Since starting my new job at the end of February, I’ve been exploring my new Cambridge neighborhood, wandering through the bustling streets lined with shops and cafes (and taking refuge in the latter on frigid days).
Darwin’s has two sides: one is a coffee-shop-cum-cafe, where you can get a hot drink and a pastry and take them to go, or settle down at one of the small square tables. The other, with a punched-tin ceiling painted red, is a sandwich-shop-cum-mini-market, where you can buy fruit, veggies, beer or even day-old breads while waiting for your order.
Behind the counter, a line of cheery, flannel-clad hipsters dance around each other, chopping and slicing ingredients and assembling sandwiches, most of which are named after nearby streets or Harvard campus buildings. As you move up the line, you have a clear view of a pastry case filled with tempting cookies and other treats.
My favorite sandwich so far is the Longfellow, which involves ham and cheese, sliced green apple, lettuce, tomato and spicy Dijon mustard. It’s delicious, even if the ingredients tend to escape from the bread after a few bites. But mostly I love the funky local vibe, the friendly staff, and the cafe walls painted the colors of a Texas sunset.
When I forget to bring my lunch (or we’re out of leftovers), you can often find me here, alternately reading my book and people-watching as I savor my sandwich and a cookie.