One of the deficiencies of Chris Schlesinger’s great grill and restaurant, East Coast Grill on Cambridge Street in Inman Square, right here in Cambridge (and just a twelve-minute walk from our door) is that in its 21-year history he’s never seen fit to open it for lunch. It’s not clear why, though one reason must be that the prep, including firing up the grill, and preparing certain menu items in time for meal hours, would mean putting people to work in what are the wee small hours for restaurant folk.
Indeed, my original introduction to the place was by my boss at the time, when I was a VP of one of Boston’s hottest advertising agencies at the time. East Coast Grill had just opened. It was 1985. The place consisted of two side-by-side holes in the wall, one of them the grill/bar/restaurant in a single bay of a building, perhaps 22 feet wide. The other hole in the wall deserved to be, being a simulacrum of a roadhouse barbeque joint that Chris dubbed Jake ‘n’ Earl’s, and really with no seating to speak of, but intended mainly for take-out (and in those days, a pulled pork sandwich with two sides, cost $3.95—a sit-down restaurant and wait staff would have put him out of business). Unfortunately, my boss, who was treating me to lunch, was not aware that the Grill did not open for lunch. The only benefit of this excursion was that I learned of the existence of the place at all.