Middle-class Brazilian food at reasonable prices; especially good for lunch. To see what the cuisine is like, try the Brazil 2001, a selection of most of the dishes and a well-liked favorite. ARL likes the bife a cavalo (grilled marinated beef on rice with sauteed onions and cabbage, farofa (ground casava root, onion, and bacon) and fried eggs). All entrees come with rice and stewed black turtle beans. Although Brazilian cuisine is a bit heavy on meat, they do have vegetarian meals. This is a favorite with MLO as well who likes the Brazil 2001 especially.
Café Brazil is one of the closest restaurants, a 3-block walk from the Doubletree.
Belonging to the founder of Steve's (one of the originators of the ice cream boom >20 years ago), who sold the rights to the name and then found he had ice cream in his blood. Great ice cream, sauces, toppings, coffees, and other desserts. A tossup as to whether this is better than Toscaninni's (Cambridge: on Main St. and in the MIT student center); T is slightly more creative (avocado sorbet?) but Steve's is closer to the Smofcon hotel (almost walking distance, which is a good idea after one of their sundaes).
Brewpub, with wide range of prizewinning beers; moderate-size menu including pastas, grilled meat/fish, other entrees @ $12-15. Go early to avoid live music.
The food is edible, its prices not unreasonable, its televisions omnipresent and its proximity to the hotel its greatest feature.-- mlo
Near Boston University (>1 mile from hotel.) College portions and prices (top entree is <$15), but good food (peppered grilled prime rib, schrod Monterey, ...) and over 300 beers, 100 of them on tap -- stouts under nitrogen, Real Ale, even Belgian beers. Will fill up on Friday and Saturday nights, but worth a visit right after program ends. Monster deserts; if none of them appeal, see Herrell's across the street.
Good, frequently-changing menu of modern Italian-inspired dishes (grilled lamb steak with bean stew, monkfish, ...) @ $12-20; also, design-your-own pasta dish (choose 1 of 4 pastas, 1 of 5 sauces, and as many toppings (onions, garlic, olives, spinach, mushrooms, pancetta, sausage, ...) as interest you, for $12-16 depending on how many toppings you pick. Good choices for wine-by-the-glass, and bottles at non-inflated prices; one of Chip and Davey's all time favorites. Closed Sundays. (OTOH, come in early for the Wednesday-night wine tasting....)
Allston/Brighton * Harvard Square * Central Square * Near MIT * Elsewhere in Boston