Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Cardullos: And the kitchen sink

I first became a regular at Cardullo's about ten years ago, when as a graduate student, I survived the winters on their liverwurst sandwiches. Bitchin' sourdough, thick slabs of meat butter, and all the usual sandwich accoutrement, plus a jolly big Italian guy who worked behind the sandwich counter and made you feel like you were in a scene from Moonstruck. Fast forward ten years. The Babe doesn't eat anything that started off life with hooves (so nix on the liverwurst), and the jolly Italian guy has been replaced by college kids. BUT, this is still THE place to grab a sandwich in Harvard square. Their french rolls, in particular, should be contraband.

But there are other reasons to visit Cardullos besides the sandwhich bar, namely the entire rest of the store. This place is packed, and I do mean packed, with every imported delicacy, specialty food, and gourment goody you could want.

Need Turkish delight? Check.

Need Hob Nobs and a cuppa British breakfast tea? Check.

Need love tea? Check!

German marzipan?

Ten dollar bars of artisan chocolate?

Basically, every corner of this shop is crammed with something that will make your foodie heart thump loudly. At Christmas, in particular, I have to refrain from buying multiple British puddings (as in, figgy me, you want it). The only catch? Imports cost money. Artisan costs money. So bring yourself here for a sandwich or a treat, but don't bring the rent money!
And where to eat that gorgeous liverwurst sandwich you may order? I recommend the steps of Widener Library, as Harvard yard is only a few feet away. I like to think I get smarter just by sitting on the steps and enjoying some goodies.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Amherst, land of milk and honey

Farmer's Market, Amherst
Not having a car, I tend to discover things that have been sitting in Boston's backyard like they're a bit of a miracle. Like realizing that Amherst is only three hours away by bus. Like realizing that we even have a bus system that goes out into the "wilds." Well, lucky for me, we do. And I recently went there for a weekend visit, determined to find the best goodies they had to offer. I inadvertently landed in the quaint little town, formerly the home of Emily Dickinson, in the middle of farmer's market. And let me tell you, after suffering through Boston "farmers markets" that are as expensive as Whole Foods, it was with something like euphoria that I dallied amongst dirt cheap veggies, plates of watermelon, beautiful home grown flowers, and even handmade brooms. Oh, and I did I mention the bakery stall?

Not a bad introduction to a town, eh? But my first official stop was at the Black Sheep Deli on, I'm not kidding, Main Street. Yes, it's the kind of town that still has a "Main St." and I advise you to go there for cookies or a sandwich at the Black Sheep, a ramshackle hippy joint that is renowned for their bread and goodies.


Driving through fields of green and lovely, shadowy forest, past paint-chipped barns, I found myself  near Haydenville, at a swank little place called Bread Euphoria (perhaps coincidentally, they are also responsible for the goodies at the Amherst farmer's market).

This pretty little place is half pottery studio half bakery, with a sweet patio to sit on, surrounded by lanterns and tall summer flowers. May I recommend starting with the avocado sandwhich that come with oh-so-good potato chips (homemade, we speculate).
Just be sure to leave room for dessert, as the bakery case has everything from strawberry buttercream cupcakes to sublime lemon and blueberry tarts, peanut butter crumbles, and even galettes.
But I must say, besides the good company, the highlight of the weekend was actually seeing the bridge of flowers in Clayburn Falls. The town has taken a pedestrian bridge and turned it into a garden. There is something really magical about this place and I highly recommend a visit.
Do go:
Bridge of Flowers
Black Sheep Deli

Bread Euphoria
Amherst farmers market