Lunch adventures: the search for the missing restaurant

While Rodney and I were walking all around Kendall square trying to solve a lunchtime mystery for two consecutive days (without any clues — other than Google Maps pointing us to a field), I thought, “I should blog about this.” (Evidently, Rodney thought the same thing.)

We were searching for the highly rated Aceituna Cafe in the sultry summer afternoon. It turned out that those ratings were totally bogus, as they were incredibly overinflated. The place was also not cheap (standard lunch fare ran around $7 to $9 for a typical dish, even for vegetarian food). In addition, our “Mediterranean Experience” included tacky ambiance, American pop music from the 80’s, and food from non-Mediterranean lands (mostly consisting of stuff from the Middle East).

Rodney beat me to the story — you can read more of the details on his blog post.

For once, we had hoped to find something:
# Good
# Cheap
# In the Kendall Square area

(Usually, it’s a game of pick one two of three. Jose’s foodtruck is typically my favorite, but I like to mix things up and go somewhere new from time to time.)

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14 Responses to “Lunch adventures: the search for the missing restaurant”

  1. rjw says:

    I’m hoping you realise that a large part of the Middle East has a Mediterranean coast ? Like Turkey ( yes it is middle eastern, not european, asia minor!), the Lebanon (fantastic cuisine), Syria, Israel and Egypt ?

    Anyway, on topic – I hate it when you read a great restaurant review and it is totally wrong. It makes you wonder about the bad reviews – are they the opposite of the review, or are they that much worse than the good reviews?

  2. bobo says:

    I cannot comment your friend’s blog entry on the subject, but as you were together and seem to share the same view, well, I’ll do it here for both 😉

    “Where was the pressed beef/lamb that one would normally find in a cafe in Greece? ”

    I hope you don’t think that greek food is the *only* mediterranean food on earth ! Wow, only a very small part (that shares a lot with turkish food, but don’t tell ’em). Do you realize that *France* is also a mediterranean country ? And Spain ? Spanish food is not the same than Italian food, right ? Even if close, it’s also different in Morocco, Algeria or Tunisia.
    As rjw pointed out, part of middle east is also mediterranean. And the food there is also a bit different.
    Rjw, half of Istanbul is european 😉

  3. True; I guess some of the Mediterranean restraunts around the US are a bit cliched, so we (he especially) expected a bit different.

    Typically, when you go to a restaurant that’s classified as “Mediterranean”, one wouldn’t expect to find the menu consisting of mostly French food (or would expect any typical “French” food on the menu, either), for example.

  4. Sam says:

    Perhaps you mean “two of three”?

    You’re saying that there is no good food in Kendall for any price.

    And that there is no cheap food in Kendall.

    And that there is no good, cheap food anywhere on Earth.

  5. Rodney says:

    OK. So. To clarify, we are talking about food genres, not physical location. And France is French food. The side of France that one might think borders the Mediterranean Sea, actually borders the Ligurian Sea. Italy, is genred as Italian food, and actually Borders the Ligurian, Tyrrhenian, Ionian, and Adriatic Seas. Turkey primarily borders with the Middle Eastern countries, and the Black and Aegean Seas. A small portion of it does border the Mediterranean, but the country itself is considered Middle Eastern. Spain does border that end of the Mediterranean, but the food genre is typically Spanish or Tapas. I would not expect to find it in a “Mediterranean” restaraunt. Italian, I might, though. Morocco is “Moroccan”, and the other Northern African countries are typically classified as Ethiopian/etc… or Middle Eastern.

    What I would really expect, would be food in the style from Malta, Greece, Crete, or Cyprus, possibly Albania, even though it is North of Greece, it does have a heavy Mediterranean influence.

  6. rjw says:


    Please. The Ligurian and most of the other seas you mentioned are contained *within* the Mediterranean. Your argument is as ridiculous as saying that New York city is not in the US or on Earth because it is in New York state.

    And what was disputed was:

    “non-Mediterranean lands (mostly consisting of stuff from the Middle East).”

    A large number of these lands are Mediterranean. Notice the word *lands*. There is no room to interpret here….

  7. Rodney says:

    Who cares. This is about FOOD. NOT THE OCEAN. Jesus christ. And please don’t reply to my blog entries, in someone else’s blog comments, just because we posted about the same thing. It’s a bit rude to do so. Stop being so pedantic about every little thing. It’s ridiculous.

    The food from those lands is not genred as Mediterranean. EOD

  8. rjw says:


    I replied to your comments here, I’ve never read your blog. I think listing subdivisions of the Mediterranean qualifies as pedantic….

    I’ve got to say, you do get riled up over silliest little things.

  9. john says:

    Eating is a great hobby. I really like the flavor of Italian Food. Their pasta is really mouth watering. In addition, their pasta is really made in heaven.The food gives me more than satisfaction.

  10. Yenny says:

    Well well, first of all I have to say that I have been in ACEITUNA CAFE and your review it is NOT TRUE. It is a fantastic place, with a REAL MEDITERRANEAN EXPERIENCE… I dont know your def. about mediterranean but to me is the best rest. in the area of kendall st. The place is very cheap for the quality and quantity they give you, you must be VERY CHEAP to find this place expensive…. But I also have to say that I can not point you because IGNORANCE is the enemy of the human being.
    check the website and then you will see prices and pictures of AMAZING FOOD

  11. Mady says:

    Re: Rjw, half of Istanbul is european
    Is it it?

  12. AnferTuto says:

    Hola faretaste

  13. MalkEvange says:

    Interesting article!
    Where can I find more on this theme?

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