Dining Out: Cafeteria

Tonight I met up with one of my favorite dining companions to try out a new restaurant, Cafeteria on Newbury Street. I first heard of Cafeteria on an episode of Sex and the City. The school inspired restaurant pushed Miranda to pass a note to a cute guy sitting two tables away. Adorable!

The original location of Cafeteria is in Chelsea in New York City where I went in the summer of 2008 and was seated next to Stella Zotis, a contestant on BRAVO's Project Runway! I had the most delicious veggie burger which I still crave, nearly two years later.

Boston's location is at the corner of Newbury and Gloucester streets. The restaurant has a large outdoor patio as well as an adorable interior space with several tables and a decent sized bar. We opted to enjoy the Spring weather and sit outdoors. Our table had an unobstructed view of the John Hancock and Prudential towers as well as the idyllic brownstones of Newbury Street and of course, the fashions passing by on the sidewalk. A few minutes after being seated the owner of Life is Good, John Jacobs, walked out of the store and right past our table! I would know that red hair anywhere.

Our waitress was a bit spacey, but she took our drink order and we were soon sipping a glass of Malbec and the Cafeteria Lemonade (spiked with vodka, sugar rim) while we looked over the menu. Cafeteria's food selections are upscale versions of elementary school staples - burgers, pizza, mac-n-cheese and more.

We started with a basket of parmesan fries which I would give a B+. They were just the right amount of crispy, but I like my french fries a bit thinner, French bistro style.

My dining companion ordered the tuna burger which was served with pickled cabbage, avocado, spicy mayo and a heaping pile of mixed greens. She said the first bite was suspect, but with each subsequent bite, the burger tasted better and better.

I ordered the grilled cheese which came on thinly sliced sourdough bread with tomato and arugula, as well as a bowl of tomato soup. The sandwich was the perfect size. Sometimes grilled cheese is overwhelmed by too much bread, but this was perfect ratio of bread to cheese and the arugula was a fantastic, tasty touch. The tomato soup was hearty, and topped with croutons and shredded cheddar cheese. Delicious!

Cafeteria does not have a dessert menu, which I find a fatal flaw in any restaurant, but I will forgive them because their menu is so sublime and their outdoor patio is a perfect downtown oasis. (However, I will say, if they were keeping with the true school theme, their would at least be a brownie and a chocolate chip cookie. Just something to consider).

When the check arrived, it was under a tack on a cork board! I love that the school theme is carried out all the way through to the arrival of the check.

I enjoyed every minute and every bite of my Cafeteria experience. I can't wait to go back and try additional menu items! I already have my eye on the Greek salad sandwich.

This is no middle school cafeteria. Can you say, upgrade?


Molly Galler

Welcome to Pop.Bop.Shop. My name is Molly. I’m a foodie, fashionista, pop culture addict and serious travel junkie. I’m a lifelong Bostonian obsessed with frozen confections, outdoor patios, Mindy Kaling, reality television, awards shows, tropical vacations, snail mail and my birthday.

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