Food is one of the preferred subjects of conversation around the office — many of us like to cook, and we all like to eat! Since Fletcher will have lots of visitors this spring, I’ve asked the folks here to provide some restaurant picks. The limits on my request: that the restaurants should be moderately priced, more interesting than the pizza places that ring the campus, and that they should be within a half-hour walk from Fletcher. Here’s what we came up with.
Peter suggests Redbones, and says: This tasty BBQ joint in Davis Square features funky artwork-filled décor, 24 beers on tap, and valet parking for your bicycle. They also recycle their old fryer oil into biodiesel. Their menu ranges from ribs (Memphis, St. Louis, Texas, or Arkansas) and brisket, to fried catfish and pulled pork (alas, vegetarians may be disappointed). Just think twice before ordering the Jerk Beef Sandwich—it can be brutal on timid taste buds.
Kate stays in the Davis Square area and provides a vegetarian-tested option: On a Sunday morning there is no better place to meet up with friends than Johnny D’s Restaurant and Music Club in Davis Square. Their Sunday Jazz Brunch offers up live music, hot cups of coffee, and a menu filled with a huge variety of bunch options. If you’re not sure whether you’re craving eggs or pancakes, get both in one of their many reasonably priced brunch combos. Served with many of their meals is a delicious bowl of homemade oatmeal accompanied by a side of brown sugar. There are many specials offered each weekend which adds to the array of choices. Johnny D’s is a popular spot and was recently nominated for Best Brunch in Boston so be prepared to wait for a table. The wait will be worth it!
(A note here: Boston-area “squares” are not square — they’re the intersection of traditionally major roadways. The squares closest to Fletcher are Teele, Powderhouse, Ball, and Davis.)
Roxana made sure that Teele Square (the closest to Fletcher) was represented: Amelia’s Kitchen — Fabulous and quaint authentic Italian restaurant located in Teele Square. Go hungry but not so hungry that you can’t wait, because they only have one waitress to go around. My favorite thing to order is the bruschetta for an appetizer (best I’ve ever tasted) and the prosciutto panini at lunch.
Kristen, the official Admissions Foodie, was the first to send me her choice: My favorite local restaurant is Café Barada, a family-run Lebanese place. Their falafel is beyond compare, the fatoosh salad is the stuff dreams are made of, and the owner Sami is always a welcoming presence. Plus, you might just see Fletcher professor Leila Fawaz there!
Laurie wasn’t far behind: When Jessica asked my to give a local restaurant recommendation for prospective students, I did not have to think twice. By far my favorite local place is the Greek Corner on Mass Ave. in Cambridge. For me, the Greek Corner is the ultimate comfort food at lunch time. The atmosphere is bright and comfortable and the food is amazing! For some reason feta just tastes better at the Greek Corner. I always start with the Avgolemono soup, and then have a hard time making up my mind what to order since everything is so tasty. The souvlaki is definitely a crowd pleaser. The prices are great and the Greek Corner is just a short ride from Tufts. Enjoy!
I decided not to pick one place, but to fill in the dots between Greek Corner and Café Barada. This stretch of Mass Ave (officially — Massachusetts Avenue, but no one calls it that) borders ordinary, but fairly densely-populated residential areas of North Cambridge. You can follow this walking map, which starts at Fletcher and takes you to Mass Ave. (You need to zoom in on the map.) Keep an eye on both sides of the street, and not only will you pass Greek Corner, but also Qingdao Garden (a favorite for my family for Chinese food), Frank’s (a traditional “old Cambridge” steak house), Verna’s (the ultimate donut shop), Bengal Café (family-style Bangladeshi food) and others. End your walk at Café Barada, or continue on, all the way to The Elephant Walk (a very special French/Cambodian restaurant). In fact, your challenge won’t be to find some place to eat — it will be to agree with your lunch companions on a restaurant! The total walk is just over two miles — but you’ll almost surely find the perfect place to eat before you walk that far.
Let us know how you like these restaurants and if you’d like to add your own local favorites! Happy eating!
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