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Low-carb lunch options downtown

Help - I am so bored with salads! What are some non-salad good lunch options downtown that would be considered low-carb/low-sugar? Like, does Chacarero put their sandwich fillings over greens? I'd eat that! Or something like some good (warm) meat with sides of veggies? Even though I've sworn off Sebastions I've always been curious about their rotisserie chicken option, but for something like $11 I've always passed, plus their sides always seem kind of boring. Or stir fry that isn't rice or noodle based? Thanks!

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  1. Falafel King for falafel or their combo plates that include baba and hummus? Chinatown for veggies and meats. B.good on Washington Street has great sides as well as kale bowls and other similar things.

    8 Replies
      1. re: Luther

        Hummus should be. Chickpeas, oil and tahini, maybe lemon juice.

        1. re: CportJ

          depends on your definition of low-carb. 1 cup of hummus has about 35 carbs. not lc in my book. at all.

          beans and legumes are not lc.

          op: sashimi lunch special at sakurabana.

          1. re: hotoynoodle

            A cup is a lot of hummus. Sabra lists serving size as 1 oz/2Tbs and 4 g carbs. That seems likely to be reasonable compared to the OP's boring salads. I suppose baba ganoush is similar to hummus, perhaps more carbs. But I'm not a low carb expert by any means. I assume you have to skip the soy sauce with your sashimi to avoid carbs?

            1. re: CportJ

              baba ganoush is eggplant, which is not a legume, so no, it's not the same as hummus. even 1/2 cup of hummus can be too carby for some, especially if they are lc for medical reasons.

              soy sauce is eaten in small quantities and is lc anyway. sorry, but if you don't know about lc eating, why are you making recommendations?

              op: you can also go to any decent sandwich place and just ask them to skip the bread or you can dismantle it yourself and use a fork to eat. someplace like lagrassa's would be a great treat.

              1. re: hotoynoodle

                Legume or not, from what I've seen, baba ganoush has more carbs per serving than hummus. And soybeans are legumes; that's why I asked about soy sauce. Looks like it's about a gram of carbs per Tbsp.

                I don't think the OP asked for expert opinions only, just some options to break up the boring salad routine. I'm sure she can figure out what best fits her individual diet from the places suggested, and the more options for her to investigate the better.

                  1. re: hotoynoodle

                    This says 10 g carbs per 1/3 cup baba ganoush so apparently it varies quite a bit.


    1. Thumbs up to Chinatown rec....good one. Falafel might be too carby for you.

      1. Bona Pita puts their meat and veggie toppings on salad greens. I think you could figure something out at Pita Thyme, Falafel King, Boston Kebab House and other places like that.

        1. Chacarero does offer a spinach salad with their meats over it.

          If you can pass up the pizza, pasta, and sandwiches for the steam table specials at Casa Razdora, they are always tasty and pretty much all protein / veg / fat if you select carefully.

          It is indeed a salad, but can be a great one at Zo with either their pork gyro or chicken - I prefer their tzaziki to their dressings - hold the bread usually given on the side (their soups and stews are also hearty and delicious - the lamb chili in season is a great choice).

          Finally, the meze bar at Boston Kebab House or Cafe De Boston usually has something that would work - just go early before they are reduced to desiccated leftover crusts on the pans...

          1. Thanks for the recs. Any Chinatown specifics? Like which restaurant/dish are your faves?

            6 Replies
            1. re: julieapfel

              Taiwan Cafe - beef with longhorn peppers (mildly spicy) or braised eggplant (but this is sweet...)

              China King - Hon Sue Beef (IF made by chef Edwin in the old King Fung Garden style - the one the other chef there makes is totally different and terrible) - it should be a dark brown to black pile of slivers of charred beef with a lot of onions / scallions (not a sweet technicolor mess of peppers and flavorless chunks of overly soft beef)

              1. re: rlh

                Erwin, but yes, if he's not in the kitchen the food is nowhere near as good.

