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SF Hound visiting Boston, lunch recommendations for Memorial Day?

I will be visiting Boston over Memorial Day weekend and hope to have a nice lunch on Monday, Memorial Day with some friends. The fact that it's a lunch, a Monday, *and* a holiday has taken a lot of restaurants off the list, to my dismay. I'm not very familiar with Boston and would greatly appreciate any tips.

I will be staying near Lechmere Square. Is that East Cambridge? I tried searching but as I don't know the neighborhoods it was hard to know which areas to search under for nearby recommendations. I've already read through these links:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/886594
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/848211

Any cuisine or most price points are fine. I'm comfortable dropping up to $75/pp (excluding drinks) on lunch if the food warrants it. Fancy tasting menus would be fun. But family diner and hole in the wall places are totally fine too. My friends will be driving in from outside of Boston so they will have a car, but I don't want to travel too far as I have to be back at my hotel after lunch. But if it's worth a drive, I'll happily consider it.

If it helps, I will be dining at TW Food later that night. Catalyst looked great but they are closed that Mon.

Area 4 and Abigail's are open for lunch on Memorial Day, would you recommend either of them?
http://www.areafour.com/menu/
http://abigailsrestaurant.net/menu/

Thanks in advance!

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  1. East Cambridge up through Kendall and Inman Square offer a lot of good choices from "hole in the wall" to very good. Both Area Four and Abigails are fine for lunch. WestBridge is very good. Casa Portugal serves lunch (check about Monday though - not sure if that's a "closed" day) and will give you a nice introduction to Portuguese food. Court House is probably closed on memorial day but you can't beat it for fish you pick out at the fish market next door and have cooked for you at the restaurant. If you're staying in the Lechmere area, do try it some other day. If I want a fancy lunch I go to l'espalier. If I want a great burger and fun lunch, if the Sox aren't playing I go to Eastern Standard Kitchen. Have fun.

    3 Replies
    1. re: teezeetoo

      While perusing all these wonderful restaurants' menus, I saw that L'Espalier has an absolutely amazing-sounding afternoon tea. Have you tried it? I may have to plan my next trip to Boston around a weekend just so I can try it.

      1. re: greymalkin

        Thank you for the beautiful write-up! A quick comment on tea at L'Espalier. It is amazing, including a tea sommelier who can give you recommendations and make you tea-cocktails. The teas are prettily displayed in glass teapots (I suspect Jaener teapots) with tea warmers underneath. Tea is not over-steeped, yet warmed to the right temperature for consumption. Though the last time I was there, I had the tea sandwiches and sweets, it was the cheese course that was simply spectacular. If you do come back and plan to have tea, I do think that you will not be disappointed with L'Espalier.

        1. re: Crazy Egg

          Sounds wonderful! I adore cheese. I will definitely have to put L'Espalier's tea on the schedule the next time I'm in Boston.

    2. Not too far from where you are is the Druid in Inman Sq. Not quite a hole in the wall, but it is a no-frills Irish pub with a friendly staff. Burgers and fish and chips are notable there for me, but overall their food is very good for a pub.

      1. On this board, Area 4 gets much more consistent love than Abigail's. You might also consider EVOO near you and Scampo in the Liberty Hotel (a historic jail) just across the river .Both get mostly positive CH recs .

        http://scampoboston.com/?page_id=1118

        But for a really great , eccentric and famous Boston experience, I would send you on a 10 minute cab ride to Regina's Pizzeria in the North End. Nothing like it in SF.
        But you'd need to get there EARLY to avoid the line i think.

        1. Also near you is muqueca (Cambridge street near Inman square). For Brazilian style seafood stews. Perhaps something you don't get in SF and moderately priced.

          1. Wow, thank you all so much! These are great recommendations. I'd happily eat at all of these places. In fact I think I will attempt to see if I can work a few of these into the meals-with-family since it will be hard to just pick one!

            1 Reply
            1. re: greymalkin

              Let us know, OK? Great to get feedback on all these recommendations. I was going to suggest WestBridge.