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Insider: Intrepid Cafe dares to do toast differently

Philip Keith

Intrepid Cafe offers a selection of toast elevated with an array of inventive toppings.

By Ann Trieger Kurland Globe Correspondent 

From its name, you might think there is something fearless, bold, or even daring going on here. But the new Intrepid Cafe near Kendall Square actually has a serene and stylish vibe with its neutral color scheme and blond wood tables. Local muralist Solei covered one black wall with an imaginative ink drawing capturing the skyline looming over the Longfellow Bridge. Here you come for very good coffee and a selection of toast elevated with an array of inventive toppings ($4 to $7). The hearty breads are from Bread Obsession of Waltham, and are delicious on their own. The avocado toast is stellar: mashed avocado sits on flax seed rye slathered with cultured butter and finished with a sprinkling of rosemary lemon zest and microgreens. On caraway rye, generous Brie slices are drizzled with tangerine blossom infused honey. Atop cinnamon swirl toast, spiced almond butter is topped with banana slices then sprinkled with chocolate powder. Also available are fruit spreads, such as blood orange marmalade and rhubarb ginger. Coffee is taken seriously here and local roaster Gracenote Coffee supplies beans from Honduras, Sumatra, and Ethiopia for the well-made cappuccino, latte, cortado, and drip brewed, as well as other coffee drinks. “We opened the cafe because we really care about quality coffee,” says owner Mark Kasdorf. The shop shares its name with the Cambridge software development company Intrepid he founded. You won’t see a hulking espresso machine blocking the view of the open kitchen, for the drinks are made with the smaller Modbar espresso machine. “Our focus here is transparency,” says general manager Ryan Woolley. Local purveyors supply other foods to nibble on: muffins, tea breads, and scones from Danish Pastry House in Watertown; cookies from Cambridge’s Trill Foods; bean to bar single-origin chocolates from Somerville Chocolate and Chequessett Chocolate of Truro on Cape Cod. “Intrepid Cafe is all about the coffee experience and creating an atmosphere where people can sit and relax and have a great conversation over a well-crafted drink,” says Kasdorf.

150 First St., Cambridge, www.intrepidcafe.com.

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ANN TRIEGER KURLAND