Roxy’s / A4CADE

292 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02139

If you’ve recently walked up Mass Ave towards Random Hall on a weekend night, you’ve probably noticed the lines out the door at the new Central Square hotspot, Roxy’s/A4CADE. It’s a new restaurant/bar/arcade collaboration between Roxy’s Grilled Cheese and Area Four with a counter-service restaurant in the front and an arcade bar in the back.

Photo by Vivian Hu
Photo by Vivian Hu

Roxy’s started off as a food truck specializing in grilled cheese, and they eventually expanded with brick and mortar locations in Allston and South Boston. Area Four, on the other hand, is known for its dizzying array of pizzas on their Kendall Square menu, and among MIT students, it tends to be a go-to spot for faculty dinners.  

Photo by Vivian Hu

Vivian and I decided to check it out last week, and we wandered back to the arcade bar (which is 21+ only, FYI!) while we waited for our food to be prepared up front. It’s accessible through what looks like a nondescript walk-in fridge door, and upon entrance you’re immediately welcomed by the flashing lights and sounds of the arcade games. Although we didn’t get a chance to play the games at the arcade, we learned from the A4CADE bartenders that you can just keep a running tab of drinks, food, and tokens while you play, consume, and socialize.

Photo by Vivian Hu

The restaurant portion at Roxy’s/A4CADE features an expanded version of Roxy’s usual menu, and includes a variety of grilled cheeses, along with a selection of burgers, hot dogs, and fries. It’s like a list of the most American foods you can think of.

Vivian and I first tried the Hot Honey Bacon Grilled Cheese, which came with Vermont cheddar, Muenster, fontina, bacon, and hot honey. For a $7.49 grilled cheese, this was pretty disappointing — the cheese-to-toast ratio definitely should have been higher, and the bacon came in the form of sad little bits that barely added to either the flavor or the texture. The honey was a nice touch, but we were concerned when we couldn’t figure out whether the liquid dripping from our grilled cheese halves was the excess grease or the excess honey.

Quote from Vivian: “Why is this Honey Honey Grilled Cheese so sad? Why is this bacon so sad?”

We also tried The Double Fried Sandwich, which was a fried chicken sandwich with lettuce, pickles, hot honey, and ranch. Now this at $7.29 was way more worthwhile than the grilled cheese, and the sweet honey with the savory ranch made it an overall A+ fried chicken sandwich that I would be willing to order again.

Lastly, we also shared an order of Truffle Fries, which were tossed with truffle oil, salt, and rosemary. It’s hard to go wrong with fries, truffle oil, and rosemary, and even though they weren’t out-of-this-world incredible, they were a nice side to nibble on throughout the meal.

Overall? The food isn’t anything to rave about, but in this immediate MIT radius that lacks “fun” hangout spots, the arcade bar concept is definitely a welcome and much-needed addition to the rapidly growing Kendall/Central area.