I'm on foot at Harvard in a super intense summer program that runs 12+ hours a day, starting at 9 AM. I am sleeping on campus. I am from Portland and am therefore spoiled by a great price/quality ratio. I am also now unemployed, broke from Harvard tuition, and generally on a tight budget. I know you can't have it both ways, but I am trying to do my best.
I need to find alot of meals on a 10-15 minute walk. Kendall Square and Central Square are out for weekdays - possibly weekday dinners if it is mindblowlingly good and economical enough to warrant the T fare (yes, that tight, sorry).
Dietary problems (hard when you're a foodie): I have a very painful reaction to sweet and tart foods. No fruit, no sweet veg, no vinaigrette, no OJ, etc. It's really fucked up. I'm a guinea pig at a major research hospital for it but had to leave to attend this program. I am also allergic to shellfish and lactose intolerant. This excludes a lot of Asian food and good New England lobster, crab, chowda, etc. I also have bad digestion due to too little acid and digestive agents in my system. I love hot and spicy food - it's the dense stuff like pasta, potatoes, bagels, huge steaks, pork chops, etc, that I have a hard time getting down).
Tired of "nos" yet?
Here is more what I'm looking for:
Breakfast - I eat something small with a cup of coffee or sometimes just a good latte. More room for lunch. Unfortunately, I have yet to find good coffee or pastries around here. So far have tried Starbucks (Hi Rise was closed - anyone know their hours?) and Au Bon Pain today (holy shit it was horrible). Anything good within a 10 minute walk of campus? What's Petsi's like? Is Burdick more of a dessert place? Any other offerings? Its hard to find a pastry that isn't over the top sweet.
Lunch - same 10 minute walk. Felipe's was enjoyable enough. Boloco was horrible. I liked sandwiches at Darwin - do they have an adjacent sit down area? I couldn't tell. Digestive issues make me avoid having starch for both lunch and dinner (sandwiches, pizza, burritos, etc - I know this makes economy consideration alot more difficult).
Dinner - pretty much the same, but good beer is always a plus (Portland again). The pie at Cambridge One I chose (their version of the Marg) was too sweet for me (all the tomatoes) but the others look good enough. I didn't enjoy Pinocchio's tonight, but I generally do like good, thin, charred pizza. I like non-western food. Chinese, Japanese (sushi excepted), and Thai are generally out (Issan excepted) because of my sweet reaction/sour reaction. Indian is a mixed bag. I like western food just as much.
If you're still reading, bless you. I didn't choose my diet and hope the amount of detail isn't as obnoxious as those being selective due to calories, feared ingredients, or pickiness. They are all physiological exclusions that I have no control over. If only I could be paid for being a lab rat.
Thanks for any replies or helpful info. Cambridge is beautiful and I hope to get a couple hours to get into Boston, but until then I'm pretty locked up.