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What are you having/did you have for lunch today?

First let me say that I find these types of threads annoying. Unless I start them!

I was thinking. A lot of our threads and posts are aspirational; we want every morsel of food that we ingest to be chow-worthy. But we know that in reality that is not the case. Most of us have cravings -- a big mac, a 7-11 pre-wrapped sandwich, a snack from the gas station vending machine -- that we would be embarrassed to post on this board. Sometimes time and circumstance dictate that we have to eat that conference room lunch or the sandwich from Au Bon Pain. In my case, I successfully avoided the Subway chain for my entire life until my secretary turned me on to their Veggie Delight sandwich, a reasonably satisfying all-veggie sandwich that is cheap (under $3) and lo-cal, and I'll slip that into my repertoire occassionally (without posting it here!).

So I thought it would be interesting to take an unscientific poll, where we each post what we are having for lunch today. Not what we'd like to have if we had no restrictions on time/money/transportation, etc. And please be honest. Some of us are fortunate in that we'll be able to eat something chow worthy today; others of us will just have to deal with the shame and the embarrassment.

I'll go first: I have a 12:15 train from South Station, so my plan is to leave my office a little early so I can stop by Chacarero on the way to the station. So I'll be having a small, either chicken or beef (I've been eating chicken for years and years, but recently switched to the beef), extra spicy. (This is a vast improvement over yesterday's lunch of a "protein plate" from Starbucks: a few grapes, two slices of apple, two small pieces of cheddar cheese, and a mini wheat bagel with peanut butter, a dollar's worth of food ridiculously priced at $4.95.)

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Chacarero
101 Arch St, Boston, MA 02110

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  1. A can of octopus in vegetable oil (not EVOO, unfortunately) from my haul at Hi Lo last week, and some leftover Iggy's baguette..

    1 Reply
    1. re: galleygirl

      "Iberia" may be my favorite brand of Spanish-packed octopus from the cheap corner; have to see how it compares to Goya...

    2. Putting on my cleanest sweats and baseball hat and heading to L'Espalier..:)

      Really a Thai salad that I made this AM and a fried taro ball with a roast pork stuffing (don't know the exact name) from Hing Shing Pastry.

      1. I'm visiting a DTX taco cart where I believe I'm entitled to spread out for an hour or so and charge up my laptop. Paying customer, right? Right?! They better take Visa, too.

        http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

        1 Reply
        1. re: MC Slim JB

          Taco cart closed early, had to settle for falafel sandwich at Falafel King, which ain't really settling. Got a Sacagawea dollar in my change: haven't seen one of those in forever.

          http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

        2. Maybe a steak & cheese at Fresco's Cafe (Mass Ave and Vassar St near MIT). In honor of the Phillies taking the World Series back to the Bronx. Not a cheesesteak, but it'll do.

          1. Bypassed my usual Shaw's salad bar and waning Copley farmers market to hike over to Flour for my first lamb/goat chees and tomato. All the flavors were perfect, but the sliced wheat bread was a little insubstantial i thought. Would have gone much better on one of the "bread ends" (the heels of today's sandwhich loaves) they had for $1.50 a bag of 5. Next time I'll ask them to make it on one of the ends.

            1. Lunch buffet at The Kebab Factory. Probably my favorite Indian lunch buffet in the Harvard Square area.

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              The Kebab Factory
              414 Washington St, Somerville, MA 02143

              1 Reply
              1. re: greenzebra

                One of my personal favorite lunch spots as well! Their buffet is second to none.

                I am currently doing the week's menu from the Chow article "Take Your Lunch To Work: Tofu", so lunch today for me was homemade banh mi:

                http://www.chow.com/stories/11545

              2. Chicken tarragon salad with almonds and grapes on very good ciabatta from Sweet Bites in Acton. I'm not normally a fan of sweet in my sandwich, but it's a nice foil for the smoky chicken.

                1. Had the Starbucks protein plate yesterday - not much for 4.95. today was the Greek salad with chicken from the cart on Summer Street in front of Macy's (near Chacarero) Very fresh if not too original.

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                  Chacarero
                  101 Arch St, Boston, MA 02110

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: Northender

                    I had the Large Dinner from the same cart (Karo's BBQ) today too. Definitely not the most original, but always satisfying (The Dressing is pretty damn good.)

