I've been working in Natick since July and wanted to ask about good, relatively cheap and inexpensive places for lunch near Route 135, the Natick/Framingham border. I'd definitely like to spend less than $10, and I eat fast but only have an hour for lunch.
I end up going to Pizza Peddler a lot because of its proximity and speed but would like to branch out more. I'm not sure that the other sub/sandwich places near the Peddler(Natick Pizza, Corrado's) are hugely different. I had a great Italian tuna (seemed like olive oil, chopped tomatoes and red onion, basil, and olives) sub on crusty bread, rather than those ubiquitous sub rolls, today in Belmont. Any thoughts or recommendations on places with great sandwiches, particularly if they use good bread?
Udipi Bhavan is down the street and is very good Indian. I've gotten someone from work addicted to their chickpeas. She actually dreams of them! Gold Star has a nice lunch buffet with the requisite chicken tandoori. I only wish they'd put slivered almonds and those tiny fruit thingies in their rice pudding.
As far as I can tell, Sichuan Garden may be the only good Chinese restaurant in the area, though I don't like their mapo tofu. I get takeout from there once every 1-2 weeks, though it takes a bit longer. I've been disappointed with takeout from several other nearby places, though the mapo tofu from the place down the street (Pearl something) wasn't bad.
Aztec is okay for Mexican. I'm pleased that they have tamales on their menu, but I'd like spicier stuff. I also get takeout from there once every 1-2 weeks.
Once in a while, I go to Oga's, but I can't afford that on a regular basis. *sob*
What I'd love is to find quick, tasty, inexpensive lunch places, e.g. Il Panino Express, Anna's Taqueria or Boca Grande, Pho Pasteur (incidentally, is there any Vietnamese food around there?), Pita Kabob, Chacarero (a man can dream...).
Also, is there any really good place for freshly brewed coffee and/or freshly baked pastries nearby? I'm not a Starbucks fanatic (I have a soft spot for Illy, myself), but my wife and I talk (only half-jokingly) about moving further south into the South End to be closer to Flour.
Please help! Thanks,