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HELP! We need some good food cheap!!

cperryfranz Jan 4, 2010 03:24 PM

Hi All,

Ok, like a lot of people right now. I spent WAYYYY too much money this holiday season. My hubby and I LOVE to go out and explore different foods/restaurants. We live in the Boston area. I guess I hit a bottom on Sat. night. We just decided we LOVE French food. We went to NYC during the holidays and got to try some good restaurants. Our favorite right now in the Boston area is Petit Robert Bistro on Columbus Ave in Boston. So..we decided to try a different French restaurant. We went to "Sandrine's Bistro" in Harvard Square. OMG...You've got to be kidding me???Voted diner's choice winner by open table in 2009!! My husband and I arrived around 5:45pm on a snowy Sat. night. Not a soul in the place (which we usually know will be at 5:45pm!) We ordered two glasses of the Cabernet. That was actually the only part of the meal that was good. My husband ordered the venison special and I ordered the baked halibut special. When the meals arrived I was shocked to say the least! I think my husband got 4 tiny slivers of venison over some mashed potatoes and a tiny pear that was supposed to be stuffed. We opened it and it had "something" on the very bottom of it. Now his was great compared to mine! The waiter placed down my halibut. It was about 3inches long and wide. With very thinly sliced potates on top. Some sauce under the fish and THAT WAS IT! The fish was on the dry side. Come on??!!! My goodness for $28 dollars?? My husband's venison was tttthhhhiiirrrrrtttyyyyyyeeeighhhttt dollars! Why would they do that and expect people to come back??? So ridiculous! I'm all into the presentation and all, but this was so bad!

So long story short, can you all suggest some cheap eats to us? I hit my bottom of fancy restaurants for now anyway..... We love any and all types of food.

Thanks a million!

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    CookieLee RE: cperryfranz Jan 4, 2010 03:58 PM

    Some of my favorite places to eat are quite cheap. Dok Bua, and the Super 88 food court in Allston. I like Soul Fire, also in Allston, not expensive. I haven't been to Le's on Brighton Ave for a while, but it was always good tasting and inexpensive.

    1. Luther RE: cperryfranz Jan 5, 2010 03:08 AM

      I think the majority of the restaurants discussed on this board are well under $20/person for dinner.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Luther
        Aromatherapy RE: Luther Jan 5, 2010 06:12 AM

        Yes. I recommend investing a few hours in scanning the board. Overwhelming at first but it will pay off.

        1. re: Luther
          cperryfranz RE: Luther Jan 5, 2010 08:12 AM

          Thanks I'll check out the board as well..

        2. n
          nasilemak RE: cperryfranz Jan 5, 2010 04:00 AM

          Xinh Xinh, Zocalo, Best Little Restaurant, Thai Moon, S & I Thai, Kaze, Wai Wai, Penang, Chili Garden, Yoma, Muqueca, Baraka Cafe, Jade Garden, Wu Chon House.

          1. globalgourmand RE: cperryfranz Jan 5, 2010 04:58 AM

            Elephant Walk, Himalayan Bistro. Also second Super88 food court and Baraka Cafe. Cheap bites at Paris Creperie & Rami's in Coolidge Corner. How cheap do you want to go?

            I think most will recommend moving away from French if you want to eat out at a lower cost. In Thai, Indian, Chinese, Mexican, etc. you will find endless tasty and inexpensive options. Elephant Walk might be a great first step out of fancy French restaurants. French/Cambodian menu, mid-price, classy casual, and a lot of promotional deals (prix-fixe menus, restaurant.com coupons, WBUR discounts, etc.)

            4 Replies
            1. re: globalgourmand
              hotoynoodle RE: globalgourmand Jan 5, 2010 06:22 AM

              sandrine's is mediocre at best and but for the location i don't think he'd still be open.

              for moderately priced french i like pierrot bistro. the wine prices recently got hiked there, but i still feel like the food is well executed and priced fairly.

              1. re: hotoynoodle
                nsenada RE: hotoynoodle Jan 6, 2010 06:50 AM

                I'd add Brasserie Jo in that category - most selections are right around $20, with some less.

              2. re: globalgourmand
                cperryfranz RE: globalgourmand Jan 5, 2010 08:13 AM

                Doesn't have to be that cheap, just not looking for high end restaurants at this point...:)

                1. re: globalgourmand
                  lgss RE: globalgourmand Jan 5, 2010 02:19 PM

                  Elephant Walk's lunch is less expensive than supper.

                2. t
                  toolegit RE: cperryfranz Jan 5, 2010 08:34 AM

                  Elephant Walk is bad food, bad service and overpriced all at the sametime. Run, don't walk away. We had a great experience at Legal Test Kitchen, about the same price with great food and service.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: toolegit
                    hotoynoodle RE: toolegit Jan 5, 2010 08:37 AM

                    i have had 3 totally rotten experiences at ltk and 1 not so awful. now it's permanent pass for me, since the place is far from cheap.

                    1. re: hotoynoodle
                      nasilemak RE: hotoynoodle Jan 5, 2010 12:48 PM

                      if you wanna try Elephant Walk, just stick to the Cambodian side of the menu.

                      1. re: nasilemak
                        globalgourmand RE: nasilemak Jan 5, 2010 01:33 PM

                        I usually do stick to the Cambodian side. Perhaps this is why I don't share the unfavorable opinion that toolegit and others have of EW. And in... maybe 6-or-so visits, I, personally, have never experienced bad service there. While EW gets mixed reviews, I'd hardly say "run, don't walk away." I feel its worth a try for anyone at least once, (unless you're a stickler for authentic and meticulous fine food.) Then you can judge for yourself.

                        1. re: globalgourmand
                          lgss RE: globalgourmand Jan 5, 2010 02:21 PM

                          I also order from the Cambodian menu as do most if not all of my coworkers. We like it. I wonder if service varies from location to location. I've eaten a couple times each at Porter Square and Waltham but not the other location.

                  2. s
                    Soxfan49 RE: cperryfranz Jan 5, 2010 10:48 AM

                    Taiwan Cafe, The Druid, Tupelo, Gourmet Dumpling House, Addis Red Sea

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                      ced9 RE: cperryfranz Jan 5, 2010 01:12 PM

                      Trattoria Toscano near Fenway, Paramount in Beacon Hill, Orinoco in South End

                      1. b
                        bear RE: cperryfranz Jan 5, 2010 05:08 PM

                        After having a wonderful Christmas Eve meal at Teatro (not in your budget), we can't wait to try the Wednesday night spaghetti and meatballs for $9.95.

                        1. b
                          bizkat RE: cperryfranz Jan 5, 2010 07:37 PM

                          In my book, Petit Robert Bistro (Columbus Ave & Kenmore Square) IS the best value French food in the Boston Area. Stick with them for French.

                          1. d
                            dvive RE: cperryfranz Jan 7, 2010 06:44 AM

                            Definitely try Gaslight (Harrison Ave. in South End)...bistro style french food but very good and entree prices are reasonable. The atmosphere and decor are somewhat reminiscent of being in an authentic bistro.

                            Outside of French cuisine, the Orinocco suggestion is definitely worth a visit, and once again Franklin Cafe for great reasonable american menu.

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