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May 17, 2008 01:01 PM

Singabella Cafe, Mass Ave past Porter

A new place, open for two days now, with a can't-miss location in the new Trolley Square development, right on the bike path, with a nice little patio out front. Broad cafe menu, heavy on the Italian, with pasta, panini, sandwiches, omelets and frittata. The owner is Palestinian/Syrian, and there is a small Middle Eastern section of the menu. I had a decent falafel wrap, and a good cappucino. Not necessarily a chowish place, but a good all-purpose option for the neighborhood. Everything at adjacent tables looked fresh and prepared with care, and there is a convivial, everyone-knows-everyone feel to the place already.

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  1. Good to know.

    Honestly, I can't see myself going there only because I love Good Food Cafe and it's right across the street. I would feel like I was cheating on one of my beloved cafes :)

    1. Anything on the menu for gluten-free vegans?

      3 Replies
        1. re: Luther

          I'm gluten-free and my husband and I are both vegan. We're remodeling the kitchen so looking for nearby options for eating out...Some places with Middle Eastern put wheat in the falafel, some don't. The sign in the window made it sound fairly wheat intensive, but Middle Eastern places often have GF options.

        2. re: lgss

          They have the standard middle eastern dips and such- hummus, baba, foulle madamas; they don't seem to aim for gluten-free but the broad menu may have more of what you are looking for. I did learn that the meats are all halal.

        3. Sounds good! Any sense of how the falafel compares with Cafe Barada's?

          1. Stopped in briefly over the weekend. Really tasty homemade Middle Eastern pastries. OK to mediocre gelato. Didn't grab an espresso, but their machine looked like it was at least capable of producing something worthwhile. Everyone working there was friendly and totally eager to please.

            I agree with newhound that it's probably not the new chow darling of the board, but it will make a nice addition to the 'hood, especially in the nicer weather.

            Singabella Cafe
            2401 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02140

            1. I love Singabella! They have great middle eastern food--the hummus, baba ganoush, and foule madama are all really tasty with very different flavors from each other (which is more than I can say for a lot of boston-area middle eastern places). The chicken kebab was tender and came with a generous rice/bread/salad plate.

              Their other stand-out items are served at breakfast--the Kick-A22 Mexican Plate is fantastic. My large-appetite husband and I split it and a fruit salad and that's plenty of food to tide us over till a late lunch. The salsa it comes with has a bit of a middle-eastern influence and gives the whole dish a really intense and interesting flavor. Easily rivals anything I've eaten at Renee's in Teele Sq.

              Also try the chai tea--it's called chai but is it's own thing entirely. It's minty and sweet and made fresh every morning in a pretty copper pot on the griddle.

              Lastly--the owner and staff are really friendly. The place is often half-empty and I so want to see them succeed. North Cambridge has so few good restaurants and this one actually brings me back for repeat visits.

              1 Reply
              1. re: PayToPark

                I am glad this post was revised. I haven't been in yet but I keep passing by. After reading these reviews, I will definitely give it a try!