I went here with a few of my family members.
The lobster roll and rigatoni were excellent. Â The waiter was very kind and went out of his way to converse and make us feel welcome. Â
We sat outside because the weather was nice, and I very much enjoyed the proximity to Harvard Square, it really makes you feel like you're in an old city. Â This is also conveniently located near the Harvard T station, so it's easy to get to if you are limited to public transportation. Â All this being said, the menu is not particularly amazing, and the lack of options can be problematic for picky eaters.
I've had my eye on Tory Row for a while now and I was happy to finally get the chance to try it out for breakfast today. Â Unfortunately, I was wholly unimpressed and probably won't go back.
When I walked in the restaurant was empty except for one table of two. Having never been there before, I wasn't sure of the protocol for seating. There were two people standing behind the bar and I asked them if I should seat myself. They told me yes, acting as though the answer should have been clear. (No signs anywhere and only two people talking behind the bar and staring at me; not obvious)
I sat down and ordered a mimosa and an iced coffee. The waiter brought the coffee and eventually brought the mimosa too, although I could see him just talking to his coworker while the glass of champagne sat on the counter waiting for orange juice.
I ordered the broccoli, onion, and cheddar fritatta. When it came out I was disappointed to see that the hashbrowns that are said to come with it are actually homefries. (I work at a breakfast place and for sure know the difference. Hashbrowns are shredded, homefries are chopped.) The homefries hadn't been browned at all were covered in some soggy-looking onion and red pepper rings that had been haphazardly thrown on top. The potatoes weren't seasoned at all and tasted like they were just boiled and then not treated in any other way.
The fritatta itself was marginally better. The eggs were fluffy, the broccoli was fine, the onion was barely there, and there was no cheddar in the fritatta itself...just a large glob melted on top.
My waiter asked me to pay just after I started eating and then kept staring at me as I finished my drinks even though I had already paid and tipped.
When I'm in the mood for lighter fare, I'd rather go to Tory Row than to one of the many mediocre, tourist-trap restaurants nearby. In the summertime, the open-air storefront makes this a great spot for people-watching, while sharing a cheese plate and drinking sangria by the pitcher. Sure, Tory Row is spartan in both its decor AND menu, but I'm comfortable with the minimalism.
The black bean burger was by far the tastiest I've ever had, so I'm shocked to read the negative reviews. Loved the spicy ketchup that came with it. The sides I tried (roasted asparagus, and mixed greens with a fantastic, simple vinaigrette) were inexpensive yet satisfying.