The "Lunch in Harvard Square" Blog - Restaurant Reviews

Since starting to work in the Square in mid-August, I'm trying to eat lunch at a new restaurant every day until I can't find any more. Here's my list of the Top Ten Lunch Restaurants in Harvard Square (Food Only). Got a suggestion on a new lunch spot for me? New Restaurants to Try in Harvard Square.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007


80. 1-3 Conundrum 56 JFK Street (down a narrow alley, where Iruna used to be). Summary: Funky space, attentive service, empty, good food, a bit pricey.

Conundrum was in trouble with me, because I loved the former occupants of their space, the Spanish restaurant Iruna. Iruna was the classic Harvard Square bistro, similar to Cafe Pamplona - tiny space, decent food, lots of atmosphere, low prices. I miss Iruna. (Funny, you can still see the name "Iruna" on the back of the gate you walk under to enter the alley.)

And, I hate the name Conundrum. It doesn't say anything, except maybe that the owner is a bit pretentious (not many people use the word conundrum, I don't think). It certainly doesn't say anything about the restaurant.

The space is slightly fancier than when Iruna was there. There's now a bar in the first room as you walk in; the dining area is to your right. When Tom and I arrived, there were two other people eating; when we left, only two other people had arrived. Not a good sign.

The waiter was friendly and knowledgeable. He recommended the crab cakes as an appetizer, which were a bit odd - served on a cabbage vegetable spring roll, which I thought was not a good match for the crabcake. I found the crabcake a bit mushy as well, perhaps from the cabbage.

I had a chicken sandwich with salad for an entre, which I enjoyed very much - nicely cooked, still juicy inside. Tom had a California Club sandwich, which he enjoyed, but he learned after ordering that there was no avocado available. Kind of hard to call it "Californian" without the avocado, I think. That was a major goof by the kitchen.

Price was $45 including tip for two. Too much money for only good, not great, food. And a bad name too boot!


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