By Casey DiBari & Skylar Diamond – Opinion Editor & 1851 Staff
Right in Newton Centre, Little Big Diner is a modern restaurant that offers a variety of homey food. The size offers a more intimate setting, and whether or not it is crowded, you can easily hold a conversation with whoever you came with or sit comfortably in silence as you enjoy your meal.
For anyone who may be more of a picky eater and is a little worried about the items on the menu, the Kara-aged Fried Chicken is a safe and tasty choice. The bowl comes with fried chicken, spicy mayo, Negi salad, which is essentially longer and thicker onions, and togarashi, a spice powdered over the chicken. While we got the chicken without the spicy mayo, it was still a bit of a spicy dish. How- ever, if you’re someone who enjoys spice, we would recommend getting the mayo with it.
Their menu provides options for people who do not eat meat or seafood. They have two ramen bowls that can be specifically made vegetarian upon request. We were able to try the spicy, vegetarian version of the “Miso Ramen…Spicy or Not” ($16). This dish contains chashu pork, ajitama egg, bean sprouts, sweet corn, Mayu, scallions, and nori. The vegetari- an version of this dish substitutes the chashu pork for grilled tofu and the salt-based broth for a miso-based one. The other ingredients remain the same, however, Little Big Diner welcomes customization to their ramen with the possibility of 18 different add-ons known as “Ramen and Rice Bowl Extras.”
We stuck with the original form of the ramen which included vegetarian ingredients and we were not disappointed. The steaming spiced dish wasn’t overbearing and every- thing blended together effortlessly. The nori was crisp, the ajitama egg was soft-boiled and the thin noodles were easy to slurp. Little Big Diner also has a selection of rice bowls, avail- able with or without meat.
From Lasell to Little Big Diner, the journey isn’t too troubling. Students can get there in a short 11-minute drive or 30-min- ute Green Line ride. The pricing of dishes at Little Big Diner is not too steep for the aver- age university student to afford. The ramen can range from $15.50 to $18.50 at their base price depending on how intense you go. The small dishes can range from $9 to $11 and the rice bowls can range from $13 to $15. The ac- tual wait for the restaurant can be a bit longer depending on what time and day of the week you go.
Weekends around lunchtime is the prime time to go to Little Big Diner, meaning the wait could range between 15-45 minutes. You do have the chance to explore the Newton Centre area to kill some time, but if you’re looking for a quick meal on a time crunch you might have to come back on a different day. If you do have the time, Little Big Diner is definitely a small gem worth checking out.