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Early Dinner near MIT?

Going to MIT this weekend and am looking for a place for dinner around 6ish. Like casual ethnic places but open to anything not too expensive/casual. Also we are driving in so prefer not to have to pay too many times for parking unless its just an easy to find meter.

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  1. maybe miracle of science? if you want to venture further toward central square, green street grille, mary chung - pricier, garden in the cellar, rendezvous? toward kendall, lord hobo, blue room?

    1. All of those are good suggestions... there are also a couple good (not great) Indian restaurants in Central Square - I like Shalimar. If you do head to Central there is a cheap garage a block off of Mass Ave - take a left on Pearl Street and the first right on Green St and the garage is right there. Haven't parked there for several months, but last time it was $1.50 per hour. There's also a Thai restaurant in that first block on Pearl St. (haven't eaten there, so can't comment, but it seems popular) and Baraka Cafe a couple blocks further down, which has very good Middle Eastern food - AFAIK no liquor license.

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      Baraka Cafe
      80 Pearl St, Cambridge, MA 02139

      9 Replies
      1. re: pasuga

        Thanks. At the moment im leaning towards the Sichuan menu at Thailand Cafe.
        Mary Chungs looks way too americanized for us. Maybe they have an authentic menu too?
        Miracle of Science seems to be only burgers and skewers? Not really interesting to us.
        Others look a bit too fancy/pricey.. Lord Hobo has terrible reviews.
        We like small ethnic places vietnamese/pho, korean, authentic chinese, pub type comfort food, tapas,southern

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        Mary Chung Restaurant
        460 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139

        Lord Hobo
        92 Hampshire St, Cambridge, MA 02141

        1. re: hargau

          You might also check out Mulan for very good Taiwanese food and Emma's for excellent pizza. Both are an easy walk from MIT's campus or Mulan has their own free lot.

          1. re: hckybg

            I'll second Mulan. The lamb with hot peppers and salt and pepper pork chops are fantastic.

            Another option is the Helmand, a wonderful Afghani spot on First street. They open at 5 and at that time of day there are usually plent of open meters on the side street. Or, you can park in the garage at the Cambridgeside Galleria (not sure of the price.).

            1. re: Eatin in Woostah

              Third Mulan. fish filet w/ jellyfish (not listed), chicken w/ mustard green/soybean, braised pork shin, salted crispy chicken, to name a few. Hungry Mother for a Southern option (cornmeal catfish).

              1. re: barleywino

                Mulan it will be! Checked the menu, looks great. Love the dumpling list too. Thanks

                1. re: hargau

                  The dumplings are excellent, and it sounds like all the other suggestions are wonderful as well. I haven't been in a couple years but they redid the space and it looks nice from the outside. Toscanini's isn't too far away for dessert.

                2. re: barleywino

                  Great meal at Mulan. That salted chiken is like crack. Wow i couldnt stop eating that stuff. Other highlights were the homemade pork pan fried dumplings, The beef /leek pancake rollups (forget the actual name)... Also enjoyed the Hunan Lamb, Taiwanese panfried noodles, scallion pancake. We were not big fans of the Beef with Well veggies.. Still not quite sure what those "well veggies" are but it was a very salty dish.

                  1. re: hargau

                    I'm so glad you liked it! Love those beef and leek pancakes.

        2. Hungry Mother

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          Hungry Mother
          Cambridge, MA, Cambridge, MA

          1. Try Helmand on Main Street near the CambridgeSide Mall. Absolutely amazing Afghani food!