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Restaurant suggestions needed for whirlwind college tour (on a budget!)

We'll be in the Boston area (from Los Angeles) at the end of the week and through the middle of next week to look at some schools. I've looked through a lot of the prior threads, but I'm concerned about the price of many of the suggestions. We'll be on a budget and although we don't need to go altogether cheap, we definitely can't go for the higher end eats. We need breakfast, lunch and dinner suggestions -- mostly in Boston proper. We'll be in Boston over the weekend (staying relatively close to the airport) but we certainly can and will catch the T to explore and find good restaurants, but on Monday we'll be visiting Northeastern and Boston College, on Tuesday it's off to Amherst, and on Wednesday we'll check out Babson and Brandeis. So, restaurants, particularly for lunch in those areas would be really helpful. Thanks for any suggestions you can offer. We like just about anything, but are looking forward to eating some things special to Boston, like lobster rolls, or even better, lobster. We don't need Mexican, Thai or Chinese since we can get some of the best of them here in L.A.. And the kids aren't burger eaters. But everything else is game. Thanks for any suggestions you can offer!

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  1. You said relatively close to the airport...are you staying at a hotel in East Boston? If so, try Rincon Limeno, Rino's and Santarpio's in East Boston for dinners.

    Between Northeastern and B.C., try Turkish Family Restaurant in Brookline Village. Also other restaurants recommended here in that section.

    If you are looking for a place in Amherst, can't help you there. You might try the So. New England board also.
    But B.T.'s Smokehouse in Sturbridge is highly recommended by many here.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Bob Dobalina

      Hi Bob: thanks so much for the suggestions. Don't know Boston well enough to know if the hotel is in East Boston, but I do know it's in Revere.

      1. re: zydecomom

        Close enough. You really should check out Santarpio's in East Boston

    2. Lunch near Brandeis: you have plenty of choices on Moody street in Waltham. There are several Indian restaurants with buffet lunches, a bargain for college-age appetites. You may see something else on the restaurant strip that appeals to you.

      Latino beyond Mexican, also on Moody street, Guanachapi's. Zero atmosphere, but tasty food in generous portions.

      Babson is in Wellesley. Nearby is Bertucci's, a local pizza and other Italian chain, also generous portions at reasonable prices, with lunch specials.

      None of this is high gourmet, but it's all good fuel for your mad dash.

      1. If you are staying in Revere, a unique option is Kelleys Roast beef right at the beach. They have some great fried seafood and yummy roast beef sandwiches. its a takeout stand so hopefully you'll pick a nice day for sitting on the benches at the beach.

        1 Reply
        1. re: momoftwo

          I second Kelly's Roast Beef, a very Bostony thing to eat.


        2. Whenever I'm back in Wellesley (Babson), I always make sure to grab a sandwich at The Linden Store.

          1 Reply
          1. re: mkfisher

            Breakfast at the old-timey Maugus (cafe, I think?) in Wellesly would be fun

          2. Hi. If you are in the East Boston area I would suggest Belle Isle Seafood. It is a very typical New England fried seafood place. Very casual with moderate prices. Many people think they have have the best lobster roll in Boston. It costs about $18.00 but contains freshly cooked meat from a 1 1/4 lb lobster. They also do very good fried clams, fried local haddock, stuffed clams and other N.E. favorites and you can get a steamed lobster too. You can also order many of their items baked or broiled too. For what its worth Belle Isle was featured on an episode of Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations TV show a couple of years ago. They recently moved into a new building which has a small bar serving beer and wine and a large number of tables. Previously is was mainly a take out place.

            1. I know you said no Chinese, but the best cheap eats near Brandeis by far is Mulan, which is Taiwanese food located on Main Street in Waltham. There are lots of other good options on Moody Street, but Mulan is a cut above. Oh how I wish it had been there when I was a Brandeis student!

              For Amherst, the options in Amherst itself are pretty mediocre (and if you're visiting UMASS, very far from the campus). You might be better served heading over to Northampton.

              1 Reply
              1. re: VintageMolly

                Since Amherst College is a bit far afield from Boston, it's more on topic for Southern New England than it is for the Boston board. Now that the conversation on this thread has died down, we moved some great discussion of where to eat near there over to the Southern New England so that other families who may be visiting Amherst will be able to find that info when they search.

