Friday, July 15, 2011

Come to Cambridge!

I love where I live. Which is why, when our building was sold and our rent went up $600, I knew I would figure out a way to make it work. (I also don't want to move until I know I'll be there for a long, long while.) So to better keep track of all the reasons I love Cambridge, I'm going to start sharing some of my favorite spots around town. First stop is the best pizza place, and it's less than a block away! You'd never guess that it has such kick-ass pizza from the name, though, which makes it all the more a neighborhood secret.

City Girl Cafe is adorable. It's in an unassuming commercial duplex on Hampshire Street in Inman Square. Ever since my first visit over a year ago, the sight of its red awning makes my mouth water. On days when I don't feel like cooking, City Girl is my first pick. I've gone on some dates here, celebrated birthdays, and had ladies' nights that start off with pizza and homemade sangria. Meg and I are some of their hardcore fan girls, and they seem to know our faces by now.
Mike and I try not to eat out too much, but every once in a while we splurge and this is always my first pick. I took him there one night after he came into town to help me move into my new room. They have an extensive and delicious menu (luckily my friends are big sharers), but I can't get away from ordering a pizza and a caesar salad. Okay, stop right there. This isn't your run-of-the-mill caesar salad. Since CG serves sandwiches on some delicious bread, they turn extra bread into huge and delicious croutons, then they throw it together with fresh romaine, fresh parmesan cheese, and seriously the best caesar dressing I've ever had. The salad is pretty big, so it's ideal to share with people without getting territorial and breaking up friendships over someone eating too much. Try it and you'll understand.
I've been to CG for brunch once, and I was not disappointed. Their portions are generous, so sharing is a great option. The coffee was good, and I was able to bring half the meal home for Mike. Jenna and Ron had the french toast and the goat cheese, bacon, and caramelized onion egg sandwich, which were both delicious. I had the verde, and the pesto tasted fresh and the home fries were so good and the perfect amount of crispy.

Perhaps my favorite part of the place is its cozy-nook feel. In the winter, it's always nice to slip inside for a warm meal, a cold beer, and a break from the ridiculous cold. The decor is charming and unique, and the whole place has an intimate feel without being cramped. It's a small space, but I've gone with several big groups (between 7-10 people) and they've never batted an eye at us. The staff is so accommodating and sweet! I can't gush enough about this place.

So, here's the lowdown.
What's my wallet going to say? This place is very affordable. Daily specials are written on the chalkboard wall (which I love). Prices range from $7 to about $15. The pizzas are big enough to share or wrap up for lunch the next day (my favorite thing to do). If you ask nicely, sometimes they'll cut their big salads in half to make them more one-person friendly.
What should I order? THE PIZZA AND THE CAESAR SALAD. Seriously, were you not listening? I've heard great things about everything on their menu, but I'd suggest going straight for their specialties: Pastas and pizza. Their sandwiches are inventive, but get your money's worth by trying out a specialty lasagna or build your own pizza. Guh, just keep going back until you've had everything.
What's the drink situation? They serve wine and beer, sangria, and a rosemary adult lemonade. They also have coffee, espresso, and tea. The beer seems to be the best deal, and you can always get a Peroni for $3 (a preferred alternative to PBR, IMHO). Or drink some of Cambridge's real good water.
Dessert? If you have room, I'd suggest heading to Cambridge Street for Christinia's homemade ice cream (post to come!). City Girl does its savory thing best, and I'd recommend taking a walk somewhere nearby to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Accessibility, etc. There are two steps up into the restaurant, so I'm not entirely sure about wheelchair accessibility. It is a small space, so bring your fold-up stroller or sit by the window to keep an eye on it. There is a bathroom in the back, but there is no sink (only hand sanitizer) so if that kind of thing grosses you out, use the bathroom and wash your hands before you go.

Have you ever been to City Girl Cafe? What'd you think?

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