                1. re: Allstonian

                  How do I know which one is Edwin/Erwin? Just ask?

                  1. re: julieapfel

                    Ask whoever seats you - it could be his wife Doris

              2. re: julieapfel

                A plate of garlic ribs or salt & pepper pork chops at Best Little, with a green vegetable if you like. Or are you only looking for "lunch plate" sized portions that don't require sharing/leftovers?

                1. re: Luther

                  Thanks Luther - I just got back from Best Little and had the salt and pepper pork chops and some chinese broccoli. They were delicious and I will definitely be back to try the garlic ribs and probably lots of other stuff. I had stopped by China King hoping for the Hon Sue Beef but Erwin is in China on vacation so I'll have to go back when he's back. Any other Chinatown recs? I am on a tear!

              3. Up for a short walk over the bridge? Fried Oyster Lettuce Wraps at Row 34 are awesome. Ask for the sauce on the side if you're concerned with calories. There's a spicy lobster taco with mango salsa too - you could skip the shells and it would still be great. Plus raw bar and lots of other easily modifiable options.

                1. I would recommend Boston Kebab House, Cafe de Boston or Cafe Hemshin (all similar, so your choice may depend on convenience of location), all for their meze bars. There are probably some slight variations at each, but they all have a selection or proteins, veggies and salads. It is a pay by weight type of thing, so can get a bit pricey depending on what you put in there, but I think the meze bar serves as a good alternative to the boring downtown lunch salad.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: ebone

                    Are these all same ownership? I've wondered since they resemble each other so closely.

                  2. One of the tricks I use at Vietnamese restaurants is to order a soup with no noodles and extra vegetables. I have never had a shop not oblige and it is often much better than with the bland noodles.

                    Pho Hoa and Pho Pasteur and next to each other within the Chinatown area.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: sekelmaan

                      I bet Xhin Xhin would be a good bet for that sort of thing

                      1. re: sekelmaan

                        Another is to get the Cahn Chua at Le's. A sweet/sour soup served with meat, bean sprouts, tomatoes, and pineapple. Rice is always served on the side with this so you can skip it. You can also add extra veggies.

                      2. Cafe de Boston - the kebab station! I love the tandoori chicken. choice of sides, one of which is a cucumber and tomato salad which, when i want to eat lean, i just order double of. its $9 for the combo plate and i often have enough for late afternoon snack or dinner. their salad bar rocks too. weep as you pass the pizza and pasta stations.

                        Pita Boston is yummy too. Just go for the salads vs combo plates with falafel etc . all super fresh. >$8-9

                        Bon Me truck has rice and noodle bowls - just ask for it over greens. its basically a bahn mi over greens $6

                        Same at SOPA $?

                        Clover - Eggplant and egg dish, just ask for easy/no hummus, or extra salad $6

                        Chicken & Rice Guys truck - chicken and lamb combo, no rice just salad, extra meat, hold the pita $7/$9 extra meat

                        1. The vegetable ragout at Merchant is wonderful. (It does have some potatoes, however.)

                          1. -steak tips at silvertones. Just sub the mashed for more greens or veggies.

                            -chicken and rice guys combo salad. Def doesn't "feel" like a salad.

                            -flame cafe - similar to zo or chix/rice guys

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: joth68

                              the roast chicken at silvertone is excellent too.

                              1. re: joth68

                                thumbs up on chicken and rice guys food cart - that garlic mayo is redonkulous!

                              2. You can ask Guru for a meat and two veggies instead of rice on any of their Indian lunch specials.

                                You can get the burger at JM Curley with no bun and coleslaw as your side.

                                Marliave & Kingston Station both serve omelets for lunch - get them with salad greens instead of fries.

                                Cafe de Boston has a hot buffet. Sometimes it doesn't look too bad.

                                Sip has a nice quiche that you could take out of the crust.