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Apr 19, 2012 03:35 PM

Great eats near Dana Farber?

We are making a quick trip in to Boston for an appointment at Dana Farber tomorrow...any nearby (walkable?) great eats that I should know about for a quick lunch, particularly of the Chinese persuasion?

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  1. I work quite near there, and unfortunately it's a bit of a culinary dead zone - lots of chain restaurants and a by-the-book food court.

    If you don't mind grab-and-go, the Sami's food truck at the corner of Longwood Ave. and Ave. Louis Pasteur is an institution. There's also the Clover food truck in the parking lot in front of the Merck Building (33 Avenue Louis Pasteur, set back a bit from the street). I know they've had some mixed reviews on the boards, but this branch's chickpea sandwich and rosemary fries have never let me down. It's a short walk from both trucks over to the Fens if you want a pretty place to sit while you graze.

    If you want a sit-down place, I really like the cafe in the Gardner museum - soups and desserts in particular - and it's not as ridiculously overpriced as museum cafes/restos tend to be. And as a bonus you get to walk through the atrium of the museum, one of the most beautiful and soothing places in the whole city, and you can dawdle there as long as you like without having to pay museum admission.

    I don't think there's any good Chinese within even an extended walking distance, but there is good Persian (Moby Dick) and excellent Ethiopian (Lucy Ethiopian Cafe - do NOT miss the peanut tea) on Huntington Ave. They'd both be a bit of a hike from the Dana, though - they're down near Mass. Ave., and even at a good clip it would take you close to half an hour.

    Kenmore Square is also about a half-hour's walk away, and has the beloved Eastern Standard to recommend it. There are frequent buses down Brookline Ave. that would drop you right there, though, so it might be more of an option.

    If you really want Chinese and have a car available, you could drive down to Chinatown (and try to park) or over to Sichuan Gourmet in Brookline, but again, neither of those options would be 'quick'.

    Good luck with the appointment, and I hope you find some deliciousness in the tumbleweed-strewn food desert that is the Longwood Medical Area.

    6 Replies
    1. re: TimTamGirl

      If you only had time for the Longwood Galleria food court, would suggest the Indian place, Chutney's: or the Mediterranean resto, Sepal:

      1. re: Taralli

        +1 for Sepal (I work in the area and it's become my go-to place in the Gallaria). Not as fond of Chutney's, but I only went once when it first opened. Other than that, the suggestions of places near Fenway or Huntington would be best. If you go to the Gallaria and insist on crummy Americanized Chinese, get it from the faux Chinese Cajun place rather that the Dragon Bowl (or Dragon Bowel) as I call it.

        1. re: kimfair1

          Is this the same CHutney's that is in harvard square? I've liked what I had there, considering what it is.

          The old crappy chinese place was better than the current one IMO. When I used to work over there (early aughts) their cashew chicken was a real hangover helper for me

          1. re: jgg13

            I think it is. Like I said, I only tried a sandwich once when they opened, and wasn't impressed. You're right, the old crappy Americanized Chinese place was much better than Dragon Bowel is.

            1. re: kimfair1

              I've noticed a general trend that all of the older food court type chinese places that used to actually cook htings to order (the one in question, the one at the kendall coop, etc) have all switched to serving stuff that clearly comes from golden panda's supplier.

            2. re: jgg13

              I stopped by the Chutneys in harvard sq today for the first time since just after they opened. It wasn't as good as I remembered although for fast food it still wasn't bad but it wasn't good - whereas i remember it being good for fast food.

      2. You're pretty close to Brookline Village and Sichuan Garden (Sichuan Gourmet is further afield but also not too far) -- I've never been but have read good things here and have heard good things from friends. Run a search and you'll see it seems to be a favorite for Chinese. It's not too far of a walk I don't think.
        Sweet Cheeks is closer to Fenway and maybe a 10 minute walk -- yummy and reasonably priced and worth a visit.
        And don't get roped into the Savory Food Truck if there's one nearby!

        7 Replies
        1. re: ebaba

          Brookline Village is actually a bit of an unpleasant walk from Dana-Farber because if you go the fastest way, straight down Brookline Ave. (which will still take about 20 minutes each way), you're walking right along a very busy street the whole time; and if memory serves, there are a few parts where the sidewalk kind of disappears on at least one side. But it would be a quick straight shot in a car.

          Sweet Cheeks, Citizen Public, and Basho are all near each other on Boylston St. near Fenway, and the buses that go down Brookline Ave. to Kenmore would also take you close to that area.
          *BUT*: I just saw that the season opener against the Yankees is tomorrow at 3:05, so I think you'd be better avoiding the Fenway/Kenmore area altogether: the traffic (human and auto) will be insane and everything will be busy from lunchtime straight through. I would strongly suggest that you stay on the Longwood side of The Riverway/The Fenway/Park Drive to avoid the worst of the traffic.

          1. re: TimTamGirl

            100th anniversary of Fenway Park today- probably not the best time to do lunch near Fenway- Brookline Village makes more sense. I never found the walk unpleasant- there are beautiful flowering trees in bloom.

            1. re: TimTamGirl

              The season opener was last week!

              But traffic and parking today will be NUTS starting maybe at 11.

              Its an easier walk to Sichuan Gourmet at beacon and St Mary's than to trek to Brookline vil.

              I think their lunch menu stinks, though. Order off the dinner menu.

              1. re: C. Hamster

                I know but this is even a bigger deal- gates open at 9:30! St. Marys hood will also be crazy at lunch. Opening Day the local restaurants were mobbed in this neighborhood- ran out of everything per several waitresses.

                1. re: Berheenia

                  The gates open at 12:30.

                  It will be a mob scene for certain regarding driving and parking.

                  But if you are walking to Sichuan Gourmet and eating lunch you will be fine.

                  1. re: Berheenia

                    If you head up Longwood to Huntington Ave, there's the Squealing Pig and The Mission. Both casual sit down places with good food. Bonus points to the pig for a very nice beer list with several interesting choices on tap.

                    Might be a little less crazy than the Fenway choices...and a short 10 minute walk.



                  2. re: C. Hamster

                    Sorry, I meant it was the first game against the Yankees this season - phrased it badly - which is always berzerk. And I didn't even realise that the anniversary celebration is today too. St. Mary's is only one stop past Kenmore, so I have no doubt that area will be jumping too.

              2. I'd recommend Penguin Pizza. Excellent and creative pizza; exceptional beer list, decent prices and service.