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fun, not too pricey dinner in cambridge/somerville?

hi all,

i have a few girlfriends visiting this weekend and need to make a reservation for saturday night dinner. i just moved to somerville (near cambridge) myself so could use a recommendation (in harvard square? central? davis?). it needs to be reasonably priced too, as we are recent college grads. any help would be great!

thank ya.

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  1. Ole comes to mind...or cuchi cuchi...can keep prices down with tapas.

    Redline is a hopping place - food is ok...more of a meet market potential...

    River Gods is fun, good chow, very social bar, but tiny and lots of grad student types -

    Ole and River Gods do not take reservations - i assume Cuchi and Redline would.

    11 Replies
    1. re: Bob Dobalina

      Ole' *does* take reservations, but call well in advance or you might not get your desired time slot. I highly recommend the place---excellent margaritas, guacamole, steak, taquitos, chiles rellenos, etc, and not all the plates are interchangeable as in many Mexican restaurants. website is www.olegrill.com

      1. re: bella_sarda

        Lots of threads on this:
        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/440702
        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/435624
        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/438901
        An Indian fun place that seems to get overlooked a lot on these lists is Punjabi Dhaba in Inman Sq, which is quite inexpensive, and fun, serving on tin trays in what seems an authentic "street" style.

        1. re: raddoc

          No reservations and it's not where I'd bring girlfriends from out of town, who I assume maybe want to hang out some place where you can get a drink, chat and relax. I'd say Green Street, awesome corn/bacon chowder w/ fried clams on top.

          1. re: Joanie

            I always forget about Green Street. I am a little confused - I thought it had gone in another direction, but then recently looked at the menu and saw old favorites like curried goat still on the menu. What gives? Still as spicy as the original?

            1. re: Bob Dobalina

              Mr. Dobalina, the website that you looked at is for the old restaurant. Green Street has a new menu but their website is not up due to some domain name issues. I believe there have been numerous Chowhound conversations about this fact but can only tell you from personal experience that the menu has changed. By the way, Dylan (the owner and Central Square ruffian) mentioned to me that he was getting rid of Guinness and replacing it with Gritty McDuffs. Being an avid Guinness drinker I am a little thrown off, but I wondered if anyone had any opinions on the replacement stout.

              1. re: lennyb

                Dobalina, I know you like bourbon...Green Street just recently added the 20 year Pappy Van Winkle

                1. re: lennyb

                  Thanks, Lenny! I will have to pop in - so cold and damp today - so perhaps today! ;)

              2. re: Bob Dobalina

                Green Street has changed their menu dramatically in the last year or so. Did you look at the menu online or at the restaurant?

                1. re: limster

                  I just looked at the website again and found the current menu (without goat curry) for example. Not sure what I saw before, because I thought I had gone to the same website. Anyway...

            2. re: raddoc

              I agree with Joanie. Punjabi Dhaba is not a place to hang out. The food is great, and cheap, but it's more take-out or a quick bite.

            3. re: bella_sarda

              Ugh...what was I thinking! I meant to suggest Dali, not Ole....which does not take reservations.

          2. Ole would be a great choice

            We just went to Daedelus (outside of Harvard Sq) and sat on the roofdeck - wonderful Indian summer evening. It won't be outdoor eating weather this weekend, but still an option.

            4 Replies
              1. re: Bob Dobalina

                I haven't been in a couple of years, but it was not great. Fine for upscale bar snacks, and a great place to relax with a drink, but expensive and disappointing for dinner. Of course, after a couple of drinks on Friday afternoon, it's sometimes worth chow disappointment to remain in your comfy chair and eat... Like I said, haven't been back in a while...

                1. re: DavisSquare

                  My impression too, but I got the sense it had upgraded....

                  1. re: Bob Dobalina

                    Nope, not "upgraded"...based on several visits this summer (every time to take advantage of that lovely roof-top deck), the food was far from good. But, as Davis Sq points out, we weren't complaining after a few cold ones. Sandwiches, difficult to screw up, were dry and bland and the pizza, well, don't even go there. What would James Joyce say?!

            1. I think Central Kitchen fills the bill - we went with a large group not too long ago - before a show at the Middle East - and it was great - we sat upstairs - fitting nicely into the area with couches and chairs - and ordered a whole bunch of stuff - all delicious. Here is the menu - http://www.enormous.tv/central/index1...

              By the way - the cocktails are good - the vibe is cool - and service is good too - although with our large group we gave them a workout - nothing a great tip could not redeem. All in all - it was a great experience

              4 Replies
              1. re: Small Plates

                Central Kitchen might be a little expensive for them and I've found it's not a place to hang out for a while afterwards. How about East Coast Grill or Magnolia, (both of which are in Inman Square). For food you're looking at between $25-30 each.

                I think Green St is good idea too, food will be $20-30. That chowder is really good.

                1. re: Small Plates

                  Central Kitchen is one of our favorites, but I don't think it fits the bill for "not too pricey". At $25 mains, it's on the upper end of mid-scale for Cambridge.

                  1. re: Small Plates

                    Wow, thanks to everyone for all the input! Now I have a whole list of places to try. I think Central Kitchen looks a little pricey...will wait for a parental visit. Ole sounds great...I wish they had an online menu I could check out. I should probably make a reservation soon if it's for Saturday, right?

                    1. re: lilbiscuit

                      Oh, you may get quite another list for a parental visit!

                  2. - Casa Portugal on Cambridge Street - good food, great portions, nice atmosphere, reasonable.
                    - The Tibetan place on Pearl Street in Central Square a block off Mass. Ave. - wonderful menu and flavors, ethnic atmosphere.
                    - Red Bones in Davis if you like a more raucous but fun setting and LOVE bbq and beer. While the ribs are good, don't neglect the catfingers, fried okra or fried oysters.
                    - I second Magnolia and River Gods.
                    - Central Kitchen and Cuchi Cuchi are fairly pricey I feel.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: SmartChow

                      I believe the Tibetan place is Rangzen.
                      Red Bones is actually a great suggestion, esp. with the Joshua Tree and the Bur'n nearby.

                      1. re: Bob Dobalina

                        Friends don't let friends go to the Joshua Tree.

                    2. Green Street is a good one. Dali in Somerville is good, tapas style, good sangria, & fun atmosphere. probably a wait though....just more sangria time: http://www.dalirestaurant.com/home.html

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: dvive

                        I suggest Christopher's in Porter Square. And Toad, a small live music place is just next door.

                        1. re: dvive

                          West Side Lounge on Mass Ave between Porter and Harvard would be a good place.