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Central Sq.

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  • BLT Dec 2, 2001 11:20 AM
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Hello,
I hope you all had a nice Thanksgiving.
I was wondering what are the hot spots in Central Sq., Cambridge. I find that the Middle East is just fair.
I miss the donut shop that used to be almost on the corner of Mass Av. and Prospect. The 1369 is good for a cup of coffee but can be awful noisy at times.

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  1. there are two new coffee shops about a block from the middle east going toward MIT, both quieter and more comfortable then 1369,
    one is cezanne open til 6p and the other is new , I don't know the name-it's across the street from cezanne.

    2 Replies
    1. re: TK

      it's called mama gaia's.

      also want to add a note about a new find in powderhouse square called "what's cooking on college ave". great baked goods and desserts. yesterday i went in for a snack and ordered a portabello risotto cake ($2.95) and a apricot-glazed chicken wing (.60) both delicious. the owner added a spoonful of sauted spinich because she thought i need something green on my plate.

      1. re: TK

        The coffee shop across from Cafe Cezanne is 8am Coffee.
        The newest places in Central Square are:
        "Centro" (Italian, next to Good Life)
        "Zuzu" (Upscale Middle-Eastern/next to Middle East)
        "Asgard" (Irish/Viking Pub - site of old Austin Grill)
        "All Asia" (casual Asian - across from Miracle of Science Bar)

      2. Check out the Green Street Grill. IT's a little gussied up from the old green street, but still has great food, and I think still has a reduced price menu on Mondays. Also Centro is pretty fantastic Italian, if you can get a seat.

        1. I've had a couple good meals at Central Kitchen. The Phoenix Landing does a good burger if you get there before the club action starts, and I always recommend the burgers at the Miracle of Science. Haven't been to La Groceria in a while but they have cheap 3 course meals til 6:30 or 7 I think. All Asia should concentrate more on being a bar I think, at least from the one time I ate there. I think the Good Life is kind of fun and fairly cheap, but totally mediocre food.

          1. Central Square hot spots I like are: Mary Chung's. Nothing like the Suan La Chow Shau dumplings and sprouts. One of the Boston areas best chinese restaurants, period. Also, Shalimar had good indian food if you go for that. I agree the M.E. is just so-so. La Groceria is pretty middle-of-the-road italian as opposed to when they opened years back they seemed more cutting-edge then.

            1. Don't forget to have an ice cream at Toscanini's. It has a national following. Burnt caramel with hot fudge!

              1. If you want something different try Asmara on Mass Ave. It's Ethiopian and quite good. I don't know names of dishes (cause I only ate the lunch buffet). It was mostly different types of aromatic stews of chicken,lamb,vegies and flat sourdough bread (like a spongy pancake.) You use to the bread to roll up the stews and eat it almost like a burrito or mu shi. For you vegetarians, they have a lot of vegetarian choices on the dinner menu.

                1. I went to rangal (I think that was what it was called) for brunch the other day - tibetan, and found it pretty good- a nice cold potato salad, meat that was so tender it was falling off the bone, an apple and cucumber salad- very low key, but also the bill came to $13 for two! Good place to go on a cold day.

                  Also, cezanne is just not as cool as the 1369 - the cezanne is where you go when you just want to be alone and you actually want to be able to read your book instead of just looking like you are reading a book.

                  What is the miracle of science bar like? I think that I can say without reservations that the Plough and Stars btw central and harvard is the best bar on the planet. Seriously, on the planet.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: lolap

                    I would second the recommendation for Rangzen Tibetan -- they have a buffet lunch that is very good, with a nice selection and very high quality. Imagine an Indian buffet, but much less greasy, fresher-tasting, wider selection, generally lighter. Cheap (6 or 7 dollars). The room has a nice feeling, open yet cozy, and the service is friendly.

                    Another place that I haven't been to for a while, and I hope it's still going strong, is Cafe Baraka, a truly excellent moroccan place. Extremely good food in a very small, somewhat makeshift-feeling room. Very cambridge-y feel. My main memory is of the fried squid, which was fabulous. They bread it with chickpea flour, which gives the crust a wonderful flavor, very savory. Have any other hounds been there recently to give more detailed opinions? I've attached Stephen Heuser's Phoenix review from a few years ago, which hopefully is not an un-houndish thing to do. (I think it's a well-written review.)

                    Oh, and one last recommendation - Carberry's has some pretty good cookies, brownies, pastry. If you get a sandwich there (the sandwiches are a bit hit or miss, depending on who makes them -- their quality control could use a little work), try the Italian flatbread. Very tasty.

                    Link: http://www.bostonphoenix.com/archive/...

                    1. re: lolap

                      Miracle of Science is a pretty cool spot. It's always been a bit of a hang out for the older M.I.T. crowd. Pretty popular with the high-tech crowd as well. Good burgers and specials.
                      I agree that The Plough and Stars is one of the best bars around. They pour a mean Guinness!