Food II: Cambridge

The Sugar & Spice restaurant, just north of Porter Square on Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge, is an excellent inexpensive Thai restaurant, where I often go when in town. Last night four of us went (I have switched domiciles to give everyone an equal chance to either enjoy or avoid my company), and among us tried three dishes. All were excellent, and here they are:

“Crying Tiger” beef with lettuce and a side of sticky rice wrapped in banana leaf (not shown):

Hor mok, described on the menu as “a delicious and truly authentic curry with steamed salmon, shrimp, egg and vegetables in fresh whole coconut”:

And a green curry with chicken:

If you’re in Cambridge around Porter Square (about a 20-minute walk north of Harvard Square), this is a good place to eat.

This morning, staying at Andrew and Naomi’s, I had my usual breakfast: the British cereal Weetabix (Andrew is a Brit), the UK equivalent of Shredded Wheat, but better.  Andrew claims that, averaged over years of life, he’s eaten more Weetabix than any human alive. When he was at Oxford, he eschewed the meal plan and ate Weetabix three times a day: two biscuits for breakfast, four for lunch, and six or more for dinner (he was saving his living stipend for traveling). The only deviation from this pattern was on Tuesday nights, when he got Chicken Madras at a local curry house.

Since that time, back in the Cretaceous, Andrew has continued to eat Weetabix daily: always for breakfast and sometimes for other meals. (He insists that they must be eaten in multiples of two.)

Below: Andrew and his favorite food. I photographed him showing me the proper way to eat Weetabix. (The first photo is hand held under incandescent light and so is a bit blurry.)

Only two Weetabix per portion, please (though you can have additional aliquots of two):

Putting the banana on top, cut with a spoon so as to avoid soiling a knife.

Adding the milk, always before the sugar to avoid dissolving the sugar into the bottom of the bowl. You can see from Andrew’s concentration the solemnity of this operation.

Only then can you add sugar, but within just one or two seconds of having poured the milk. This avoids the Weetabix becoming too soggy:

Then, dig in and enjoy! Make sure that you tilt the bowl toward you when cutting off a bite so that the milk sloshes onto the biscuit at the very last moment, preserving the crunch:

I apparently fail in my Weetabix consumption in three ways: I like to eat three at a time; I like them a bit soggier than does Andrew, thus adding more milk; and I fail to do the crucial bowl-tilting move, which also makes my biscuits marginally crunchier (though they’re too soggy to begin with). Thus, breakfast with Andrew is always a stressful affair in which I’m castigated for bad eating habits.

Lunch, from which we returned a few minutes ago, was at the Hourly Oyster House in Harvard Square. I had fish and chips with a Full Sail Blood Orange wheat beer, while Andrew had a TBLT (tuna steak, bacon, lettuce, and tomato):

A selfie (with Andrew) over the oysters:

Free postprandial coffee in the Biolab: here’s the free espresso/cappuccino setup on the first floor. It’s Harvard, Jake, and coffee is essential for science! Note the bean grinder; milk is in the fridge below the machine:

An official machine!



  1. DrBrydon
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    Holy cats! That curry in the coconut looks amazing!

    • darrelle
      Posted October 24, 2017 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

      Oh yeah. I love curry. Never heard of that curry dish and I want to try it. Right now if possible.

  2. David Andrews
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    No photo of the rhinoceroses?

  3. Heather Hastie
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    Your mate gets it wrong with the Weetbix (as it’s called in NZ) in a crucial way! You have to eat it with a teaspoon. It just tastes better that way! It lasts longer too.

    Personally, I prefer to heat the milk as well, but I understand there were no microwaves during the Cretaceous era and cleaning a saucepan is not for everyone.

    • dabertini
      Posted October 24, 2017 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

      For what it is worth, I eat my cereal with a teaspoon. And Andrew is the poster child for perfect health, yet he consumes so much carbohydrate (Weetabix 3x a day!!). Imagine that!

