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Aug 7, 2002 09:47 AM

Hey Dude Where's My Restaruant?

  • 1

OK. Had a date at the Northern Ave Daily Catch. Funny thing though it is GONE. I think the demo crew got the wrong address and was meant to be across the street...ANYWAY, I also planned trip to Lawrence's ONLY chowhound worthy place BISHOP's and it too is GONE. May we start a memorial for these gems and other places you used to go....?

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  1. I still wear black in honor of the late, lamented Peasant Stock (which occupied the building where Dali is now), the place where I first had rabbit. Inventive cooking in the 1970s for people with very little money.

    And a little light went out of my life when Elsie's closed in Harvard Square. Great knockwurst sandwich for $1.25.

    12 Replies
    1. re: chowcat

      I know it was all downhill at the end, but I still really miss the Wursthaus in Harvard Square. There also used to be a swiss restaurant where Chili's is now in the square. We've lost authentic fondue and gained overcooked (by policy) corporate burgers!

      1. re: Patti

        Oh, yes! The Swiss Alps! Used to be my favorite, all those years ago. They were on Boylston St. (now JFK St.) before they were in the Chili's spot (formerly Cronin's bar). And they were called something else for a time, I forget what. I used to love their raclette.

      2. re: chowcat

        ooh, Elsie's! I had almost forgotten about it.

        Used to have the best egg salad "all around" sub there...

        1. re: cctc

          Yeah -- and placing an order was a lesson in self-assertion, too! What a joint.

          How about Buddy's Barbecue Pit? I think that was the name. It's been gone a looooooooonng time. I think it was next to where Brattle Florist is now.

          Really have to stop talking about the old Harvard Square; it just makes me too sad. I stay away for the most part and enjoy Central Square and such instead.

          1. re: chowcat

            But Buddy's was in front of Cardell's, a cafeteria, where I used to cruise for the mac'n'cheese that my mother wouldn't make at home...And they had a daily "Vegetarian Plate", which was basically ALL the vegetables they were serving that day, in no particular order or arrangment..(Boiled dinner day was NOT good...)

            As far as the Harvard Square that was, I have two words, "Oxford Alehouse", where I was taught to drink by a friend who instructed me that if I never sat down, I never had to try to stand up...And they had GREAT bands!! Man, I used to dance my little hoofies to the quick!!

            1. re: galleygirl

              I was thinking of Cardell's...truly indifferent, most of their stuff, but I used to stop in there for mac 'n cheese too. And in later years, there was the (equally indifferent) Indian caf concession in the front of the room.

              1. re: C. Fox

                Yes! Cardell's was the place I was thinking of. And the Oxford Alehouse! Isn't that where Border Cafe is now? What a comedown. Now I'm missing the Bookcase next to it. Sob. Wasn't there something called the Purple Onion next to the Blue Parrot? Something Onion, anyway.

            2. re: chowcat

              I think it was called Buddy’s Sirloin Pit and it had an adjoining cafeteria called Cardoos. Buddy’s was reserved for special occasions as a steak could set you back about $5.00. Cardoos has a meatloafish steam table with perpetual string beans but it was a simple pleasure to sit at those long tables reading a newspaper or talking to strangers. Cardoos has a real mix of clientele ranging from Harvard Profs to the homeless and it was often difficult to distinguish between the two. Cardoos had the nice policy of hiring the handicapped (now called challenged) to bus tables and there was a real sense of dignity for honest work and a feeling of belonging. In response to others in this topic, Nick’s Beef and Beer (formerly Charleys) was wonderful and I especially enjoyed the grilled pork chops (3 for $4.50). There was something sweet about a place that served three wines, two of which were misspelled on the walls (Chamblis, for example). My favorite at Elsies was the handcut Landsman Pastrami sandwich made larger by a friendly smile to the counterman. These memories harken back to better days for Harvard Square before the Malling of America, before the Tasty became Abercombies and bookstores became body lotion salons.

              Please forgive the long response. I’ve never responded to a message board before. Having read this one for awhile, I feel that I have found soulmates in the ether waves.

              Best to you all

              1. re: gourmaniac

                Welcome, gourmaniac! Looking forward to future posts.

