The Charles Hotel is in the heart of Cambridge, walking distance from Harvard Square and Harvard University. This 4-star hotel is close to Hynes Convention Center and Boston Museum of Fine Arts.
Make yourself at home in one of the 294 air-conditioned rooms featuring minibars and plasma televisions. wired and wireless Internet access is complimentary, while DVD players and premium TV channels are also offered to provide entertainment. Private bathrooms with shower/tub combinations feature televisions and makeup/shaving mirrors. Conveniences include safes and desks, as well as multi-line phones with free local calls and voice mail.
Rec, Spa, Premium Amenities
Relax at the full-service spa, where you can enjoy body treatments and facials. You're sure to appreciate the recreational amenities, including a nightclub, a health club, and an indoor pool. This hotel also features complimentary wireless Internet access, concierge services, and babysitting/childcare.
Enjoy a meal at one of the hotel's dining establishments, which include 4 restaurants and a coffee shop/café. From your room, you can also access 24-hour room service. Quench your thirst with your favorite drink at a bar/lounge. Breakfast is available for a fee.
Business, Other Amenities
Featured amenities include complimentary high-speed (wired) Internet access, a 24-hour business center, and limo/town car service. Planning an event in Cambridge? This hotel has 18,000 square feet (1672 square meters) of space consisting of conference/meeting rooms, small meeting rooms, and a ballroom. Parking (subject to charges) is available onsite.
Clover Food Lab: A User’s Guide
Keywords: Meat-Free Fast Food | Ever-Changing Menu | Mostly Organic | Eco-Friendly | Wholesome Food Truck | MIT-Alum CEO
* Breakfast: egg sandwich with tomato and cheese, oatmeal, cheesy grits
* Sandwiches: soy BLT, BBQ seitan, chickpea fritter
* Plates: mezze and chickpea platter, egg and eggplant platter
* Sides: rosemary fries, roasted carrot and pistachio salad
* Desserts: whoopie pies, apple fritters
* Beverages: cinnamon lemonade, maple soda, Barrington coffee, Pretty Things Jack D’Or beer
Thoughtful Fast Food
Though the restaurant strives to duplicate the serving times of a McDonald's (their average is down to around 3.5 minutes), the rest of the operation shuns the Big-Box Burger model. Freezers are forbidden, up to 60% of the ingredients are organic, and all packaging and serving materials are compostable. What’s more, up to 85% of the ingredients used at each location are sourced from farmers and producers in the Northeast, so money stays in the area.
“A breakfast sandwich with sliced tomatoes and cheese has a Chip-In Farm egg whose yolk breaks at the first bite, spilling golden sauce into the pocket. It might be the best thing on the menu, until you dip into creamy Narragansett yogurt layered with beautiful granola and pear compote.” – Boston.com
“While constant variety would work against any other fast-food chain—where customers have been trained to order old standbys by number—it has become central to Clover's brand. When people go to Clover, they don't expect the same burger and fries, they expect good food […] The dining experience feels, as one Cambridge local explained it to me, ‘very MIT.’ It looks like a lab crossed with a Chipotle, with crisp, clean, white spaces.” – Fast Company
“People came in for a quick lunch, fries, and a cup of coffee before going back to work between the hours of 1 and 4 p.m. … After midnight, aside from a few die-hard coffee lovers, the fries and cheesy grits ruled palates. As places nearby shut down, Clover became a place to socialize and sober up. Some got fries. Some got coffee. Some got both.” – Boston Globe
* Don’t call it vegetarian. MIT-trained Ayr Muir originally founded the Lab because he believed lowering meat consumption was the best way he could affect climate change, so calling the joint “vegetarian”—as in, designed especially for vegetarians—misses the point. The restaurant is out to serve everyone, especially those who might have otherwise dined on beef or chicken.
* Have an opinion on the food? They’ll listen. Every Tuesday at the Inman Square location, the company hosts a food-development meeting that's open to the public. Attendees can try new recipes in the works and let the big wigs in charge know what they think.
* Clover will come to you. The restaurant also operates out of a roaming food truck, which keeps its location updated on Twitter.
At Sarah's Market and Cafe in Cambridge, you can stock up on all of your grocery items that you need for the week.
Don't expect to find any low-fat fare on Sarah's Market and Cafe's menu — you'll need to be prepared to indulge a bit.
Feeling hungry? Heat up a tasty and affordable TV dinner from here and enjoy the convenience of a quick meal.
