Disclaimer: I sincerely apologize for my terribly lame pun. I just couldn't help it.
I think I've mentioned in prior posts how horrible I am at remembering to use my Groupons, and despite the new year, nothing has changed. So when my friend Swati (who also has this bad habit) and I discovered we both had dangerously-close-to-expiring deals in Harvard Square, we planned a date night to use 'em up.
We started at Om Restaurant and Lounge, which I've passed dozens of times but never actually been inside of. The dining room was closed for remodeling, but the lounge was open for dinner with plenty of seats. We ordered cocktails -- she got the Lychee martini and I opted for Purple Rain, a blackberry mojito. Both of our drinks were absolutely delicious, although with a $10 price tag, they better have been! My second drink, the Sassy Miss - made of pear vodka and pear liqueur - tasted like straight vodka, and not in a good way. I asked our waiter to reshake it with a bit more juice and it came back tasting like an unimpressive basic mixed drink with vodka and strawberry juice. Definitely disappointing.
She had a deal for $50 worth of food, so we splurged a bit and ordered shrimp and shitake wontons, edamame potstickers, a blue cheese, pomegranate, and spinach salad, and a tofu stir fry - all to share. The food was great, although I admit if it wasn't for the half price I might not have been so impressed.
As we sat catching up and sipping our drinks the lounge began to fill up with other diners, and eventually almost every table was filled. The room had a nice ambiance - good lighting with a slight murmur but not too noisy. I don't think I'd come back here for dinner as the entrees are very pricey, but possibly for drinks and a split appetizer with a few girlfriends. As much as I loved my mojito, I know there are better (and more reasonably priced) bars in the area.
Next we trekked down Mass Ave (hey, it was freezing out!) to Zinneken's. Similar to the dessert waffles at Saus, this Belgian bakery offers a wide variety of waffles topped with fruits and sweet sauces. We each opted for ours with bananas, raspberries, strawberries and chocolate drizzle. Not the best Belgian waffle I've had, but a good sweet treat regardless. I wasn't able to finish my entire waffle and it wasn't very good reheated the next day, so next time I'd probably split a single one with a friend. Despite the great treat, beware that these aren't especially cheap -- each waffle ranges from $5 to $9 depending on toppings. We ordered hot chocolate, which was a huge let down - mine was tiny, cost $3 and tasted like a watery version of powder-based hot chocolate.
I love sites like Groupon because they offer an affordable way to try new places like this. I'm glad I had the opportunity to check out both of these Harvard Square eateries, but I'm happy I didn't pay full price at either place!
Disagree with my opinions of Om or Zinneken's? Comment & tell me! Or, let me know what your favorite Harvard Square bars and restaurants are!
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About the authorRachel Kossman is a California girl and New England transplant who graduated from Northeastern University in 2011. She has a penchant for discovering new restaurants and bars, devouring Mexican food, More »
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