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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!

              1. I so hope that this is true! I lvoe the Parish, and I feel like Porter could use something like this. Christopher's is really the only restaurant with a bar in Porter itself and another option classier than the Wok 'n' Roll would be great.

                1. I heard that Addis Red Sea was opening a branch there. But that was from my wife, and doesn't exactly know what she's talking about.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: cambridgeMike

                    Addis is opening farther down the street (toward Harvard) in a place that was most recently an Indian restaurant.

                    1. re: cheesecake

                      ahh, that makes more sense. either way, two great restaurants coming to the red line corridor. good times indeed

                    2. re: cambridgeMike

                      Yes, Addis is opening up where the previous India House (House of India?) was; it'll be right next to that Korean restaurant "Seoul Food" on the same block as the salon Judy Jetson.

                    3. The same people that own both Bukowski's and The Rattlesnake own the Parish. It'll be interesting what type of crowd this brings in. Hopefully the food will be good. They should improve their beer selection to contend with Christopher's.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: delirious

                        Are you sure about ownership? I just looked quickly and Parish had Sean someone and Bukowski's was two other people. And I didn't think Rattlesnake was in that mix either.

                        1. re: delirious

                          These guys own Flashes and Lower Depths as well.

                        2. Any confirmation about the Porter Exchange location? The web site seems to show only the Boylston St location.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: momjamin

                            The last few times that we've walked past the Porter Exchange, there has been a sign up saying that the original owners have moved, and no indication of what's coming. So there's not much to go on other than word on the street.

                            1. re: momjamin

                              Word on the street :) is that Parish's deal with Lesley University (who own the space) fell through and Lesley is still looking for a tenant. There *may* be something immanent as the local neighborhood association has been approached about supporting a transfer of the liquor license, but no word yet (to me anyway) on who is the prospective transferee.