Boxwood – stellar sandwiches

 

This morning as I type this, snow flakes are gently swirling from the dark and foggy sky. It’s our second official snow fall this year, and a sure sign that winter will show up eventually. But that’s okay with me, you know why? Because on Thursday it was 21 degrees out (70F), sunny, and I enjoyed a patio lunch. This even is so unlikely in late October that it felt not unlike the pleasure I felt when skipping school as a kid.

There is a park a couple of blocks away from my building, which has recently been renovated. This project cost eleven million dollars, and as far as I can tell accomplished some tree removal and some new garden beds. Allegedly there was a fountain and some new paths too, but to me it didn’t look too different. I think a college full of summer students could have done it all for less than a million, but what do I know?

In this newly renovated park though, there is now a cafe, called the Boxwood Cafe. Owned by the same folks who brought us the River Cafe, it’s meant to be a more casual, fun take on locally farmed food. I personally am not a big fan of the River Cafe, but thought that a more casual take on the food may work very well.

 

The building is one story, and a lovely sand color. The lineup was building as we arrived, and it was lack of room as well as the weather that led us to sit outside. Indoors was a lovely long room, done up in natural wood and neutral colors. The counter’s where you order and watch the assembly line make your sandwiches, efficiently and accurately, calling out the order with any modifications.



 
There is a lovely selection of soups, salads and sandwiches along with some larger dishes, like roast chicken that would be much better for supper. My friend and I each opted for a sandwich, and a pot of tea.


The porchetta sandwich is a masterpiece. Cut from a juicy pork roast covered with crisp, crackling, deeply burnished skin, and served on a bed of caramelized onions it was a most satisfying eat. The flavor of the pork was the dominant flavor, and the skin, oh that skin.

 


 


The chickpea fritter sandwich was just shy of excellent. I don’t know what would have put it over the top, but I suspect crispier fritters, some extra spices in the chickpeas, and a hint of garlic or tahini or hummus, would have taken it from good to outstanding. The eggplant was undetectable, and it would have been better with less pickled onions and more eggplant.

 


 


Both sandwiches took a while to arrive, and were not warm. We suspect the order got lost since the other diners got their food before we did, although we sat down first. If they had been warmed up it would have helped bring out the flavors too, since cool food needs extra seasonings to offset the temperature. The ciabatta they were served on was excellent though, first grade bread and it was SO NICE not to see piles of watery, tasteless lettuce clouding the sandwiches.
 
 Prices veer a tiny bit into the steep category, based on portion size and quality. If you wanted a soup and sandwich, you’re easily getting into 16-17 for lunch, which is getting up there. I’d love to see them offer half orders of everything, because it’s nice to have variety but neither my stomach nor my wallet need that much food.Overall though it was a lovely new experience, and I can’t wait to go back and eat that sandwich in the park in the summer.  



 

 

Boxwood on Urbanspoon









4 comments to Boxwood – stellar sandwiches

  • Mmmmm…both sandwiches look de-li-cious! It’s too bad they came in cold.

    Snow…ack…it’s really going to be winter soon, isn’t it? Nothing on our end yet. I hope not to see any snow until at least the end of November.

  • Oh, by the way, you are right that it would have cost a lot less to get that park up and running if students had done it. Eleven million dollars seems a little steep.

  • Those are hearty sandwiches!

  • admin

    @WR – they were fabulous, so good that I forgave them for the cold, and went back again. Much better, perhaps they’ve got the rhythm?

    I was reading some comments online about that park, and people said that it’s the infrastructure that cost a lot – underground water lines, electrical cables, etc. Plus the few new buildings such as the one that houses Boxwood. My problem now is with the whole idea of a fountain – for what, our whole two weeks of summer? We’d be better with just some cool lights or something.

    @Teena – just perfect for lunch. I hate eating a salad or something and being unsatisfied. Leads to binge eating later… :)

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