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Good public cafeterias in soulless city buildings?

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Swankalicious Aug 27, 2013 04:42 PM

The Lowell City Hall used to have a fantastic one (I haven't treaded to downtown Lowell in a rather long time, though). Any Hounds know of chow-worthy public cafeterias around the region?

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    rachgrn RE: Swankalicious Aug 27, 2013 05:03 PM

    We've always enjoyed the cafeteria at MGH main campus, "Eat St. Café". There are several different choices from hot entrees to pizza and Panini's. Good desserts. Won't break the bank. And I love to sit amongst some of the finest medical staff in the country.

    1 Reply
    1. re: rachgrn
      Prav RE: rachgrn Aug 28, 2013 04:11 AM

      Eat Street is great! I'm about to have a custom veggie omelette (a huge one, for $2.50) in a few minutes.

      Plus, their ice cream (not fro yo) is made by Stroh's, which is a Michigan treat hard to find elsewhere sometimes.

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      gimlis1mum RE: Swankalicious Aug 27, 2013 05:14 PM

      The made-to-order omelets at the Dana-Farber cafeteria are surprisingly good, and very cheap - I think it's $2.50 for the basic cheese omelet, maybe a dollar more for a deluxe with meat and/or veggies of your choice.

      The cafeteria at Children's Hospital used to be pretty good too though I haven't been there is a while.

      6 Replies
      1. re: gimlis1mum
        jgg13 RE: gimlis1mum Aug 28, 2013 09:56 AM

        When I worked at LMA several years ago, we'd always go to the children's cafeteria as opposed to our own (DFCI)

        1. re: gimlis1mum
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          Taralli RE: gimlis1mum Aug 28, 2013 01:01 PM

          The new Yawkey bldg cafe always has fresh made pizzas, calzones, etc. along with a salad bar. They also often have ethnic-themed menu lunches with generous portions.
          https://danafarber.catertrax.com/shop...

          1. re: Taralli
            Prav RE: Taralli Aug 29, 2013 08:32 AM

            I didn't realize there was a Yawkey bldg at Dana Farber - there's one at MGH and Boston Medical as well.

            1. re: Prav
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              smtucker RE: Prav Aug 29, 2013 08:34 AM

              Brand new building with lots of new amenities, a term I hate when discussing cancer patients. I mean, it isn't like they/we elected to spend a day at the spa or anything.

              1. re: smtucker
                Prav RE: smtucker Aug 29, 2013 08:48 AM

                Agreed. I feel the same way about my inpatient hospice patients.

            2. re: Taralli
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              gimlis1mum RE: Taralli Aug 29, 2013 08:57 AM

              Oh, yes, forgot to mention the specific bldg in my post above. I meant the cafe ("dining pavilion") in the Yawkey bldg.

          2. C. Hamster RE: Swankalicious Aug 27, 2013 07:01 PM

            One Beacon Street

            The big tower across from South station ... International place?

            4 Replies
            1. re: C. Hamster
              Beachowolfe RE: C. Hamster Aug 27, 2013 09:04 PM

              International Place has a pretty cool lobby cafeteria but it's not really across the street from South Station.

              1. re: C. Hamster
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                mkfisher RE: C. Hamster Aug 28, 2013 05:35 AM

                Are you talking about One Financial? There's a Rebecca's Cafe in there. Not awful.

                1. re: mkfisher
                  C. Hamster RE: mkfisher Aug 28, 2013 06:30 AM

                  Maybe it is One Financial because its across from SS. And at one point it was a good cafeteria thingie, not a Rebecca's. I can't stand Rebecca's so wouldn't have eaten there.

                  1. re: C. Hamster
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                    mkfisher RE: C. Hamster Aug 28, 2013 08:54 AM

                    Yes. It changed a couple years ago. Was a nameless cafeteria that was owned by Sodexho. That said, the food hasn't changed one bit. It's the same exact food/staff/setup. Just new ownership.

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                hargau RE: Swankalicious Aug 28, 2013 03:50 AM

                There was an old thread about how one of the Concord Prisons has a great cafeteria. I never tried it.
                Just found it http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/687330
                And more info: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2012...

                http://www.boston.com/yourtown/framin...

                1. Locutus RE: Swankalicious Aug 28, 2013 03:57 AM

                  The VA on Huntington has a pretty good Caf. The one in W. Roxbury is marginally better

                  1. drewinmrblhd RE: Swankalicious Aug 28, 2013 09:55 AM

                    I remember Lowell's in the basement, best grilled cheese and tomato in town. Haverhill city hall had one on the second floor, food was decent. Best ever is within Newton city hall, I have had a full sit down meal there years ago. Lawrence city hall doe not have one inside but the sausage vendor right outside is decent.

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                      addiez RE: Swankalicious Aug 28, 2013 12:35 PM

                      The cafeteria in One Ashburton is pretty good too!

                      1. C. Hamster RE: Swankalicious Aug 28, 2013 12:49 PM

                        It's not a cafeteria but the Blue Glass operation in the Hancock tower is good but spendy.

                        They turned their cafeteria into a parking lot.

                        1. enhF94 RE: Swankalicious Aug 28, 2013 01:22 PM

                          the JFK courthouse (2nd floor) and MGH (main underground) both have nice cafeterias.

                          JFK is particularly... soulless?

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: enhF94
                            enhF94 RE: enhF94 Sep 18, 2013 04:55 PM

                            forgot to add you'll have to go through security.

                          2. Prav RE: Swankalicious Aug 29, 2013 08:33 AM

                            Not exactly a soulless city building, but the pizza place in the Harvard Science Center cafeteria has a real brick oven! Delicious slices.

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                              teaperson RE: Swankalicious Sep 1, 2013 06:00 PM

                              The Moakley courthouse on the waterfront has a fine cafeteria with a nice view (or used to - last went there about three years ago). Of course, you had to go through a very heavy-duty security check to go there.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: teaperson
                                Beachowolfe RE: teaperson Sep 18, 2013 08:59 PM

                                That courthouse gets Boston's award for worst use of public land with the Suffolk county jail coming in a close second.

                                1. re: Beachowolfe
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                                  CportJ RE: Beachowolfe Sep 19, 2013 02:52 PM

                                  The security check is quick and not as bad as the airport. The public really should be encouraged to check it out. Must be the only waterfront option on this list.

                                  Lynn Tech has a culinary program with a restaurant, and I wouldn't be surprised if there are other examples like that.

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                                rachgrn RE: Swankalicious Sep 21, 2013 07:44 AM

                                In addition to Lynn Tech, Minuteman Tech in Lexington offers lunch(on the cheap) Tues-Thurs 11:30-1 and a buffet on Fridays 10:30-1:30. Culinary student run. You used to have to make reservations (there is only about 20 tables in restaurant) and I believe you still do. Right off Mass Ave on Marrett Rd at end of industrial/corporate park. 781-861-6500 Ext. 270

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