                    1. re: Northender

                      Not sure if I posted this already, but I was initially confused about the Karo cart: did it move around? Turns out there's two of them: one on Summer Street near Washington, on the Macy's side of the pedestrian mall, and another across Court Street from the back of the Old State House. I quite like those Armenian kabobs/kababs (their own spelling varies from sign to menu), chicken only. Covered them in my Stuff Magazine street-food feature a few months back: http://bit.ly/2ijGRn

                      http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

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                      State Street Cafe
                      114 State St, Boston, MA 02109

                      1. re: MC Slim JB

                        Just tried the Karo Cart (in Downtown Crossing) for the first time on the basis of your story and I must say: my word.

                        The dressing. THE DRESSING. I'll go further than tysonmcneely and say unbelievable. Lemony, peppery, mayo-y, a punch in the mouth of flavor. Charcoal taste on the chicken is superb as well. Highly highly recommended for $5 (small chicken kabob w/ salad)

                        This is why I love Chowhound -- I just found a new regular addition to my lunch options. If not for you guys I would never have bothered to even glance at the Karo Cart.

                        1. re: TroyOLeary

                          Glad to have been of service. Yeah, I definitely understated how good the dressing is, partly because I don't like to over-hype things and partly because I'm used to it by now. But, you're right, it's honestly the best Dressing I've ever had. Good description, I would say it's closest to creamy italian or greek dressing, but real thick. And packing way more flavor than either of the two. Only .25 for an extra side of dressing, if you don't use it on your meal, Take it home!

                          1. re: TroyOLeary

                            Nice people, too!

                            According to the owner, who mostly works the cart over near 1 Court St, the dressing contains oil, garlic, lemon, vinegar, pepper, cumin, and allspice, but no eggs.

                            http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                      2. Thanks for asking this on a day I actually do something chow-worthy!

                        Chicken curry vermicelli soup (Bun Cary Ga) at Xinh Xinh--no lie! Yummy.

                        -----
                        Xinh Xinh
                        7 Beach St, Boston, MA 02111

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Alcachofa

                          Is that soup similar to kow soi gai which is Thai, or the Malay chicken soup in the Super 88 food ct?

                          1. re: CookieLee

                            No idea. It's a good noodle soup, basically. The Xinh Xinh menu is loaded with them. Their specials are usually very good, too.

                            -----
                            Xinh Xinh
                            7 Beach St, Boston, MA 02111

                        2. Hit the much smaller (post fire) Cafe Belo in Allston and had Beets, Farofa, potato salad, salsa, and crispy roast chicken. It was okay, but not a total wow..

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: StriperGuy

                            Where is the Cafe Belo in Allston now? Thanks!

                            1. re: CookieLee

                              Same little shopping plaza in a different storefront.

                          2. Tuna on a bulkie from Plaza Deli, Pemberton Square, gobbled between conference calls at my desk. Not very ambitious, but no time for otherwise today.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: marais

                              It would have been tough for me to avoid Zo or Cafe Latino in that neck of the woods.

                              -----
                              Zo
                              3 Center Plaza, Boston, MA

                              Cafe Latino
                              2 Center Plz, Boston, MA 02108

                              1. re: nsenada

                                Oh, don't worry, I hit those as well, with gusto...it was just one of those rushed tuna on a bulkie at my desk between calls kinda days.

                            2. Leftover yu hsiang bean curd and spicy green beans from Mary Chung.

                              -----
                              Mary Chung Restaurant
                              460 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139

                              1. A Buffalo Chicken burrito from Boloco. Not the most "chow worthy" item, but a “guilty pleasure” that I occasionally enjoy. It was yummy.

                                1. Chicken w/ soft tofu rice plate at Jade Garden in Chinatown...while watching the news on their flatscreen TV ;)

                                  1. This soup, made last night with sweet potatoes from last week's Prudential Center farmers' market: http://www.thewednesdaychef.com/the_w...

                                    Supplemented with a multigrain roll from Flour, sugar snap peas from Trader Joe's and Halloween candy from my secretary.

                                    1. Three tacos from La Verdad Taqueria; 2 Chicken, 1 Chile Relleno for $4.83. It was Taco Tuesday so the chicken tacos were only a dollar each. They were quite tasty though and the Chile Relleno was as good as I remembered from the first time I was there. For some reason the portions seemed smaller than the first time though. I feel like 3 tacos should always be enough for lunch but I was left wanting more. Perhaps I'll add another taco in next time, what's another dollar?

                                      -----
                                      La Verdad
                                      1 Lansdowne St, Boston, MA 02215

                                      1. Folks, please help us keep the goal of this board in mind: to share tips on where to find great chow in the Boston area. If you're having a great meal from a local restaurant or market, we'd love to hear about it here, but if you'd like to describe something delicious you've made, the Home Cooking board is a better place for that discussion. There's a similar thread to this one running there focused on food you've prepared.

