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Jul 12, 2007 12:09 PM

What do you like about Cafe Pamplona?

What's the draw? I know it has something of a history but I'm not sure I can really piece together its identity. Does it actually serve anything Spanish?

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  1. The outdoor seating and atmosphere are the only things I really like about it. The gazpacho is fine, as are some of the sandwiches (the pork medias noches is Spanish, I suppose). I don't think the coffee is good at all (drip or espresso) and they don't have the thick Spanish hot chocolate that I love. My office is very close, so I've given it a fair few whirls. I think the original owner sold it a year or two ago. It was closed for a few months but the new owner hasn't made many changes. Still--a nice enough place to spend a sunny afternoon with a book.

    1 Reply
    1. re: katielp

      I second this. I forgot all about Pamplona. I don't go there because I don't like the espresso. Indeed, I remember it being barely drinkable. But the outdoor seating would be great on a day like today.

    2. I only go for the atmosphere. Nothing like a cup of tea on the patio after a great dinner somewhere else.

      3 Replies
        1. re: tatamagouche

          On the patio at night, it's very peaceful. Surprisingly quiet for Harvard Square. It has a feel of small-town Europe to it. The waiters don't pay you much attention, but that kind of adds to the tranquility.

          1. re: pamalamb

            Oh, it's full service? So it definitely has that Euro, thanks!

      1. What they said above; the outdoors seating area is the way to go here if you go. I made the mistake of having lunch inside a good few years ago -- at the time, it was a cramped, claustrophobic basement space (very low ceiling) with weak food and inept service. No idea if it's changed since then, but I haven't been in a hurry to return and find out.

        1 Reply
        1. re: bachslunch

          This was my experience a good few years ago, too. I guess they must have changed a lot because, at the time, this was a place folks basically went to study and smoke...

        2. I kinda like the huddled atmosphere in the wintertime inside. Sometimes the pie things are nice, and, just to be contrarian, I rather like the coffee.

          1 Reply
          1. re: sailormouth

            Contrarian, you sailormouth?
            I used to go there waaay back in the day and sit outside reading Hemingway, Rand & Sartre, drinking cup after cup of espresso whilst chain-smoking English Ovals. Sound like a lot of youthful affectations? You bet they were. But I my mind, Maria Muldaur, then of the Kweskin Jug Band, was also gonna submit to my will sooner or later. So my point, did I have one? Oh yeah, it has a stupidly nostalgic connection for me. So I go to the Cafe Pamplona on days like today and just sit there with a cuppa, people watch and chuckle at and to myself.