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A Nice Lunch in Cambridge for Out-of-Towners

marycjoyce Jan 15, 2008 06:57 AM

Friends are coming to Boston and want to have a late lunch on Sunday in Cambridge, something "Bostony" (but not ridiculously expensive) near Harvard. The boyfriend does not eat Thai or Indian or anything spicy. Any suggestions?

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  1. c
    cambridgeMike RE: marycjoyce Jan 15, 2008 07:16 AM

    Henrietta's Table has one of the best lunches in Cambridge

    7 Replies
    1. re: cambridgeMike
      joebelt RE: cambridgeMike Jan 15, 2008 07:27 AM

      Upstair's on the Square

      1. re: joebelt
        marycjoyce RE: joebelt Jan 15, 2008 08:10 AM

        I've heard that's a really nice place, but isn't it quite expensive? How much does the average entree cost?

        1. re: marycjoyce
          Allstonian RE: marycjoyce Jan 15, 2008 08:16 AM

          Like many expensive restaurants, they're more reasonable at lunch. However, they don't serve lunch on Sundays, only brunch, 10am to 3pm. The brunch menu, with prices, is at the very bottom of the page here:

          1. re: marycjoyce
            LauraB RE: marycjoyce Jan 15, 2008 08:19 AM

            Here is a link to the Sunday brunch menu (served until 3pm) at Upstairs on the Sq.

            In general, I think most places have more "brunch" than lunch on Sunday afternoon - and most stop serving ~2 or 3pm. For example, I think Henrietta's Table does a Sunday brunch buffet rather than their normal lunch (and although I have not been, my understanding is that the buffet is nice, but expensive at Henrietta's Table).

            1. re: marycjoyce
              joebelt RE: marycjoyce Jan 15, 2008 08:32 AM

              probably $12-15 average.

          2. re: cambridgeMike
            cambridgeMike RE: cambridgeMike Jan 15, 2008 08:24 AM

            sorry. i didn't see that the lunch was for sunday. henrietta's table is ridiculously expensive for sunday brunch. reasonable for weekday lunches.

            1. re: cambridgeMike
              Joanie RE: cambridgeMike Jan 15, 2008 08:31 AM

              Lunch on Sun. in general is in short supply altho most places have lunch items on their brunch menus. You might consider the Blue Room brunch which is around $22 and has lots of lunch things and is very good (and popular). Some place casual like Miracle of Science would work but not what I call "nice". East Coast Grill has a fun brunch. Grafton St. is right in Harvard Sq. and has a decent brunch and plelnty of room. Altho this Sun. with the Pats on TV, it'll be busy everywhere I assume.

          3. r
            RoyRon RE: marycjoyce Jan 15, 2008 12:24 PM

            I would suggest Harvest. It is right in the Harvard Sq. area and has very good food and a nice atmosphere. They only serve a "bar menu" after 2:30PM but it has a nice selection of light lunches in a reasonable price range. I had their hamburger just last weekend and it was really delicious. We also like their version of a Caesar Salad too.

            1. c
              cvr1973 RE: marycjoyce Jan 16, 2008 04:49 PM

              I had lunch a ZSquare last weekend right in the square. Not pricey at all, Very Hahvard-y, lots of students. Definitely nothing fancy but the food was outstanding. There's a take out counter upstairs but lots of seating downstairs in the dining room. The service was remarkably good, I expected less but was pleasantly surprised.

              3 Replies
              1. re: cvr1973
                Sgt Snackers RE: cvr1973 Jan 16, 2008 05:17 PM

                In my opinion, ZSquare is not worth the trip.

                If you want something with some real character, try Bartley's Burgers, also in Harvard Square. Sure, it's burgers - but they're pretty good and the place is fairly colorful and has a lot of history.

                If you know anyone who is a Harvard faculty, staff, or alum, see if they can help you get into the Harvard Faculty Club for their brunch buffet. It is _outstanding_, very classy, fantastic food.

