If you’re not careful, it’s easy to miss Second Street Café, tucked away in East Cambridge. But there’s already a steady stream of hungry people coming into this new gourmet-sandwich shop that serves daily specials, sandwiches, soups, and salads, along with baked goods for breakfast.
Tired of late nights at the South End’s Aquitaine, chef Jonathan Adelson moved to this little café in his own neighborhood. Here he can greet his regular customers and treat them to meats from Savenor’s Market and produce from Russo’s. Adelson changes the menu daily to take advantage of what’s fresh. The first bite of the grilled cubano sandwich ($6.95) melts away all frustration about parking in East Cambridge. (Try the Green Line, Lechmere stop.) The Cuban-roasted pork loin, imported ham, and Swiss cheese overflow the edges of this pressed-hero-roll sandwich slathered with sweet relish, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, and hot peppers.
In addition to the daily sandwich specials ($5.95–$6.95), you can get regular sandwiches made to order ($6.50–$7). Combine half a regular sandwich with a small homemade soup ($6.50–$7), such as gazpacho, chicken, lemon, and escarole, or mushroom bisque (sold separately, soups cost $3.25 or $4.50). Or try a salad — caesar ($4.50) or a mixed-green salad with tomato, cucumber, red onion, and Dijon vinaigrette ($5.50); add chicken to either for $1.25.
But the best deals are the daily home-cooked entrée specials that come with a salad ($7.25): spicy chicken fajitas with homemade guacamole, sour cream, and sweet peppers; slow-simmered beef or chicken nuggets in a fresh curry sauce over basmati rice; meat lasagna with ricotta, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheese.
Second Street Café may be nothing much to look at from the outside, with just a simple sign announcing its presence. But inside, there’s a flurry of taste.
Second Street Café, located at 80 Second Street, in Cambridge, is open Monday through Friday, from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Call (617) 661-1311.