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Cambridge low key recommendations? Best Pub food perhaps...

w
weinerdog Aug 29, 2010 06:38 PM

Hi all,

Am looking forward to an upcoming weekend trip to Boston (October). We are staying in Cambridge (just because of hotel prices!), and will be catching the train for a 7:30 Friday concert at the Sommerville THeatre, so.....looking for something fairly low key that we can get in early- and out in a couple of hours- but still want to eat well. Was thinking maybe gastro-pub or fresh creative eateries? Any suggestions- best pub food or other ideas? Cheers!

  1. w
    weinerdog Sep 8, 2010 05:41 PM

    Wow- thanks again for all the suggestions! I have posted on other boards before when traveling but never have I seen such great- and informed- response. Cheers to Boston! Just found out I have to return to Boston again in early November so will definitely check out more than 1 of these rec's!

    1. w
      westsidelizzy Sep 8, 2010 10:09 AM

      Hungry Mother

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      Hungry Mother
      Cambridge, MA, Cambridge, MA

      2 Replies
      1. re: westsidelizzy
        b
        Blumie Sep 8, 2010 12:21 PM

        Hungry Mother is wonderful, but makes NO sense at all given what (and where) the OP is looking for.

        -----
        Hungry Mother
        Cambridge, MA, Cambridge, MA

        1. re: Blumie
          yumyum Sep 8, 2010 12:24 PM

          Oh phew! Exactly what I thought. I love Hungry mama but it's hard to get in, not a pub at all, not low-key, and not very convenient to the train (as the OP said they wanted).

          To the OP -- keep your eye out for reviews of the Foundry, right in Davis Square and convenient to the Somerville Theatre. Might be a good option, but it's just opened so I'm not sure if it can be recommended yet.

          From current offerings, I'd go to the bar at Gargoyles. Super rico.

      2. s
        shirshir Sep 7, 2010 09:28 AM

        some great recommendations already listed but thought i would throw out a couple [and repeat some below]:

        foundry just opened in davis square. 30something beers on tap by the same people from independent. since it just opened, there may be some kinks to work out, but maybe sorted out by october.

        atwoods in cambridge along cambridge street just south of inman square. not sure where you're staying in cambridge but it's good pub food and low key. great live music at night. inman square is always fun in addition to central square [10 minute walk from one another].

        river gods is right outside of central square and has incredible food, along with a good beer selection. very unique decor [medieval looking].

        been to russell house once -- not sure if it was bad timing or what but the service was so-so. great menu though, although they ran out of the cask-conditioned ale. lord hobo..sigh, i do miss the bside.

        as far as restaurants, i second craigie [known for nose-to-tail movement] and especially hungry mother!

        1 Reply
        1. re: shirshir
          t
          teezeetoo Sep 7, 2010 02:45 PM

          blue room is so near you and is very good. Atasca for good portuguese and mulan for good chinese are right near by as well.

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          mulan
          228 Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02139

        2. BoDubya Sep 7, 2010 08:49 AM

          between central and harvard there's the plow and stars. great pub food without ever trying to be a gastro pub. more of a neighborhoody / locals feel than most of the others mentioned. otherwise - highland kitchen.

          1 Reply
          1. re: BoDubya
            jgg13 Sep 7, 2010 03:09 PM

            just to be pedantic because we're dealign with an out of towner, if they go to search for this place it's actually the "plough and stars".

          2. w
            weinerdog Sep 7, 2010 08:14 AM

            Thanks so much for all the suggestions- I really appreciate it! I had read about Highland kitchen and was thinking about that...I don't mind a 20 minute walk- so long as it's safe! Otherwise I like the sounds of the repeated rec's for Russell House, Lord Hobo, and Cambridge Commons. We will be at the marriott- the one closet to the bridge and right on the t-stop we can walk, eat, and then train it, or train it and eat closer to theatre. Either way...And I see the rec of Joe Sent me says it is within walking distance- haven't read much about that place or Gargoles?

            .

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            Cambridge Common
            1667 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138

            Lord Hobo
            92 Hampshire St, Cambridge, MA 02141

            4 Replies
            1. re: weinerdog
              Alcachofa Sep 7, 2010 08:33 AM

              I have to say, I think hiddenboston temporarily lost it with the Joe Sent Me rec. Maybe the patio is nice, but the food is quite bad. Not even "just OK".

              1. re: weinerdog
                Bob Dobalina Sep 7, 2010 09:31 AM

                It should be safe to walk to Highland Kitchen, though if you are coming by the Red Line, you should get off at Porter and save a few minutes.

