169 Harvard St, Cambridge; (617) 661-3910
Doesn’t sound like it, but this place serves up Comidas Criollas native Puerto Rican dinners.When you walk into this homey, out-of-the-way neighborhood joint, the menu over the counter is bewildering over a hundred choices. Yes, there are subs, some of which are unusual (fajita subs); you’ll also see items that aren’t found at too many other places. Looking for some plantain ($1.50), that sweet, deep-fried banana? Have a taste for tripe soup ($2.75 a cup)? They’re done to perfection here.
Meanwhile, you can get a full dinner for around five bucks. Combination plates start off with black or red beans, rice, and salad, to which you may add fried ribs (for $5.75); a pair of pork chops ($6); chicken or beef fajitas ($5.25); and more. Or put it all together with the hearty Montanero Plate ($7): rice, beans, salad, steak, fried pork, fried egg, and plantain. Wash your meal down with one of the many interesting choices in the refrigerator case, like a non-alcoholic malt beverage or a bottle of pineapple soda.
There are ten tables or so, many decorated under their glass tops with postcards of Puerto Rico, for further atmosphere. The place fills up at the dinner hour, and so Izzy’s also does a substantial take-out business. Either way, it’s an experience. Closed Sundays.