Brown Dog Coffee Shoppe complements its aromatic free-trade coffee with a crowded menu of fresh cafe fare. Lunch dates commence as pairs settle into the cafe’s brick-walled, cozy ambience—complete with wooden floors and a grandmother encouraging guests to eat up—and select Brown Dog signature half sandwiches such as the smoky Country turkey ($7) or the stacked simplicity of the ham and swiss ($6). Hot sandwiches, including eggs benedict ($5) and bacon-cheese ($4), arrive at tables escorted by doting pickle-spear chaperones and the customer's choice of salad or soup of the day. Diners contemplate the complex aromas of one of Brown Dog's in-house roasted fair-trade signature coffee blends while sitting on the Paris location's brisk patio area, where the Grand River eases along nearby and compels patio sitters to speak only in haiku. In addition to flaky apple fritters, the amiable Brown Dog staff keep the ovens humming with classic cafe delectables, including scones ($1.75), french toast ($3.50), and a fluffy assortment of muffins ($1.75).
New chef Mike Boyd rears a rhapsody of culinary concoctions at The Groove Kitchen and Music Room. The inspired menu serenades diners with such musically named eats as the Sweet Home Alabama ($14), a barbecue-glazed and braised pork shoulder with sweet potato pancakes, and the Sgt. Pepper ($9), a Salisbury steak sandwich covered in a collage of peppercorn gravy, sautéed mushrooms, and cardboard cutouts of Carl Jung. On the weekends, live bands paint the walls with sound, blaring from saxophones, guitars, trumpets, and harmonically stretched vocal cords. The Groove Kitchen and Music Room tickles taste buds and tympanic membranes past midnight Tuesday through Saturday.
Café 13 Main Street Grill weaves together a medley of light fare, such as pastas and salads, with grand gourmet dishes to craft carefully chosen menus. Beneath the watchful eye of the dining room's proud stained-glass peacock, begin with an order of spiced pork spring rolls ($10.99) or breaded camembert ($8.99). Diners trade quips and finger-puppet shows amid the dark woods and ornate brass accents of Café 13's rich dining room, all the while enjoying a plate of sesame-crusted tuna steak ($20.99)—a hearty hunk of yellowfin tuna sporting its finest black-and-white, sesame-seed eveningwear. Lovers of libations will appreciate the 141-year-old bar from Philadelphia and the assortment of martinis and specialty cocktails strutting the catwalk.
Cambridge Pizza’s cooks slather made-from-scratch sauce onto thin- or thick-crust dough that’s made fresh everyday. A nearby farm furnishes the pizzeria's arsenal of vegetable toppings, which flaunts nontraditional toppings such as asparagus and eggplant alongside more classic options such as mushrooms and green olives. Staffers also decorate their pies and scrapbooks with specialty meats, including smoked ham and hot or mild italian sausage. Additionally, Cambridge Pizza decorates its tabletops with fresh lasagna, salad, and wings that they marinate in-house.
While Greeks and Italians have long been neighbors of a sort, seldom were they in such close proximity as Gus and Guido. The two grew up as playmates, alternating meals often at both families' homes. As their childhoods progressed, each came to love both traditional Greek and Italian cuisine. Ultimately, they started a restaurant—aptly named Gus & Guidos—to combine their love for both fares into a single menu.
The old world traditions that inspired the original duo still hold sway in the eatery's kitchens today. Chefs carve all steaks and meats in-house, coating fresh pork chops in a Greek peppercorn sauce or lightly breading classic veal scallopini. They also make a famously tender portion of Italian-style ribs, slowly basted to perfection over nine hours.
An expertly rolled cylinder of fish roe and avocado. A neatly organized bento box. The tang of just enough teriyaki sauce on a jumbo scallop. These are the pleasures that the chefs at Hamachi Sushi focus on perfecting each day. Diners perch at a bar or lounge at tables while enjoying the fruit of the chefs’ work, wielding chopsticks to pluck sushi and sashimi from their plates or scallions from their teeth. In addition to the wide array of rolls ensconcing salmon and barbecued eel, the menu includes traditional Japanese meals such as teriyaki meats and noodle soups. Cubic lanterns made of white paper light the dining room, whose walls are painted the bright pink of a pig that’s blushing because it forgot to curl its tail.