A week or so ago I made a plan to meet a high school friend for dinner. She lives in Inman Square and doesn't have a car, so she suggested a place walking distance from her apartment called Lord Hobo. I had been there once before, but I was several drinks in and chasing a boy, so my memory of the experience is a bit . . . fuzzy.
Last night I drove to Cambridge for our Lord Hobo dinner. The bar is located in a kind of no man's land between Inman Square and Kendall Square. I drove up and down Hampshire Street for a solid fifteen minutes in search of street parking, but no dice. I wound up parking in a lot in Inman and walking the ten minutes back the other way.
Lord H0bo is very unassuming. In fact, it's a bit scuzzy looking from the outside, much like Trina's Starlite Lounge in Inman.
One of the waitresses saw me taking pictures of them and said, "Aren't those cool! They are new. We just got them. They're hamburgers!" I hadn't even noticed the hamburger shapes, they looked completely abstract to me. Must be a vegetarian deficiency.
We took a spot at a high top table along the back wall. Our waitress, who was surprisingly blond and bubbly for such a hipster place, brought us each a menu. The menu is six pages - five pages of booze and one page of food. Now this is my kind of ratio!
We started off with two appetizers to share. I was immediately drawn to the polenta fries. Ever since my polenta fries at Big Pink in Miami Beach, I feel compelled to order these everywhere I see them.
This was an incredibly good decision! The polenta fries were fantastic! They were crispy on the outside, hot on the inside, garnished with freshly grated parmesan cheese and served with a garlic aioli for dipping. Needless to say, these were gone in thirty seconds.
I was disappointed with the pizza. The dough was way too chewy, there was no tomato sauce or traditional cheese on the pizza. The mushroom flavor was solid and the egg was delicious, but with every bite I missed the cheese and wanted a better crust.
My friend ordered the grilled kobe steak tips. There were three generous cuts of meat served over a bead of polenta fries (yes, more fries) and topped with a lightly dressed arugula and tomato salad. She said the salad and fries were excellent, but the meat was too chewy, the sauce was too heavy and the entire dish was too salty. In fact, she emailed me this morning to say she woke up at 1:30am completely parched from the meal! It took two full pint glasses of water before her body would go back to sleep!
Despite the so-so entrees, we wanted to give it a go on dessert (surprise, surprise). We ordered the item listed as: chocolate covered pretzels with peanutbutter mousse. I don't even like peanutbutter, but this sounded too good to resist.
The dessert arrived as three pretzels rods, dipped in chocolate and served with a pot of peanutbutter mousse. Since there were three rods and two of us, we each grabbed one and agreed to split the last one.
It was so yummy and we couldn't wait to snap that last one in half. She took a bite and then I was mid-bite when she said, "Is this . . . . bacon?" I heard the word and immediately lost my manners and spit the bite out onto my plate. "What?" I shrieked. We both pulled the rod closer to our faces, squinted and realized, this particular rod was in fact sprinkled all over with bacon bits! These are the dangers of mood lighting, people! We thought the texture on the pretzels was salt!
I was horrified. Then I was angry.
Earlier in the meal I had specifically asked our waitress if there was any meat on the pizza I was ordering and she assured me there was not. When we ordered the dessert she said, "Great choice, those are super delicious and the dish is the perfect portion size." Did it not occur to her to tell me there was meat on the dessert? I was seriously disturbed.
I was sad to leave Lord Hobo on such a bad note because the ambiance was excellent, the drinks were amazing and the appetizers were sensational. That damn bacon!
Before heading out we used the ladies room and by the sink I noticed this cheeky sign:
Moral of the story: if you find yourself at Lord Hobo, enjoy the cozy, hipster vibe, but stick to the drinks and the appetizers.