Where to The latest branch of Tatte Bakery & Cafe, which founder Tzurit Or has grown since 2007 from a farmers’ market business to an operation with four brick-and-mortar stores. Products are also sold through Williams-Sonoma.
What for It suddenly seems there’s a Tatte on every corner of Kendall Square. Third Street! Broadway! Now Main Street! This is a neighborhood that drinks a lot of coffee. What distinguishes this branch: baking and cooking classes starting in March, in addition to beverages, pastries, and breakfast and lunch fare.
The scene Kendall Square techies, businesspeople, and students congregate at this modern cafe with retro touches: white subway tiles on the walls, an open kitchen, church pews and metal stools to sit on, antiques placed here and there — a music stand, a scale, a wood cabinet with many drawers. Mismatched lamps dangle from the ceiling. Plump pastries are displayed in a glass case. Customers sit at a communal table and wait in line for orders: a young man with hair to his shoulders and a dramatically draped plaid flannel scarf, an Indian man in a blue suit, women with bright bags and patterned sweaters, wearing either Bogs or flats in metallic and tropical hues despite feet of snow on the ground. A girl in red glasses is whistling. A blue-haired server doles out pastries and coffee. Feist, Florence and the Machine, and Snow Patrol play in the background. On the counter is a basket filled with what look like fortune-cookie fortunes, each imprinted with the Wi-Fi password.
What you’re eating If it’s morning, pastries — almond croissants, sugar brioches, halva roses — breakfast sandwiches, or eggs shakshuka, poached in tomato sauce. If it’s afternoon, mezze plates, salads with halloumi cheese, or sandwiches from braised brisket to the balakani, featuring roasted eggplant.
Care for a drink? Something caffeinated, please — lattes, cappuccinos, or brewed Stumptown coffee.
Overheard Conversation about work, school, congressional hearings, company snow-day policies, and hat head. Two men are speaking Chinese. A guy flags down a woman waiting for a sandwich and introduces her to a dining companion by name and work pod. “Got any interesting new projects?” someone asks. Another raves about his new job: “I’m having the best time of my life. It’s the best work environment.” “Here is your flower pot,” a staffer tells a customer, handing over a terracotta planter that contains napkins, utensils, and a table number. “I ate a sugar brioche in the movies the other day, and sugar was everywhere,” she tells another. “That’s it, 86 turkey!” comes a yell from the kitchen. Several people groan.
101 Main St., Kendall Square, Cambridge. 617-577-1111. www.tattebakery.com.Devra First can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @devrafirst.