Greenhouse Cafe, Harvard Science Center
62. 11-28 Greenhouse Cafe, Harvard Science Center (Oxford Street). Summary: Decent value, variety, mixed reviews on food quality.
First of all, what's with the name? The Greenhouse Cafe has been in the heart of Harvard Square forever. It's a bit weird that Harvard allowed another eating place on its premises with the same name - and I think it's owned by Harvard too. Given that Harvard is trying to police money-making uses of its own name, you'd think it would respect other companies' names as well.
Eating at Harvard's Greenhouse Cafe is an experience, given that probably 80-90% of the customers are Harvard people - mostly students, I think. They don't accept credit cards, but do accept Harvard debit cards, along with cash. So if you're looking to rub elbows with "real" Harvard people, this is the place. And I verified that you don't have to be affiliated with Harvard to eat here. There is ample seating but it's still crowded.
As for the food, our group was mixed. Rob seemed most happy with his tortilla-wrapped sensation - lots of salad-type stuff crammed in. Good value and good food. I had a chicken burrito, and was unhappily surprise when I was directed to pre-made ones sitting under heat lamps. I want my burrito made in front of me! You don't know what's in the sitting ones, nor how long they've been there. And I asked for guacamole to be added, which was an option on the board - but I was directed to get that from the salad-making area, where there was a line and an extra $1.50 charge for a small plastic container of guacamole. Rob did this for me, and I then had to unroll my burrito and add the guacamole - not my kind of service. And finally the burrito only tasted OK, I thought. (FYI, Tom had the same thing, minus the guacamole, and enjoyed it.)
Casey found the pizza a "good value" but commented that the sauce was similar to ketchup. Yuck. Jennifer had tuna and found it "pre-made."
So this place isn't going on the top of the list, thought I might follow Rob's lead and try the salad bar. About $7 per person.