The Middle East, the most stable and peaceful region in the world, is so peaceful that most tourists avoid it because they don't want to risk getting bored. Today’s deal adds a much-needed spice to the experience: for $15, you get $30 worth of Middle Eastern/Lebanese eats and drinks at The Middle East Restaurant and Nightclub in Cambridge, or more specifically, Central Square. This hybrid affair is equal parts restaurant, music venue, secret upstairs spy hospital, and nightclub. Your Groupon is good for the restaurant part only.
The Middle East menu is extremely welcoming to vegetarians, but indulges meat eaters as well. Start with a tasty Baba Ghanooj ($5.95) or grape leaves (stuffed with ground meat and spices; $5.95). Outfit your hands with a variety of sandwiches like falafel ($4.99) or beef shawarma ($6.25). You can also choose from a solid mix of kababs ($9.95–$12.25), cous-cous ($10.25-$12.25), and a variety of other specialties, such as lamb shank ($12.25).
Once you’ve satiated your stomach, you might as well take your drinks with you and explore your surroundings (pith helmet optional, machete strongly discouraged). You might encounter belly dancers, clothed camels trying to blend in, and hipster genies on your way to the club downstairs, which plays host to a multitude of music acts. With today's Groupon, you and your whole table of eunuchs, wicked viziers, and concubines can ready your stomachs for an Arabian night's worth of entertainment at Middle East.
Yelpers give Middle East four stars, while one Trip Advisor gives it four owl eyes. Insider Pages users give it three stars, Judy's Book reviewers 3.4, and two Kudzu reviewers give it 4.5. Loyal patrons say this about the restaurant and club:
- The Middle East is a nice little place, a bit gritty perhaps, but it has been around forever! They always have great local art on the walls, and there is [sic] years of history tucked in the nooks and crannies by the bar. Their beer selection is fantastic and varied, and they have a full bar too. The best part is the food! Their menu is Lebanese/Middle Eastern and is some of the best eating in Central Square. They are very, very vegan and vegetarian friendly, and offer a great selection for meet [sic] eaters too. My favorite dish is the pumpkin kibbeh, pumpkin bread with grains inside and a nice yogurt sauce. – Amy B., Judy's Book
- Upstairs is the restaurant with, certain nights of the week, belly dancing for free. The food is good, there are plenty of vegetarian options (you're not just stuck with falafel) and you can get beer or wine. This place is a classic. – Allison P., Judy’s Book
Frommer's recommends Middle East, saying:
- The best rock club in the area and one of the best in New England, the Middle East books an impressive variety of progressive and alternative artists in two rooms (upstairs and downstairs) every night. – Frommer's
472 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139Get Directions