Though an American flag hangs at the door, it is clear upon arrival that Izzy’s is not a typical American eatery. Fast-paced calypso music and conversations in Spanish are among the first sounds you hear when you enter this cozy, colorful eat-in or take-out restaurant. The numerous Puerto Rican flags, pictures of Latino sports stars, and culturally inspired menu all say that a piece of Puerto Rico has been recreated in Cambridge.
Daily specials ($5.95–$6.50), such as tasty stewed goat, oxtail, steak in sauce, and stewed chicken, are served in hearty portions with rice (white or yellow), beans, and salad or plantains (sweet or fried). Combination platters, which come with rice, beans, and salad or a choice of two items (choose from plantains, cassava, French fries, soup, or salad) range from $4.50 for a chicken leg to $7.75 for breaded steak. Other savory combination platters include pork chops ($6.75), a fried-pork meal ($6.25), and a fried-shrimp meal ($7.50). To complete the experience, wash down your food with ginger beer (a spicy soda) or one of a variety of Caribbean colas ($1), all popular in most Caribbean countries.
If for a moment you forget you are in Cambridge, the multicultural menu will recall Izzy’s US location. Though it specializes in comidas criollas (Puerto Rican food), Izzy’s has many choices for those who would rather stick to the norm. So if plantains and goat meat aren’t for you, Izzy’s features a large assortment of subs, including hamburger ($2.65 small/$4.25 large), steak bomb ($3.95/$4.75), and steak and cheese ($3.75/$4.75). Izzy’s also has a selection of soups and salads. With its large portions, diverse choices, and family atmosphere, it’s no wonder so many patrons swear by Izzy’s.
Izzy’s Restaurant and Sub Shop, located at 169 Harvard Street, in Cambridge, is open Monday though Friday, from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., and Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Call (617) 661-3910.