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Close to Brattle, early quick bite

kobuta Oct 21, 2013 08:11 PM

Need to get to the Brattle by 6:30pm on Thursday, and will be taking the red line to Harvard Sq station (arriving between 5:30 and 5:45ish). Looking for a quick, but good, bite. Open to anything - just need it to be fast and yummy. Trying to avoid chains like Au Bon Pain & Chipotle. Any recommendations? I realize it's been a while since I've headed to that corner of Harvard Sq.

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  1. j
    Jenny Ondioline RE: kobuta Oct 21, 2013 08:17 PM

    In that situation, I usually go with a burger at Flat Patties. Tasty Burger would also work.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Jenny Ondioline
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      uman RE: Jenny Ondioline Oct 22, 2013 08:31 AM

      Absolutely...good, fast, and right across the street.

    2. opinionatedchef RE: kobuta Oct 21, 2013 09:16 PM

      Park restnt is our go-to in H sq now (same owners as Russell Tavern.). Exc salads to good diversity of entrees.

      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/845175

      For speed, you might consider Toscano which is right ON Brattle (between Burdicks and Crate and Barrel); 2 stars from Devra iirc.

      9 Replies
      1. re: opinionatedchef
        k
        Klunco RE: opinionatedchef Oct 21, 2013 09:25 PM

        Agree on Park; it's become a favorite of ours as well. Exceptional bar tending, friendly service, tasty and reasonable prices.

        1. re: opinionatedchef
          Small Plates RE: opinionatedchef Oct 22, 2013 09:26 AM

          Third for Park. I love the food.

          1. re: Small Plates
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            LeoLioness RE: Small Plates Oct 22, 2013 09:41 AM

            What do you like on the current menu? I went over the summer and both my partner and I thought everything was bland (he had the pie of the day and I had fish). We liked the space and thought it would be a great winter spot, and the service was very good, but we both literally gave the food a "meh".

            1. re: LeoLioness
              Allstonian RE: LeoLioness Oct 22, 2013 09:52 AM

              Is it really possible to get a meal there in what could be as little as 45 minutes? I'd be nervous about trying to get in and out of a full-service restaurant with such a small window of time.

              1. re: Allstonian
                k
                Klunco RE: Allstonian Oct 22, 2013 03:11 PM

                Good point, I didn't calculate that time crunch correctly. If you sat at the bar and ordered immediately, you probably could do it.

                Otherwise, our go-to's for quick are clover, Felipe's, or Flat patties.

                I've had some very quick meals at Lê's, particularly if you get Pho. Also an option.

                1. re: Klunco
                  Allstonian RE: Klunco Oct 22, 2013 04:01 PM

                  Yes, the bun is also a reliably quick, tasty meal at Lê's.

              2. re: LeoLioness
                Small Plates RE: LeoLioness Oct 22, 2013 11:18 AM

                The Patty Melt, the half chicken, the bar steak, the toasts, the bacon bites...

                1. re: LeoLioness
                  hotoynoodle RE: LeoLioness Oct 22, 2013 09:07 PM

                  we were a party of 6 at park recently before an 8:00 passim show. had a 6:30 reservation and got out in plenty of time. the place was VERY busy so they do a good job on ticket times.

                  nobody in the group was wowed by the food, but it was ok for the price point. clam chowder had no clams, my lamb belly was scorched, etc. what really soured me though was the waiter trying to correct me after i sent back wine that was clearly corked.

                  fwiw, i feel russell house is better run.

                  1. re: LeoLioness
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                    gltsoi RE: LeoLioness Oct 23, 2013 07:27 AM

                    I was just there last week and 2 of us shared the crispy mussels ($9), braised lamb belly ($20) and sides of bacon-gruyere fries ($5) and braised chard ($5). The mussels were excellent; they were fried in a light, crispy tempura batter and came with a horseradish dipping sauce. The portion was extremely generous for an appetizer, but that did not stop us from finishing the whole thing. We found the rest of the meal in desperate need of seasoning. The lamb belly was too fatty, even for the belly cut, but there was good flavor. It was served atop farro with zucchini, baby artichokes and carrots.The fries were thick steak cut, stacked in a jenga column drizzled with a flavorless white sauce. If I didn’t know it was a gruyere sauce, I wouldn’t even have been able to identify it as cheese. After a generous grind of salt, the chard was tasty and hearty.

                    gltsoi.livejournal.com

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                owen_meany RE: kobuta Oct 22, 2013 06:58 AM

                In a case like this we would generally end up at Cambridge One on Church street. We also like Russell Tavern though at times the service is anything but "fast".