For that late night at the office or a last-minute change of plans, this frozen food is both scrumptious and convenient for your schedule.
Fill up your home pantry with these great canned food options and keep your basic items in stock.
Whether you're a double shot of espresso or a jasmine tea, this place has you covered.
Pick up some noodles from Sarah's Market and Cafe and create a tasty pasta dish for lunch or dinner.
When you're looking for a little tart flavor to add to your meal, you'll want to grab some vinegar. For something a little more savory, that definitely calls for oil. When you shop here, you can stock up on either to ensure your food is tart and savory in equal measures.
Stay healthy on the regular with the produce available here. It's super fresh and can be used with any meal.
If milk is your go-to beverage, you'll love the dairy products available here (great for strengthening your bones and teeth).
If you always seem to have one foot out the door, breakfast can be tricky. For a quick and easy solution, a box of cereal is right up your alley.
A healthy and light snack from Sarah's Market and Cafe is a great way to keep your energy up throughout the day.
When you get that craving for chocolate chip cookies, pick up the ingredients here.
Go under the sea with a few fresh catches, and enjoy a meal rich in protein and flavor.
Water junkies can get their gulp on with a swig from Sarah's Market and Cafe.
Need something quick for lunch or dinner? Stop by Sarah's Market and Cafe and pick up a sandwich for the road.
Feeling hungry? Make your breakfast, lunch, or dinner even better with some great seasonings and spices from here.
You'll want to taste the exquisite meats available at this location.
Pick up a loaf of bread from Sarah's Market and Cafe and get creative with your breakfast, lunch and dinner meal planning.
The drinks available here are a great way to restore your body's natural balance, so start sipping.
You can leave your car curbside with nearby street parking.
Make sure your cabinets and drawers are filled with only the best food when you shop the shelves at Sarah's Market and Cafe.
City Table: A User’s Guide
New American | Casual Atmosphere | Craft Cocktails | Weekend Brunch
Sample Dinner Menu
To start: locally sourced oysters served with pickled shallots and cocktail sauce
Main: pan-seared filet mignon with bacon-wrapped asparagus and crispy onion strings
Dessert: chocolate-caramel tart with peppermint whipped cream
Cool Hand Cuke martini: Crop Organic cucumber vodka, blackberries, lemon juice, champagne float
P/C Southside: Beefeater gin, cucumber, mint, pomegranate and lime juice
Sazerac: rye whiskey, Peychaud's Bitters, simple syrup, lemon zest
Where to Sit: The restaurant has tall windows that let in lots of natural light, but they don’t provide much in the way of views. A rather more entertaining backdrop for wine lovers is the two large, extensively stocked wine cabinets.
When to Go: Weekend brunch provides a delicious alternate menu featuring food and drinks seldom seen on weekdays. Take your pick from bloody marys, mimosas, and dishes like buttermilk blueberry pancakes and duck-confit hash.
Executive Chef Sean MacAlpine was once private chef to Italy’s elite on a privately chartered yacht that cruised the Mediterranean.
The restaurant participates in Dine-Out Boston, a biannual event held in March and August. For two weeks each month, it offers a three-course meal for $33.
While You’re in the Neighborhood: Take a stroll through the Fens and visit the Fenway Victory Gardens, located less than 1 mile away off Boylston Street. They’re the last of the original victory gardens created nationwide during World War II, and the 7.5-acre plot is currently home to more than 500 gardens tended by green thumbs from the community.
Harvest: User's Guide
Modern New England Cuisine | Date-Night Romance | Nationally Praised
Raw bar: oyster of the day with champagne-mignonette and cocktail sauce
Appetizer: spiced-carrot tortellini with double-smoked bacon
Entree: beef tenderloin with smoked carrot, asparagus, potatoes, and herb jus
Side: macaroni and cheese with smoked gouda and lobster
Dessert: Taza Chocolate crémeux with housemade sea salt and salted caramel
Where to sit: The secluded garden patio is so idyllic it “provokes daydreams,” according to Boston magazine.
While You’re Waiting: Count the number of famous chefs Harvest has nurtured over the last four decades: Lydia Shire, Chris Schlesinger, Barbara Lynch, and Frank McClelland, to name a few.
Inside Tips: Be sure to save room for what the Improper Bostonian deemed the city's best desserts. They're dreamt up by Brian Mercury, one of
Food & Wine magazine’s Best New Pastry Chefs of 2013.
