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Sep 4, 2006 04:43 PM

Shout out to Atwood's Tavern on Cambridge Street (long)

I moved to East Cambridge in the post-Overdraught/pre-Atwood's era. During those lean years, I often dreamed that a new neighborhood pub would open in the space previously occupied by Overdraught, and that they would have a proper beer list and take their pub food seriously. After a few months of going to Atwood's 1-3 times per week, I can say that my dreams have been more or less answered.

Atwood's has a really friendly atmosphere. Sometimes, it feels a little bit more like a living room than a dining establishment (occasionally, the staff blend into the crowd for a little while--it's part of the charm, I think.) The decor is Overdraught-ish: dark wood, tables on barrels and the like. Very pubby.

The beer list is quite strong. Lots of local favorites on tap (three Harpoons, Allagash White on tap, BBC Steel Rail Pale, a couple of Wachusetts, a CBC) plus the standards from the Isles (Guinness, Bass). I think there are seventeen beers on tap.

The menu is, as dreamed, pub food taken seriously. The burger is very good. It doesn't merit inclusion in the perrenial "Boston's Best Burger" discussion, but it is quite a bit better than your average neighborhood pub burger. Very juicy and quite thick. The fries are quite good: hand-cut (no skin, sadly) and thick. Served with tasty little gerkins and always very fresh tomato slices and lettuce.

There are some surprises on the menu: a huge quesadilla with chicken and DUCK along with lots of fresh vegetables. This is on the appetizer menu but constitutes a very good-sized meal. There is also a hanger steak served with mashed potatoes that I haven't personally eaten but have heard good reports about. The salads are also quite fresh and satisfying.

All in all, Atwood's is a great neighborhood joint. I don't suppose it's destination dining for those in the 'burbs, but it's certainly worth crossing over Prospect for those of you in Inman/Harvard/Mid-Cambridge/Harvard. The laid-back atmosphere and friendly staff make it a treat to have in the neighborhood.

Thanks for being my neighborhood bar, Atwoods.

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  1. I liked the Overdraught a lot; I'm glad to hear it has a worthy successor.

    1. I've been wondering about the Atwood (and sadly, never made it to the Overdraught before it closed). Sounds like the perfect weeknight-after work-don't want to cook tonight-type of place. Do you happen to recall if there are vegetarian-friendly entrees? Thanks for the review!

      1 Reply
      1. re: a l i c e

        The veggie burger is great. I'm thinking it's homemade. I've also had the cheese plate a couple times and have been impressed with the cheese selection and the size of it. It's a hearty snack.

      2. I hav been to Atwood's a bunch of times now... I never stay for more than a beer because it is always dead and the atmosphere kind of sucks. I am trying to love this place, I hope they make it. La Chouffe on tap too!!!

        a l i c e--

        as for veg stuff, I believe the veggie burger is housemade and vegan.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ponyboy

          "Sucks" because it's empty/quiet? For me personally that'd be a selling point...the one time I was there I saw people treating it like a coffeehouse, w/ their laptops and such, which really appealed to me.

        2. For a new bar, being treated like a coffehouse does not pay the bills.

          1 Reply
          1. re: ponyboy

            Agreed (assuming they're nursing single beers the way people nurse coffee--if they're getting smashed while working, more power to 'em), but that wasn't the point. All I was saying is that I liked it that way. Also, I was there pretty early...

          2. Atwood's definately is an upgrade on the Overdraught and I previously mentioned it here. I have yet to eat there, but the menu is interesting and they have an excellent beer selection I spent a lot of time at the Overdraught and knew some folks that worked there, but didn't consider it chowish (nor was the beer that good). Atwood's seems to be a bit slower than Overdraught, but hopefully they do pickup business. From what I have seen they deserve success more than "East Side Lounge" which has a pretty cliche menu.

            Has anyone been to the sandwich place in the Brazilian store across the street? (I had been to earlier incarnations, but it recently reopened again.) They had some oversized, but a bit sad looking salgadinhos, and a bunch of sandwich offerings, but I didn't see any a plate of the day offerings that one of the businesses there offered (no kitchen/full food menu, so nuked).