Saturday, April 28, 2007

Christopher's - Casual and Cool in Cambridge

We are happily ensconced in our favourite B&B in Cambridge, MA, on the eve of our friends D and L's wedding. We drove down from Ottawa today with our friend K, though sadly without her husband N, who was too sick with a bad cold and fever to make the trip. We missed him, and will miss him all weekend, but we had a good drive and made great time while talking and listening to music and eating a lot. I baked my standard trail mix cookies that I make for every road trip we take, and they came out particularly awesome this time.

Once we arrived and got settled into our rooms, we headed out to grab a casual dinner at a place in Porter Square called Christopher's that I had found on the internet and asked some Cantabridgians about. They verified that it was indeed a good place to eat, and it had the additional good luck to be very easy to find, located as it is right across from the Porter T station. It was crowded when we arrived, as I imagine it is most Friday nights, but after only about a seven minute wait, during which we ordered a drink at the bar, we were seated in the much quieter (and better-lit) upstairs area.

I chose Christopher's because it had a lot of good vegetarian options for K to choose from, including a veggie burger, enchiladas, nachos, burritos and several meal-sized salads. In the end she opted for the vegetable fajitas, which amounted to a cast-iron skillet piled high with gorgeous chunks of beautifully grilled yellow and green zucchini, red bell pepper, and onions, accompanied by flour tortillas and the usual fixin's (guacamole, tomatoes, hot salsa, sour cream, lettuce etc.) She enjoyed them immensely and was moaning about eating too many of them by the end of the meal.

Chris, after much deliberation, went with the BBQ chicken sandwich, a tender boneless breast smothered in (by his account, excellent) barbecue sauce and topped with melted cheese on a hearty bun, accompanied by a small pile of delicious potato wedges. (I know they were delicious because I snagged a couple.) He washed this delightful concoction down with a Long Trail Brewery Blackbeary Wheat ale (one of the Vermont small craft breweries we visited on our last trip to New England in the fall).

I was having a hard time choosing between the Cobb salad and the Southwestern grilled chicken salad, so I asked the friendly waitress for her opinion on which was the better bet. She unequivocally recommended the Cobb, and I'm so glad I asked, because it was stellar. Fresh, springy greens topped with each of the following: crumbled blue cheese, shredded mozzarella, strips of crunchy bacon, sliced grilled chicken breast, sliced hard-boiled egg, and half a Hass avocado. There was also a generous slice of tomato and one of cucumber. Each ingredient was delicious and beautifully prepared in its own right, but the combination? Spectacular. I initially chose a creamy-avocado and lime dressing, but when it arrived and I tried it, it turned out to be full of minced raw garlic, but our friendly waitress was more than happy to exchange it for a ramekin of delicious Russian dressing instead, whose retro flavour complemented the retro salad beautifully. The glass of Lindemans Bin 55 shiraz didn't hurt, either.

All of us were too full to even contemplate dessert, and we were also exhausted from the trip, so we headed back to the B&B for some sleep before the big day Saturday.

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