy but big and full of good fresh stuff. Sat next to Larry Summers a couple of months ago. We don't have star sightings in Cambridge, we have wonk-sightings :)
                              Shabu Zen is good in Chinatown- unless you're a group or off hours though you have to sit at the counter. I also like Xihn Xihn (vietnamese).
                              Sebastians is a chain- not that exciting and kind of pricy for what you get.
                              Sel de la Terre is a bit far from your hotel but nice if you're headed down to the waterfront, and they have a little boulangerie for great breakfast pastries.
                              Addis red sea has been pretty meh in my experience. I used to Love Helmand, but it's been mediocre recently.
                              If you're in Davis Square off hours or at lunch, Redbones BBQ is good (and has enormous lunch specials). It's crazy busy at prime times.
                              BU is tough- there's lots of ethnic places down near where Super 88 is, but it's a bit of a hike from the campus- take the greenline and skip the wasteland. El Pelon has good mexican tortas (sandwiches) in the Fenway district.

                              There's tons more, good luck and enjoy.

                            2. Hey there-- FL transplant here--

                              Gaslight brunch isn't very exciting. I've tried the croque monsieur and some egg dishes.. but not really worth it. There are better, I'm sure.
                              When you're in Davis you can always hit Martsa on Elm (Tibetan), I know they have a lunch buffet, but I haven't been to it- I've only been for dinner and it's great!
                              Also, don't forget to stop by L.A. Burdick when you're in Harvard Square- teenagers love it! I'll second Darwin's for a lunch option, but it is a little of the path. Bartley's is probably a good choice with a teen in tow.

                              1. Thanks so much...hoping to avoid having to settle for pizza/burgers--since my son is a great adventurous eater..and decent meals are important to us...
                                the lunches will be on the fly--but dinners hopefully good but not too pricey..

                                When we lived in Wash Dc--the Washingtonian magazine had a great item yearly--articles listing 50$ meals for 2--had some great ethnic meals that way---but that was the late 80s ...sigh....

                                any great eatsfor 2 in Boston easily reached from downtown crossing area (Hyatt Regency)??

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: fogfog

                                  Well you are right down the street from Chinatown and you can do very well for under $50. Some places to check out are Taiwan Cafe, Peach Farm, King Fung Garden and Best Little Restaurant for Chinese; Penang for Malay and Xinh Xinh for for Vietnamese. Otherwise in Downtown Crossing there is Silvertone which is very affordable comfort food and Marliave which is great as well.