Monday, April 16, 2012

Darwin's Ltd: the ultimate yum in Harvard Square

There's a reason Darwin's has every award sticker known to man plastered on its front door: this joint is the real deal and you will want to get there immediately and stuff your face. But do so with dignity. After all, this deli and cafe was founded by an actual descendant of Charles Darwin. Add in the ambiance of tony Cambridge houses and leafy trees, and you have a hell of a spot to nosh, pick up some extra groceries, or sit and drink a killer cup of coffee.

Seriously, the Babe would not kid about this: Darwin's sandwiches are worth a trip across town. They are, in a word, juicy. My favorite is the Mt. Auborn: turkey and avocado on sublime sourdough that is tweaked with an herb vinaigrette that takes the sammy to another realm...the realm of transcendent sandwich bliss. Get thee there, fight the throngs of locals in line, and order one of these bad boys. You won't be sorry!

But the Babe's mission is pastries, let us not forget, and attached to the deli is a sit-down cafe with a wealth of goodies, made by various bakers around town, that are poised to make your mouth happy.

Tarts, cupcakes, muffins...pretty much, anything short of panna cotta is here.

Creme tart with pistachios, anyone?

Having failed to get off my cupcake kick, I tried a lemon coconut creme and a red velvet cupcake.

I'll admit that as I bit into the first one, I was thinking to myself that I don't trust cafes that don't bake their goodies in-house, and I was speculating that it would be dry from sitting out for a few days, etc. But holy haybales, I was wrong. Lush, tender, moist crumbs, beautiful flavors, icing that evoked Fred and Ginger dancing in full formal evening wear. To be frank, they were bloody delicious, and I intend to eat as many of them as I can lay my hands on.

Just be sure that when you're there, you pray to the gnome that presides over the cafe counter for a place to sit...otherwise, on a weekend you're likely to end up on a bench outside wolfing down your goodies.

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