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Saturday Lunch near Regent Theater in Arlington

I'm taking a Canon Immersion Photographic Seminar this Saturday at the Regent Theater in Arlington. (only $89 for a 8 hour course btw) I need a rec within walking distance for my one hour lunch break. What say you Hounds??

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  1. you'll get many differing thoughts. I would walk 3 minutes to Sweet Chile Thai restnt and get their Beef Basil Udon- a great combo of chewy udon noodles and moist stir fried beef with basil and a light pan juices glaze.* AFAIK, you're not likely to see that dish elsewhere. Friendly quiet place too.

    * tends to be v spicy/hot unless you request milder.ymmv.

    1 Reply
    1. re: opinionatedchef

      Personally, I'd recommend Thai Moon (about 7-8 minute walk up Mass. Ave.) over Sweet Chili.

      Madrona Tree is just around the corner. Good middle-eastern wraps and sandwiches. Stay way from the burgers, though, which are tiny, sad little affairs that they tend to burn to a crisp.

    2. I would check out Pasha. I've been eating at Sweet Chili for many years and for the past couple I've experienced a decline in quality.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Steve L

        That's so interesting, Steve. We've been eating there since it opened (15?20? yrs ago) and every dish (of the few that we order) tastes exACTly the same to us, for all this time!

      2. There's a Korean place right next store that is pretty good. I liked their eel bibimbap.

        1. I've enjoyed luscious meals at Manna Sushi, which is right next door. Bonus: You can browse at the cute lil' Book Rack bookshop, too.

          9 Replies
          1. re: KaraBaskin

            I may be wrong because I can't find a menu on-line, but it appears they no longer do sushi and have gone Korean, changing their name in the process to Manna House. Can anyone confirm this?

            1. re: CapeCodGuy

              Yes...I thought it was called Manna Place but it's been Korean only for about a year now. I think it's the same owners as the Manna Sushi which I always liked.

              I've only been twice for Korean, both times earlier this year. I'm no expert on Korean food but I thought it was excellent, and I'm surprised I haven't been back.

              With this nudge I hope to find my way back there soon.

              1. re: CapeCodGuy

                Yes it is Korean and pretty good. It's not up to the Westborough Korean place or the SoonDubu place in Allston, but overall not bad.

                PS CCG, I've always appreciated your cape recs.

                1. re: gourmaniac

                  Meh, "pretty good" isn't all that inspiring. I was hoping to do better. Tempted to go to Toraya or Blue Ribbon, but not sure I'll have the time for that with what I assume will be an hour lunch break.

                  (and thanks for the acknowledgement)

                  1. re: CapeCodGuy

                    Blue ribbon is worse than meh these days. Toraya is great but very busy on a saturday. I think you would enjoy Manna. I'm a little picky as I have occasion to travel to Busan and we can';t compete for quality or cost with S. Korea.

                    Another walkable is Katmandu spice for Indian/Nepalese buffet (On Mass ave about 5 blocks toward Cambridge). Tasty and affordable. It has the advantage of not waiting for service.

                    1. re: gourmaniac

                      Not to split hairs, but Kathmandu is a little more like 15 blocks from Arlington Center. :) You might also want to look up reviews on Madrona Tree (cash only). Have only done takeout from there once, but we enjoyed.

                      1. re: chevrelove

                        Looking over the recs here, and reviews on other sites, I'm having a hard time making up my mind. We have some very good Thai here on the Cape so I was hoping for something different. Kathmandu looks perfect, but is too far a haul based on Google Maps. As is Blue Ribbon or Toyana. Madrona Tree's reviews on Yelp (I know, I know) are all over the board with many negative. Besides, a burger wasn't my intention anyway) The Korean next door at Manna is enticing, but the service reviews are abysmal. I'm unfamiliar with Indian cuisine as there's nothing here on Cape, so I wouldn't know what to order at those options, or if I'd even enjoy it. So I'm thinking possible Mexican at Zocalo which is about 5-6 blocks away and the Mexican here on Cape sucks. Eager to hear more thoughts?

                        1. re: CapeCodGuy

                          Zocalo's lunch menu is not all that interesting. The food is pretty good.

                          1. re: CapeCodGuy

                            If you've never had Indian, Punjabi Tadka has thali -- sampler plates, basically. Rice, bread, small portions of multiple different veg/meat curries. There's a vegetarian one and an omnivore one.

