Thanks for all your suggestions on a previous trip. I just spent last week there and happy to report on a few places:
Sunday dinner at the Cambridge Brewery bar. Ordered the fish of the day special. As I was waiting I thought to myself, "why did you order swordfish with parsnip mash and curry vinaigrette at a brewery?" But it turned out to be just delicious. The curry vinaigrette so delicious I asked for extra. I could drink it.
Monday Dinner at The Smokehouse with MIT student: Colleague told me that I should not stray from ordering the brisket. I did. And was disappointed. The special was full slab of baby rack ribs with two sides. Not happy with these ribs. The 'crust' was good but the meat dry. Sides of cornbread and collards with bacon were fine. The appetizers we had at the bar were quite good though: BBQ fries (no meat) and the macaroni and cheese bits. I will give it another try and get brisket and sides of beans and spicy slaw. The drinks were very very good though, especially the Smoked Manhattan.
Tuesday lunch: Bon Me. The Mala Bowl did in fact have that tingly szechuan peppercorn spice. Was decent enough. I'll have to try other menu options.
Tuesday dinner: Grabbed food from the hotel's free happy hour mixer buffet. Whatever.
Wednesday lunch: Cabbed it over to Downtown Crossing to the Back Deck at 2 West St. Business lunch. Meh. Average salads and sandwiches. Fries looked good. I got a blah Caesar with chicken.
Wednesday dinner: Fuji at Kendall. PACKED! In fact, this little area was just buzzing with foot traffic and diners. Sat at bar and was surprised to find they ONLY offer omakase at tables. Opposite of most sushi places. Huge menu includes all sorts of Japanese dishes. Decent sake selection. Sushi was average to good. I think I ordered wrong: I am a nigiri purist and I think this type of place excels more at the wacky, 4 kinds of fish with crunch and mayo and tobiko sort of maki rolls. They looked good, if that's your thing. Overall I had a nice evening at the bar though. Chatting with fellow diners.
Thursday coffee break: I'm not a huge coffee fan but appreciate a good cup. Tatte Bakery & Cafe was a charming, friendly neighborhoody spot that turns out a very, very nice cappucino. Food looked good too.
Thursday lunch: THE HIGHLIGHT! Area 4 is so damn delicious. We got: Not Pepperoni Pizza (with pickled peppers added). Say that three times fast. Colleague got the lamb salad - delicious! Lamb was tender and highly flavored. Other colleague got the chicken sandwich which came with a side of pickled vegetables. I was gifted the little terrine and I ate them all. The lunch menu lists its non-pizza options as salads or sandwiches. The latter come in this huge wrap-like bread made in the pizza oven I think? I love the bright, highly-spiced flavors of this place. I'm going back every time I visit HQ. While eating there saw a huge line waiting for Chinese food from a raggedy looking food truck. Hand written extensive menu. Word on the Street is that the line is more out of lack of options than a testament to its great food.
Next trip I will throw State Park in the mix and will take my MIT student friend to Cafe Sushi.