While You’re in the Neighborhood
Before: Lose yourself in Harvard Book Store’s (1256 Massachusetts Avenue) smartly curated selection—you might even witness a reading from a literary celeb.
After: Tuck in for a concert at Club Passim (47 Palmer Street); on any given night, the nonprofit venue is a grab bag of Americana, singer-songwriters, and world music.
If You Can’t Make It, Try: Grill 23 & Bar (161 Berkeley Street) or Post 390 (406 Stuart Street), both high-end Boston eateries managed by Harvest’s operator: Himmel Hospitality Group.
All Star Pizza Bar: A User’s Guide
Brick-Oven Pizza | Unconventional Toppings | Vegan Specialties | PBR Buckets | Funky Decor
Chef specialty pizza: Atomic Meatloaf Meltdown with white sauce, jack and mozzarella cheeses, meatloaf, red-onion jam, and hot sauce
Build-your-own pizza toppings: duck confit, applewood-smoked bacon, jerk-roasted jackfruit, pickled fresno chiles, and many, many more
Who to Bring: friends. The pizzas come in one size—16 inches—and the colorful walls and casual space beg for the company of friends and beer.
According to The Boston Globe, “Our research shows three people per pizza along with a bucket of PBR makes a fine meal.
Order your pizza well-done to get the most crisp out of the brick-oven-baked crust.
If you can’t manage a whole pie, don’t fret. Select slices are also available everyday.
What Boston Magazine Said: “...16 inches of pure bliss, more than enough for two with a couple of slices for cold leftovers later on. (Cold leftovers passed the test, an important merit for any great pizza).”
Comparative Taste-Testing: Fans of sister-shop All Star Sandwich Bar can see how its popular Atomic Meatloaf Meltdown sandwich plays out in pizza form.
In Boston, a sunny day is not complete without a delicious meal or cocktail on the patio. Of course, man’s best friend loves the warm weather as well, but not every place allows pooches to hang out with the patrons. Here are three spots that have their welcome mats and doggie treats ready to go.
The Terrace at Tamo Bistro & Bar | 1 Seaport Ln.
All summer long, the Seaport Hotel’s Tamo Terrace welcomes furry friends for Cocktails and Canines, held on Wednesdays through August from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. They roll out the red carpet with plenty of fresh and organic dog treats, plus a delightful selection of human-only cocktails.
The Yard at the Liberty Hotel | 215 Charles St.
The Yard at the Liberty Hotel hosts Yappier Hour every Wednesday night from April through October. From 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., enjoy a cocktail from the full bar while your dog sips a pup-tini. A snack menu from Clink seals the deal, though the comfy couches certainly don’t hurt.
Flour Bakery + Cafe | 1595 Washington St.
Of course, it’s easy enough to create your own puppy picnic by taking advantage of the patio spaces all around Boston. Start the day off right with a latte and a sticky bun at the South End location of Flour, where dogs can sun out on the patio.
Still hungry? Check out Groupon’s latest deals on restaurants in Boston.
This article is part of Amanda Maguire’s Vegan Guide to Boston, which profiles Boston’s best vegan products and businesses.
One of the biggest concerns in going vegan is the prospect of having to give up your favorite comfort foods: the baked macaroni and cheese, the burgers with all the toppings, the old-fashioned milk shakes too thick to drink with a straw.
Fear not, because Veggie Galaxy Diner & Vegan Bakery (450 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge) has you covered. Owned by Adam Penn, Veggie Galaxy serves up plant-based meals that will take you right back to your childhood. Well, assuming your childhood included delicious meals made from scratch, right down to the burger buns and ketchup. I paid a visit to Veggie Galaxy to chat with Penn about his epic diner food and what makes it so noteworthy.
GROUPON: What is Veggie Galaxy's best-selling menu item?
ADAM PENN: Our best-selling item since the beginning has been the Kendall Square Burger.
[Editor’s note: It’s a black-bean or mushroom-chickpea burger topped with beer-battered onion rings, roasted red pepper purée, roasted garlic mayo, and baby arugula.]
G: Could you tell us a little about the inspiration behind this dish and whether you initially expected it to be so popular?
AP: As a vegetarian/vegan diner, we knew from the beginning that there would always be some tension regarding … healthy food versus traditional comfort food. The Kendall Burger, topped with giant deep-fried onion rings, was our nod to the comfort food side of things, and it quickly became clear that that's what most of our customers are looking for. We still try to provide some healthy options as well, but most of our customers come to us because we're first and foremost a diner.