                BTW, I don't believe Nick's and Charley's were ever the same place. Nick's was on Mass. Ave. toward Porter Sq., whereas Charley's was (still is, isn't it?) on Eliot St.

                1. re: C. Fox

                  Charley's Beef and Beer and Charley's saloon were owned by the same guy but ~1983, the Mass ave site became Nick's. Several others correctly identified the cafeteria as Cardells not Cardoos (thanks). Memory is a harsh mistress and often abandons us for younger minds. Fortunately, gustatory memory is the most stalwart and we all vividly remember that the food at Cardell's as quite mediocre.

                2. re: gourmaniac

                  I remember the lambchops at Nick's - about $20 worth for $3.50. I assumed the meat was hot, it was so cheap. Excellent fries, too.

                  Thanks for the memories of Cardoos -- I remember those long tables, and those hairy looking old professors. I don't recall that the food was that memorable, though, but the price was right.

              2. re: cctc

                Elsieburgers and then ice cream at Cahaly's. Sigh.

            3. OK, here's one probably not many will remember. The Wharf Bar & Restaurant on the waterfront on Commercial St.(it later morphed into the Rusty Scupper & then Michaels) when it was still a dirt road along with the Quincy Market area & the center buidling housed wholesale meat businesses. Place I can't remember was in the center market building on the left downstairs that was an all night breakfast place. It was always packed & people came in tuxes, ballgowns, wet swim suits, whatever. Also what was the name of the fancy place across from Chili's and next to the Blue Parrot in the 70's? These were all favorites.

              5 Replies
              1. re: GinaT

                I didn't get downtown much in those days - can't help with the name of the breakfast joint, sorry.

                But the Ha'Penny Pub was belowstairs next to the Blue Parrot -- I loved that place! I think it was the Something or Other Onion upstairs. And there was a classy French place on the same side of the street, closer to Chili's - I have no idea what's there now. Chez Jean? Chez Louis? Something like that. I had my first slice of quiche there in about 1972.

                1. re: chowcat

                  If you are talking about the Ha'Penny Pub in Cambridge..there was a restaurant up/beside stairs called Ferdinand's. The Pub was one of my favorite places in the world - loved the draft beer and the baskets of pretzels. And the juke box!!! Also the table in the corner under the clock...Got my marriage proposal there almost 24 years ago. Where do time and the good places go...

                  1. re: Jean

                    Awwwww...that is such a sweet memory! I didn't get proposed to there (or, at least, not a proposal of marriage!) but used to love to go there with my housemates to eavesdrop on the grad students with the leather elbow patches on their tweed coats. The beer and the juke were great. And thank you for refreshing my memory -- Ferdinand's it was.

                    1. re: Jean

                      Thanks. Ferdinand's was the name I was looking for. We loved it. Also spent a lot of Sunday breakfasts upstairs at the old Casablanca eating eggs benedict and reading the papers.

                    2. re: chowcat

                      I miss the Magic Pan. it used to be on Newbury Street in the Back Bay. They had the best crepes and to this day there is not another restaurant around that has crepes like theres. Can't find any restaurants as unique as this one.

                  2. I'd like to respectfully add Nick's Beef and Brew on Mass Ave in Cbg to the list. Or as the sign used to say, "Ni ks eef & B ew"...between Harvard and Porter where the yupscale bars are now--West Side Lounge et al. I miss a place where the waitresses sit in the booth with you ("move over, honey, will ya?") when they take your order

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Beth

                      Nick's was a cool place. On a different note and side of town, I miss the Harvard St. Grill which is now a sushi place between Coolidge Corner and Allston. Those chefs were supposed to open something else but it never happened as far as I know.

                    2. v
                      Vinnie Clams

                      I miss CHINA SAILS!!!

                      1. Here's a hole-in-the-wall that completely came and went (1995-97?): a Singaporean take-out place called the Merlion.

                        I've been meaning to ask if anyone would possibly know what happened to the chef and/or owner. Years later, I'm still missing the oyster omelette and roti canai (that Penang does not match by a long shot).

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: lroldan

                          I was a fan of Merlion during it's short life..also loved the oyster omelette..can't remember the other dishes..but all good...that was a real chowfind..thx for the memory.