The Boston Phoenix
April 13 - 20, 2000

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Darwin's Ltd.

The evolution of the sandwich

by Julia Hanna

on the cheap
  • Joe Sent Me, April 6
  • Celia's, March 30
  • Palenque, March 23
  • Few things are easier to prepare, and harder to find, than a good sandwich -- the kind of sandwich that demands the attention reserved for full-sensory dining experiences, not the eat-at-your-desk variety. Darwin's Ltd. specializes in soul-restoring meals that happen to be served between two slices of bread. Located just outside Harvard Square, Darwin's is the corner store of every foodie's dreams -- a kind of upmarket spa with a bright chalkboard menu and boxy wooden shelves holding everything from lemon-pear marmalade to bags of purple sticky rice.

    Fixings are of the highest quality, and the sandwich makers who put them together obviously take pride in their craft. There are more than a dozen combos on the board, from the straightforward ham-and-Swiss Chelsea ($5.50) to the Hubbard Park ($5.50), a rib-sticking vegetarian creation that includes hummus, avocado, apple, carrot, tomato, sprouts, and optional cheddar cheese. The Chapman ($4.75) is one of the best egg-salad sandwiches I've ever eaten: messy and flavorful, with good-size chunks of egg, a slight crunch of celery, and dark undertones of Worcestershire sauce. It's even more delicious combined with substantial slices of avocado.

    Homemade soups, a selection of prepared salads and sides, and serious sweets from Lakota Baking Company (including a dark-chocolate Florentine that's half-cookie, half-candy, for 95 cents) round out the offerings. You can dine in at a long table with stools, or you can take out, walk to the Charles, and have a picnic. Taking a Darwin's sandwich back to the office is not allowed.

    Darwin's Ltd., located at 148 Mount Auburn Street, in Cambridge, is open Monday through Saturday from 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Call (617) 354-5233.

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