                                        In addition, we'd really like to avoid seeing just a list of food that people ate. Confession may be good for the soul, but it's not really going to help anyone eat better, so please keep your tips focused on chow worth seeking out. Thanks.

                                        1. 2 beef empanadas , a side of tacu-tacu (blackbeans and rice with cilantro and tomato) and plantains with a super carrot sauce from don ricardo's in the south end. so good.

                                          1. Great idea for a thread....

                                            I'm mostly a lurker here. Normally I'd be sharing any number of the downtown Boston experiences already posted (Chacarero and Fafalel King among my favorites). But my work circumstances have me spending a lot of time on the Outer Cape these days where options are limited this time of year. Despite this, I had an extraordinary lunch today at Savory Cafe in Truro. They call it pizza insalata, which is a freshly baked round of their excellent pizza dough topped with olive oil, spices, and the salad of your choice. I choose the Greek salad, but wasn't quite sure what to expect. I was presented with a big salad in partly closed typical pizza box. It seemed odd, but once I got into it, it was really good; hot, fresh-baked, flavorful flatbread topped with great quality greens, tomatoes, cukes, olives, feta cheese, and greek dressing. I could only eat about half and saved the rest for another meal. Not bad for nine bucks. Its certainly one of the best things for lunch between Eastham and Truro if you find yourself out here during the off season.

                                            1. leftover husband wife lung slice 夫妻肺片 (fu1 qi1 fei4 pian4)
                                              from Kam Man
                                              and yes, it tastes as good as its name

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: theparegorickid

                                                For those of us a little less knowledgeable. What the heck is that?

                                                1. re: StriperGuy

                                                  husband wife lung slice 夫妻肺片 (fu1 qi1 fei4 pian4) is a sichuan cold appetizer usually composed of thin slices of beef shin, tripe and other various beef (ox) innards in a chili oil sauce and may contain peanuts (as Kam Man's does).
                                                  it's similar to the numbing hot beef tendon (shin) you get at New Shanghai in CTown only more flavorful and with more ingredients
                                                  Kam Man's version is fantastic
                                                  you can find it either in the refrigerated prepared foods section next to the bbq
                                                  or on the prepared foods serving line
                                                  it runs about $7/lb
                                                  and is quite addictive

                                                  -----
                                                  New Shanghai Restaurant
                                                  21 Hudson St, Boston, MA 02111

                                                  1. re: theparegorickid

                                                    Cool, thanks. I never get the prepared foods at local Asian supermarkets, but then reccos on that sound like the basis for a new thread ;-).

                                              2. Lunch sushi special from Zen by the State House. It is one of my favorite lunch sushi spots close to my work (the other being Sakurabana). I think their heat was off though because it was FREEZING there today!

                                                1. Had Pho Ga at Pho and I on Huntington Ave.

                                                  1. Either Bun Rieu at Xinh Xinh or the $5.25 rice plate with 3 dishes of your choice with soup at Potluck Cafe.

                                                    -----
                                                    Xinh Xinh
                                                    7 Beach St, Boston, MA 02111

                                                    1. Chicken masala dosa with the yummy lentil soup from Anmol in Beverly. See: http://www.anmolindia.com/

                                                      1. Arugula salad with pine nuts, roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts, and feta, with a lemony vinaigrette, from Crema Cafe in Harvard Square.

                                                        -----
                                                        Crema Cafe
                                                        27 Brattle St, Cambridge, MA 02138

                                                        8 Replies
                                                        1. re: Splendid Spatula

                                                          I have been loving Crema Cafe lately. Their sweet potato sandwich is superb. I'll have to try that salad as I'm a big artichoke fan.

                                                          -----
                                                          Crema Cafe
                                                          27 Brattle St, Cambridge, MA 02138

                                                          1. re: kitsune

                                                            I finally went there for a capuccino - really outstanding, the best I've had anywhere recently. The cupcakes looked really good, too.

                                                            1. re: nsenada

                                                              Try the house-made English muffins with butter and jam. And then try to stop thinking about them every damned day.

                                                              1. re: yumyum

                                                                I can't stop thinking about the cappuccino, as it is. I'm going to have to spend the day there. Maybe I'll bring my laptop.

                                                                1. re: nsenada

                                                                  I've done that (spent the day there): English muffin w/ butter & jam and a cappuccino for breakfast, small tomato bisque and a slice of quiche or a grilled cheese sandwich for lunch.

                                                                  They sometimes run out of the English muffins by mid-afternoon, so be warned. They really are worth seeking out.

