Help! I’m Trapped In Government Center!

“Help! I’m Trapped In…” is a semi-regular feature where we tell you how to make the most of being stuck in areas that are (fairly or not) regarded as culinary wastelands. You’re welcome.

Government Center is really something of a mystery. Unquestionably, it is one of the neighborhoods most important for Boston’s functioning, but it’s also tremendously ugly (City Hall, we’re looking at you) and full of very little good food. If you work in Government Center, however, there’s no need to give up the hope of eating great lunches! All it takes is being a teensy bit flexible on what, exactly, constitutes Government Center. Below, a week’s worth of lunches for the discerning bureaucrat.

Monday: J Pace & Son is downtown’s leading lunch spot for a reason: the sandwiches are generously sized, delicious, and cheap. Many people don’t realize that J. Pace’s pasta is also good: try the gnocchi marinara.

Tuesday: People are always going on about Wednesday being Hump Day, but to our mind, Tuesday is much longer and more difficult to slog through. Reward yourself for making it this far by having a nice sit down lunch at Wagamama. After a repast of duck gyoza and chili beef ramen, you’ll feel relaxed and ready to face the rest of the (seemingly endless) day.

Wednesday: Everyone knows that Grotto is a great spot for a romantic dinner, but the big secret is that their lunch is a very good value. Their excellent pastas go for a mere $11-16: we recommend the cavatelli with ground sausage, ricotta, fresh peas, mushrooms, cream and pancetta.

Thursday: After two Italian-style lunches earlier this week, it’s time to give France its due, don’t you think? Visit Kingston Station for an elegant meal: maybe the seared tuna Niçoise salad and the rather good steak frites? Yes, that sounds just about right.

Friday: You’ve been a good worker bee all week, so it’s time to reward yourself with something decadent and wildly unhealthy. May we recommend a trip to Beard Papa? The impossibly airy cream puffs are as close to perfection as anything downtown and regardless of what your nutritionist may tell you, it’s totally a valid lunch. Totally.

J Pace & Son [MenuPages]
Wagamama [Official Site]
Grotto [MenuPages]
Kingston Station [Official Site]
Beard Papa [Official Site]

[Photo: Wikipedia]

Help! I’m Trapped In Government Center!