Where to Cardullo’s Gourmet Shoppe at the 101 Seaport complex. It’s a new location for the Harvard Square specialty grocer, which opened on Brattle Street in 1950.
What for Sandwiches, wine, and unusual provisions.
The scene Orderly, with a precise blend of warmth and efficiency. Seaport workers line up at a deli counter to make their selections, and a row of cheerful cashiers keep things moving right along. A few people wander among the aisles, inspecting wine, jam, and marmite. (Is there a big marmite market in the Seaport?) This branch lacks some of the colorful neighborhood character at the Brattle Street original — it’s in a steel-gray office building, after all — but they’re trying. This is probably the only place on the block where you can load up on smoked wild kippers, Aeronaut beer, Taza chocolate, and Bavarian potato dumpling mix all in one fell swoop. Go wild! Stock up! Amaze your co-workers!
What you’re eating Sandwiches served swiftly and amiably. Menus are printed on the wall. No whimsical chalkboards or cutesy fonts, just straightforward information for the busy worker: salads, vegetarian and hot sandwiches, wraps, and custom creations with nods to their old neighborhood, such as the Hearty Harvard (choice of meat with coleslaw and Thousand Island dressing on a baguette) or the Radcliffe (pate, fig spread, and Dijon mustard on a baguette). They serve a dignified breakfast, too: Opt for speck and egg on a bagel or ham, brie, and apples on a croissant. Don’t see what you want? They’ll adapt. When a customer asks for a Rachel on a wrap instead of rye, a cashier gamely agrees. “It’ll be messy, but we’ll try it!” she says.
Care for a drink? Visit the cooler next to the deli counter for Spindrift seltzer; kombucha; Stumptown cold brew; and house-label root beer, orange soda, and cream soda.
Overheard Dinner party debriefs; corporate complaints. “We were pretty aggressive,” a man in pleats says to his companion, standing in line. “I couldn’t believe we got through that much wine.” A young woman stands next to a colleague, matching ID batches dangling from their belts. She whips out her smartphone. “This is my sister, and this is my sister’s two boys, and these are my nieces,” she says, scrolling along, while her lunch-mate looks on benignly. The line begins to snake past the dumpling mix and toward the door, though it moves right along. Two more people join the queue, appearing hassled. “Kevin is awful with fonts,” one says to another. “And he cannot convert currencies.”
99 Seaport Boulevard, Seaport, Boston, 617-326-8655, www.cardullos.com
Kara Baskin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.