The Fresh Feast; Aunty M’s Weekend BBQ
105 Ripley Rd., Cohasset
Fresh Feast hours: Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Aunty M’s hours: Friday, 5 to 9 p.m.; Saturday, noon to 9 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 8 p.m.
Credit cards accepted at both restaurants
You’re unlikely to starve in Cohasset Village, where practically every other storefront houses a restaurant or food purveyor. Two more joined the crowd this summer, sharing space in a tiny building across from the Post Office.
The Fresh Feast is open weekdays, with a short menu of sandwiches, soups, and salads, as well as an array of prepared foods. On weekends, Aunty M’s Weekend BBQ takes over, serving barbeque chicken, spare ribs, and pulled pork — plus the fixings — in individual or family dinner portions.
The idea of two restaurants taking turns in one space came from Julia Lisinski, the chef and owner of The Fresh Feast. She wanted an arrangement that would allow the business to stay open seven days a week for her customers’ convenience but also give her time for her personal life. So she leases the space on weekends to the barbecue crew.
Both restaurants opened the last week in May, and both are designed for takeout service.
You can eat just outside the door on the deck, at picnic tables shaded by umbrellas, where children and well-behaved dogs are welcome. You also can take your food home or to the beach.
We decided to try The Fresh Feast first, ordering lunch items on a quiet Tuesday. We chose a meatball and parmesan sub, Thai chicken salad wrap, roast turkey panini, and a Caesar salad.
The generously sized sandwiches each came with a bag of chips and a spicy pickle.
The Thai chicken salad wrap ($7) combined pieces of grilled chicken breast with a chili-peanut sauce, basil, cilantro, mint, and shredded carrots and bell peppers. The textures of soft wrap bread, chewy chicken, and crisp greens worked well together and the sauce had a pleasing kick.
The meatball and parmesan sub ($7) was huge and not overly saucy. Made from ground beef and pork, the meatballs also tasted of onion, garlic, and parsley and were covered with melted provolone and parmesan.
The turkey ($8) was thinly sliced and served hot on a pressed ciabatta roll with Monterey jack cheese, avocado, tomato, and chipotle aïoli. The flavors were pleasant and low-key.
The small Caesar salad ($4.50) was enormous, with crisp romaine leaves and plenty of grated parmesan. The dressing was delicious, but the croutons a little soggy by the time we got home.
I would definitely go back to try the vegetable Cubano ($7) or the grilled chicken and tapas sandwich ($8), both served hot on a pressed baguette.
It was raining the Saturday afternoon we ordered from Aunty M’s, and the friendly staff walked our considerable order out to the car for us. The food was packed carefully and everything was labeled.
We ordered a family dinner for five ($45) of pulled pork, rolls, coleslaw, homemade pickles, cornbread, and a side order of mac and cheese. We also got “add-ons” of St. Louis ribs ($5 for two bones or $15 for six) and smoked chicken wings ($9 a dozen).
We tried to get the bacon-wrapped jalapeno poppers ($1.50 each or $9 for six), too, but they were sold out.
The “add-ons” turned out to be the stars of the meal. The chicken wings were fantastic – crisp on the outside, juicy on the inside, with a great salty-spicy flavor and a fair amount of heat. The ribs were tender, meaty, and delicious.
The cornbread also was a revelation, cakey and light with vegetables baked into the batter.
The rolls were tasty and the mac and cheese creamy.
Even the pickles were a big hit, packing more heat than expected.
The pulled pork was a disappointment, though — blander than we’d hoped for.
Aunty M’s also serves brined, smoked turkey and offers all meals “by the bucket” to serve a crowd.
The restaurants can be tricky to find since 105 Ripley Road is behind another building, but it’s worth the effort to search out these additions to the Cohasset Village eating scene.