By Adam Wong
The Cambridge classic now has a rooftop bar.
By Adam Wong and Dana Ferrante
It was dark times in 02138. Last spring, Felipe’s, our true savior for the midnight munchies, vanished, and was banished to a little, cramped corner of Flat Patties. Throughout last semester we looked longingly at the promising new location, then boarded up with brown paper wrapping as if it were one of their stacked steak burritos. We dreamt about the day when we could once again eat our nachos and quesadillas in the comfort of Mexican decor. We waited, some of us more patiently than others, for Felipe’s to once again ascend the throne.
Then, the day came.
It was a Tuesday night, the middle of finals week, and as we lethargically ‘studied’ in the dining hall, we heard the news: Felipe’s just reopened. Dropping everything, first and foremost our jaws, we ran through the mist to Brattle Street. We hardly even recognized it. As we peered in through the huge front windows and into the ginormous new space, we could already taste the scrumptious burritos. The little “dump on Mt. Auburn street” as owner Tom candidly described it, moved to a two-floor (three, if you count the rooftop bar currently undergoing construction), half rustic brick, half artful stucco, restaurant with a new attitude. Repurposing wood from the demolition and incorporating hand-made metalwork from Mexico, Tom has created a space that bursts with energy and style.
Arriving just after midnight, the staff had just begun cleaning up, yet kindly let us in to look at Felipe’s 2.0. Felipe’s manager Francisco explained how excited his staff felt about their location change. After running two restaurants out of the petite Flat Patties location during the spring and the summer, the staff now finally obtains the much-deserved space to make everything from carnitas to queso fondido for the hoards of customers to come. And good thing they have all that new space, because the food will be flying off the line once word gets out about their new menu items.
Felipe’s Mexican spread now includes fish tacos, shrimp tacos, and by popular demand, a salad option. Additionally, for just two dollars more, every burrito has the option of getting deep-fried in a delicious queso sauce. But, it wouldn’t be our beloved Felipe’s without a deal. Perfect for the college student budget, Felipe’s maintains the lowest priced and best tasting Mexican food in the area.
As if we could ever want more, Felipe’s has outdone itself yet again. Now sporting a full bar, soon to be stocked with classic Mexican liquors (read: tequila), the restaurant aims to serve the best, most authentic margaritas in town.
But what could be better than splurging on top-quality Mexican food with an ice-cold bottle of Pacifico? Doing all of that, on a roof. Up another staircase (or an elevator, if you prefer) lies a sweet rooftop lounge with a bar of its own for easy access. Though there’s still some work to be done, the owner told us that the roof will open as soon as the weather permits. The open sky above the patio, he explained, will ensure both constant sunlight and an unmatched view of the Cambridge skyline. With the roof included, Felipe’s has a restaurant capacity pushing just about 200 party people.
The implications are enormous. Just think: no longer must we suffer while indecisive roommates weigh the merits of getting either their drink or grub on. Now a veritable wonderland of both gastronomy and beauty, Felipe’s is the nighttime destination. The crown jewel of our Harvard Square kingdom has finally returned.
Editor’s Note: This restaurant review was originally published on Crimson Crave, an up-and-coming food blog by Harvard students for Harvard students. For more information, please visit their website, www.crimsoncrave.com.