                If you are at the Marriott in Kendall Sq., you might also consider a number of good spots in that neighborhood as well... Lord Hobo, Emma's Pizza, Blue Room, EVOO, Hungry Mother if you can snag an early rez...

                -----
                EVOO Restaurant
                350 Third Street, Cambridge, MA 02143

                Highland Kitchen
                150 Highland Ave, Somerville, MA 02143

                Hungry Mother
                Cambridge, MA, Cambridge, MA

                Emma's Pizza
                40 Hampshire St, Cambridge, MA 02139

                The Blue Room
                Hampshire and Portland streets, Cambridge, MA 02139

                Lord Hobo
                92 Hampshire St, Cambridge, MA 02141

                1. re: weinerdog
                  greenzebra Sep 7, 2010 10:49 PM

                  The walk from Highland Kitchen to Davis is perfectly safe IMO, so if that's what caught your eye I think it's a great choice. Highland Kitchen doesn't take reservations, but if you are getting there early enough it shouldn't be a problem.

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                  Highland Kitchen
                  150 Highland Ave, Somerville, MA 02143

                  1. re: greenzebra
                    d
                    djd Sep 8, 2010 07:23 AM

                    If Foundry ends up being good--or at least as good as the Independent, where the food can vary but there's always something decent and it's a great place to hang out--it'll be perfect for people with events/later plans in Davis. HK is fun but it's definitely a 20-plus minute walk from Davis (depending on your speed, but it's just over a mile), which means a 20-plus minute walk BACK to Davis, and personally... esp. with HK's popularity... I hate worrying about how soon I need to get back.

                2. r
                  redelephant Aug 30, 2010 02:08 PM

                  The one place perhaps not mentioned previously that I would recommend is Bergamot in Somerville. It might require a taxi as it is not along the train (although perhaps the 83 bus could work), but I've been several times and have been nothing but impressed. It's a little upscale but still trying to be a great neighborhood spot. Also, they do a three-course $39 daily special before 7pm which you could presumably get--although some of their regular menu items are amazing (scallops w/ wild boar bacon, the spicy chocolate pave w/ apricot caramel and milk-stout ice cream). Also support the suggestions for Posto and the bar at Gargoyles for convenience, and Highland Kitchen for great food/drinks that matches your fresh-creative/gastro-pub theme the best.

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                  Highland Kitchen
                  150 Highland Ave, Somerville, MA 02143

                  1. barleywino Aug 30, 2010 10:50 AM

                    there's always Redbones (near the Somerville theatre too) for bbq...but would have to go early to beat the crowds

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                    Redbones
                    55 Chester St, Somerville, MA 02144

                    1. hiddenboston Aug 30, 2010 09:22 AM

                      I agree with others about Highland Kitchen (excellent food), Cambridge Common (great beer list), and Christopher's (good burgers). I'd also consider Joe Sent Me on Mass. Ave. in North Cambridge, especially if it's a nice night (they have a small outdoor patio that's usually quiet). Plus, you can walk to/from Somerville Theatre from there.

                      -----
                      Cambridge Common
                      1667 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138

                      Highland Kitchen
                      150 Highland Ave, Somerville, MA 02143

                      Joe Sent Me
                      2388 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02140

                      1. MC Slim JB Aug 30, 2010 08:46 AM

                        Plenty of good ideas here already. Let me reiterate or add: Garden at The Cellar, Russell House Tavern, Green Street, bar at Chez Henri (doable if you arrive early enough, crazy otherwise). A bit more upscale: Rendezvous in Central Square, Central Kitchen, Temple Bar, Hungry Mother, Bergamot, EVOO in its new Kendall Square home, bar at Craigie on Main (again, timing is important if you have a show to catch).

                        http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                        -----
                        EVOO Restaurant
                        350 Third Street, Cambridge, MA 02143

                        Central Kitchen
                        567 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139

                        Chez Henri
                        1 Shepard Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

                        Hungry Mother
                        Cambridge, MA, Cambridge, MA

                        Craigie on Main
                        853 Main Street, Cambridge, MA 02139

                        Russell House Tavern
                        14 JFK Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

                        1. greenzebra Aug 30, 2010 07:57 AM

                          Highland Kitchen sounds exactly like what you are looking for, although it is a bit out of the way. Russell House Tavern (in Harvard Square), Green St (in Central Square), or Garden at the Cellar (between Harvard and Central) are also quite good, and depending on where you are staying in Cambridge may be a lot more convenient than Highland Kitchen. Russell House and Green Street are right on the Red line, and Garden at the Cellar is close, so very easy to get to Davis after dinner.