                1. re: Sgt Snackers
                  Joanie RE: Sgt Snackers Jan 17, 2008 03:28 AM

                  Bartley's is closed on Sun.

                2. re: cvr1973
                  Small Plates RE: cvr1973 Jan 17, 2008 11:59 AM

                  I had the most gawd-awful experience at Z-Square yesterday that I considered emailing the owner. I took a few breaths and decided to spare the poor server whose head and attitude were up his butt!!!! Rude, rude and full of 'tude! Luckily my delicious and FANTASTIC scallop dinner (hubby had the Giannone chicken) at the bar at Blue Room last night saved the day. But I digress; this was my very first time in Z-Square and I doubt I will go back.

                3. t
                  taxi RE: marycjoyce Jan 17, 2008 03:03 AM

                  Grendel's Den in Harvard Square - good food and an institution in the square.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: taxi
                    heathermb RE: taxi Jan 18, 2008 11:49 AM

                    Institution, yes. Good food, questionable. I miss the days of their giant salad bar.

                  2. Aromatherapy RE: marycjoyce Jan 17, 2008 04:42 AM

                    The Plough & Stars may not be as fancy as you're thinking, but lord knows it's Cambridgey. They do Sunday brunch. Anybody been lately? http://www.ploughandstars.com/html/ab...

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: Aromatherapy
                      DavisSquare RE: Aromatherapy Jan 17, 2008 07:54 AM

                      We were there about a month or six weeks ago for brunch and had boring dry omelets.

                      1. re: DavisSquare
                        BostonCookieMonster RE: DavisSquare Jan 17, 2008 09:58 AM

                        I was going to suggest the Plough too, though I should take my own advice as I haven't been in ages. Garden at the Cellar serves lunch also, I'm pretty sure, and probably feels a bit more civilized than the Plough.

                        Harvest is a good idea too, though. It's certainly Cambridge-y. Or how about Casablanca? They have brunch till 2:30.

                        1. re: BostonCookieMonster
                          Allstonian RE: BostonCookieMonster Jan 17, 2008 10:45 AM

                          Though I haven't been there myself yet, Garden at the Cellar was the first place I thought of, too. Sadly, they're closed on Sundays AND Mondays.

                          1. re: Allstonian
                            izzyeats RE: Allstonian Jan 17, 2008 11:40 AM

                            Actually, Garden at the Cellar is now open on Sundays. They have a small plates/tapas style menu all day. I haven't been on a Sunday myself, but their food is typically great.

                            1. re: izzyeats
                              Allstonian RE: izzyeats Jan 17, 2008 11:42 AM

                              My bad - they clearly need to update their website (which is currently announcing events LAST JULY...)

                              1. re: Allstonian
                                izzyeats RE: Allstonian Jan 18, 2008 11:44 AM

                                I agree. The website needs major updating.

                              2. re: izzyeats
                                Bob Dobalina RE: izzyeats Jan 17, 2008 11:43 AM

                                If so about Sunday, someone ought to tell them to update their website. Concur on yumminess of food.

                        2. re: Aromatherapy
                          Small Plates RE: Aromatherapy Jan 17, 2008 12:08 PM

                          Oooooh - twice on one thread - three cheers for The Plough - we were last there about a month ago - November maybe - for the Cooley whiskey tasting. We had a full meal while we were there and it was OVER THE TOP delicious. For apps we had the pan seared scallops with apple/jicama salad and cayenne/lime dressing - nice kick - scallops seared to perfection - and for my entree I had roasted pork loin with cheddar/leek grits, bourbon syrup, and sautéed greens. SOoooooooo good!!! I think hubby had Shepherd's Pie which was a special that night. I did not eat a lot of it because I was greedily lording over my pork and grits - but I do remember it being great. I love this menu and on Sunday they have Brendan's special fried chicken - which has devotees from far and wide - it is already legendary in Camberville!

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