Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The First Printer in Harvard Square

I love when restaurants have a little bit of history (served alongside decent food, of course). 

I hadn't heard of The First Printer until I went to dinner there with some of the Scout Cambridge staff a few months ago - it's definitely a hidden gem tucked away in Harvard Square.

The First Printer is named such because it is located on the site where the first printer, Stephen Daye, lived back in the 1600s. During the year plus of renovations for The First Printer Restaurant, "The First Printer" plaque - which was taken off the building in the 1920s - was found in the basement. The renovations also unveiled the gorgeous mosaic tile floor that you see immediately upon entering the restaurant (that same floor used to be covered by concrete).

I had told my mom all about this restaurant, so last week - when we were shopping for wedding flowers - we decide to stop in there for lunch. We entertained the idea of dining in the restaurant's former-bank-vault-turned-dining area, but instead we opted for a sunny window seat.

Our meal started with a complimentary medley of pickled vegetables.

It was past 12 p.m., so my mom and I each decided to order a glass of wine. I went with a 2010 Italian Pinot Grigio ($9).

The First Printer's chef, Ray Williams, is originally from the South, and the menu options reflect his Southern roots (Scout's publisher is also from the South and mentioned that The First Printer's Fried Chicken and Waffles, $15, are the best she's had up here). Despite the Southern influence in his food, there are still plenty of options for vegetarians - like The Herbivore Burger ($10), which is what I ordered.

The Herbivore Burger is made with four types of mushrooms, and served with a sweet soy and shallot jam and a Sriracha aioli. On the side, I opted for a salad (you could also have fries), which was perfectly dressed and wonderfully seasoned with sea salt. The burger did not stay together very well (at times, the patty crumbled apart), but it was tasty, and I appreciated the innovative toppings.

All in all, I enjoyed another great meal at The First Printer, and I just love the history behind this place. I'm eager to go back to try their brunch menu!

Have you discovered any 'hidden gem' restaurants lately?

First Printer Restaurant on Urbanspoon


  1. I had no idea about this place. Looks like a good find - and I like the wine at lunch :)

  2. Couldn't have timed it better to be in Cambridge this weekend doing touristy stuff. The burger looks great so I'll have to go!

  3. Ooh. Definitely want to try the chicken and waffles. (Not that the Herbivore burger doesn't look good!)

    1. I tried the waffle portion of the Chicken and Waffles and it was amazing.

  4. I was just in Harvard Square yesterday wanting to try a new restaurant! good to know about this place!

  5. I definitely didn't even know this place existed. Good to know!