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Restaurant Review – Basta Pasta

If you are anything like me there is something in you that desires to get more than you bargained for when it comes to purchasing things, especially when it comes to food. As a graduate student with a budget to maintain I long to find good meals for a reasonable price, Basta Pasta has full servings of both.

For those that do not know, Basta Pasta is a short stroll down the street from Campus, directly on Western Avenue-just a few blocks over the bridge. The restaurant only boasts a few tables, and it is often packed with students and off-duty police officers who do not seem to mind waiting for people to finish eating or to take out their meals home.

For lunch the paninis are hard to beat, the ingredients and care in preparing the sandwich hard to beat. If you are not sure which Panini to get first, you may want to give the hearty chicken pesto Panini a go, it comes with mozzarella, but substituting feta cheese gives it a little more character, especially if you pick up a side of marinara to go along with the panini. The paninis are great for lunch meetings with friends, and they often seem too large to finish in one sitting.

For dinner, it is hard to go wrong with any choice on the menu, but be careful this also means that it’s easy to get set in one’s way and stuck on one menu item. The pizzas are a nice touch if you really like fresh ingredients or want a nice size pizza, however there is something missing in the pizza sauce seasoning that keeps their pizza from being the crown jewel of the establishment. Don’t get me wrong its way better than delivery and I am sure that they will get it just right before too long.

Now I’ve talked about paninis and pizza but where Basta Pasta really shines through is its pasta. Whether you get chicken and broccoli with penne, garlic, and oil or Pasta Bolognese, what you get is a meal that feels like it was made with the warmth of home. You can look in over the counter and see your food being made over the course of ten to fifteen minutes, and somehow the times flies, mostly because it is hard not to feel at home in Basta Pasta. The staff and chefs treat you like a neighborhood friend and if you drop by I’m pretty sure that you will not be disappointed.until you learn that they don’t deliver.

Convenience aside, this is one of the few great places which is affordable, with most entrees priced below $10, that also takes debit and credit cards. So feel free to bring Cash or Credit as they take both, and if you are anything like me you’ll be right at home as a regular at Basta Pasta. If you are in a rush, calling ahead is not a bad idea, and you should also know that the restaurant is Zagat rated, not bad for a quick trip down Western Avenue. Also be sure to take a look around to see what the dinner specials of the day are, and if you are in doubt about what to try ask the chef!

Basta Pasta Trattoria
319 Western Ave.
Cambridge, MA
617-576-6672
www.bastapastacambridge.com

January 16, 2007
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