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Square Deal

A grown-up Happy Meal, with a prize of beer



estaurants in Harvard Square tend to be either downscale or high priced. But there are still some deals to be had. Take the Russell House Tavern. It’s where the Happy Meal went to grow up. For under 20 bucks, you can get an adult-sized Happy Meal that includes a generous hamburger on an English muffin, fries, a 16-ounce Brooklyn Lager tallboy, and a shot of fernet. If, even after that, you still need something to wash it down, you’re in the right place. There’s English-style cask beer, a frequently changing cocktail menu specializing in pre-Prohibition drinks, and the first-in-Boston novelty of wine on tap. Laid out by restaurant designer Peter Niemitz, the Russell House (named for 19th-century tenant Thomas Russell, a furnituremaker) has small separate social areas, including the upstairs tavern (above), a basement lounge, a wrap-around bar, and an outdoor terrace. Stick around until 11 and you’ll enjoy another rare Square deal: dollar Island Creek oysters. Twardzik


Introduced in Kansas City in 1977 and rolled out nationally three years later, the McDonald’s Happy Meal was the idea of an advertising agency and is officially trademarked.