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breadless sandwiches in financial district

eLizard Apr 16, 2013 09:44 AM

does any place serve lettuce wrapped sandwiches in boston? i tried the collard green wrapped sandwich at freshii, and it was pretty bad. leathery, fibrous, and a mustardy taste which clashed with the fillings. it was EXACTLY as i thought it would be. but i held out hope.

i know i can get burrito bowl type things at some of the chains in the area.

thanks in advance!

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  1. hotoynoodle RE: eLizard Apr 16, 2013 03:29 PM

    raw collard? yuk.

    i don't eat bread anymore, so just ask for all the stuff, minus the bread. most places offer extra toppings or a more generous side. never had a problem.

    lots of thai places offer lettuce wraps.

    6 Replies
    1. re: hotoynoodle
      eLizard RE: hotoynoodle Apr 17, 2013 06:19 AM

      it was totally yuck.

      1. re: eLizard
        hotoynoodle RE: eLizard Apr 17, 2013 06:54 AM

        i can't imagine anybody in their right mind eating raw collard greens. southern cooks cook them for HOURS, lol.

        that's goat food, imho.

        is it low-carb or a gluten issue? because i also realized many asian places use rice paper wraps for spring rolls.

        1. re: hotoynoodle
          eLizard RE: hotoynoodle Apr 17, 2013 07:07 AM

          ehhh. it's an i like to get as much volume bang for my caloric buck as i can. i can eat more volume if the volume doesn't include bread. good, bad, or indifferent, it's how i operate. i'm on ww, and i lost 40 lbs a couple years ago. it works for me. just like i'm never gonna pack a lunch or start eating breakfast....i like to feel very full. and if i eat less bread *sob* i can eat more other stuff. but i do like the feeling of a sandwich, so just having it as a salad isn't as satisfying. sorry you asked yet?

          and my colleague said the same thing about the collards....that they're usually cooked for hours. to be fair, i think they were blanched....

          1. re: eLizard
            hotoynoodle RE: eLizard Apr 17, 2013 07:36 AM

            lol, after almost 4-years of no-bread, i mostly don't think about sandwiches. i even go bun-free with burgers.

            BUT!! like i said, most places feel compelled to give me extra "stuff" when i skip the bread! so, win-win for your mind-set, yes? :)

            1. re: hotoynoodle
              eLizard RE: hotoynoodle Apr 17, 2013 07:52 AM


              i'm talking like takeout sandwiches, though. how does that work? do they just throw everything in a box/bowl?

              1. re: eLizard
                hotoynoodle RE: eLizard Apr 17, 2013 08:38 AM

                yeah, they mostly lie the bottom of the box with lettuce.

                won't work at al's -- don't think they have boxes.

    2. Bob Dobalina RE: eLizard Apr 16, 2013 06:15 PM


      1. FinnFPM RE: eLizard Apr 18, 2013 06:03 AM

        Am I the only one who thinks the concept of a breadless sandwich is absurd? This question is essentially unanswerable. A sandwich is what happens when you take food and put it between bread. Remove the bread, and you get... food. The answer is food.

        Here are some ideas for breadless sandwiches downtown: french fries at jm Curley, saag paneer at D'Guru, split pea soup at Viga, scallop roll at Sakura-bana, yogurt from CVS.

        15 Replies
        1. re: FinnFPM
          valcfield RE: FinnFPM Apr 18, 2013 06:23 AM

          while i understand the sentiment behind your post Finn, and yes, linguistically, its pretty hilarious to read 'breadless sandwich,' i think-
          a. substantively, the description (and follow up post) give a pretty clear idea of what one is looking for- high protein lunch meal without bread
          b. a number of sandwich (and their ilk) places offer effectively this option for people who don't want the bread-
          Clover has their lunch platters (and, similarly, many places serving falafel, kebabs, etc. tend to offer an option to put the meat on a salad, or perhaps rice, though the latter doesn't solve ops issue,
          chipotle et al have bowl options, which is the sandwich just placed into a bowl to avoid a burrito
          burger places (as noted) typically have some sort of no bun option that uses a lettuce wrapper or also a bowl
          and, in general, i can think of a number of places which offer 'sandwiches' as the cheap lunch option but typically include very similar offerings as full entrees that are more expensive but serve a a veggie side, bigger portion, and no bread.

          So i ultimately don't think there is a lot of difficulty in thinking of what the OP is referring to or finding sensible recommendations to fit the bill (though i know they were offered in jest, for example, i think you could use my criteria above to explain why any of your recommendations, save perhaps split pea soup, are not responsive to OP's request).

          to attempt to be useful, elizard: alas, i don't spend enough time in boston proper to give you many good recs, but certainly i'd hit up Clover in downtown crossing, or cambridge, and grab one of their plates, which will be comprised of side salads, a lot of hummus, and a good amount of protein. they are not *super* filling, but are good caloric bang for the buck, imo, particularly if you do the falafel, which has a good portion of pickled veg in it.

          1. re: valcfield
            eLizard RE: valcfield Apr 18, 2013 06:25 AM

            thanks. clover truck is right outside my office. may give it a shot.

