quick bite: Saltbox Kitchen

May 10, 2023

I loved Saltbox Kitchen when it opened. I went there at least once a month, probably more. I loved Saltbox Farm. I took a cooking class there, you might remember. I would buy produce from Farmer Mark (he has sadly moved on to a new farm). But there was a moment when they turned me off. They started focusing on their beer, and I felt they were not as committed to their food. In particular, and I know this sounds so insignificant, they moved to paper napkins. I asked about it and they were rather dismissive, suggesting it was better for the environment and saying they still had cloth napkins at dinner. Then the cloth napkins at dinner went away too and so did I. I felt the charm was gone.

That was years ago, before COVID, a different time. Today, I happened to be in West Concord and decided to stop in for a little lunch. I’m glad I did because not only were the cloth napkins back, but the sandwich was incredible. I got the Marinated Chicken Shawarma, which I thought would be light. No, it was big. Between a superb roll were least two full chicken thighs that were heavily seasoned, juicy, and tender. The bottom of the roll was slathered with tzatziki and the chicken was topped with lettuce and tomato. It was accompanied by a few pickles and a small, but very enjoyable golden beet and fennel salad.

I can’t tell you how much I loved Saltbox and how disappointed I was when I stopped going there. While the napkins were the breaking point, it was symptomatic of how they were operating at the time. My visit today was like the good old days: excellent food, charming environment, friendly people. While I was lunching, there was a woman arranging flowers in vases and setting them out on the tables. I literally got a fresh bouquet of flowers just minutes before I got my sandwich. It’s time to give Saltbox another chance.

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