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Restaurant Review: Campo de Fiori

With six weeks left in my first year, the hunt for the “go-to” dive is on. (the “go-to” dive is the spot where you know you can get a good, reasonably priced, hassle-free, meal on your way to wherever your evening takes you).

With the help of the longest winter in my life, Spangler captured the majority of my dining budget – until this week. The snow is gone, the wind across the foot-bridge has subsided, and the sun is out; campus dining is over.

I have pledged to end the year with a “go-to” dive in my back pocket for every night of the week. This week we hit a Tuesday spot – Campo de Fiori.

Campo de Fiori is randomly situated in the passageway of the Holyoke Center (between Mt Auburn and Mass Ave, next to the HUHS pharmacy, and on your way to Au Bon Pain) is the best casual Italian dining (read: take-out) in Cambridge.

The menu on the wall starts with a long list of thin-crust rectangular pizzas. Prosciutto, spinach, sausage, fresh mozzarella, portobello mushrooms, fresh tomatoes, and a litany of other gourmet toppings, dot the top of light and crispy pizzas. Sandwiches come with similar ingredients between paper thin, crispy, focaccia bread. Both are light, tasty, and under $7.

Two salads and two soups complement the menu and can be combined with either pizza or a sandwich for the gourmet Italian meal deal.

It is easy to let the menu overwhelm you. Adding to your indecision are brightly colored index cards taped to the register with the special pizzas and sandwiches of the day; for a small fee they will gladly add anything you want to either.

Thankfully, they regularly put a basket of piping hot rosemary focaccia on the counter to provide tasty sustenance to get you through the decision making process. Regardless of what you order, you can walk away from the counter for under $10.

There are several seating options. Inside the foyer/passageway are tables which are ideal for the cold-blooded, the starving, or those who simply prefer to eat inside. Being deprived of sun and fresh air, I prefer to squat at one of the Au Bon Pain tables on Mass Ave. A third option is to get it to-go and walk the eight minutes back to campus.

Whatever you order, wherever you eat it, it is worth the trip across the footbridge.

Campo de Fiori
Harvard Square
1350 Massachusetts Ave. (Behind Au Bon Pain in the Holyoke Center)
Cambridge, MA 02138
617.354.3805

Hours
Mon -Fri 11am to 8pm
Sat 11am to 6 pm

April 11, 2005
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