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Jun 12, 2010 06:28 PM

Ashmont Grill, Crema Cafe

Had dinner at Ashmont Grill last night and liked the atmosphere: lively but not so noisy I couldn't hear my husband (we were seated at 8), although the bar seemed liked it was packed. We were excited about sitting on the patio, but it's a sad little space with 2 empty tables next to the parking lot and looking out onto Dot Ave. Is there another patio area we missed? We were happy with our inside seats and started out with the grilled calamari and tuna tartare apps. The calamari was great-just cooked enough to give it some char flavor but not rubbery at all. It came with capers, olives, and jalapenos to make a delicious salty, spicy dish. It went well with the white sangria. The tuna was the standard chunks of tuna over avocado, and it was fine, though the tuna didn't have a whole lot of flavor. For mains, my husband got the grilled veggie quesadilla. I didn't try it, but he said it was good. It was huge and had sour cream, pico de gallo, and black beans to accompany it. I had a BBQ chicken thigh special with yummy buttery mashed potatoes, half an ear of grilled corn, and OK glazed carrots. The chicken was strange: good flavor and tender meat, but the skin (my favorite part) was dry if that makes sense. I'm guessing the chicken was cooked ahead of time with the sauce and they warmed it without basting it one more time before serving it. I'd try the pulled pork sandwich next time. For dessert, we split a rocky road brownie sundae with coffee ice cream. It was awesome.

Had an early lunch at Crema Cafe. First time and definitely prefer it over Hi-Rise for quality and price. Ginger lemonade was excellent, as was the cardamom-currant snickerdoodle cookie. Prepared sandwich of roast beef, "mushroom pate," red onion, celery, and sherry vinaigrette on wheat. The beef was deliciously rare and everything but the pate worked for me. I just couldn't taste any mushroom flavor even though it was clearly smeared in there. The pastries looked incredible.

Ashmont Grill
555 Talbot Ave, Dorchester Center, MA 02124

Crema Cafe
27 Brattle St, Cambridge, MA 02138

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  1. The patio is out back and it's a pretty sweet set up. Lots of cool stuff, very Key West vibe.

    1. Yeah those tables you saw are where people wait for a table or have a smoke outside when it's nicer outside. The patio out back is really lovely with a nice fire pit for when it's chilly. Lots of old Red Line signage, I believe from the old Ashmont Station.

      1 Reply
      1. re: langley

        Thanks for the info-I had a feeling there was more than met our eyes. We'll be sure to check out the real patio on a warm evening.

      2. La Crema is a little hit or miss, but when it hits -- Mexican spiced hot chocolate, a delicious got cheese, honey, and walnut sandwich -- it's extremely good. One of the few places I can stand to eat in Harvard Square.

        Crema Cafe
        27 Brattle St, Cambridge, MA 02138