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Lunch with conditions in the Financial District?

Mrs_S Feb 17, 2010 05:25 PM

Meeting some acquaintances for lunch in a week and SO excited to get back downtown (have worked in Quincy since 2002 and REALLY miss being able to walk to great spots for lunch). My dining partners have a few requirements so I am looking for recs for the following:

1) 10-15 minute walking distance from South Station
2) Inexpensive
3) Sit-down area that's not too loud (so we can catch up and network a bit)
4) No MSG/kind of healthy

I am annoyed about #4 as my suggestion was one of many fine, affordable Chinatown spots and I cannot guarantee an MSG-free environment, though of course things like Vietnamese pho should be prescribed for good health. So I'm thinking more deli, sandwich, kinds of things but you know since I am on Chowhound I am not talking D'Angelos.

Anyway - any sane advice would be most appreciated. Don't know if the Chacarero's on Arch St. would fill the bill (wondering about sit-down area and crowds).

  1. rlh Feb 18, 2010 11:16 AM

    Sorriso is perfect on all fronts (basic, tasty Italian in a nice room for conversation with solid service) except that it's not inexpensive, but neither are Marliave and Kingston Station - another very casual option to consider may be Scali on Pearl St. or Sportello if you want something special.

    1 Reply
    1. re: rlh
      gourmaniac Feb 18, 2010 12:03 PM

      I would add its sister restaurant Les Zygomates. I sometimes get the moules frites there. Also, plenty of salads, and fish for the health conscious. lunch around $10-12.

    2. t
      TroyOLeary Feb 18, 2010 07:03 AM

      Silvertone, Sam LaGrassas and Marliave are all next to each other and delicious, but are a good 10-15 minute walk from South Station.

      If you want something closer, the new Al's State Street opened right next to South Station -- I love their chicken salad, and have heard good things about their other sandwiches.

      3 Replies
      1. re: TroyOLeary
        Bob Dobalina Feb 18, 2010 07:18 AM

        Does that branch of Al's have a sit-down area? The one on State St. in theory has seats, but with all the yelling...

        A little outside of your area, but if you were willing to jump on the redline at South Station, you are just two quick stops away from Cafe Polonia in Andrew Sq. Pierogies are healthy, right?

        1. re: Bob Dobalina
          nsenada Feb 18, 2010 07:27 AM

          Just wondered the same thing. Al's with seats...I would make the trek.

          1. re: Bob Dobalina
            bartleby Feb 18, 2010 11:54 AM

            There is some counter-type seating along the windows, but it is nothing that you would want for a lunch with friends.

        2. barleywino Feb 18, 2010 03:08 AM

          Vinalia (try the unusual nachos)...or Sam LaGrassa's (is pastrami healthy? :)

          5 Replies
          1. re: barleywino
            nsenada Feb 18, 2010 04:56 AM

            Possibly yes, on the pastrami: http://agnews.tamu.edu/showstory.php?...

            1. re: nsenada
              MC Slim JB Feb 18, 2010 05:39 AM

              In my heart of hearts, I always *knew* pastrami was a health food! Certainly, LaGrassa's pastrami is a mental health food, in my book.


              1. re: MC Slim JB
                nsenada Feb 18, 2010 06:26 AM

                Yeah, my doctor didn't buy it, though. Then again, he ordered me to stop baking bread, and having fun of any kind. Interesting that the study suggests that this only applies to corn-fed cattle.

                1. re: nsenada
                  barleywino Feb 18, 2010 12:53 PM

                  hmm, somebody brought this link to my attention http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/456553

                  1. re: barleywino
                    nsenada Feb 18, 2010 01:27 PM

                    I guess it'll have to be plain old braised brisket when I'm looking to eat healthy.

          2. MC Slim JB Feb 17, 2010 07:35 PM

            Bunch of good suggestions here already. I'll add Channel Cafe (over in Southie, tasty sandwiches and salads), Jacob Wirth (good American pub fare, not so great German food), Lucky's (also Southie, good casual American food), Locke-Ober (running a steal of a two-course prixe fixe for $19 these days, though you'd have to meet their dress code), Sel de la Terre (country French, a little pricey, but a bargain at lunch, $10 sandwiches and $15 mains).


            1. n
              nightsky Feb 17, 2010 07:10 PM


              1. nsenada Feb 17, 2010 06:48 PM

                Kingston Station is also good, maybe a little louder than Silvertone.

                1. w
                  Wannabfoode Feb 17, 2010 06:11 PM

                  silvertone on bromfield st

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Wannabfoode
                    Mrs_S Feb 17, 2010 06:14 PM

                    Thanks - will check it out.

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