                          If you would prefer to eat near the theatre, I think Posto is my favorite restaurant right now in Davis. Great pizza and pasta, very extensive wine list, and a smallish but well selected beer list. If you go early enough (5:30-6), I can't imagine you'd have a problem getting in and out, and you're only about 5 blocks from the theatre. Other options in Davis include: Orleans (practically across the street from the theatre, the menu can be a bit hit or miss, although the mussels are reliably good), the aformentioned Tibetan (Martsa on Elm) and Indian (Namaskar), or Cafe Barada (Lebanese, on Mass Ave, 3 blocks from the theatre).

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: greenzebra
                            c
                            cambridgedoctpr Aug 30, 2010 08:04 AM

                            if i want a good burger, i would go to Craigie and sit at the bar. Of course, this is probably not what you were thinking about, but it is an interesting option.

                          2. k
                            Kinopio Aug 30, 2010 06:41 AM

                            Cambridge Common isn't too far from Davis Square. I like their food and they probably have the best beer list of any place in Porter/Harvard/Davis. The aforementioned Lord Hobo has the best of Cambridge, period. I've been going to Lord Hobo and Russell House Tavern a lot lately and definitely reccomend both.

                            If Central Square works for you then Green Street would be a good choice as well.

                            -----
                            Cambridge Common
                            1667 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138

                            Lord Hobo
                            92 Hampshire St, Cambridge, MA 02141

                            Russell House Tavern
                            14 JFK Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

                            1. t
                              thegreengrass Aug 29, 2010 09:29 PM

                              http://www.russellhousecambridge.com/ in Harvard Square is an interesting place. I just had dinner there the other night. It's two T stops away from the Somerville Theater, so maybe not super ideal, but the food is pretty good.

                              -----
                              Russell House Tavern
                              14 JFK Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: thegreengrass
                                j
                                jajjguy Sep 6, 2010 08:34 AM

                                Yes, Russell House is excellent. Where in Cambridge are you staying?

                              2. lipoff Aug 29, 2010 09:29 PM

                                In Davis I would definitely recommend Gargoyles.

                                Casting the net wider in Somerville, you'll hit the Highland Kitchen which is my absolute favourite gastro-pub in the Boston area. It's almost exactly a mile straight down Highland Avenue from Davis Sq. You can walk in about 15-20 minutes, or take the 88 bus up and down Highland Ave.

                                But in Cambridge there are many options, such as Russel House Tavern or Cambridge 1 in Harvard Square or Lord Hobo not too far from Kendall/MIT.

                                -----
                                Highland Kitchen
                                150 Highland Ave, Somerville, MA 02143

                                Lord Hobo
                                92 Hampshire St, Cambridge, MA 02141

                                1. a
                                  autopi Aug 29, 2010 07:36 PM

                                  i would try to snag a table at the bar at gargoyles. (you can make reservations for them, it's not first come, first served.)

                                  while i don't really care for the main menu very much, i do like their burger a lot.

                                  1. b
                                    blink617 Aug 29, 2010 07:10 PM

                                    Christopher's in Porter Square might be a good bet. I wouldn't go so far as to call it a gastro-pub, but they have some creative burger options and a great beer list. You'll have no trouble getting a table for dinner that early, and it's about a 10-minute walk from the Somerville Theater in Davis Square.

                                    The area around the theater is mostly pizza and burrito places. There are a few Indian options (Namaskar and Diva, the food at Namaskar is better but Diva has a bit more ambiance) and a decent Tibetan place (Martsa on Elm).

                                    There's also a vegan restaurant (Pulse Cafe) and a new brick-oven pizza place (Pizzeria Posto), but from what I've heard of the service at those places I'm not sure I'd try them when I had somewhere else to be after dinner.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: blink617
                                      m
                                      msackton Aug 30, 2010 04:59 AM

                                      Pizzeria Posto isn't a hard place to get in and out of in an hour especially if you stick to pizza, which comes out of the kitchen pretty fast. Then again, I mostly go on weeknights when it is a bit less crowded, so on a Friday night maybe its trickier, although at 6 it shouldn't be crowded yet. The service there can be a bit inconsistent, although the food is fantastic and the wine list is good.

                                      By October, the Foundry on Elm will be open (right up the street from the Somerville theater). Not sure how the food is going to be, but the space looks nice. I'd check back in a few weeks to see what people are saying about it, as it will definitely be pub food.

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                                      Pizzeria Posto
                                      187 Elm St, Somerville, MA 02144

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