            1. re: eLizard
              valcfield RE: eLizard Apr 18, 2013 06:35 AM

              If you do, given what you wrote about calorie maxi/min, i would note:
              a. you might check what side salad the platter has- typically its an israeli salad with cucumbers, tomato, and za'atar spiced olive oil, and then another salad of the day. the latter can sometimes be starchy (aka waldorf salad) and they usually let you double up on the israeli if you'd like
              b. as noted above, both the israeli salad, and the hummus, get a dose of za'atar olive oil on top. while tasty, i don't think its worth the small excess, especially on a truck, at lunch, where, in haste, a server may have a heavy hand in applying it. i've had no issue getting them to hold the oil.

              1. re: valcfield
                eLizard RE: valcfield Apr 18, 2013 06:36 AM

                thanks for the tip. i did have a chickpea sandwich there once. while delicious, i think it was probably a calorie bomb. but everything in moderation.....

          2. re: FinnFPM
            StriperGuy RE: FinnFPM Apr 18, 2013 07:02 AM

            I'm looking for a sandwich without the filling... on a strict "Carb Only Diet."

            1. re: StriperGuy
              Science Chick RE: StriperGuy Apr 18, 2013 07:16 AM


              1. re: StriperGuy
                valcfield RE: StriperGuy Apr 18, 2013 07:18 AM

                I'd recommend anywhere using iggys bread. Feel free to browse other threads for relevant listings ;)

                1. re: StriperGuy
                  hotoynoodle RE: StriperGuy Apr 18, 2013 07:46 AM


                  1. re: hotoynoodle
                    eLizard RE: hotoynoodle Apr 18, 2013 07:50 AM

                    i always say that my dream meal would be a french fry sandwich on a bed of rice with a side of pasta.

                    1. re: eLizard
                      hotoynoodle RE: eLizard Apr 18, 2013 08:01 AM

                      there used to be a place in the north end that served pizza with cheese ravioli on top. zomg, was that good. of course, then you felt like passing out 20 minutes later, lol.

                      1. re: hotoynoodle
                        eLizard RE: hotoynoodle Apr 18, 2013 08:11 AM

                        oh sweet heavens that sounds delicious. i'm having a burger at radius for lunch today. it's tough for me to get through the afternoon after that.

                        1. re: hotoynoodle
                          bear RE: hotoynoodle Apr 18, 2013 08:57 AM

                          Trio's! The tortellini pizza was the best. My family still reminisces about it!

                          1. re: bear
                            nsenada RE: bear Apr 18, 2013 09:16 PM

                            Yes! And it was gigantic.

                            1. re: nsenada
                              hotoynoodle RE: nsenada Apr 19, 2013 06:28 AM

                              their pasta was awesome too. much sadz when they closed. :(

                          2. re: hotoynoodle
                            StriperGuy RE: hotoynoodle Apr 19, 2013 09:09 AM

                            That was the original Al Capone's Pizza.

                  2. MC Slim JB RE: eLizard Apr 18, 2013 06:08 AM

                    I know this probably isn't the daintiest thing I've ever done at lunch, but yesterday I got a döner kebab plate at the new Cafe Hemshin near Government Center and ate it with my fingers sitting outside in Post Office Square (beautiful day). No bread involved. Pretty decent new Turkish option Downtown.


                    2 Replies
                    1. re: MC Slim JB
                      eLizard RE: MC Slim JB Apr 18, 2013 06:10 AM

                      is that where kebab factory used to be? i'm in the building with cafe de boston.....is it better than the doner kebab there (if you know)?

                      1. re: eLizard
                        MC Slim JB RE: eLizard Apr 18, 2013 06:53 AM

                        No, Hemshin is in the former home of Delicato Cafe on City Hall Ave, an alley that connects School Street with Court Square.


                    2. m
                      mkfisher RE: eLizard Apr 18, 2013 06:11 AM

                      I haven't seen it in Boston, but I do know of places that replace a burger bun with iceberg lettuce. If you like iceberg, it's actually quite good.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: mkfisher
                        eLizard RE: mkfisher Apr 18, 2013 06:13 AM

                        yeah, i've heard of that, too. that's sorta what i'm looking for. and a friend says that the sandwich chain jimmy john's (which i know nothing about -- and which isn't in boston) has something called an unwich.... sandwich with lettuce for bread.

                        1. re: eLizard
                          hotoynoodle RE: eLizard Apr 18, 2013 07:50 AM

                          just ask.

                          even with lettuce, if you have any kind of gloppy toppings on a burger, it's messy without the bun "sponge". :)

                        2. re: mkfisher
                          Gabatta RE: mkfisher Apr 18, 2013 10:22 AM

                          In-n-Out offers their burgers 'protein style' substituting iceberg without the bun. My wife got it once and was lamenting her poor choice until our next trip west when the error could be rectified.

                          1. re: mkfisher
                            Prav RE: mkfisher Apr 18, 2013 01:54 PM

                            "Four Napkins", the burger place in the Pru, will put your burger on lettuce if you ask.

                            However, some places look at you like you have two heads.

                            To restaurant people: It's not that difficult of a concept!

                          2. foodieX2 RE: eLizard Apr 18, 2013 10:32 AM

                            Have you asked at any of your regular haunts? During the height of the Atkins craze it was very commonplace for places to advertise lettuce substitutes for bread.

                            My husband worked downtown at the time and had no problem getting a "carb free” sandwich. Now a days you are more likely to see signs for “available on Gluten Free bread!”, no GMO foods! Organic! But I bet they will still make an Atkins one for you.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: foodieX2
                              eLizard RE: foodieX2 Apr 18, 2013 11:15 AM

                              excellent point.

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