Welcome back to AM Intel, a round-up of mini news bites to kick off the day.
Hidden Gem Adds Coffee Shop Hours
A Cambridge haunt that serves charcuterie, cheese, pasta, wine, and more — and is hidden in the basement of the United American Veterans house by the bike path (1 Cedar St.) — starts up coffee shop service today, May 18. Swing by Upperwest on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. for breakfast or lunch, including treats like these muffins. Stick around for some wine-drinking through the afternoon (or earlier — the bar does open at 11), and then start eating lots of excellent pasta for dinner at 6 p.m.
The Longevity of Classic Restaurants
For the Boston Globe Magazine, former Globe food editor Sheryl Julian reminisces about five now-defunct classic restaurants, including Maison Robert (1971-2004): “...even the best hotels couldn’t match this mom-and-pop institution’s grace and elegance.” In a companion piece, Julian explores how restaurants manage to stay open for decades, highlighting 10 spots that have been doing something right for many years. Take Brookline’s Golden Temple, for example, which opened in 1961, featuring “strictly throwback Chinese-American.” Apparently some customers order the pork ribs (“so big and meaty you’ll gasp when they’re set down”) shipped to them all the way down in Florida.
Meanwhile, Restaurants Are Struggling in the Seaport
In the wake of Salvatore’s recent closure in the Seaport District, and as the question of the fate of the La Casa de Pedro’s location in the neighborhood continues on, the Herald takes a look at the overall restaurant scene there, finding that restaurants are paying “skyrocketing rents” and not seeing enough of a return. “We got into this space thinking it was a gold mine, that it’d generate hundreds of thousands of dollars a week, but that’s not true,” La Casa de Pedro co-owner Luis Maggioli told the Herald. Others are worried about competition and saturation of the market — especially considering that despite all the new buildings going up, it’ll still be a couple years before the expected influx of new residents will come to fruition.
Earlier this month, a fire originating at Chocho’s temporarily shuttered the Porter Exchange food court in Cambridge, which includes a number of Japanese and Korean restaurants. Most of them, including Yume Ga Arukara, have reopened by now. Chocho’s and I Love Sushi are still closed, however. While waiting for them to return, eat your way through the rest of the restaurants, from incredible udon at Yume Ga Arukara to the ramen at Sapporo. Porter Exchange is a treasure trove.
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