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Lunch near Mt. Auburn Cemetary? Cambridge, Watertown area?

Hi all,

Taking my (deceased) friend's mom to visit her grave next Saturday. She's been there, but
doesn't remember any restaurants near by. I am unfamilar with the area.

With this gorgeous weather, I am looking for a nice place for lunch. I've been to Cambridge plenty of times, but don't know really where the Cemetary is. She is 80 years young and has a cane, so we require a restaurant that has a parking lot and she likes just American fare. Simple sandwiches would be fine.

We would be going to the Cemetary first, so driving isn't a problem. Within a 1/2hr drive would be fine. Especially if it's a nice place for lunch, as it doesn't have to be just sandwiches.

Thanks again.


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  1. Maybe Sofra - right at the intersection of Mt. Auburn and Belmont Ave. They have some outdoor seating. The menu has a sort of Easter Med / Middle Eastern take on things. Very good food..

    You aren't far from the Watertown Mall - there's Strip-T's not far away or if you want to go the other direction, an Old Country Buffet.

    1. The Spot Cafe in Watertown might fit the bill. Small, but a lovely tea room atmosphere with a French theme to the menu. Great sandwiches on their homemade bread and many salad plates. On Main Street (Rt. 20) in Watertown, a little west of Watertown Square. Not sure about a parking lot, but street parking is pretty easy around there and you could drop her in front and help her in, then go park if need be. The photo in this article looks like there is a small lot on the side. Easier to deal with then going into Cambridge proper, which is usually quite difficult to park and maneuver around.


      1. Go down Mt. Auburn St., into Cambridge to the Charles Hotel. There's garage parking and Legal Seafoods or Henrietta's Table for lunch - both pleasant places for lunch.

        2 Replies
          1. re: EllenMM

            With an 80 year old, you should valet the car. The parking lot at the Charles can be a disaster to navigate. Good suggestion otherwise.

          2. Mt Auburn cemetery is a very serene and beautiful place it's near where rte 16 joins Mt. Auburn street, right before the starmarket/shaws and before trapelo road splits off and goes to Belmont, you will have many choices to eat with in 30 minutes travel.

            Here is a link from a previous post http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/706426 .

            1. Thank you for all of your replies. I have been dying to try Sofra, but don't think this little lady would love it as much a I would.

              Either The Spot Cafe or Strip T's is something I think we both would enjoy. Will report back.

              2 Replies
              1. re: mcel215

                maybe you could just stop in at Sofra and survey the goods. My son is not at all interested in exotic tastes or anything that goes beyond plain spaghetti, grilled cheese, and low fat chicken hot dogs, but he loves the chocolate earthquake cookies from Sofra. There is a nice case of take out items as well as the bakery and savory pastries to take out.

                Hope you have a restful and renewing trip to Mt. Auburn.

                1. re: Madrid

                  Thank you Madrid, I would love a little side trip to Sofra. I am sure that Ginny wouldn't mind if I ran in to survey the pastry case. :)

                  And yes, hopefully the trip to the grave will be peaceful for us both.


              2. If you go out Belmont Street and stay on Trapelo Road when they split, you will arrive in Cushing Square, which has both Vicki Lee's with nice sandwiches, quiche, salads, etc. and Kitchen on Common, which is very homey, friendly, and has well-prepared basic food (I LOVE their mac and cheese). No parking lot, but street parking is usually easy. This is a lovely mitzvah you are doing, and the cemetery will be stunningly beautiful at this season.

                1 Reply
                1. I love Red Lentil which is on Mount Auburn right after you enter Watertown, about 3/4 mile past the cemetery. Right across the street is the Deluxe Town Diner which is also good.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: chicken pot pie

                    Wonderful vegetarian food.

                    Nearby on Belmont St. is Shangrila for top notch Taiwanese food.

                  2. I think EllenMM's suggestion for Henrietta's or Legal at the Charles Hotel is a solid one. Also, not too far away,The Stockyard in Allston or Frank's Steakhouse on Mass. Ave. in Cambridge both have traditional American fare.