  4. Posted October 24, 2017 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    For Italian in Cambridge, go to Giulia.

  5. Stephen Mynett
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    Dry Weetabix spread with butter and orange marmalade are delicious.

  6. Steve Pollard
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    Weetabix gets kudos in UK health-food sites for its low sugar content (about 4.5%). Jolly good for you!

    So why add more (from the pics it looks like a lot more) sugar?

    • Ken Phelps
      Posted October 24, 2017 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, it strikes me as kind of 1962. Back when us kids didn’t know any better, and got the cavities to show for it.

      • John Ottaway
        Posted October 25, 2017 at 8:41 am | Permalink

        I add fruit to Weetabix as a replacement for sugar, not an accompaniment.

        Just looking at that photo made my teeth grind…

  7. Ken Kukec
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    The Thai food looks great. The Weetabix looks like it’d be great, too … for patching a hole the ceiling.

    Wasn’t it Lenny Bruce who said he didn’t like shredded wheat or anyone who did?

  8. Vaal
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    Andrew’s Weetabix game is solid, with one exception: His terribly inefficient method of slicing the banana! How can one even countenance alternative methods when THIS was delivered to the world to help us out:

    (Read the reviews!!!)

    As for Weetabix, I still have a strange affinity for that cereal having eaten it as a kid. It tastes like recycled cardboard and yet…I have to have it now and again. Agree with others, small spoon is best.

  9. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    his favorite food. .. Weetabix.

    Generations of the Gravel Inspector extended families have worked on those production lines. Can’t stand the smell of the stuff, particularly as they come trooping through the house to wash the smell off before going to their respective homes.
    Even given that, it’s still far more edible than the deconstituted cardboard that comprises Shredded Wheet.

  10. Serendipitydawg
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    Weetabix, nature’s own alimentary scarifier.

    I didn’t know this had escaped captivity to reach as far as NZ, someone needs to eliminate them before they breed and displace the native brekkie cereal.

  11. Jiten
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    Aliquot – what a lovely word!
    I put sweetened condensed milk on my weetabix instead of sugar.

  12. Posted October 24, 2017 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    I just finished breakfast and the beer an fish’n’chips look good…

  13. Ben
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    Eating wheatbix with sugar is an abomination.

    The one and only correct method of consumption is to coat the top in a thin layer of honey, before pouring the milk. This ensures that the sweetener doesn’t dissolve into the milk, while helping retain some texture in the top of the bix.

    Banana is optional but acceptable.

  14. Graham Martin-Royle
    Posted October 25, 2017 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    I never knew that Weetabix was the british equivalent of Shredded Wheat. Shredded Wheat is delicious, Weetabix, with or without banana and sugar is an abomination.

    • Posted October 25, 2017 at 6:42 am | Permalink

      In fact, Shredded Wheat is the British equivalent of Shredded Wheat.

  15. Posted October 25, 2017 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    That’s funny. Mom just bought in Weetabix cereal today.

  16. Posted October 25, 2017 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    What’s the little pot of stuff next to the crying tiger beef? Looks like it could be chilis.

  17. bascule
    Posted October 25, 2017 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    Three weetabix?

    Ooh! Back away slowly, this is a man to be reckoned with!

    And the rest of you… bet you can’t eat three!

  18. Hempenstein
    Posted October 25, 2017 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    How was the blood orange wheat? For a blood orange brew, First Amendment’s Blood Orange IPAis sensational! I thought it would be some sort of dessert beer, but it pairs well with main courses.

    Otherwise, I believe I’d have my Wheetabix with Bovril. Banana by itself, afterward, maybe.

  19. Posted October 26, 2017 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    As a coffee/espresso lover, I noted the grinder and the machine as well. This is very good kit, actually. La Marzocco is considered to be, if not the best, one of the best espresso machines. And it seems the grinder is K30, which is made by mahlkonig, another excellent grind maker. K30 and others Mahlkonig grinders are often used in barista competitions.

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