“Hidden Gem” – Temptations

temptations 1Every time I walk into Temptations Café, I am tempted to try something new. Whether it be a falafel wrap or chicken panini or maybe a special, there is always something that sounds good. And to this point, I have not been let down.

When our master’s class decided to map our hidden gems, I knew nearly immediately that mine would be Temptations at 313 Huntington Avenue. It’s not often I go out for lunch, but there are very few places I go to when I do, and Temptations is at the top.

temptations 2The waiting area is not large, nor is the seating area, so I generally get mine to go, but the few times I have stayed to eat in the restaurant, it’s been enjoyable. There’s a lot going on, many faces to watch and foods to think about getting next time.

On a recent trip in I spoke with Lutfi “Lou” Lutfi, a manager in the restaurant. He said that the clientele is mostly students and professionals who work nearby. He mentioned that there are regulars who work at the nearby YMCA, in real estate, and for small businesses, who often come in for lunch. He also said that although the restaurant is open until 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, lunch is the busiest time, followed by breakfast, then the evening. (The full hours are Monday-Thursday 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.)

“Most people aren’t thinking ‘sandwiches and coffee’ at 8 o’clock at night,” said Lutfi.

temptations 3Because of the amount of foot traffic, including nearby students at Northeastern University and The Boston Conservatory, Lutfi said they do minimal advertising. They are, however, on Twitter and Facebook, and he said they use those avenues to advertise specials.

In addition to the location on Huntington Avenue, close to the Northeastern MBTA stop, there are Temptations Café locations on Beacon Street in Brookline near the Coolidge Corner T stop and the St. Mary’s T stop.

On this particular time in I ordered a chicken and hummus wrap. Everything is made to order, and you can always ask them to take out or add items. The service is fast, and the transactions done on an iPad. I was once again not let down by the sandwich.

There is a caveat I feel I need to add. I have been to Temptations twice for coffee, once with a group of friends and once with one other individual. Both times my company was disappointed. The pumpkin latte tasted like what you would think a candle tastes like. And the espresso was not made the way it was ordered.

That said, I have been there many other times and always left full and happy.

temptations 5


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