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Christopher's – "Where Everybody Knows Your Name"

Not since early adolescence had this many hopes and dreams come to fruition in one evening. Okay, this might be a slight exaggeration, but let us try to explain the excitement that we and our significant others shared at our dinner at Christopher’s (1920 Mass Ave, Porter Square 617-876-9180).

Upon arrival, our party received immediate attention, despite running over a half hour late for our reservation. We skipped the entire line, without having to don black pants or fork over a twenty. We were whisked to the best seat in the house just like Henry Hill in Goodfellas (albeit without going through the kitchen), without dropping the much-heralded but unproven “H-bomb”. And, the bill was picked up for us, even though mom and dad were nowhere in sight. Ahhh…the life of a food critic. Not a bad gig at all.

Now before you scour the Internet checking to see if the Sarbanes-Oxley Act requirements were properly followed, relax. This is an honest, independent and unbiased review. We are not receiving any “consulting fees”, there are no special purpose entities, nor do we own any equity.

You can trust us – we were investment bankers – our word is our bond.

But we digress…

Christopher’s has been in operation since 1981, which says a lot by itself. Their mission is to “bring you the most natural, wholesome, and healthful foods they can find.” That’s straight from the menu, but don’t be fooled – “Burgahs” are Christopher’s specialty, and the menu is broad enough to satisfy the pickiest of vegetarians and carnivores alike. The variety on our table alone spanned Italian, Seafood, Creole and American cuisines.

There are also weekly specials, and for the vino-challenged among us, they recommend a wine for each special.

When you arrive at Christopher’s, the outside conjures images of an old Irish pub: hanging flowerpots, bright paints, and simple stylings. On the inside, the atmosphere is welcoming and comfortable, like an old tee shirt. The lighting is dark enough to hide any clothing stains or wrinkles, but not too dark that you can’t see the person opposite you. The wine list is comprehensive and the beers feature numerous local breweries including Tremont Ale and Cambridge Pale Ale.

We started our feast with an avocado quesadilla, a unique dish that was delicious. We washed that down with nachos smothered in goat cheese, mozzarella and sun-dried tomatoes, aptly named “Yuppie Nachos”.

When the entrees arrived we were impressed at the effort put into presentation and pleased with the food. The tuna, jumbalaya and ravioli specials were all very good; however, the burger was extraordinarily average. Fortunately, we saved enough room for dessert, and Christopher’s did not disappoint. If you go, the fudge nut brownie sundae and the fruit crisp are both musts!

Alas, after our great dinner, the proverbial clock struck midnight, and we turned back into poor, jobless EC’s. But each couple was fat, happy and ready for the impending food coma to set in.

Our suggestion – check out Christopher’s if you’re looking for some good food and atmosphere at a decent price or a respite from the usual Harvard Square haunts. It’s well worth it.

And tell them you read the Harbus review, or better yet, tell them you’re writing one!

October 28, 2002
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