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Quick bite near Symphony Hall

catspercapita Nov 16, 2011 02:58 AM

Where's a good place to get a quick bite before a BSO concert at Symphony Hall these days? Not too expensive and must have veggie options.Would like to park near Symphony Hall and walk to restaurant and concert. Any style of cuisine would work. Thanks.

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  1. Jolyon Helterman RE: catspercapita Nov 16, 2011 06:01 AM

    I think the Pho Basil a block or two down on Mass. Ave does a very nice job. Especially the Thai food.

    Lucy's Ethiopian is right there, and some on this board like it. But everything I've had there so far has been a miss. (Ethiopian is one of my favorite cuisines.


    I used to work across the street from Symphony Hall, and the dining options were—and continue to be—woefully bleak. Deuxave, Towne, Clio, Uni, and the relocated Capital Grille are quite close, but then you're spending some money.

    Pho Basil Restaurant
    177A Massachusetts Ave, Boston, MA 02115

    1 Reply
    1. re: Jolyon Helterman
      opinionatedchef RE: Jolyon Helterman Dec 4, 2011 04:35 PM

      The Globe just did rave review of Thai Basil. I hadn't known that the chef was formerly the head chef at Pho Republique; all right!:


    2. e
      emannths RE: catspercapita Nov 16, 2011 06:08 AM

      I usually go to Pad Thai Cafe before the BSO. Good Thai stuff, quick, and cheap.

      I've never been to Pho Basil, so I can't compare the two.

      Pad Thai Cafe
      1116 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02215

      Pho Basil Restaurant
      177A Massachusetts Ave, Boston, MA 02115

      1. C. Hamster RE: catspercapita Nov 16, 2011 07:14 AM

        lucy ethiopian has veggie options and is right across the street

        3 Replies
        1. re: C. Hamster
          yumyum RE: C. Hamster Nov 16, 2011 07:33 AM

          Unfortunately it's near impossible to get a "quick bite" at Lucy's. I like the food a lot but it is wicked slow, even when empty.

          Pad Thai Cafe is the way to go.

          1. re: yumyum
            galangatron RE: yumyum Nov 18, 2011 10:44 AM

            totally agree about lucy ethiopian cafe. the food is good but the service is too slow for a "quick bite"

            1. re: galangatron
              peregrine RE: galangatron Dec 6, 2011 12:57 PM

              We had dinner yesterday at Lucy's and I am pleased to report that the food remains very good and the service has speeded up considerably.

              I must add that we were there around 6pm, with only one other 2-top party, but previously even under similar circumstances service was extremely slow. Let's hope this is a trend!

        2. Science Chick RE: catspercapita Nov 16, 2011 08:58 AM

          We have always had good luck at Bangkok City Thai, about halfway up Mass Ave. towards Berklee. Fresh, flavorful food and prompt service in a nice atmosphere.

          Bangkok City Restaurant
          167 Massachusetts Ave, Boston, MA 02115

          2 Replies
          1. re: Science Chick
            galangatron RE: Science Chick Nov 18, 2011 10:43 AM

            what do you like at bangkok city? tried it a few times and was always disappointed

            1. re: galangatron
              Science Chick RE: galangatron Dec 5, 2011 09:47 AM

              I thought it was solid Americanized Thai. Clean and pleasant atmosphere. Fine for a quick meal before symphony. Would it be my first Thai choice overall in the city? No. But for a quick bite I've always thought it was fine and no worse than anything in the area, which isn't teeming with awesome options.

          2. opinionatedchef RE: catspercapita Nov 16, 2011 10:08 AM

            Betty's Wok and Noodle, right across the street, is our go-to for a few things. Big menu but our favs are: shanghai noodles w/ orange chipotle sauce; rodeo rings; cool cukes; flan.That noodles dish gets a good wok char on it. Bustling friendly place. For many of the entrees, you choose your veggies from big veggie bar, then your sauce, and they cook it up for you.

            6 Replies
            1. re: opinionatedchef
              Pegmeister RE: opinionatedchef Nov 16, 2011 11:24 AM

              I was going to suggest Betty's Wok and Noodle as well, but it never gets much love on this board. I like the choose your own stir fry. If they still offer the Buddah Bowl, it's delicious. Nice blend of blueberry, passion juice and sake if I remember correctly.

              1. re: Pegmeister
                whs RE: Pegmeister Nov 16, 2011 02:54 PM

                We were at Betty's Wok Saturday night--had a 6pm res for 8pm show--got out at 7:30. Food was good not great, note they have no hard liquor, only beer, wine and sake. Tchaikovsky Symphony #6 was sublime ;)

                1. re: Pegmeister
                  BobB RE: Pegmeister Nov 18, 2011 09:10 AM

                  Betty's is a step up from Fire & Ice in my book - the same sort of "choose your meat and choose your sauce" deal, that really turns me off. Our standard pre-Symphony venue is Symphony Sushi, around the block behind Symphony Hall on Gainborough St. Not world class, but quite decent and reasonably priced with plenty of veggie options.

                  Symphony Sushi
                  45 Gainsborough St, Boston, MA 02115

                  1. re: BobB
                    Jolyon Helterman RE: BobB Nov 18, 2011 02:12 PM

                    Agree with Symphony Sushi—quite solid with all of their not-so-ambitious offerings.

                    1. re: Jolyon Helterman
                      veggielover RE: Jolyon Helterman Dec 7, 2011 12:04 PM

                      We have been going to Symphony Sushi as well..agree with the other posters. We'll probably try Thai Basil next time for a change of pace.

                2. re: opinionatedchef
                  Zyfsv RE: opinionatedchef Dec 4, 2011 03:39 PM

                  Sorry to be a nay sayer... just had the worst experience ever at Betty's. After being seated for 40 minutes, we had no food, no beverages and had to ask 3 people just to get someone to take our order (which never arrived btw). Menu looked good and we were looking forward to a fun experience with good food.... not happening. Will never ever go back based on the rude service and lack of any food. I have had more fun and food at a bus stop....

                3. h
                  Highland Park RE: catspercapita Nov 17, 2011 10:35 AM

                  Brasserie Jo is a good option for casual French. Plenty of write-ups on this board with many approvals. Not especially vegetarian friendly, but should work and the crudites are excellent for such (all) eaters.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Highland Park
                    libertywharf RE: Highland Park Dec 4, 2011 03:56 PM

                    Brasserie is a good choice and you can park in the garage or leave it with the doorman.

                  2. f
                    fantundo RE: catspercapita Dec 4, 2011 04:14 PM

                    Before Huntington, we always go to Pho and I, which is practically next door to Symphony Hall. I'm especially partial to their gyoza. The service is always quick and friendly.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: fantundo
                      marais RE: fantundo Dec 6, 2011 04:40 PM

                      Ditto on Pho & I, which does pleasant entrees along with very dependable pho dac biet. It's been a neighborhood fave for years. But please do make reservations if you go pre-Pops, as it fills quickly with concertgoers as well as with the musicians that will be playing for you.

                      1. re: marais
                        teezeetoo RE: marais Dec 6, 2011 08:27 PM

                        Make that +1 for Pho & I. Unless we have time to walk from brasserie jo, we go to Pho. It's quick and it's good, if not great. Always pleasant service and aware of the time when we tell server we have concert or theater tickets. It's been so many years, but we still miss the little burmese restaurant that used to be on Huntington. Odd that there's never been anyplace great and geared to the symphony/theater crowd.

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