Feeding the Beast

1197910232I’ve never been much of what you might call a provider. Though proven capable of keeping plants watered (mostly), pets sated, and cars fueled, I don’t do much by way of feeding actual people—excepting myself, that is, and even then it can get spotty.

So I’m at both fascinated and horrified by the fact that the staff here at 300 Mass. Ave entrusts me to wrangle their dinner on the nights we work late. Sometimes cranky but not terribly fussy, they generally go along with whatever eatery I’ve chosen based on the following: distance from the office, divided by the number of vegetarian-friendly options, multiplied by the likelihood that a big order will get hopelessly bollixed. Following that formula, a few reliables have emerged to help me put food on the conference table:
1. Boloco @ Berklee: Solid burritos, done lickety-split. On the rare occasion this is voted down, it’s usually because somebody’s already hit it for lunch. Office picks: Tofu or chicken teriyaki burrito, chicken caesar burrito—and the perplexingly satisfying Chinese chicken salad. Demerits for: The microscopic bag of chips that comes with the guac.

2. Pho & I, Huntington Ave.: A two-for-one that covers highlights from both Thai and Vietnamese cooking, with a bonus: a host who will sweetly read your whole mispronounced order back to you. Office picks: Pad thai, pad see-ew, drunken noodle. Demerits for: The slapdash labeling of the individual food boxes, which barely rises above cuneiform.

3. La Verdad, Fenway: Stuck at the office, staffers who’d much rather be hobnobbing at Ken Oringer’s Toro console themselves with Ken Oringer’s takeout. Office picks: Grilled corn, carnitas torta, fish tacos, East L.A. burrito. Demerits for: Offering deliciously messy food—then skimping on the napkins.

-Jennifer Johnson