                    1. Thank you all, will let you know where we end up going. :)


                      4 Replies
                      1. re: mcel215

                        Sofra is DEF not for 80 yr olds. Uncomfortable padded stool seating with low tables. And def no regular old american food. Strip T's will suit you really well. It is literally 5 minutes from MtAubCem, small and quaint,, both inventive and trad dishes (best fried chicken!) Check out their new lunch menu which starts this Wed. Parking on street right in front- no problem. Other than them, Vickie Lee's is a comfy spot, as fantundo suggested; about an 8 minute drive. Charles Hotel is another whole deal- fancy and more formal and much more complicated from parking to sitting and eating. For less stress on you, i would not choose that option, unless she is a very formal woman; the other choices are much simpler. Everything is bursting spring at MAC now; it will be beautiful. 300 acres of the most beautiful trees and shrubs, and a paradise for birders.You can drive all around it at your leisure.

                        1. re: opinionatedchef

                          Thank you OC,
                          She is not the formal type and I have been dying to try Strip T's. I wasn't sure
                          if parking was available, but I can always drop her off and go park myself.
                          Thanks so much.

                          1. re: opinionatedchef

                            Good suggestions, oc. Strip T's would work perfectly. On-street parking has always been easy, and there will be enough straight-forward food for mcel's companion.

                            I still think the Charles could be a future option. We often go to Henrietta's for Saturday morning breakfast. It's pretty easy to drop someone off at the door and then park in the garage.

                            1. re: bear

                              Thank you Bear, I've done Legal's a number of times in Burlington.
                              It's always been a solid choice.

                        2. I would check out the Aegean seafood. It's close by on Coolidge Ave. the food is excellent, and it is very comfy for seniors. If the Grove Street gate is open, take a left on Grove St and a right on Coolidge Ave. the Aegean is at the intersection of Arsenal St.

                          9 Replies
                          1. re: MrRich617

                            IMHO the food is gloppy and marginal at the Aegean.

                            1. re: StriperGuy

                              I agree StriperGuy. Also, this is really a Greek place, and the OP requested simple, American type fare.

                            2. re: MrRich617

                              i would not send anyone there. EVER. and this from recent, unfortunate, experience.

                              i notice this is your first Ch post, rich. where else do you like?

                              1. re: opinionatedchef

                                Hmm... Another option that is close with a parking lot is Uncommon Ground.

                                1. re: MrRich617

                                  Thanks for keeping things on topic MrRich.

                                  How are the sandwiches at Uncommon Grounds? Specifically, I'm curious if anyone tried their pastrami sandwich?

                                  1. re: Infomaniac

                                    Haven't tried the pastrami, but I do like the sandwiches... Everything is fresh and tasty.

                                    1. re: MrRich617

                                      Greg's, a basic red sauce Italian restaurant, is rigght next to Mount Auburn Cemetery. They have a parking lot and though they serve a variety of customers, there are always seniors.. The staff is old school calling you "honey" but very nice. Most of them have been there forever.

                                        1. re: edgewater

                                          Are these places open on Memorial Day? That's when we always go to the cemetary and everything used to be closed so we have stopped looking.

                              2. Thanks everyone,

                                We ended up at The Spot Cafe in Watertown. I really wanted to try Strip T's, for the Bahn Mi Eggplant Sandwich, but they are still closed.

                                The good news, about The Spot, the homemade bread is excellent. We each had the special, which was Chicken Salad Sandwich. The prices are excellent as well, averaging about $7 dollars per meal. I kind of wish they added a pickle and chips with the entree, lol! But, the sandwich itself was stuffed with chicken and not too much mayo.

                                On the down side, it's a teeny tiny place and the noise level is high. But, that is the only thing that isn't positive about the place. The staff is friendly, service is great and the breakfast looks (which most people were ordering), amazing.

                                Thanks again for your help.