Cambridge is known for its world class universities, but Phantom goes there for a PhD in deliciousness. There are the 8 Greatest places Phantom likes to get schooled in all things tasty.
Kicking off the Great 8 is Giulia. Located on Mass Ave, Giulia is a small Italian eatery housed in exposed brick, cozy booths and banquettes, and an open kitchen just feet from the tables. Pasta here is king, rolled out and cut fresh every single day. There are many mouthwatering options, from sensational buccatini pasta with house cured pancetta, to the incredibly fragrant hand-cut pappardelle with wild boar and aged parmigiano.
Felipe’s Taqueria in Harvard Square is a festive Mexican spot, whether you want something to grab and go or if you want to stick around and enjoy their lively dining room and rooftop deck. You can drink and dine on authentic tacos, spicy pork tamales and the super cheesy Queso Fundido with chorizo, served with steamed flour tortillas.
Another Great 8 winner is Night Market in Harvard Square. This hard to find spot is tucked below street level on the corner of JFK and Winthrop Streets. Once you make your way inside, you’ll feel as if you have been transported a world away with a fun, casual atmosphere decked out in graffiti art. The offerings are just as exciting. The menu is inspired by the night markets found all over Asia, with options like tasty skewers of meats and vegetables and spicy Szechuan style wings.
All Star Sandwich Bar
All Star Sandwich Bar in Inman Square is the brainchild of brothers Kosta and Johnny Diamantopoulos, who are masters when it comes to layering flavors, textures, and ingredients that transform the humble sandwich into a gourmet meal. That passion is evident in everything from a simple Reuben, to an insane BBQ Cheddar Burger, to their signature sandwich, the Atomic Meatloaf, topped with red onion jam and inner beauty hot sauce on grilled sourdough.
Frank’s Steakhouse on Mass. Ave. is a classic restaurant and bar that’s been a local landmark since 1938, making it the oldest steakhouse in the area. The must order item on Frank’s menu is their smokin’ hot New York Sirloin Sizzler. It is a full pound of boneless sirloin, served sizzling on a metal plate.
East Side Bar and Grille
Another Great 8 winner is East Side Bar and Grille in East Cambridge. Here the huge portions of old school Italian food are so good, they are putting Italian grandmothers everywhere out of business. The menu is loaded the classics like hearty Pasta Bolognese with slow simmered beef and sweet sausage. But nothing beats the plate tipping portion of Chicken Parm.
Mr. Bartley’s Gourmet Burgers in Harvard Square is a busy hangout with wooden tables and plastic patio chairs, crammed into dorm room decorated space. Chalkboard menus hang above the open kitchen, listing countless creative burgers named after celebrities. There are also excellent onion rings and outstanding frappes. Phantom’s appetite rises for the Viagra Burger – a plump pattie loaded with blue cheese and bacon on a toasted sesame bun.
Rounding out the Great 8 is Summer Shack. Located on Alewife Brook Parkway, this big fun restaurant serves up plenty of succulent lobster and everything else the ocean has to offer, in a fun and laid back atmosphere. There are fried clams and lobster rolls. If seafood isn’t your thing, there are plenty of options, like their ultra-crispy fried chicken.
Watch Phantom Gourmet on Saturdays and Sundays at 10:30 and 11 a.m. on myTV38.