I'm a combination chowhound and nerd (geek), so I walk around with my iPAQ Pocket PC and use it to jot down notes of various places I visit. I've been working since December, 2004 in Boxborough, MA, and when I asked coworkers about local eateries, all I got were laughs... there's nothing around here!
Boy, were they wrong!
Well, the truth of the matter is that there are very few restaurants in Boxborough itself. There's Bravo Pizza on Rt. 111 (decent chicken parm sub), and down the road a bit to the east is Eurasia Chinese Takeout (a deli that does Chinese takeout, fair but not great food).
So, where do I go to eat?
Continue east on Rt. 111 until you get to Acton. There's a strip mall with two restaurants. Daniella's is a Mexican bar with a tiny seating area with pretty good food with "monthly" specials on drinks, and daily specials on food.
On the other side of the mall toward a child's day care is a hidden gem called Benjarong. The windows say "Fine Thai Food" and this is an understatement. Their Chicken Kra Pao (minced chicken with basil, bell peppers, chillis, and a fried egg on top--no spam!) is exceptional, and they do a very good lunch business there. Prices are very reasonable for lunch.
Further north in Littleton, MA (Rt. 119), you can find Ken's American, which has a nice homey atmosphere and decent (American) food.
Going east on Rt. 2a, you will pass Nashoba Valley and in a little strip mall on the left, you can find Scupper Jacks, which has pretty good seafood, a salad bar, and a really comfortable bar and seating area on the second floor.
Even further north in Westford is a strip of fast food chains with a Chili's and Appleby's (if you MUST do chains!). You can also find the Westford Grill across the street from Chili's, and they have a nice steak and seafood menu.
Heading south on I-495, you can go east on Rt. 62 (or, if you use Google Maps, you can find a short-cut using Rt. 85) and head to the rotary in the center of town to find the Horseshoe Pub. Fifty beers on tap, a great lunch menu and appetisers make their offerings above average for pub fare.
Route I-290 is as far south as I will go (I only have so much time for lunch), but at Solomon Pond Mall at the first exit on 290, you can find more chain stores, including an Olive Garden, Friday's, and Bertucci's.
Is this all? No!
Heading WEST on Rt. 111 (exit 28), you will eventually merge with Rt. 110 and go under Rt. 2 and find yourself in Ayer, MA. This town is near Fort Devens, and has two great Asian restaurants.
Woo Jung is my favorite spot in Ayer, and serves Korean food. Their lunch menu has a lot of variety, and most everybody should find something to their taste. The kim chee is wonderful, as is everything that I've tried on their menu.
Down the road from Woo Jung is Ah Gin Wong's, which has very good Chinese food and mammoth portions.
This is what I've found over the past ten months. I like going out for lunch since usually the food is priced cheaper. I will try any (sit down) restaurant, and even visit the chains once in a while.
If anybody has any other pointers to great food within a decent driving distance from exit 28 (Rt. 111) of I-495 in Boxborough, MA, I'm interested in hearing about it!
Chowhound from NH