Scout Archives: 2017 is Already Big for Cambridge’s Culinary Scene

paguCroquetas de bacalao at PAGU, now open in Central Square. Photo by Matt Li.

For the last days of June we’re going to share our favorite stories and pictures from Scout’s decade of local reporting. We need you to share those stories alongside your favorites. And then we need you to stand for Scout by becoming a member. Here’s one from January 6th, 2017!

Hungry for something new? You’re in luck. We’re less than a week into the new year, but already several highly anticipated eateries have opened their doors here in Cambridge—and a certain long-awaited cheesy collaboration will make its debut by the end of the month.

310 Mass. Ave.
Opened: January 3
Hours: 5 – 11 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, all day hours coming soon
“A lot of the menu [at PAGU] is based off of nostalgia. It’s more of a narrative of my personal experiences,” PAGU chef-owner Tracy Chang told us in October. “These flavors transport me to a time and a place, and I hope we can recreate that nostalgic experience for people at PAGU—that when they taste these dishes for the first time, either they evoke emotions and memories from other people’s experiences … or perhaps solidify new ones that are rooted in PAGU.” You can now set about creating those memories for yourself at her playful, personal Central Square eatery, where she’s serving squid ink oyster bao, a smoky cheese wafflato and the croquetas pictured above.

east coast grill

“Hell Night” took on a whole new meaning when East Coast Grill announced it was closing last year.

East Coast Grill
1271 Cambridge St.
Opened: January 2
Hours: 5 – 11 p.m. nightly, bar open until 1 a.m.
Last year was a real roller coaster for fans of East Coast Grill, the one-of-a-kind Inman Square staple that spiced up the city for more than three decades. The restaurant closed on January 23 with a final “Hell Night,” the infamous events that brought patrons the hottest food they could handle (and once resulted in a call to 911). But in April, Highland Kitchen’s Mark Romano announced that he’d be taking over the space and bringing it back. East Coast Grill is officially up and running—and Romano isn’t the only familiar face. Boston Magazine reports that the cocktail program was designed by none other than Highland Kitchen’s beloved bartender (and frequent Scout’s Honored winner) Joe McGuirk.


Loukomades—those are Greek donuts—at Saloniki. Photo by Ken Rivard.

Saloniki Greek
181 Mass. Ave., in the ground floor of the Novartis building
Opened: January 2—though it was sneakily open just before the new year
Hours: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. daily
The second outpost for Saloniki, the much-loved purveyor of pita that opened in the Fenway in March 2016, is now dishing out spicy lamb meatballs and more in Central Square. Take a look inside the brand new space via Eater Boston, then head on down for zucchini fritters and other fast-casual Greek fare. And be sure to check back once the weather warms—Eater also reports that beer, wine and patio seating are on the way this spring, along with an app that’ll make ordering as quick and painless as possible.


“The games are coming…” A4cade promised on Facebook.

COMING SOON: A4cade By Area Four

292 Mass. Ave.
Opening: By the end of this month
Grilled cheese, burgers, poutine, tots and classic arcade games? Yeah, to say we’ve been anxiously awaiting the practically too-good-to-be-true collab between Roxy’s Grilled Cheese and Area Four Pizza is an understatement, if ever there was one. Eater Boston reported earlier this week that the soon to be Central Square favorite will open by the end of January, which means you’re so close to being able to enjoy a double-fried, buttermilk-brined chicken sandwich while you play pinball.