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Cambridge Eats ... What's Good These Days?

Went to school in the area, but it's been a while. What's a good place for dinner for 4 on a Saturday night, without reservations? We prefer something not too expensive. Good food is the #1 priority, of course. I'd say anything between Porter Sq and Central Sq is fair game.

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  1. Miracle of Science just south of Central Sq. Great burgers and beers, reasonable prices.
    Fun place, might be a little hectic on a Sat night.

    1. Check out the Westside Lounge between Harvard and Porter, and Garden at the Cellar between Harvard and Central. At any place with good food, you're likely to have a wait if you don't have a reservation.

      2 Replies
      1. re: pollystyrene

        as i've mentioned on this board here before I live West Side Lounge and it's always a great pick. I'm also going to throw a bone to Z-Square in Harvard square. They do comfort food well for a reasonable price and the downstairs space is actually quite pleasant.

        1. re: pollystyrene

          Without a reservation, West Side may indeed be your best bet. Temple Bar's food has come quite a way in recent years as well.

          If you don't mind a side of pandemonium with your meal, Punjabi Dhaba in Inman has some terrific Indian food. Counter service with limited seating upstairs, but you could make it work.

        2. To add on to the suggestions already made, two pubs:
          There's The Druid in Inman - short list of homey Irish food including a great oxtail stew, a good burger and really respectable fish and chips. I also like River Gods in Central (on River St) for burgers and Korean hand rolls (it's an esoteric menu).

          4 Replies
          1. re: gini

            Gini, have you had the brunch or Irish breakfast at the Druid?

            1. re: joestrummer

              Don't tell anyone, but I don't ever go out to eat for breakfast.

              Sorry, dude, nope.

              1. re: gini

                There are worse skeletons to have in your closet.
                I rarely go myself except for the occasional treat at a diner or for an Irish breakfast.

              2. re: joestrummer

                We have brekkie there fairly regularly. My husband's fav Irish breakfast. I love the bangers and mashed. Best around. (I used to give that award to Mr. Dooley's - but since moving to Somerville 10 years ago and working in Cambridge instead of downtown where I was for most of my 20s and 30s, lamentably I have not set foot in Dooley's for years).

            2. For the quality of food, Rendezvous is excellent and reasonably priced.

              1. I just went to dinner with a group at The Blue Room in Kendall Square. The food was really good and prices were reasonable.

                1. The moules frites appetizer at Central Kitchen ($12) is great and plenty big enough for a full meal. Might want to make reservations though.

                  1. East Coast Grill in Inman Sq would be my first choice (entres like $15-$20).

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: professor shorthair

                      East Coast Grill is a fine choice, especially given the no-reservations policy for small parties; your odds are as good as anyone else's. One caveat: the entree price is currently hovering a little closer to $25:

                      http://eastcoastgrill.net/menus/dinne...

                      1. re: finlero

                        Yeah, but there are so many appetizer options that constitute a full meal (IMO). The fish tacos, the hell bones, the soups... we never order a $25 entree (we may sometime split the brisket platter, which at $17 easily feeds 2, especially if you have had an app - like the chowder - gazpacho in summer - and/or the taco - which feeds 2). We eat there at least 1X sometimes 2X per week and it never approximates $25 per head. The drinks are another story. ;)

                    2. Ole Mexican Grille in Inman Sq rocks pretty hard. A real high-end restaurant, not a burrito joint (nothing against burrito joints).

                      1. I like First Printer in Harvard Square, their burgers and flatbreads are pretty good!