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Two Middling Reviews for Beat Hotel

Photos: Jack Bardy (upper left); Mike Diskin (the other three)

The "genuine, warm, and alive" Harvard Square newcomer Beat Hôtel receives one and a half of four stars from the Globe's Devra First. Rebecca Newell's "wide-ranging" menu "appears dictated by the appetites of a stoned gourmand." Dishes like swordfish tortillas, lamb nachos, and spare ribs are "crowd pleasers," but inconsistent cooking (a burger ordered medium "arrives a tick past raw," but skirt steak is "overcooked") hurts the critic's overall rating. Desserts probably didn't help the rating either — they are "just fine and completely unmemorable." Nonetheless, with its live music and decor, it does "feel right for the neighborhood today." [BG]

Nachos are a recurring theme in this week's Globe reviews, as the Cheap Eats column goes to Brighton's La Catrina Fonda, where "every detail matters." Those nachos (with "multiple layers of three types of cheese — Monterey Jack, pepper Jack, and ricotta") are "almost picture-worthy," says Glenn Yoder. The most popular item is La Yaqui torta — a Sonoran griddled sandwich — is "spot on," but Yoder recommends requesting it topped lightly to avoid "soggy" bread that makes it "difficult to eat." Another standout: a side of tamales.[BG]

The Improper's Donna Garlough says the "flower-child decor" at Beat Hôtel in Harvard Square "makes counterculture feel cool again," but she is not enamored with the food. Calamari ("greasy and salty") and pumpkin and lobster bisque ("full of lobster shells") are examples of where "your meal may falter." Garlough gets the feeling "make everyone happy" is the "mantra" at Beat Hôtel and wonders if "reining it in would yield more success." Like First, she also enjoyed the lamb nachos, calling them a "fantastic surprise" despite find some pieces of lamb bone. Entrees like tandoori spice halibut are "more consistent," and readers are told not to miss the seared duck breast. [Improper]

Beat Hotel

13 Brattle St, Cambridge, MA 617 449 0001 Visit Website