DC in the summer is a town full of ambitious and caffeinated interns who, after 5 p.m., slide out of their awkward, ill-fitting new suits to hit up the various happy hours around town. I admit it’s been fun, but one night, I was looking for a change: I was willing to spend more than $1 per drink or appetizer in exchange for good food in even better company.
I’m struggling to put my finger on Busboys and Poets: part restaurant, part bookstore, part slam poetry venue, and all-around hipster. Their website describes their location as a “gathering place where people can discuss issues of social justice and peace [in] an environment where shared conversations over food and drink allow the progressive, artistic and literary communities to dialogue, educate and interact.” Sounds like something the Bohemians would say in the Moulin Rouge.
DOUBLE SOY LATTE, PLEASE! You say good pie, I say hello Petsi Pies serves up classic American baked goods in a funky-fresh atmosphere
Businesses that alliterate their names make me nervous. As in, “Lovely Loyal Landscapers,” “Cool Carpet Cleaners,” or perhaps worst of all, “Julie’s Jubilant Jewelry Shop”. That last one conjures up images of a fourteen year-old girl with braces and pigtails making lanyards in her room, selling them from her front porch, getting the change wrong and definitely not filing her taxes. But thanks to the recent announcement by the mighty mindful MWRA to boil Boston’s broken pipe water, I found myself café-hopping on the safe side of the river and quite spontaneously stumbled into Petsi Pie. With a name like that, located in a neighborhood full of quaint front porches near Harvard Square, I couldn’t help but be highly skeptical.
Three things from recent memory come to mind when I think of the phrase “pleasant surprise”: Modern Family, for restoring my faith in the family sitcom; the Saferide tracking screen outside W20, for preserving our sanity; and Dado Tea, for being like no other café in the Greater Boston area.
Last week, the hard drive in my clunky Dell whirred its final breath. So today, I present you with the first café review written on my shiny new netbook. Its lightweight portability inspired me to kill a flock of birds with one stone, something I couldn’t have done before without getting scoliosis. In one trip, I returned a sweater from Copley Place (buyer’s remorse), bought tortillas at Trader Joe’s (huevos rancheros for brunch tomorrow), and investigated a café I’d never been to on Newbury Street.
A common fantasy among my girlfriends is to quit MIT and open up a neighborhood café. Should that life-altering day come for me, I imagine my store will be a lot like Andala Café: cozy, charming, and a touch eclectic.
Restaurant Week is actually a two-week event that happens twice a year, once in March and once in August. Hundreds of Boston’s best (and priciest) restaurants prepare special menus at discounted prices. From March 14–19th and 21–26th, these restaurants will be offering 2-course lunches for $15.10, 3-course lunches for $20.10 and 3-course dinners for $33.10. See <i>restaurantweekboston.com</i> for full listings.
<i>If the Student Center has become your all-in-one dining hall, study room, and bedroom, allow me to suggest a simple lifestyle change. Coffee shops and cafés are no longer havens for artsy Mac users with thick-rimmed glasses who work from home. Toting my clunky Dell, visually aided by my contact lenses and armed with full-time student status, I’ll be writing about Boston-area cafés near MIT so that you’ll finally be able to get that Reading Room stench out of your clothes. </i>
There is something intrinsically romantic and effortlessly cool about navigating the side streets of Downtown Crossing and slipping into an unassuming old bank building that opens up to the modern and impressive space that is Mantra. The restaurant and lounge specializes in French-Indian fusion but also serves a separate menu of traditional Indian cuisine. Everything about Mantra seems to appeal to a hip, trend-setting crowd, from young students and business professionals to young-at-heart executives.
T<b>he Scenario</b>: Your parents have just arrived on campus, pleased to see that you haven’t gained all of the “freshman fifteen” in a month and a half of college. You show them around campus, stopping by the Student Center and emphasizing that this is where you eat on a daily basis. Eventually, you hear the five magic words from your parents, “We’re taking you out tonight.” Without missing a beat, you slyly say, “Well, there is one place I’ve always wanted to try out…”
Boston has had more than its fair share of rainy days this summer, but during its few sunny days, I managed to explore some of the city’s best outdoor dining options. Whether you are looking for a full meal or just a light afternoon snack, you can be sure to find an outdoor restaurant in one of Boston’s many neighborhoods. Here are some of my top picks.