G: Are there any new menu additions you're particularly excited about? I noticed you offer Blue Plate Specials each week.
AP: Our most recent weekly Blue Plate Special is vegan chicken and waffles. It [was] a customer request a while back, and we finally got around to doing it. It's been more popular than we even imagined, so we extended it to a second week and are now planning to put it on our late-night menu. … We also recently added a Meatless Monday meatball sub, which is one of my personal favorites.
G: What makes Veggie Galaxy's food taste like home?
AP: Pretty much everything is prepared from scratch, including items that people at home would normally just buy from the grocery store, like our condiments, our seitan, and our burger buns. So, in our opinion, it's better than home.
G: Why did you opt to go plant-based with your menu and strictly vegan with your baked goods?
AP: The reasons for going vegetarian and vegan are pretty well known at this point, and it's not something we like to preach about. We're providing vegetarians and vegans the opportunity to enjoy classic diner foods without the meat. While we do have dairy and eggs on the menu, pretty much anything can be made vegan. We wanted to make sure vegans could enjoy our desserts, too, so we left the eggs and dairy out of those altogether.
G: What has been your best moment as a business owner at Veggie Galaxy?
AP: I don't know if I can point to one best moment. When we have a full dining room of happy customers, I can look back on all the effort that has been put in to get to this point and feel content in knowing that we're doing exactly what we set out to do.
G: When you're not making french toast stuffed with vanilla-nut vegan cream cheese, grilled corned-beef seitan reubens, and lemon meringue pie (my personal favorite), what are you cooking at home?
AP: Neither my wife nor I are really cooks. When we do cook, we keep it simple—herbed roasted vegetables over couscous is a favorite. I'm personally a big fan of pasta, so pasta and veggie meatballs are a favorite of mine. Though I have to admit that at home, as opposed to at the restaurant, we just buy the meatballs from the store.
Still hungry? Check out Groupon’s latest deals on vegetarian restaurants in Boston.
Photos: Aaron Scott
Though it had one of the quietest openings in recent history, Korean restaurant Seoul (156 Cambridge St.) is already making a name for itself. Its extensive menu of traditional Korean cuisine makes it a rarity for the area and a welcome addition to Beacon Hill.
Seoul has taken over the the space where Ma Soba used to be, and the owners obviously knew that major changes to the interior were just not needed. Still, the space somehow appears even larger than it did before, especially with floor-to-ceiling windows that push out to let in pleasant summer breezes. The decor is fresh and minimal, which keeps the spotlight on the food and its intricate flavors.
Seoul’s menu is divided into standard categories of appetizers and entrees, but it is written primarily in Korean with only the dish names translated into English. Luckily, the friendly, attentive servers are adept at guiding patrons through the menu and the different options available for each dish. To further customize each plate, banchan—a collection of small condiments—are delivered to each table and rotate for variety. My personal favorite was the kimchi, whose perfect blend of spice and tangy vinegar made it a great accompaniment to the already flavorful dishes.
To start, I had the scallion pancake, which was absolutely fantastic. Served on a cast-iron dish sizzling with heat, it was browned to perfection and chock-full of scallions for maximum flavor. The cake itself was light and not greasy despite its sizzle. The exterior was crunchy, while the insides were bursting with light onion flavor and gentle heat from the spicy kimchi that I elected to add. Personalization may be one of the best parts of this dish—you have the option to add different proteins or extra spice, if you so desire. I wanted to eat every single bite of this, and it’s enormous.
The japche quickly became another of my favorites here: vermicelli is stir-fried with lots of vegetables, soy sauce, and a bit of sweetness—and, in my case once again, some extra heat (though diners can also request it mild). As a spice lover, I thought it could have been a tad hotter, but it had a great kick that mingled with the umami and sweet flavors. The noodles were perfectly cooked and held the sauce well, whereas the vegetables and chicken (beef, tofu and seafood are also available) added textural contrasts to complete the dish.
With its large menu of traditional, customizable dishes, Seoul has been making its mark on the Boston restaurant scene as the new go-to spot for Korean food. Though it’s definitely still stretching its legs, I see great things for Seoul.
Fiona’s rating: 3.5/5 stars
Good for: date night, family dinner, lunch, spice lovers, adventurous eaters
Alcohol: beer and wine only
Outdoor seating: no
Photos by Fiona Coxe