The Cambridge area boasts a plethora of viable options on the breakfast front, so we've taken the liberty of compiling a list of our favorite pastries. Ranging from flakey, buttery croissants to Middle Eastern-inspired brioche to slightly spicy scones, there are options for every palate.
'Cambridge' on Serious Eats
I can't speak for anyone else out there, but Boston's recent onslaught of blizzards and polar vortexes have left me pining for some citrusy, delicate, reminiscent-of-summertime sweets. Darwin's Ltd. came to the rescue this week with their Lemon Blueberry Tart ($5).
I never need an excuse to eat Asian noodle soups, but it being the dead of winter and the start of Chinese New Year, the timing seemed particularly good for rounding up a few of my favorites.
Not to be a downer on traditional holiday fare, but the redundancy of pumpkin ravioli, soup, cheesecake, bread, and pie leaves me bored with the season's favorite squash. At least, I was before I met kaddo bourani, a classic Afghan preparation that has become my favorite way to eat pumpkin.
Were you surprised when you heard that Tony Maws, Chef/Owner of Craigie on Main in Cambridge was planning a second restaurant? I sure was. I mean, he was the kind of chef who never left the pass. You could walk into Craigie on Main any night of the year and there he'd be, calling out orders and finishing plates. Heck, an entire book on his restaurant came out last year, its overriding thesis being that Tony Maws is the kind of chef who could only ever be tied down to a single location. This is the good kind of surprise.
Determined to find the tastiest and most creative Bloody Marys here in Boston, I penciled in a couple of weekends worth of boozy brunches, and set out to sacrifice myself for the cause.
Giulia, the stylish yet low-key Porter Square space that opened last December, came with the promise of Michael Pagliarini, his Umbrian roots, and his considerable pasta-making skills. That kind of profile breeds high expectations—expectations that Giulia meets.
Like most everything I've had at Sofra, the coffeecake exceeded my expectations, and not just because there were exotic flavors in the mix.
Yesterday, Slice queen and Somerville resident Meredith and I headed out to East Cambridge—along with over 5,000 other barbecue-loving meatheads, students, parents, kids, dogs, and the occasional marching band—for the third annual Smoke This Rib Fest. See which local favorites competed and find out which ribs won!
Beef cheeks are braised until meltingly tender, the rich liquid enhanced by the rendered fat from the beef. If you're lucky, you'll get there on a day when they couple the beef cheeks with a few chunks of corned beef tongue. Tiny cubes of potatoes, turnips, celery root, squash, and onions are roasted until deeply browned, and the whole mess is topped with a perfectly poached egg.
Roast pork, three cheeses, and it's toasted in butter? Overkill you say? Please.
Continuing our College Tours series, let's head over to Cambridge to see what's good near Harvard and MIT. Ice cream, late-night ramen, sticky buns, and more.
The lean slices at The Village Kitchen in Huron Village are deceptively heft free. Toppings make up most of the substance here in terms of weight and flavor.
All of Savenor's offerings from the sandwich counter sound delicious, but the Ariccia was the stand-out. A roll from Iggy's Bakery is filled with housemade porchetta and pickled fennel then drizzled with local honey, and is finally pressed. The result is porky and salty with a bit of crunch, acidity and sweetness. A really wonderful sandwich.
You'd be hard-pressed to find a Bostonian with something negative to say after tasting chef Tony Maws' burger at Craigie on Main, featuring a big, grass-fed patty, ground up with bone marrow and charred on a plancha. The burgers Tony loves in his home city are the ones that strike a nostalgic chord in the chef's heart and palate, burgers that taste of his childhood and a time long-past—burgers so nostalgic, in fact, that one of them is sadly just a memory. Here are Tony's top five burgers in Boston.
All Star Pizza Bar, the newest Inman Square outpost from Kosta and Johnny Diamantopoulos, sits diagonally across the street from the brothers’ All Star Sandwich Bar. Like its well-regarded, older sibling, the All Star Pizza Bar serves inventive food in a friendly and welcoming environment. (In contrast to the Sandwich Bar, which offers salads and dessert, this is a focused affair: aside from beer, sangria and soft drinks, it serves pizza and only pizza.)
If you've ever been in Boston long enough to need to buy decent bread, then you've probably run into Iggy's. But did you know that you can buy your bread straight from their Cambridge bread baking headquarters? Oh yeah. And not only that, they have trays and trays of pizza slices for sell!
Ever since leaving his post at Beacon Hill Bistro, Jason Bond has spent most of his time at his charming Area IV dining room, Bondir, where he crafts award-winning plates from the best (and often locally sourced) pork, parsnips, grapes, scallops, and polenta he can get his hands on. Here's where you might find him in the off hours.
Sour cherry fans will go wild for this. It's like sipping pie filling through a straw, except that the iced tea gives it a cleaner, more refreshing finish and mellows the sweetness.
Last week, I issued a challenge to Tony Maws, the chef at Craigie on Main in Cambridge: serve a multi-course tasting menu to myself and my meat-eating father, without letting him catch on that there is no meat in his food. The whole goal was to prove to him—a hardcore meat eater—that food can be every bit as diverse, flavorful, and satisfying whether it's got meat in it or not.