                If anyone has any more tips for Amherst, or wants to read the ones already offered, you can check the new thread out here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/895113

              2. Just a thought...as a supplement to the treat of a lobster lunch, why not eat in some of the schools' cafeterias? As you're thinking in investing very good money over the next four years, why not check out the social/food offerings of the various schools? Cafeterias open (at the latest) at 7/7:30a for breakfast/coffee and most have many campus locations and options for lunch. All accept student dining cards, but cash is accepted too. Best of luck during your visit!

                4 Replies
                1. re: pinehurst

                  I actually think that's a good idea. i would second that thought for at least one meal for each college you visit. It won't be the best Boston has to offer but it would be good for your prospective college student to know!

                  1. re: Ladycale

                    I am thirding this. Some schools will provide a voucher to so this. At the very least get permission to see as many food options as possible. You don't want to spend four years somewhere where the food is terrible.

                  2. re: pinehurst

                    Really interesting idea! Hadn't thought about that. Thanks, Pinehurst.

                  3. Wow, these are all great suggestions! I'm getting hungry just reading all the replies. Thank you sooooo much. Keep 'em coming. Any suggestions for lobster? For the three days of our college adventure, we'll have a car so we can go a little further afield, although I don't want to stray too far and risk getting myself lost. We'll also have 2 full free days in Boston and would love some budget-minded suggestions for those days too, as well as any off-the-beaten path things to see or do with 2 16 year olds over the weekend. We've done the typical tourist stuff on a prior trip to Boston, so something a little less touristy would be great. Thanks again!!!

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: zydecomom

                      When you're in Wellesley visiting Babson, you can try Captain Mardens for seafood. It's a fish market with a small attached no-frills restaurant. http://www.captainmardens.com/restaur...

                      1. re: zydecomom

                        For off the beaten path, I'd echo some of the East Boston suggestions above. Whether it's Belle Isle (seafood), Rino's (Italian), Santarpios (pizza) or Rincon Limeno (Peruvian). Also, maybe a trip over to East Cambridge/Inman Square area. There are great places like Muqueca (Brazilian w/seafood focus), Christina's (ice cream), Courthouse Seafood (seafood restaurant attached to a fish market that makes Captain Mardens look opulent by comparison).

                        1. re: mkfisher

                          Seconding Muqueca's Brazilian fish/seafood stews. Both Muqueca and Christina's are on Cambridge Street (apart by several blocks) so you could do both. There's a small for-pay parking lot behind Muqueca plus decent street parking.

                          Courthouse Seafood is also on Cambridge St.

                          Unrelated, but it's pelting down right now, and I wish I lived upstairs from Muqueca...

                      2. You are all wonderful for posting all these suggestions and I look forward to trying many of these suggestions. Aside from suggested eateries, I'm looking for things to do off the beaten/tourist path since we'll have a couple of free days between college tours. Let me know if you have any thoughts and thanks again for all the great restaurant suggestions. Keep 'em comin'!

                        1. After Northeastern you could cut through the Fens and eat dinner at Trattoria Toscana, a hidden gem in the city with no reservations and fabulous Italian food at bargain prices. The trick is to arrive early for dinner.

                          1. Thanks to all who responded to our inquiry. the Boston trip was a success and we did pretty well with food.

                            We ate at Bertucci's near/in Harvard Square. It was pretty good, but nothing to rave about.
                            We had dessert at a wonderful place nearby called Finale. YUM!!! We had a dessert sampler with a side of chocolate molten cake. It was all wonderful and the service was great.

                            We had to try Kelley's Roast Beef and it didn't disappoint.

                            We ended up at the Melting Pot one night, for their "happy hour" fondue specials. Made it much more affordable, but I found it uninspired.

                            We had breakfast at a place called The Gaslight. Very nice. Great waitstaff and the food was good, but it had a very limited selection.

                            For pizza, we tried Bianchi's Pizza. They delivered to our hotel and promised the best pizza we ever had. It was very good, but left me wishing I had tried Santarpio.

                            In Wellesley, we had lunch at The Linden Store. YUMMY! What a great place. It was even a nice day so we could eat outside at one of the tables.

                            Lastly, we had dinner at Courthouse Seafood. Very reasonable prices and the food was quite good.

                            All in all, the trip was a success, made more so by all your great suggestions. (We did, against my better judgment have lunch at a Chinese Dim Sum restaurant in Chinatown. Don't remember the name of it, but it had all these articles in the front window that extolled it's virtues. It was really bad. I'll repost at a later time if the name comes to me.)

                            Well, thanks again. And for those of you who are in Boston or were in Boston for the marathon, I hope you and your families and friends are okay. What a nightmare.