The Boston Phoenix
December 3 - 10, 1998

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Elephant and Castle

Fish, chips, and stock tips

On the Cheap by Liz Zack

When you get hired by a downtown investment bank, three things come with the job: guaranteed long hours, a fat paycheck, and directions to Elephant and Castle. The clientele at this English-style restaurant and pub is a virtual who's who of corporate Boston, and if you've ever wanted to meet/hit on/dine with the hordes of women who look like Ally McBeal, this is your place.

Space at the bar is scarce after work on a Wednesday or Thursday, partly because Elephant and Castle boasts 18 beers on tap, 65 bottled beers, and 22-year-old Scotch. Within its dark and spacious wood-paneled interior all vices are permitted: you can have a cigarette, puff on a cigar, and get the digits of upwardly mobile members of the opposite sex.

The surprise is that an English pub with a well-funded clientele would actually have good food for cheap. The shepherd's pie, with seasoned ground beef and mashed potatoes, is a good bet for $7.95, but even better is the hometown cooking, starting with a bowl of the creamy clam chowder ($3.95). Borrow the salt and pepper from your neighbors as an excuse to start conversation, and then splurge a little on the lobster wrap ($9.75), with big chunks of lobster inside a tangy tortilla. When you come for dinner, you'll want to buckle down for the evening, because -- who knows? -- you may be foraging through fish and chips next to the lawyer of your mother's dreams.

Elephant and Castle, located at 161 Devonshire Street, in Boston, is open Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to midnight, Friday and Saturday from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m., and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Call (617) 350-9977.

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