                1. l
                  LeoLioness RE: kobuta Oct 22, 2013 07:09 AM

                  I usually go with Tasty Burger or a couple of slices at Otto.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: LeoLioness
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                    Gabatta RE: LeoLioness Oct 22, 2013 07:49 AM

                    Downstairs at Tasty Burger offers the opportunity for a quick beer (good selection) or glass of wine as well.

                    1. re: Gabatta
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                      CportJ RE: Gabatta Oct 23, 2013 01:18 PM

                      Otto would be my pick, unless you want alcohol, then Clover or Tasty Burger. If you get a slice at Otto, then you can save room for Tasty Burger or Noch's after the show. :)

                      Orinoco might be able to get you in and out fast enough. There's b.good, too.

                  2. f
                    femmevox RE: kobuta Oct 22, 2013 07:47 AM

                    I suggest Crema Cafe (right across the street from the Brattle) for good soup, quiche or sandwich, yummy pastries.

                    Otto Pizza is good but really no place to sit--a bit too quick a bite.

                    I like Chutney's in the Garage for fast cheap (but good) curry and rice. Zero ambience.

                    1. Trumpetguy RE: kobuta Oct 22, 2013 08:16 AM

                      Beat Hotel?

                      1. d
                        dulce de leche RE: kobuta Oct 22, 2013 08:41 AM

                        Crema for a sandwich or Just Crust for pizza/salad. Both within sight of the Brattle, both quick and good. Flat Patties is a good idea, too, if that is what you're in the mood for. One more is Sabra Grill for falafel or shawarma.

                        1. v
                          valcfield RE: kobuta Oct 22, 2013 08:41 AM

                          kaju tofu house just opened up in hsq by bonchon/park- i haven't been, but friends report the tofu soup is just as good as allston, though there are a few less varieties.

                          healthy and fast- clover hsq, their current seasonal-quick fried cauliflower, watercress, pickled onions, and this amazing asian flavored eggplant spread (ginger/ponzu-y, like what is served with dumplings)- is killer. also good, cheap beer. they're also doing beer battered apple rings as a special for the week, which end up a bit like mini fried pies.

                          also would throw support behind tasty burger, or Park (though that might push the limits on fast, i can never seem to understand when they will be slammed)

                          1. j
                            jmeranus RE: kobuta Oct 22, 2013 09:57 AM

                            Cafe Schwarma on JFK is outstanding. Right across from the Kennedy School. New owner after about 20 years has kept the quality just as high.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: jmeranus
                              opinionatedchef RE: jmeranus Oct 22, 2013 03:03 PM

                              does Sabra still exist or is Cafe S where Sabra used to be?

                            2. drewinmrblhd RE: kobuta Oct 22, 2013 03:29 PM

                              A nice sandwich from Cardullo"s would be my choice!

                              1. kobuta RE: kobuta Oct 22, 2013 04:34 PM

                                Wow, lots better options than I remembered! Thanks for all the recommendations. Speed is definitely key, as I expect big crowds even at 6:30pm. Will look forward to trying one of these spots.

                                1. c
                                  cambridgedoctpr RE: kobuta Oct 22, 2013 07:33 PM

                                  Rialto is good though it might be a little slow.
                                  Mr. Bartley's has an ok burger.
                                  Le's in the Garage has fair Viet Namese food.
                                  I prefer Just Crust to Otto's though it is expensive.

                                  1. w
                                    waltstime RE: kobuta Oct 23, 2013 12:35 PM

                                    Noir near the Charles hotel

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: waltstime
                                      hotoynoodle RE: waltstime Oct 23, 2013 12:47 PM

                                      i have never had anything but atrocious service at noir. friends say the same. the staff has been consistently inept over many years. if i was on a tight time schedule no way would i risk going there.

                                      (i don't go anymore anyway.)

                                    2. kobuta RE: kobuta Oct 24, 2013 08:03 PM

                                      Thanks again for the suggestions. Got there by 5:30, but ended up having even less time than I thought, as they wanted to have a queue form by 6pm. Went with Flat Patty's and was in and out in a record 20 minutes! I don't get to indulge in burgers often, but this one was done nicely - juicy and tasty, without being premium beef. I was just sad not to have time to get a side of fries with it.

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