If you were to ask me to name my favorite pub in Cambridge, I would have a really hard time. Some places have really interesting beers, others have a unique ambiances, and yet others have fantastic food. But if I had to choose, it would come down to either my favorite nerdy pub or this place, The Plough and Stars.
"The Plough," as it is sometimes affectionately called, is located in a slightly more residential area between Harvard Square and Central Square on Mass Ave. Because of that, it definitely has the feel of a neighborhood bar.
In fact, whenever I'm in there, I swear everybody knows everybody else in that bar. It really reminds me of Cheers. Sometimes I even wish that I went more often so that they would know my name too.
So what makes The Plough so great?
Good Drinks & Great Music
The Plough has a nice selection of beers on tap (see photo above for a few examples). They even have a flight of Irish whiskeys you can try! Furthermore, they have live music every night, and sometimes even during the afternoon on a weekend! We once heard a fantastic folk/country band play on a weekend afternoon while we were having brunch. It was really enjoyable.
Food Is Important Too . . .
Of course, we don't just come for the drinks. They actually serve pretty good food too. My favorite is actually the Tuscan Vegetable Soup ($7 - sorry, no photo!). Chock full of white beans and vegetables, this soup is light, flavorful, and has wonderful aromas of truffle oil and Romano cheese. Brunch is also a great time to go. They have all sort of traditional Irish breakfast foods, like bangers & mash, Irish bacon, and black and white pudding (aka blood sausage). Of course, they also have tons of traditional brunch foods, like eggs, bacon, smoked salmon with a bagel, etc. All the food is great, and it's fun to try the Irish stuff, even if you have to be a bit adventurous!
Here are some pics from a recent dinner we had there.
Fried Mac & Cheese - $7.50
This is such an interesting dish. It's basically cubes of mac & cheese that have been lightly battered and deep fried. It sort of reminds me of the deep fried cheddar grits at Tupelo.
Here's a closer look of what it looks like inside! This was pretty good, but expectedly a bit greasy! It comes with a marinara dipping sauce.
Poached Pear and Arugula Salad blue cheese and toasted pecans - $8
The salad was generous and full of quality ingredients.
This "stew" had a deep, rich flavor that probably came from the many spices that were used to flavor the dish. It's generously filled with chunks of chicken, sausage, and various vegetables. I personally felt that it was on the salty side, and I wished for more rice! Bryan thought the salt levels were fine.
Tempura Battered Asparagus
These were delicious. The tempura batter gave the asparagus a unique crunch that I really enjoyed.
Of course, you can't go to an Irish pub and not get a Guinness, right?
I like The Plough and Stars because of its authentic Irish pub-like atmosphere. I also love how everyone inside seems to know each other - it's like the perfect neighborhood bar! Best yet, it serves good, solid food at really reasonable prices. I've been there for lunch, brunch, and dinner, and I like them all.
A few things - It's not a huge place and it can definitely get crowded, so be prepared to possibly wait for a table at really busy times. Also, it can be loud, since it's so small and all those people who know each others' names can get quite chatty. Nevertheless, the atmosphere is festive, and it's fun!
The Plough and Stars
912 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02139
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