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Feb 14, 2011 12:04 PM

What Is the Least Romantic Restaurant in the Boston Area?

I figure this might be a fun topic today. :-)

As I said on Twitter a short time ago, my vote might go to Frank's in Brockton (dingy hot dog and burger place frequented by people from the strip joint next door--good hot dogs, though). Or Cheddar's in Cambridge (unless you consider it romantic to get yelled at for not ordering your meatball sub quickly enough).

This is firmly tongue-in-cheek, by the way...

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  1. It's too bad the Cantab quit serving food, otherwise I'd have my answer

    1 Reply
    1. re: jgg13

      My wife didn't find the bar at Lewis' in Norwood very romantic when we had lunch there recently.

    2. hey, how about mickey d's or the other fast food establishments which i am proud to take a woman to.

      1. Hi-Fi pizza in Cambridge ;) unless both parties are sauced.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Prav

          I thought that first, until I realized that Hi-Fi has a sort of, um, interesting relationship with romance, as in it may well be the tipsy food stop between the rock show, the after party, and going home with someone who may or may not be the world's greatest idea.

          1. re: Prav

            Hmmm...may have been one of my husband's and my first "dates". If you can call getting drunk at a show then gobbling pizza before hooking up a date. All's well that ends well. I like the Sportello suggestion. Nothing more romantic than sitting next to your date at a counter.

            1. If we're allowed to cite things from the distant past, Buddy's Sirloin Pit/Cardells in Harvard Square would be my vote. Cafeteria style with a soft spot for hiring special needs folks for busing. Shared tables where nobody talked to anyone except themselves. It made Charlie's Kitchen seem ritzy. I loved it and miss it still. Happy Valentine's Day.

              Charlie's Kitchen
              10 Eliot St, Cambridge, MA 02138

              12 Replies
              1. re: gourmaniac

                I forget to mention the Old Country Buffet in Watertown. Where else but the OCB would you see people putting full-sized dinner plates under a soft-serve ice cream machine?

                1. re: hiddenboston

                  Great image. I was on an errand at the Watertown Mall and popped my head into OCB just to see. OMG, it is everything that is wrong with food in America all in one convenient location!

                  1. re: gourmaniac

                    "it is everything that is wrong with food in America all in one convenient location!"

                    And what a location it is. Perfect for this thread. A low-ceilinged, windowless space, with some of the most unpleasant lighting ever.

                    1. re: FoodDabbler

                      It's amazing how many Hounds know what it is like in there...

                      1. re: PinchOfSalt

                        Unlike gourmaniac who went there but didn't inhale, I proudly admit that I went there and indulged (if that's the right verb). It didn't occur to me, though, to get a dinnerplateful of softserve.

                        1. re: FoodDabbler

                          Hey there was a time in my life many moons ago when I actually looked forward to the OCB, yuck. I'm sad to report that I also did not think to put softserve on a dinner plate

                          1. re: jgg13

                            My late grandfather can go one better. He took the bucket that the spoons were in and filled it with soft serve at a Chinese buffet once. Granted he had cataracts, but still....

                            1. re: Parsnipity

                              That must have cost him quite a bit, unless it wasn't one of those places where they weigh you on the way in and on the way out. (OK, OK, they only weigh the food.) The beauty of OCB is that it's a flat fee (or was, the one time I ate there a decade ago).

                              1. re: FoodDabbler

                                I've only ever seen the per-weight chinese once ever. It actually kinda peeved me that they called it a "buffet" as to me that implies all you can eat at a flat rate.

                        2. re: PinchOfSalt

                          I had to go - my in-laws took the family there :-)

                        3. re: FoodDabbler

                          Nothing more romantic than the sight I saw last time I was at OCB in Watertown a few years ago. Allow me to paint the the beautiful picture. As I walked towards the buffet for my second (or third) helping, I witness a very large, rotund gentlemen eating the pinnacle of Boston area cuisine, by his lonesome. As he seemed like a connoisseur of haute cuisine, I would have guessed he would have a wide variety of OCB's best offerings on his plate, but instead he had but just one dish. It was a large mountain of mashed potatoes and the plate was surrounded by about 30 pats of butter. Of course, that meal was not complete as is, it was covered in .... Nacho cheese. What a culinary delight!

                          1. re: tysonmcneely

                            I think that might have been me - and it actually was a somewhat romantic experience. I was trying to create a representation of the feminine ideal using my favorite media, powdered, reconstituted mashed potatoes and nacho cheese. The butter was a limpid partially reflecting pool. I call the experience, including gorging on my creation, "The Agony and the Ecstasy and the Agony."