I usually agree with Devra First’s reviews, but a few days ago she gave Beat Hotel 1 1/2 stars. Located in Harvard Square, Beat Hotel, inspired by the hippie movement is a new venture from the group that brought you the Beehive. Located below ground level, Beat Hotel feels a little like your friend’s basement.
The only thing here that feels “hippie” are the cement poles that are painted with flowers in bright colors. The purple velvet curtain behind the band feels more like your friend’s basement circa 1990 than hippie.
We were glad that we made a reservation, because at 8pm on a Monday night, it was crowded. Note that tables are only for patrons eating dinner, the bar area has stools and high top tables for those who are just grabbing a drink. It can get a little noisy here at times, with the band and the people trying to talk over the band.
Bruce Bears and Duke Robillard were playing the night we were at Beat Hotel. Here is what the website says about them, “Bruce currently plays keyboards with two time Grammy Award nominee Duke Robillard and the Duke Robillard Band, and can be heard on Duke’s Grammy nominated albums Guitar Groov-a-rama and Stomp! The Blues Tonight as well as many of Duke’s other albums. He has been touring internationally for 20 years, and formed the original Toni Lynn Washington Band in 1998.”
They have wine on tap that you can order by the glass or the half glass. I grab an Electric Sidecar ($12) Clear Creek apple brandy, fruit lab orange organic liqueur, and sour with a sugar rim. It was just what the dr ordered after a long day at work!
We ordered the chipotle bbq ribs ($14) that come 4 to a plate and are served with frozen grapes. I equate this a little to creme brulee. The best part of creme brulee is when you crack the sugar on top – the best part of the ribs is that first bite when you “crack” into the glaze. The meat is tender, it just falls off the bone and the flavor has me dreaming about this dish for days afterwards.
The French Dip sandwich is the biggest sandwich we’ve seen! Our waiter jests that he has never seen anyone finish it. We take this as a challenge, but fail miserably…well, we just bring the other half home, but feel defeated.
The eggplant parm ($21) does not disappoint, and we take home half of this meal as well. The emphasis here is on the eggplant, not the pasta which I am a little (pleasantly) surprised at. The pasta comes in a little bit of a peppery/spicy tomato sauce and is piled high with thin layers of eggplant.
For dessert we had the chocolate cheesecake ($8) with home made whipped cream. It was good but not crave worthy. The cheesecake was very dense and after a filling meal, like we just had, it was probably a mistake to order dessert in the first place. We left full, but in a good way, with lunch for the next day – and walked out feeling completely satisfied. I’ve spent the days since raving to all my co-workers and friends about this place, and can’t wait to return for those ribs!
13 Brattle Street, Cambridge, MA