The Charms of Lechmere?
Help! I've been suddenly transplanted from Harvard Square to the area near the Lechmere station. While I'm only a few miles from my old stomping grounds, I miss being able to walk to some great restaurants and food stores. Please tell me that there are some hidden jewels in my new neighborhood! Or will I have to hike to Inman Square to satisfy my food cravings?
So far my husband and I have discovered Skampa's super beef sandwiches, chatted with the fishmongers of New Deal and Court House, and have plans to eat at Helmand.
I'm hopeful there's more to be discovered! Please guide me.
Desfina is a casual Greek place that gets good pub on the board. There are lots of little places on that end of Cambridge Street - hopefully you will break new ground in exploring. Take heart too that with the growth of those gigantic condo complexes nearby, new restaurants are sure to follow.
atasca on hampshire st for portuguese--not nearly as good as going into inman to o cantinho, but ok.
izzy's at 169 harvard for octopus, goat stew and other puerto rican chow.
there's a haitian place down sort of near izzy's (though not on harvard) called carnie's (i think) that looks maybe worth exploring the menu, though all i've ever gotten there were patties. there's also a little latino convenience store just a couple blocks away. nothing special, but carries some ingredients from that type of cuisine.
mulan on broadway (http://mulan.4t.com/) for good taiwanese. i like the salt and pepper pork chop dish here a lot, many posts on this board for other suggestions.
central bakery in east cambridge for decent (though dry-ish) portuguese corn bread.
I have menus for Izzy's, J+J's, Courthouse, SnackBar, Skampa, Tropico, La Hacienda and others that I would love to submit somewhere. I had asked (elsewhere on the site) of somewhere accepting user-submitted menus after the demise of amazon.com (menupages relies on their getting the menu).
That said, the prices and daily plates on menupages are the same as the Izzy's menu I have at hand. This copy is probably about 8 months old, but I got another 3 weeks ago and don't believe the prices have changed.
I've been working in the neighborhood for 2 months. Not the best food neighborhood around, but there are a few decent options. In addition to those already mentioned:
Sweet Touch Cafe is a simple sub shop, but has pretty good salads & steak tips and serves breakfast that looks like it might be worth trying.
Next door, Anatolias is an ever so slightly more upscale sandwich option (e.g. ham, turkey, swiss, coleslaw & russian dressing).
Next door to the Helmand you'll find Brown Sugar Cafe's sister restaurant, the Similans. Perhaps a notch below the great Thai in Coolidge Corner, but head & shoulders better than anything else I've tried here on the north side of the river.
Next door to that is the ubiquitous Boca Grande. Not a destination, but a decent neighborhood burrito.
Kendall Square proper is also a short walk on a nice day. Blue Room, Anise, Emma's, Atasca ...
I'm surprised no one's mentioned Atwood's. Great neighborhood pub with a huge beer selection and very good food.