9 & 12 year old grand daughters and Harvard environs
- Alexandra Vozick Hans
We would like to take our pre-teen granddaughters out to eat in Cambridge and see the evening sights in Harvard Square. The 12 year old girl likes everything, but her younger, 9 year old, sister is more of the plain and simple variety of eaters. We welcome any suggestions, and they do not have to be limited to Harvard Square. Thank you in advance.
Alexandra Vozick Hans
I was going to recommend Fire+Ice as well. It seems like it would be a fun place to take kids that age. Make sure you get there early. I haven't been in a couple years, but it used to be that by 6:30 there was a very long wait (1.5-2 hours).
If Fire+Ice doesn't work out, you could have Mexican at Border Cafe, which is two doors away from Fire+Ice. The food is by no means superb (though I admit it's an old standby of mine) but decent. And kids will like the fun atmosphere there.
On the same street (Church St.) is Cambridge One, a newish and sorta trendy pizza place. Rumor has it that Natalie Portman from the Star Wars movies hangs out there often, which the kids might find interesting.
Other places that come to mind--Mr. and Mrs. Bartley's Burger Cottage (very casual, fun, cheap, burgers named for celebrities); House of Blues (cajun/Southern food, live music); Pho Pasteur (Vietnamese, too exotic for a 9-yr old?); Henrietta's Table (in the Charles Hotel, more upscale than other places I've mentioned, but the kids will be able to find something to eat and feel fancy at the same time).
Also, if you're like me, you may want dessert. Head to Herrell's or Toscanini's for ice cream, or to Burdick's for incredible hot chocolate and little chocolate mice. You might also want to hit Cardullo's to check out their selection of candy bars from other countries.
After 6:30-7 every night, the border is overrun by college and/or 20-30somethings swilling margaritas. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but there is often a line around the block and it gets really smokey upstairs.
I agree with the Fire & Ice suggestion. The kids choose their desired type and amount of spice, as well as all the ingredients. The funky drinks can also probably be made virgin for them, not so virgin for the adults.
One of my favorite things to do in Boston is to walk around Harvard Square on a summer night. So, I heartily endorse eating at Mr. and Mrs. Bartley's Burgers for the burgers, sides, shakes, and people-watching on the sidewalk (eating inside is fine too, but your clothes will smell like grease). Ice-cream from Herrell's or Tosci's afterwards is a perfect accompaniment to watching the street performers and chess players. The line seems to move faster at Herrell's, and I like their ice-cream better, particularly almond cream, cookies and cream, malted vanilla...Herrell's also has the funky little room towards the back that used to be a bank safe (?), in case the weather is too hot for you.
And for dessert you could go to LA Burdick's (right down the street from Crate and Barrel and Cambridge Center for Adult Ed.-- is this Mt. Auburn St.?). Out of this world hot or cold chocolate, hot milk chocolate if they don't like really intense dark chocolate, great lemonade, and the pastries aren't bad either. But you also can't go far wrong with Toscanini's for ice cream, especially after the Burger Cottage. Enjoy!