The Boston Phoenix
December 9 - 16, 1999

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Plough & Stars

Pub lunch par excellence

by John Buntin

For the past several months, Jim Seery, a long-time line cook at the Blue Room, has been running a one-man lunch operation at the Plough & Stars, the appealing pub between Harvard and Central Squares. This is pub food par excellence. Fennel-crusted pork with mashed red potatoes and sautéed green beans ($7) is perfect comfort food for a melancholy winter day, and a typical Seery dish. And where else in Cambridge can you find baked haddock with saffron risotto for $7?

Unfortunately, if you don't eat meat you can't share in the fun. Pasta primavera, that hoary fallback for a chef confronting a vegetarian, is a real step down from the squid and shrimp on linguine ($7). The mesclun salad and the soup of the day, however, can offer an out.

The Plough & Stars' menu changes at least every other day, with one constant: the Cuban sandwich ($7). "It's the best Cuban sandwich you've ever had," my waitress declared with supreme confidence. In my case, she was right. The thick sourdough crust was a bit unorthodox (and might have benefited from a little more time in the plancha), but the overall effect of the roasted pork, ham, and pickles was delicious. Pretty good for 1500 miles north of Miami.

The Plough & Stars, located at 912 Mass Ave, in Cambridge, serves lunch Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Call (617) 492-9653.

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