Boston Restaurant Blog -- September, 2011
Thursday, September 8, 2011
Over the past few years, I have been to South Station many times, mostly to meet up with others (and sometimes to take the bus to Manhattan), and up until recently I have tried to avoid eating there, mainly because I have had some truly bad meals in its food court. Lately, I have tried to get there early so I can run to Chinatown and go to any number of excellent spots for some quick food, but sometimes time is simply too short to do so. That's why I was encouraged to hear about a place called Cheeseboy opening up in the middle of South Station late last year (they have since opened other locations in Braintree and at the Prudential Center). I didn't get around to trying this grilled cheese spot until recently, however, as I continued to head to Chinatown for quick meals--or ate before heading into the city. Well, last week, I finally got over to Cheeseboy and was mostly impressed by the place, and it definitely seemed to be a much better option than most of the other spots in South Station.
Like the other eateries in South Station, Cheeseboy is a quick-food counter service spot that is geared toward travelers. It resides in the middle of the terminal building, near Au Bon Pain and a short walk from the main food court area that houses such places as McDonald's, Master Wok, and Cosi (by the way, this last spot is actually pretty good). The setup is pretty simple, with an ordering area on one side, a pickup area on the other side, and a cooking area that is filled with grilled cheese presses and other equipment. A few tables are set up in front of Cheeseboy, with more tables over by Au Bon Pain and the food court.
I went pretty basic on my first trip to Cheeseboy, ordering their "Cheeseboy Classic" as well as an order of macaroni and cheese. The help was friendly and polite in both taking my order and handing it to me, which is a lot different from what you often find at the South Station eateries, and the place looked clean and well-run. It took about five minutes for me to get my food, waiting with a few other folks who were looking to pick up their orders as well. Once I got my meal, I grabbed the last available table in front of the place and went to work on the grilled cheese first. It was very basic, with American cheese melted inside pressed Italian bread, but as most people know, a basic grilled cheese sandwich is very tasty, and this one sure was that (plus, it was cheap, coming in at around $3.00). The macaroni and cheese was a little less impressive, with overcooked macaroni mixed with cheese that was lumpy in spots and runny in others. While I was there, I took a closer look at all the different cheeses (cheddar, Swiss, provolone, etc.) and toppings (bacon turkey, basil, pickles, etc.) and decided that next time I would try a couple of different sandwiches with various options, most notably one with basil, which I heard was excellent.
My first visit to Cheeseboy was mostly a positive one (mac and cheese aside), and one that made me re-think the Chinatown option, especially when short of time. Hopefully I'll be returning to this little eatery during the fall; when I do, I'll post a quick update here on what I tried.
If you are looking for the address for Cheeseboy, here it is: Cheeseboy, 720 Atlantic Avenue, Boston, MA, 02110. Phone: (617) 737-4600.
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