Tasty Tufts Reviews the Best Chains
Legal Sea Foods
If you ever come to Boston, let alone half of Massachusetts, you will come across a delicious restaurant for all sorts of seafood. It has an eclectic mix from salmon dishes (my favorite being the nutty faroe island salmon, encrusted with almonds and topped with a smooth and tart lemon caper butter sauce) to cioppino (a light tomato based broth filled with lobster, scallops, shrimp, clams and mussels paired with a perfectly crisp crostini). When going, I suggest that you do not leave until you have tried at least a taste of their homemade New England clam chowder, their signature crab cakes, and a deliciously wood grilled sea food of your choice. The seafood can be flavored to your liking, ranging from a red onion jam to something legitimately called the everything spice. You will want to return, and you will be shocked when you find out the Legal is a chain until you find the next location along the green line. There is a Legal Sea Foods right in the Prudential Center off of the green line in Boston, another in Cambridge, and plenty more scattered around and outside the city.
Source: Dotted Route
The Cheesecake Factory
Yes, everyone knows The Cheesecake Factory has cheesecake (which is quite incredible to say the least), but some do not realize that it is also just as satisfyingly good for legitimate meals. Anyone who has been there knows that their menu is like reading a book and can be extremely overwhelming. Well, let me tell you—you can’t go wrong because everything I have tried there, even from friends’ plates, has been tasty and filling. Some menu items you should not miss when visiting this delightful chain are the avocado eggrolls (light, crunchy and smooth; a joyous experience, I promise), the chicken Bellagio (a crispy coated chicken breast topped with prosciutto, arugula salad and all over a light, yet velvety basil pasta with parmesan cream sauce), and of course, the cheesecake to finish the meal! If you didn’t save room, as you will find the dinner portions are enormous and can probably feed your whole table, you can always take the slice of cheesecake home with you to save for a rainy day (or for a midnight snack… whichever is sooner). My personal favorite cheesecake is the rich and smooth raspberry swirled cheesecake with white chocolate shavings. It is the perfect balance between the dense, satisfying cheesecake, the sweet white chocolate sprinkled on top, and the tart and fruitful swirls of raspberry. You can find The Cheesecake Factory in the Galleria Mall in Cambridge, as well as within the same Prudential Mall off of the green line with Legal Sea Foods. Maybe make the mall trip an all day event and get one for lunch and one for dinner? Up to you!
Maggiano’s Little Italy
While you may not know that Maggiano’s was a chain unless you stepped outside of the Boston area, you would find that this restaurant is found throughout the United States. Maggiano’s is what you would an expect of a family style Italian American restaurant—big portions, lots of pasta, and lots of bread. When you decide to venture over to Back Bay for some Italian (because who doesn’t love Italian?), make sure you stop by Maggiano’s and get their signature lasagna. Oozing with homemade sauce and cheese, the lasagna calls to me whenever I go there, and I am not a usual lasagna fan by any means. If you are not in the mood for a pasta (but when are you ever not in the mood for pasta?), you can always get the classic chicken parmesan, one of the chef’s favorites at Maggiano’s. The only one in the Boston area, to my knowledge, is off of the green line by Arlington Station in the theater district. Make it a trip to the Back Bay area and go see a show after a substantial Italian feast.
Some other chains floating around Boston are:
California Pizza Kitchen: Also found in the Prudential Center off of the green line with The Cheesecake Factory and Legal Sea Foods. Recommendation: The pear and gorgonzola pizza.
Bertucci’s: With one just by Boston University, it is a perfect and affordable option for an Italian feast, student style (aka on a budget). Recommendation: Lunch special of unlimited soup and salad, and of course, the famous rolls with dipping oil.
There are plenty of chain restaurants that may only be found throughout the city of Boston, or others scattered all over the United States; either way, you just got to keep an eye out and your fork ready!
Cover photo source.