Nucleo Sportinguista - Somerville
Matt H -- sorry I think you asked about this before. I haven't been in 5+ years at this point, but at the time it was the best of the Somerville/Cambridge social clubs although at Benfica I have only had snacks (and there is one on those side streets sciarappa/7th, etc which I haven't eaten). The chef at the time was very good, but they do move around. The club president who had just been promoted from secretary was big on food, so if he is still around I suspect the quality is still high. When you sit down there was a handwritten list of roughly 10-12 daily specials, with appetizers/sopas, clams on the half shell. The meals are a mix of sautes, grilled items, and carnes ensopadas with portuguese greatest hits and basic items (grilled chicken breast, probably a burger) basically homestyle cooking. Many of the main dishes are meant to be shared, although I think there maybe some smaller servings (lunch?). I thought they had better papo secos than the other restaurants around (apparently delivered by one of the members and they were proud of this) as well as portuguese country bread and I wasn't ever charged a couvert. I really liked their bife a portuguesa at the time which had a hint of spice, the "cabrito" (bit older than the european definition) was a good stewed dish, rabbit a cacadora was decent but not my favorite dish, and bacalhau a lagareiro was good. I had planned to go their annual bash which was a steup up from most area Portuguese banquets where it had the usuals (carne a alentejana) and a buffet, along with a leitoa and a few other things (presunto, etc) but had to skip it for family reasons. They have sagres including the ponies, superbock, but a lot of folks drink Heineken, and portuguese wines by the glass/carafe/bottle (they were mostly bottled, not garrafao wines at the time, but assume they are using Bib now). Generally the mods aren't big on posting places where not everyone can eat -- its a private club, its clientele is primarily male and membership completely, and its not family friendly -- so I haven't posted before (and tend to shy away from some of the banquets in the area because they are for fundraising which generally is discouraged although we post festivals and other fundraising events which aren't quite as overtly such). Check tended to be a couple bucks less per-plate than restaurants. There are some social clubs which are a bit easier to get in to, and have a more equal chromosome balance, but I have never had any issues. I thought their food overall was better than JJ's, but that is a much easier rec on Chowhound because its a public restaurant and very family friendly. I also do like the bacalhau a largeiro better at JJ's, although the Sportinguista version was good (and I love my moelas/gizzards & grao/chickpeas to start). Its also pretty pan-Portugal as opposed to regional cooking and simpler food well executed as opposed to "haute cuisine" which is fine. More food as opposed to bar snacks (or what Americans would call drunk food), not where you would go for "petiscos," and no chourico a bombiero. :-) The folks there are Portuguese (leadership), Azorean, Portuguese American, Cape Verdean, Brazilian and others. The waitresses were largely Portuguese American (as opposed to Brazilian) and similar to any number of old school Italian places. I've been planning to check it out again at lunch with a few hounds, but the date has been canceled a couple of times and it looks like I am going to be mostly out of the area at least until July. I think they have upgraded the TVs since my time, so I can't think of any reason why it wouldn't make it to your list of place to watch.