313 Massachusetts Ave Cambridge; (617)491-1988
Formerly known as Mom’s Kitchen, this little coffee shop has been passed down to chefs Joanie and Rosemarie, who’ve spruced up both the dowdy decor and the menu. Now, you can find sandwiches like Cranberry Chutney Delight, a turkey sandwich with zing, for $4.95 (or $3.35 for a half), among the two dozen options.
Everything is made on the premises, and it all shows a personal touch. Oh sure, you can get basic sandwiches and salads. A cup of soup and half a sandwich will only set you back $4.95. But a bowl of, say, gazpacho (only $2.35) may surprise the unwary made with ingredients like diced jalapeno peppers.
Breakfasts stay on the more traditional side. $3.95 will get you two eggs, corned beef hash, toast, home fries, and coffee. And there’s a whole wall of freshly baked apple strudel, plump muffins for 950 (maple oat, double chocolate chip ), and more.
With it all, you’re sure to get a smile from the friendly proprietors. Order at the far end of the counter, and find a table. The joint feels strictly blue-collar; but, located just millimeters from the M.I.T. campus, the conversation overheard is as likely to be about thermodynamics as about the Sox. The hours are a holdover from Mom’s: The place is only open from 6 A.M. to 3 P.M. on weekdays, Saturdays from 8 A M. to 2 P.M. And weekends disappear entirely during summer.