The Boston Phoenix
April 6 - 13, 2000

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Joe Sent Me

Eat easy, drink easy, speakeasy

by Mike Miliard

on the cheap
  • Celia's, March 30
  • Palenque, March 23
  • Irish Embassy, March 16
  • The sign out front says EAT * BEER. They don't mince words at Joe Sent Me, and you'll probably be too busy munching on huge burgers and guzzling pints of Sam Adams to do much talking anyway. This corner bar, which has been open less than a year, has a '20s and '30s speakeasy theme that fits the back-to-basics menu of munchies and 10-ounce burgers. "Joe Frazier's Blackened Blue" is a Cajun-spiced number topped with blue cheese; "Joe'seppe's North Ender" has onions, peppers, and mushrooms. Both are $6.50. The bar snacks are custom-matched to cold beer: try Bazooka Joe's fried pickles ($5) -- a plate of warm kosher spears embedded in golden-fried batter -- or "Joe Cousteau's Crispy Calamari" ($6.50).

    This being the People's Republic, there are also vegetarian dishes, such as "Josephina's Fresh Veggie Plate" and "Mean Joe Green's House Salad." Hard-livin' Dean Martin, grinning down from the wall, might not approve, but he'd feel right at home among the couches, classic beer signs, and other old-timey kitsch (be sure to notice the bitchin' Budweiser lamp). It feels like a secret swinging bachelor pad. Check it out. And tell 'em Mike sent ya.

    Joe Sent Me, at 2390 Mass Ave, in North Cambridge, is open Monday through Thursday from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m., and Friday through Sunday from noon to 1 a.m. Call (617) 492-1116.

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