The Chanticleer Society
A Worldwide Organization of Cocktail Enthusiasts

Review: Hungry Mother

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cloudywithseashells Posted: 12 Dec 2010 2:50 PM
233 Cardinal Medeiros Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02141
USA
MODERN - $$$$ - EAT -
A gourmet soul food restaurant with some of the best cocktails in New England.

Hungry Mother fills up, so it's best to get there early (six-ish) or late (ten-ish) or to make reservations. Generally, the seasonal, hardy meals are fantastic (and the bar food menu, available after 10:30, is very reasonable). But the true gift Hungry Mother gives us is its bar. Its cocktail menu (in which all drinks are simply numbered, such as the 47, which is  laird’s applejack, aperol, buffalo trace bourbon, big rock, or the 64: del maguey mezcal vida, green chartreuse, carpano antica). The true delight though is the bartender's choice, whereby the fellow behind the bar (usually a virtuoso named Ned) will take a few specifications (e.g. "not to sweet" or "something with tequila") and change your life. Not to be missed. 

Top 10 Contributor
Male
Posts 173

I wouldn't say some of the best, but they are solid.  Small bar (8-10 seats) but I haven't had a problem getting a seat on Monday-Wednesdays since they have more diners than bar patrons.  Here are recipes for 5 of their drinks:

http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com/search/label/%23hungry%20mother

Cocktail Virgin blog & author of Drink & Tell: A Boston Cocktail Book. Bartender at Loyal Nine, Cambridge, MA.

Top 10 Contributor
Male
Posts 1,163

Interesting that they name their drinks by number. I suppose that removes the difficulty of trying to find the right name for them? Although I suppose this just means they need to think of the right number now.

Are all their numbered drinks original? Or do they number existing drinks as well?

Top 150 Contributor
Posts 15

If I remember my Hungry Mother lore properly... When they were putting the restaurant together, the founders and the opening bar staff came together and just started putting down cocktail recipe ideas on a pad which were numbered so they could keep track of them. Then, once the bar was ready, they started going through to see which ones worked and which ones should never see the light of day. The idea stuck.

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Purveyors of Bittermens™ Bitters

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Top 10 Contributor
Male
Posts 173

All their originals are numbered.  They don't rename classics (although I am not sure there were any listed on the menu).  I thought the idea was a little absurd, but you begin to associate the "No. 43" just like you would any other cocktail name (although the drinks that are less of a hit are quicker to slip from your mind than those with a regular sort of name).

Cocktail Virgin blog & author of Drink & Tell: A Boston Cocktail Book. Bartender at Loyal Nine, Cambridge, MA.

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