                                                                  1. re: nsenada

                                                                    Had the English muffin with butter and jam this morning - damn that's a fine breakfast, and cheap, to boot. Got some cupcakes to go, too, so we'll see how they do on that score (they look amazing). I wish they'd open up a Boston branch.

                                                                    1. re: nsenada

                                                                      I'm so happy you tried the english muffin!

                                                                      1. re: yumyum

                                                                        'Twas awesome - reminded me of a Parker House roll in flavor.

                                                          2. Ate an entire Sebastian's salad with Russian dressing and no add-ons along with wheat pita - seemed way too healthy in spite of the dressing....perhaps a cheeseburger or some meatloaf for dinner will balance it out.

                                                            1. Beef Pasticcio at Yada Yada Cafe on Farnsworth Street. It was so good....

                                                              1. I had a delicious greek salad with a couple stuffed grape leaves and a great pesto chicken panini at Temptations on Beacon ST, Brookline. Everything was absolutely delicious. Salad was served with a fresh baked pita and also had black olives, pepperoncini, cucumbers, shredded carrots, tomatoes, and red onion topped with a mountain of feta. All the veggies were extremely fresh, cold and crisp. The panini was crisp, and had a great flavor with the pesto and roasted red peppers.

                                                                (I have to add a disclamer. A friend (former co-worker) owns the place. I haven't seen him in 5 or 6 years and it was my first time there. I am raving about the food because it was delicious, not because I know the owner. If I didn't like what I had I simply would not have posted in this thread.)
                                                                Thanks.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: hhookk

                                                                  I love Temptations and usually go for the West Coast wrap- a BLT with avocado. Yes, Ithey make a terrific Greek salad, a throw back from the greek-pizza-parlor rendition that has become the norm.
                                                                  They just started opening on Sundays for lunch, a perk for the neighborhood.

                                                                2. Italian on seeded roll at J Pace.

                                                                   
                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: phatchris

                                                                    BBQ pork Banh Mi from Bobalicious in Newton!

                                                                    -----
                                                                    Bobalicious
                                                                    308 Watertown St, Newton, MA 02458

                                                                  2. the original gyro (shredded rotisserie pork, diced tomato, chopped red onion, fresh parsley, and tzatziki wrapped in flatbread) from zo in central plaza

                                                                    1. Grilled kielbasa from Baltic Deli on a grilled sub roll with mustard and sauerkraut.

                                                                      http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                                      -----
                                                                      Baltic Deli & Cafe
                                                                      632 Dorchester Ave, Boston, MA 02127

                                                                      1. Plain spinach calzone and a slice at Umberto's

                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                        1. re: nsenada

                                                                          Dude, I am so jealous... I used to live in the North End.

                                                                          I love the plain spinach, but it is also hard to avoid the spinach sausage and cheese or the arancini.

                                                                          1. re: StriperGuy

                                                                            I did cry a little inside, because I really wanted the sausage, spinach and cheese. Got my blood work in a few days, though, and can't have excess cheese clogging up the test tube.

                                                                        2. On Tuesday when this was originally posted, I had one of my standbys - vegetarian Tom Yum noodle soup from The Similans. It normally comes with seafood, but I order it with veggies and fried tofu triangles. For takeout, they put the noodles and veggies in one tray, and the broth in a separate bowl. It makes it easy to stretch it to two days. Plus, it's completely delicious!

                                                                          Sadly, today was a fruit and cheese plate from Starbucks. They seem to be getting quite a bit of Chowhound lunch money.

                                                                          -----
                                                                          The Similans
                                                                          145 1st St, Cambridge, MA 02142

                                                                          1. BLGT (bacon, lettuce, garlic aoli, tomato) with avocado on whole grain bread from the new Japonaise Bakery on Comm Ave in Allston. They make sandwiches to order at this site.

                                                                            -----
                                                                            Japonaise Bakery
                                                                            1032 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA 02215

                                                                            1. Chef's omelet (tomato, cheddar and ham) with a side of fries from Kingston Station. I've never had their omelet before but it was solid and I always enjoy having breakfast for lunch!

                                                                              -----
                                                                              Kingston Station
                                                                              25 Kingston St, Boston, MA 02111

                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                              1. re: CreativeFoodie42

                                                                                They have omelets on the lunch menu at Laurel, too. Always a nice light meal, kind of French.

                                                                                http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                                                1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                                  Thanks for the tip! I'll have to check it out!

                                                                              2. I had some lunch from the hot and cold food bars at WF on River St. I was quite impressed with the Indian selections. They were beautifully spicy, and v. fresh. The mac & cheese could have been hotter. They shld make it in a shallower pan - everyone was taking the top layer!