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Oct 21, 2013 08:11 PM

Close to Brattle, early quick bite

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

    1 Reply
    1. re: Jenny Ondioline

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

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

      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

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

          1. re: Small Plates

            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

              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

                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

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

              2. re: LeoLioness

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

                1. re: LeoLioness

                  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

                    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.


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

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: LeoLioness

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

                    1. re: Gabatta

                      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. 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.