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Parish Café to Porter Exchange

The word on the street is that the Parish Café will be opening an additional (second?) location in the ex Cottonwood/Rustic Kitchen space in the Porter Exchange "around June".

Not too much info on the current location. How's the food? Will this be a good addition to the neighborhood?

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  1. That spot seems to be cursed. In between Cottonwood and Rustic Kitchen, there have been several other restaurants. It has a nice little patio for outdoor dining. I wonder why restaurants haven't been able to make it there? The Cottonwood was there for years.

    2 Replies
    1. re: CambridgeKathy

      I think that could work in that area. You can get sandwiches at Christopher's and a few others, but the fancy sandwich concept w/ a good bar might finally make the space work again.

      1. re: CambridgeKathy

        That spot seems cursed because the places there have generally sucked. IIRC, Cottonwood and RK got some pretty withering reviews on these pages. I know my personal experience at the Cottonwood was a big thumbs down, and I don't dig Todd English.

        Another problem is visibility - It is hard to see as you are driving by on that side - the corner entrance faces the opposite lane - with the median island blocking, you can't make any u-turns (officially, at least) on Mass Ave. so people just flow right on to the Forrest Cafe / Cambridge Commons area.

        Lastly, Porter has never really supported a upper-mid-range place - Uno's has flourished for years, and there is Christopher's, but that's basically it. That's starting to change a little bit, however, as Davis and Harvard keep marching toward the middle.

        I'm betting that Parish does well - I will certainly do my part to contribute.

      2. If I still worked in that area, I'd be thrilled to hear the news. I've eaten at the original several times, and really like it as a fun lunch option. When I worked in the Porter Sq area, Cottonwood made for a great casual lunch place. The French bistro (don't remember the name) seemed just too fancy, and by the time it changed to Rustic, I think the place had lost momentum. I hope it will do well.

        1. Hm. that is interesting. the space is very large there...and the $8-15 sandwiches might put off the college crowd...but sounds good to me -- i love love love Elephant Walking on Eggs (goat cheese omlete on french bread).

          1 Reply
          1. re: MaineRed

            A friend and I had lunch at the Parish today and I remembered reading this post and so ordered the Elephant Walking on Eggs. Absolutely tasty. Happy tummy. Many thanks.

          2. Oooh really? I love the food there - upscale/casual. Or like Joanie says, "Fancy sandwiches." I always bring out of town friends there for lunch; I'd go myself almost every day since I work around the corner but every day would get pricey, and it's always crowded. I think it will be a great addition to the Porter Square area.

            1. Agreed with the comments already made. They have a pretty good beer selection with a decent variety of bottles and five or six drafts at any given time. The heart of the dining menu is sandwiches, each purportedly designed by a celebrity Boston-area chef. I'm a semi-regular, and do like the sandwiches very much for flavor, portions and price point.

              Looking forward to having this as an option in the Porter area!