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Help with Workday Lunch Options

paratactical Apr 12, 2010 08:52 AM

I just moved from NYC a few weeks ago to Boston for a new job. I'm loving being back around all the BoSox fans, but I'm having a hard time finding good, reasonably priced places for lunch near my office.

I'm in International Place and pretty willing to walk. I'm looking for a variety of places with good food. So far, I've enjoyed Sebastian's custom salad and sandwhich bars, but I'd like a little more. I love Indian, Korean and Thai and I'm willing to try anything.

I'm up for places where I would sit and spend the whole hour eating a decent meal and places where I can carry out items for lunch. While I'll do a lunch for more than $20 on occasion, those won't become my regular places.


  1. p
    paratactical Apr 15, 2010 11:46 AM

    Thanks for sending me to Al's, Troy & tyson! I'm not really a chicken sandwhich kind of person, but oh man was that amazing. The bread is so frikkin' good and everything else is just so fresh!

    I have also discovered that an old favorite of mine from when I used to live here, the Littlest Bar, has actually closed their original spot and opened a new one near International Place. I can't attest to much, but the mac n' cheese there is pretty good and reasonably priced.

    1 Reply
    1. re: paratactical
      mwk Apr 15, 2010 02:25 PM

      I'd also recommend Milk St. Cafe, on Milk St. They have excellent salads and soups and sandwiches. I believe they also have falafel, but for sure they have excellent Middle Eastern platters with houmous and tabouleh and grape leaves.

    2. 9
      9lives Apr 12, 2010 11:36 AM

      Thai...Red Rock Bistro on Batterymarch..better for takeout

      Sushi/Japanese..Sakura bana on Broad St

      Italian Deli..Viga for hot items..Pace for cols subs

      Pastrami/Corned beef..Sam LaGrassa's on Province

      Nicer sitdown..Sel de la Terre or Kingston Station

      Tacos,etc...Burrito Express on Bedford

      Chacarero, Chilean has a closer location on Arch St

      Korean..Suishaya on Beach in Chinatown

      Malaysian..Penang on Washington..Chinatown

      Mantra has a good if slightly pricey Indian buffet..Temple St

      101 Arch St, Boston, MA 02110

      Kingston Station
      25 Kingston St, Boston, MA 02111

      1. nsenada Apr 12, 2010 10:17 AM

        Some others in my rotation are Chacarero on Province street, Zo and Cafe Latino by Center Plaza, Galleria Umberto in the North End, and Villa Mexico out by Mass. General

        26 Province St, Boston, MA 02108

        Villa Mexico
        296 Cambridge St, Boston, MA 02114

        Cafe Latino
        2 Center Plz, Boston, MA 02108

        1 Reply
        1. re: nsenada
          nsenada Apr 15, 2010 09:43 AM

          Just had the best crispy pork skin evar on the pernil plate at Cafe Latino. Had no "off" flavor, just pure crunchy fattiness. They had just taken it out of the oven.

          Cafe Latino
          2 Center Plz, Boston, MA 02108

        2. t
          TroyOLeary Apr 12, 2010 09:36 AM

          In terms of sandwiches, here are my suggestions in the area:
          - Sam LaGrassa's (their Chipotle Pastrami is one of the best sandwiches I've ever had)
          - Al's State Street (there's a location near South Station -- best chicken salad sandwich in the area, in my opinion)
          - Flour Bakery (across the river from you in Fort Point -- the chicken & avocado & jiacama and the roast beef & horseradish & crispy onions are my favorites)

          - Many, many places in Chinatown obviously
          - Mantra (Indian on Temple Pl -- I've only had their buffet once, but found it pretty high quality. Not outstanding but passable)
          - Pho Pasteur (edge of Chinatown -- my favorite pho in the area)
          - Karo BBQ (It's a food cart in Downtown Crossing. The dipping sauce for their chicken kabobs is... addictive. Hard to explain, but it's like a flavor punch in the mouth. In a good way)

          Al's State Street Cafe
          110 State St, Boston, MA 02109

          Flour Bakery + Cafe
          12 Farnsworth St, Boston, MA

          Pho Pasteur Restaurant
          682 Washington St, Boston, MA 02111

          4 Replies
          1. re: TroyOLeary
            tysonmcneely Apr 12, 2010 10:11 AM

            This is right in my wheelhouse, but Troy beat me to a lot of my suggestions. I'll try to add a bit though
            Al's State street (or south st) - whether you get a "Small" (10", $5.50) or a large ($7.50, 16") ones of the best deals around. All their subs are their own baked baguettes, and almost all their cold subs are great (chix salad is definitely my favorite too.) I would stay away from their hot subs though, steak is ok, chicken is pretty bad. This is most likely the place mtm was refering to.

