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Jul 28, 2009 04:59 PM

Friday and Saturday lunch suggestions

From a somewhat "culinarily-deprived" part of the midwest and looking for suggestions a relatively short cab ride or walk from the Royal Sonesta. I am looking for ideas not likely to be found in the midwest in adequate quantity or quality for the end of the first full week of August.

Thursday lunch we are going to Neptune. Thanks to those who have posted on it. Especially interested in suggestions for Italian and characteristic local cuisine.

Thanks very much in advance. Happy to report back.

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  1. Here are a bunch of options in Kendall Sq. which is pretty close to where you (I just googled Kendall Square Cambridge Restaurants). You could walk this maybe 15 minutes (though I am guessing as I haven't done it-won't be very scenic though). Also, if you want a short cab ride you could also go somewhere in Central Square in Cambridge (Rendezvous, Green St. Grill, Craigie on Main) or Inman Sqare (Bukowski's Tavern, East Coast Grill). Lots of choices really, depends on what kind of atmosphere you are looking for and price range.

    For Italian, you may want to head back to the North End for a wide range of choices there. Nothing is standing out for me in that local area (just might mean I can't remember right now)-I've not eaten there but I think Dante in the hotel is Italian, someone may have other thoughts or first hand experience with the food there.

    A. Blue Room - - (617) 494-9034 - 74 reviews
    B. Hungry Mother - - (617) 499-0090 - 60 reviews
    C. Emma's Pizza - - (617) 864-8534 - 63 reviews
    D. Cambridge Brewing Co Inc - - (617) 494-1994 - 18 reviews
    E. Atasca Hampshire - - (617) 621-6991 - 27 reviews
    F. Tommy Doyles Irish Pub-Restaurant - - (617) 225-0888 - 6 reviews
    G. Beantowne Coffee House - - (617) 621-7900 - 3 reviews
    H. Kendall Cafe - - (617) 661-0993 - More
    I. Atasca Broadway - - (617) 354-4355 - More
    J. Hua Mulan Restaurant Inc - - (617) 441-8813 - 7 reviews

    2 Replies
    1. re: rr2035

      Emma's Pizza is great for somewhat unconventional pizza -- lots of interesting toppings and cheeses. Hungry Mother is also a good choice, a bit more upscale, serves somewhat fancified Southern cuisine with a French twist. Cambridge Brewing Company has great beer and okay food -- better if you stick to the more traditional pub fare options.

      AVOID Tommy Doyles at all costs.

      Blue Room, Atasca, and Mulan I have not eaten at but I think generally are reasonably well thought of. See this recent discussion of Atasca and other nearby Portuguese restaurants:

      A recent discussion of Dante (in the Royal Sonesta) is here:

      Other options close to your hotel include The Helmand (Afghan, very good) and Similans (Thai -- not the best Thai in Boston, but quite good and very convenient to the hotel).

      I think The Helmand and Atasca (or another close by Portuguese restaurant such as Casa Portugal or Portugalia) are your best bet for interesting cuisine not likely to be found in a "culinarily-deprived part of the midwest".

      I would also suggest searching "Kendall Square", "Central Square", and "Inman Square" on the board for some other ideas.

      1. re: rr2035

        Yummy. Neptune will be great. I take it you'll have had your fill of seafood then.

        The above suggestions are good, but some are not really lunch places.
        I know you're looking local cuisine, but don't pass up some of the many fine ethic restaurants that have nice lunch options.
        Here's some of my favs...

        In Central Square you'll find

        1) Baraka Cafe on Pearl street. Don't let the lack of clientele turn you off. It's are really outstanding place to lunch. They have an amazing eggplant starter and the lemonade with muddle rose pedals is intoxicating.
        2) Mary Chung is also a good standby - chinese.

        Inman Square also has some great options

        1)All star sandwich shop features Beef on Weck (Buffalo NYC) and their fries globbed with cheese and gravy are just over the top.
        2) Olecito has a great luncheon bar with Mexican sandwiches. Very substantial and delish. And you can top it off with a latte from 1369 across the street.
        3) You could rough it and go Punjabi Dhaba. It really is Indian Highway-cafe style. I've been to India and I got to say it's pretty authentic... the food is not bad too.
        4) Or you could try the S&S Deli... although not my favorite, it's an old throwback to a NY Jewish style deli/bakery with all the standards... overstuffed pastrami sandwiches and bagel and lox or sable on the menu.

        I'm not sure if Macchu Picchu in Union square serves lunch, but they're also very good. They are peruvian fare and have many things on the menu I've never seen before trying them there. The chef says they frequently bring back authentic ingredients from Peru.

        All these places are definitely reachable on foot if you don't mind a long trek, or a short cab ride.

        If you're not into ethnic, you can always take a walk over either bridge into Boston.

        The one by the Science museum will take you to the North end and Fanieul Hall area where your choices are too many to list. Or for a slightly longer walk go over the salt and pepper bridge (the bridge that has the trains riding over it) you'll get to Charles street/Beacon Hill where there are quite a few more options including a very decent pizza place called Figs (Todd English).