                            On the dinner menu they have a bunch of street-food appetizers and things other than the very standard North Indian options pretty much every Indian restaurant (even the ones that are more South Indian) has for customers who want predictability. Whereas the lunch menu is much shorter (although I've only been for lunch once, and didn't ask if I could order off the full menu; it's possible that all I had to do was ask). But if you've never had Indian, all the options will be new to you. :)

              2. I bet there is a Subway near by!

                1 Reply
                1. Pasha is tasty, if a bit pricey.

                  Punjabi Tadka I really like for dinner delivery/takeout but their lunch menu is very short and boring. (Food is still good, but all the things I like best aren't on it.) I have never been amazed but also never disappointed by Sweet Chili or Thai Moon. Same with Mr. Sushi.

                  Zocalo is possibly too far of a walk but closer than Blue Ribbon.

                  1. Punjab is just up the street. Second Pasha, delightful place. Both are serving lunch specials on weekends. If you are really hungry try the non vegetarian Thali at Punjabi Tadka down the street a bit.


                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Ferrari328

                      I would just say that Ferrari328 has never steered me wrong!

                    2. I say hop on the 77, 79, or 350 bus - comes along quite frequently - and take it to 196 Mass Avenue (5-minute ride) and enjoy the absolute delicious freshness and charming service of Little Q Hot Pot!


                      6 Replies
                      1. re: Small Plates

                        Intriguing idea. I've never had hot pot. Tips for the uninitiated and uninformed solo diner? The lunch options look basic, but does one supplement with some of the ala carte items, or would that be way too much food? Which broth is best. Some spice is okay, but not too spicy would be my preference. As an aside, what is bus fare these days?

                        1. re: CapeCodGuy

                          They don't serve the lunch specials on a Saturday so you have to order ala carte. The mala broth is spicy!


                          1. re: CapeCodGuy

                            The buses are less frequent on the week-end. You could well be hard-presse to do that trip and still eat in an hour. I'm a Thai Moon girl myself.

                            1. re: fantundo

                              Ok, so what's particularly good at Thai Moon?

                              1. re: fantundo

                                Bus every 10 minutes or less, and the food is served super quickly. I think you can do it easily.

                              2. re: CapeCodGuy

                                For me, an order of vegetables and an order of prime beef split with my husband has always been waaaaaay more than we could finish. The mala broth, while spicy, is most delicious. We usually get that and the herbal broth for two separate experiences. It is so good, so fresh, and very healthy eating! You do not feel logy after a meal at Little Q, and I would suspect that may work well for you since you will be going back to 3-4 more hours of class. :)

                            2. I lived in Arlington 4.5 years and Manna House is one of my favorites. It's much better than Koreana in Cambridge and very good Korean food. We bring all out of town guests there and they love it. The spicy pork or eel bimbipap are great. The server doesn't speak good english and the dishes are made fresh so they take a while to come out especially if other people are there but the service is not bad. I've been to every good place in Arlington and that's my #1 rec there. It's hard to find good Korean elsewhere...

                              Toraya lunch is fantastic (try chirashi at 11.50$) but you would need more than 1 hour on a saturday unless you're the first person there. I still would go to Manna over there.

                              Punjab offers great lunch deals and has terrific indian food. You could get a soup and curry for 8 or 9$.

                              1. Thanks to you Hounds I had a terrific lunch at Manna House next door to the theater. Had the eel bibimbap as suggested. Terrific preparation. I laughed out loud when, of all the great choices available, the lecturer recommended Not Your Average Joe's! Too funny. Here's a pic of my meal. It's exactly the type of food we miss out on by living on Cape Cod.

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: CapeCodGuy

                                  That looks tasty and I'm glad you enjoyed your lunch. Just curious - was it a "dolsot" prep (i.e., the pot came screaming hot and you were instructed to mix immediately to keep everything from sticking to the pot, but you are left with a tasty crust of rice at the bottom)? My guess is no, but I wonder if they offer it this way? Anyway, I should just check it out for myself since I live down the street.

                                  1. re: digga

                                    Yes on screaming hot. No on any instructions, but I knew enough to mix it up. The veggies were cold and raw until I did so anyway, but they heated up quickly. And yes, the crust rice at the bottom may have been the best part!

                                    1. re: CapeCodGuy

                                      Glad that you enjoyed it. I like their eel bibimbap and I've not noticed problems with service as others have mentioned on this thread. By coincidence I was in that part of town yesterday for lunch and went to Fresh Pond Seafood for the fried clam plate. I didn't suggest this place to you for obvious reasons.

                                      1. re: gourmaniac

                                        LOl...I would have deserved to be slapped if I chose fried clams/fish for lunch while I was "off-island", As an aside, I did go to Belle Island this summer which is often lauded for the quality of their lobster rolls and fried clams. The clams were not even close to what I get here on Cape and the lobster roll was probably a 7 out of 10. Service was fine at Manna, btw, but there were only 4 tables at the noon hour.