There are 141 tasty eateries in the bustling culinary capital we call Harvard Square. Here are a few you probably have never been to... JOHN J. DONAHUE ventures forth on a Gastronomic Adventure LUNCH
Places like Elsie's and Pinocchio's pretty much have a lock on the student sandwich dollar, but there are other places; places which sell not only sandwiches but also candy bars and fruit pies in boxes.
PLACE LOCATION DECOR WHAT I ATE IMPRESSIONS WHY NO ONE GOES THERE Leo's Place JFK St., in between CVS and Whitney's, a bar which no one goes to. Yellow stools, yellow molding, yellow, yellow, yellow. Hot Dog with mustard, relish, and onions and a can of Sprite. When I ordered my hot dog, the guy asked me if I wanted mustard, relish and onions. I said "Yes," so he put onions on the hot dog, gave me a packet of relish, and he told me where I could find the mustard. The clientele consisted of a couple scruffy-looking guys drinking coffee plus one middle-aged woman eating a big turkey sandwich which looked pretty good. I'm not sure. My hot dog was kind of dinky for two bucks, but that woman's sandwich did look good. I mean it. That was a good looking sandwich. Lee's Beehive Dunster St., across from the Garage. Green furniture with plants and Chinese paintings. Also, lots of hand-painted signs. Krinkle-cut fries on a styrofoam plate and a small ginger ale. Apparently, this place is extremely popular with motorcycle cops and women on their coffee breaks. Also, there was a scruffy-looking guy eating a big roast beef sandwich which looked even better than the turkey sandwich that woman had in Leo's Place. The fries weren't bad. It lacks that special sort of character which helped launch Elsie's and the late Tommy's Lunch into fame. Namely, people who are mean to you when you order. Dinner
Students get set pretty early in what restaurants they find suitable for evening dining. As it turns out, that's probably a good thing.
PLACE LOCATION DECOR WHAT I ATE IMPRESSIONS WHY NO ONE GOES THERE Yenching Mass. Ave., in between the Holyoke Center and the Porcellian. Red, red, red with Chinese paintings. Lunch Special (Hot and Sour soup, Beef and Broccoli, Fried Eggplant and Fried Rice), tea and water. It seems like a pretty standard Chinese Restaurant. The clientele was mostly Asian; the service was okay, and the food wasn't terrible. I had never had fried eggplant before and I sort of liked it. The Hot and Sour soup had a funky consistency, though. The food wasn't terrible when I ate it, but a few hours later I was beginning to feel that it had overstayed its welcome. Casa Mexico Winthrop St., across from Pinochio's Weird gold plates on the tables. Hanging lamps shaped like roosters and fish. Dark. Chicken tostada with beans, rice and a lettuce and tomato garnish and a glass of water. The restaurant was populated not by undergraduates, but by youngish looking folks who may well be graduate students. The menu, with long passages entitled "Dan Sherwood brings you a taste of old Mexico" seemed desperate to convince you how great your food was going to be. My tostada did not live up to the hype. Leaving aside the issue of my underachieving tostada, the main factor preventing Casa Mexico from becoming the next hot student hangout is that it's butt-expensive. That's right, BUTT-expensive. None of the entrees cost less than ten dollars and none of the appetizers cost less than four dollars. So, budget-minded types will have to be satisfied with contemplating the outside mural while eating a slice of pizza at Pinocchio's.