            Falafel King - Great falafel, good shwarma and kebabs, great prices. Take out only. $5-7. My favs are the falafel wrap with baba ganoush and the Kafta plate

            And of course, the best places are in Chinatown. Some good places to start

            Peach farm - Lunch specials, less than $6, comes with a dish, rice (white or fried), a side, and a soup. If you order off the regular menu, any of the dishes here are good, the seafood here is excellent.

            Taiwan cafe - $7 lunch specials, they have like 40 to choose from. Some favorites are Beef with longhorn peppers, egg plant w/basil and 3 cups chicken.

            Wai wai - Rice with duck, pork, chicken or a any combination. Many places in C-town do this, this is my favorite. $5-7

            Mei sum Bakery - My favorite Banh mi (Vietnamese sandwich), a steal @ $2.75. Comes in coldcut, beef or tofu. There are a lot of places that do banh mi as well.

            If you run through all these, I'd be happy to give you more, but this should last you a while.

            1. re: tysonmcneely
              paratactical Apr 12, 2010 10:26 AM

              Thanks Troy and Tyson - I'm definitely looking forward to trying these. I'm stoked to hear that there is falafel in the area! You better believe I'll bother you when I'm done with these.

              1. re: paratactical
                yumyum Apr 12, 2010 10:29 AM

                Better yet, pay it forward with some finds of your own! Welcome to town.

              2. re: tysonmcneely
                cpingenot Apr 12, 2010 02:20 PM

                thanks for this nice summation. I've been working in this area for a while, but a few of your places are new to me. I especially appreciate the listing of good chinatown places for lunch, since many of the chinatown chow threads are either very esoteric, or seem aimed at a dinner crowd.

            2. mtm7654 Apr 12, 2010 09:13 AM

              Sultan's Kitchen on Broad St. for good Turkish/Mediterranean food, J Pace on Federal St. for Italian, somebody help me with the place on Congress St. with the awesome subs.........

              Sultan's Kitchen
              116 State St, Boston, MA 02109

              1 Reply
              1. re: mtm7654
                9lives Apr 12, 2010 02:37 PM

                The J Pace is in 1 Federal St, but is on the Devonshire St side of the building.

                To add a few in CTown, New Shanghai has some great lunch specials. Xinh Xinh is very good Vietnamese.

                Winsor Cafe for dim sum...hard to do by yourself..drag a few officemates..:)

                Vinh Sun..Beach St or Hong Kong Eatery for great roast meats..served as a rice plate or or soups. HKE makes great won tons

                New Shanghai Restaurant
                21 Hudson St, Boston, MA 02111

                Xinh Xinh
                7 Beach St, Boston, MA 02111

                Hong Kong Eatery
                1510 Hancock St, Quincy, MA 02169

              2. nsenada Apr 12, 2010 09:07 AM

                If you search Chinatown on this board, you'll find tons of recs (or "financial district" will also turn up some good choices).

                Siam Bistro just opened up at 151 Pearl Street, which I think is right near you, preliminary reports are that it's pretty good (by Boston Thai restaurant standards). Not much Indian around, other than the place in Quincy Market (which is OK), and the place in the Corner Mall (also edible, but nothing to write home about).

                The Hungry Traveler down by the Old City Hall has some Korean offerings, I've heard mixed things about it.

                Hungry Traveler
                29 Court Sq, Boston, MA 02108

                Siam Bistro
                150 Pearl St, Boston, MA 02129

                2 Replies
                1. re: nsenada
                  paratactical Apr 12, 2010 09:15 AM

                  I tried the financial district searches and didn't seem to get good results or at least not any results where I could tell where the heck anybody was talking about. I'll have to try Chinatown.

                  Thanks for the recommendations for Siam and Hungry Traveler.

                  1. re: paratactical
                    Pegmeister Apr 12, 2010 09:42 AM

                    I'm not great with suggestions on the financial district, but if you go to mapquest, put in your address and click on restaurants, you may find something that sounds interesting. You can then come back to chowhound for suggestions. Just a thought :)

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