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Bondir, Cambridge, MA

During my days of sidewalk adventure this summer, while on vacation in New England, I reveled over city life. I wandered in and out of shops, took long walks, and explored the Cambridge neighborhoods familiar to me decades ago as a college student. The city I knew is recognizably the same but, like me, a subtle difference is evident brought on by growth, experience and the inevitability of change in circumstance.

Alternatively teary eyed and full of chuckles I thought about my younger self, the girl quickly alternating between excitement and angst depending on what class syllabus she was reading or which romantic involvement she was analyzing, while I walked and walked.

I remembered the pungent smell of The Cambridge Coffee, Tea and Spice House wafting to welcome me each shift of my part-time job, sloppy kisses and groping hands over a spinach pie and Guinness at Grendel’s Den, the sweet smell of lobster steaming and cold sting of saltwater in Rockport harbor on a fall or spring weekend. I remembered midnight munchies only satisfied by hoagies or grinders, greedy bites of cream filled pastry on the street in Boston’s North End and self-conscious singing with my friends while waiting in line for small batch churned ice cream with mix-ins at Steve’s. 

Spices at Christina’s, Cambridge, MA. Spices and speciality food items in one shop. Ice Cream to savor next door.

Like any visit to a place we’ve been before, nostalgic wanderings and reminisces brought on by a familiar sight are punctuated by the experience of something new. With a resident tour guide willing to share his favorite eating places during this visit, I tasted the cornucopia of New England as if for the very first time.

Bondir, Cambridge, MA. Start with the Bread! 9 Grain, The Sea, Barley Flour with Hops and Summer Herbs. Move onto a sustainable and seasonal menu that changes daily.

Bondir: Chilled Scituate Lobster and Radish Salad,
 Pickled Chilies, Anchovy Vinaigrette

Bondir: Buckwheat Rigatoni
Concord Rabbit Leg and Chanterelle Mushrooms with Lavender,
Garlic Scapes, Smoked Scamorza

Bondir: Red Wheat Spaghetti
Basil-Walnut Pesto, Australian Perigord Truffle, Fresh Pecorino

Bondir: Teacup full of birthday wishes

Clover Food Lab, Cambridge, MA-green machine. Popular food truck initiated restaurant, dedicated to green business practices and local food initiatives. Check the rotating class schedule-knive skills a must!

New Deal Fish Market, Cambridge, MA. Fresh, fresh, fresh.

Waiting for the coals to glow. Backyard at Henry’s after shopping at New Deal Fish Market. Also on the menu, oysters and clams.

Good start to the day: The Standard Baking Co., Portland, ME.

The back of the house is the front – Street and Co., Portland, ME. Fish and seafood done the Italian way.

Duck in a Jar –Duckfat, Portland, ME. Charcuterie, Panini, and Poutine. Locally sourced and made in scratch kitchen. Hand Cut Belgian Fries and Beignets-fried in DUCKFAT!

Wagamama: Shrimp Kare Lomen, Cambridge, MA. Cool, fragrant, spicy, comfort food.

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