Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Alone in Harvard Square: Quick Picks

So basically, I spend a LOT of time in Harvard Square. Doing what, you may ask? Oh, just trying to find my future husband. Just kidding. I've actually been working a retail job there to support my extravagant eating habits in grad school. Not so kidding. So during my breaks, I of course cannot just sustain on Luna Bars for months on end (which I did the first few days of work and throughout high school); I must find something more substantial. So here are a few of the places that I frequent during my 30 minute lunch breaks. 

The first time I stumbled upon this wonderful cafe was senior year of college when I ran in here for a cup of coffee for Saturday morning classes (actually the worst, don't know how I did it missing only one class the entire semeseter). The coffee at Crema was rather gross and tasted like sour dirt, but I went back for other things more recently that make this cafe worth a visit.

Sweet Potato with avocado, green apple, sprouts, hummus & caramelized shallot vinaigrette on toasted wheat.  Great sandwich that is surprisingly addicting. The double starch is kind of weird, but it works in a way. 

I've been here about four times since my first order of grilled cheese with soup. It is made of Monterey Jack & Gruyere pressed on light rye bread and I add just the avocado. The caramelized onions are nice as well. I also have had the tomato bisque, potato and leek, and black bean soups. 
It's such a classic combination that I just can't keep myself from coming back for more. 

Other things I've had here include the Taragon Chicken Salad. It's a premade sandwich, and that name doesn't lie. The bread is a bit soggy and the chicken is a bit cold. The chicken doesn't blend in with the cranberry salad either. 
But you must try their oatmeal chunk cookies. It is amazing. It is so good that I'm scared to go back to Crema because I will most definitely not be able to resist the temptation to get another one. 

Crema Cafe
27 Brattle Street  
Cambridge, MA 

The Upper Crust is super close to where I work, so I was surprised I didn't notice it sooner. I've never been to a pizza parlor in Boston before for clear reasons, but I've heard good things about it and decided to try.

My first mistake was going there craving a salad. So I ordered the salad and mini calzone special that came with my choice of a garden salad and a spinach and cheese calzone. It wasn't great. It tasted too-doughy for the exterior wasn't made crispy enough. 

The second time I made more sensible choices of a slice of pizza, which was unexpectedly massive, and a Greek salad. This was considerably more enjoyable, though the crust had the same problem of not being as crispy as I wanted. 

The Upper Crust 
49 Brattle Street
Cambridge, MA

Flat Patties is a new addition to Harvard Square, and was recommended to me by Yuri. I was impressed by their very affordable prices, and ordered myself a portabello (just the mushroom, no beef patty) with cheddar cheese, avocado, tomatoes, caramelized onions, and jalapenos and pickles on the side. 

Hearty meal, and it's great on a warmer day outdoors. But don't order the milkshake. It's really bad and tastes a bit artificial. 

Flat Patties 
33 Brattle Street  
Cambridge, MA

Since eating Anna's a few times a semester at Tufts for four years, I get serious Anna's cravings. So I've been trying to find a replacement, but to almost no avail. There are a few places to get quesadilla to-go including Chipotle and Felipe's. I definitely recommend going to Felipe's for their greater variety of meat choices (instead of just beef, pork, or chicken) unless you're craving the photographed burrito bowl. 

1 Brattle Square
Cambridge, MA

83 Mount Auburn Street
Cambridge, MA


Falafel Corner was an interesting experience. Lucky for me, it's supposed to be one of the best falafel places in the Boston area. Unlucky for me, the guy that works there asked if I was single and later on found me in the sitting area to ask for my number or to add me on Facebook. Super awkward. But the baba gonoush was really good and unlike Falafel King, their falafel is freshly prepared. The falafel was different, a bit more starchy, but still enjoyable. 

Falafel Corner
8 Eliot Street
Cambridge, MA


I heard good things about Tory Row, but was not impressed at all by their menu choices. Perhaps it was because it's more of a place to get a few drinks rather than a good meal. But still, the table set up was too casual for a sit-down menu, and the menu did not have enough depth for a sit-down.  

I ordered mussels in a garlic broth served with a baguette and an asparagus w parmesan over a balsamic reduction. I would've finished the broth if the baguette was made better. It was a bit too dense and borderline stale. 

It was nice for a dark cold night to sit down in a place facing a large intersection in the square just to watch traffic pass. 

Tory Row
3 Brattle Street  
Cambridge, MA

Naanini at Chutney's is also a great choice for it is a truly Indian food to-go destination located next to Starbucks and Ben and Jerry's in the Garage. Chutney's paneer tikka naanini is my go-to choice if I need my  spice and naan fix! 

36 John F. Kennedy Street  
Cambridge, MA 

Finally, also in the Garage, is Le's. This place must be mentioned just because I've been there countless of times, and the primary reason why I was in Harvard so often in the past. My friends usually go to this Vietnamese joint for pre-drinking or hangover pho, a beef noodle soup, and we usually share a spring roll, but I usually order the ginger chicken with white rice. Their pork chops are also very good and surprisingly so is their house fried rice. Definitely try their avocado shake as well! 

36 John F. Kennedy Street  
Cambridge, MA 

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