Seven Subs 1 Centre Street
I always hesitate to use tired phrases like “hole in the wall” when describing restaurants, but that’s literally what Seven Subs is: you stand on the sidewalk and order through a hole in the wall. There are a few outdoor tables for when the weather is nice, but otherwise, you’ll be happy to hear that they deliver. Seven Subs touts the Lucky 7 ($6.50 for large) as “the one that made us famous”—a mound of roasted turkey and homemade coleslaw on a toasted roll, with melted Swiss cheese and a spread of Russian dressing. It may not be pretty to look at, but there’s plenty of turkey, and the coleslaw adds a nice crunch. Try the fantastic Turkey Bacon Club ($6.75 for large), which is fresh and flavorful, like the club sandwich of your dreams.
Curry House, 1335 Beacon Street
Curry House, with its ready-serve hot trays and immediate service, will make students will feel like they’re right back in the dining hall. This is decent Indian food, at good prices, and they do most of the main characters right: the Vindaloo is nice and spicy, the Chicken Tikka Masala ($10.95) has a good ratio of tomato to cream, and the Tandoori isn’t too dry. When I go, I avoid the Bhaji ($2.95), which I’ve found to be too greasy. Curry House’s combo meals are one of the best deals on Beacon Street―for $9.95, the Combo 2 will give you a chicken dish, a vegetable dish, a choice of appetizer, and your choice of Basmati rice or chewy nan. Play your cards right, and you might even come away with leftovers.
Pino’s Pizza, 1920 Beacon Street
Who among us—student or no—doesn’t love a good pizza? Pino's is a true pizza joint, founded in 1962, and one can see why they've lasted so long. The Amalfi ($17.75 for large) is a favorite of mine, a chewy, slightly tangy crust topped with bright tomatoes, hunks of fresh mozzarella, and basil. Pino's is known for its Sicilians, the large rectangular pizzas with an ultra-thick but not doughy crust; I had a Sicilian with sweet onions and shaved Italian sausage ($18.75), and there was so much pizza that I ate the leftovers for days. Good thing it was delicious.
Wings Over Brookline 477 Harvard Street
Wings are nothing if not perfect student fare, and Wings Over Brookline does them right. I like the garlic parmesan and honey mustard flavors, but the classic buffalo (choose your own spice level, from “Wimpy” to “Afterburner”) is a winner, too. Golden, crispy boneless wings are sold by weight, not by piece; enough for dinner will set you back $6.99, while the meaty bone-in wings are 10 for $8.69. If wings aren’t your thing, feast on St. Louis style pork ribs (full rack for $17.99), chicken sandwiches and wraps, and the delicious waffle fries.
Olecito, 6 Cypress Street
Who can resist a Tex Mex place with a Mexican wrestler for its logo? I love Olecito’s Baja taco ($2.75), a piece of battered shrimp or fish, with crunchy pickled cabbage, chipotle mayonnaise, and a dab of cilantro pesto. The Carnitas taco ($2.75) is good too: braised pork with pickled cabbage, salsa verde, and sweet-tangy pineapple salsa. The burritos here are fine, and the meat is good―choose from marinated chicken or steak, or braised shredded pork― and at $5.50, it’s the best bang for a hungry student’s buck. They’re huge, and a challenge to eat, so turn your burrito into a salad with chipotle raspberry vinaigrette if you don’t like the idea of getting messy. Or, choose from a list of Mexican sandwiches called tortas, like the truly delicious Piolín, with Adobo-marinated chicken, a spread of refried beans, chipotle mayonnaise, Jalapeño cheese, lettuce, and tomato salsa ($6.75). Olé!