One of the places that I’ve often liked going in the Boston area, but also seems to have eluded my attempts to actually write it up, is the Elephant Walk. Opened in 1991, and currently sporting three locations (Boston and Waltham in addition to the Cambridge location we visited), the Elephant Walk serves up a combination of French and Cambodian cuisine (the combination isn’t as unusual as you might think, courtesy of the French colonization of the region, which leaves vestiges of French cooking, such as French-style bread and coffee beverages, to this day), as well as some modern interpretations of these dishes. Oddly enough, I discovered Elephant Walk first through distinctly non-French and non-Cambodian means: several years ago, I attended a Belgian beer festival at the Cyclorama sponsored by Beeradvocate.com, and the two caterers for the event were Waffle Haus of Vermont (who normally sells excellent Belgian Waffles on Vermont ski slops) and The Elephant Walk, who provided sandwiches and Belgian frites. The latter of which they did a particularly good job with, so I decided to try them out at some point, originally doing so circa 2007 when I needed to visit some subcontractors at MIT for work. And since then, I’ve enjoyed it, so when I needed to find a place to dine with several out-of-town friends, The Elephant Walk ended up being our venue of choice.
Work has me regularly traveling to Cambridge, and several times I’ve found myself passing Craigie on Main on my way too and from Toscanini’s. It’s also been my hit list for a while, since it’s a perennial entry on various Boston “Best Hamburger” lists, and it always looks like a rather inviting little bar/bistro for that neighborhood (despite the U-haul place and Tootsie Roll factory across the street).
Well, I’ll be honest, I still haven’t had the burger, but it’s on my hit list. But last month we noticed that Craigie on Main also had a particularly interesting looking brunch menu, so when we had another free morning in the Boston area, we decided to head back over to Cambridge and try out their brunch. I’m rather glad we did.
Last month, my brother came to visit from England, so on the morning of St Patrick’s Day we had to pick up my brother at Logan, which meant this was a good opportunity to try out a new place for breakfast someplace down in the Boston area.
I know a rather good selection of places to eat in the Boston area, but not a lot of breakfast places (a byproduct of the fact that Boston is around 2.5-3 hours from here, depending on traffic, is that we usually get there well after breakfast hours). But several of my friends up here in NH have lived down there, so I asked coworker A for a good Saturday brunch suggestion. She was already going to be in Boston that weekend, so she simply recommended that we just join her and some friends at Sofra in Cambridge for some of their “Turkish Inspired Cuisine.”
After I left Natick, I had another meeting at MIT. This time it was a morning meeting, and this time the Gods of Boston traffic were smiling on me, so I got there with surprisingly little in the way of traffic delays. As a result, I had a chance to grab breakfast, and walking around near the MIT/Kendall Square station, I happened across The Friendly Toast. The Friendly Toast is a breakfast diner, with locations in Portsmouth, NH (their original location) and Cambridge, MA (Kendall Square, just north of MIT and Draper Labs). I’ve happened across the Portsmouth location several times while visiting there, and it has remained on my chronic “I should try that place out” hit list…
Last week I had to have a quick trip down to MIT for work, and have been craving a good burger. Luckily, Cambridge sports several burger joints that all have a good following, including Mr Bartley’s Burger Cottage (near Harvard, still on my hit list), Cambridge Common, Flat Patties, Four Burgers (which I almost went to this time), Craigie on Main, and Miracle of Science. I opted on the last of these, since the location is close to MIT (in the shadow of the Tootsie Roll factory, and kitty-corner from Toscanin’s Ice Cream).
You can’t miss it, it’s written right on the window, “The World’s Best Ice Cream,” according to the New York Times. That should impress me, but it really doesn’t. It’s hyperbole, and the NYTimes does it a lot in their food reviews. Many Boston-area friends also have told me it’s “the best in the world”, but Boston folks have a horrible pattern of saying “the world” when they really mean “Boston”. More importantly, however, my friend Eddy (who has impeccable taste when it comes to desserts) also claims it’s best in the world, so, while I’ve had (and enjoyed) Tosci’s ice cream before, I felt obligated to come and review it again…