Thursday, August 13, 2009

Cheesy Days and Creamy Nights

On a sunny morning recently my wife, daughter and I decided to head to the Berkshires for a day of sun, coffee, cheese, sausages, barbecue and ice cream. While this may seem like a strange combo of items for a summer day trip, we are a food obsessed family. Anytime we go anywhere it revolves around food, this day was no different and it was well worth the drive.

Although my wife is a native western Mass(achussian?? Massichussiner? Masshole? I'm not really sure here...) she had never been to Great Barrington. So we decided to take the little one swimming at a nearby lake and had lunch on the beach. After getting her fill of sun and water we headed to downtown Great Barrington.

First stop: Fuel Coffee Shop. The place seemed hip. I ordered two iced americanos they were dark, not too bitter and good. My wife and I were both pleased to have a little caffeine after a long morning/afternoon at the beach.

Second Stop: Rubiners Cheesemongers and Grocers. This place is easily the best cheese and charcuterrie shop in New England outside of Boston. They had an amazing selection of local, domestic and international cheeses. Many of which they had out for sampling and a cheese monger offering tastes of whatever you wanted to try assuming you weren't put off by his displeased look and unfriendly demeanour. I personally love all forms of charcutterie and they had everything you could want. A great find!

Third Stop: Route 7 Grill. I had heard many good things about this place, some even claimed it to be the best barbecue in New England. While I'm not sure I would go that far it was VERY good. They use local meats and produce which I of course love, especially for barbecue. You don't see that everyday. It was a hot night and we sat outside on the patio. It was almost perfect, minus the mosquitoes which got bad right before they lit the citronella, eating outside there on a hot August night. Cold beer. Ribs. Pulled pork. Brisket. Corn bread. Coleslaw. (Good coleslaw I might add, not some mayonnaise slop like too many places serve.) We were pleased all around. HIGHLY recommended.

Last Stop: Soco Creamery. We had promised the little one all day that we would get ice cream and so we did. While I was full from a plethora of smoked meats and beer I knew I had to take one for the team and eat ice cream (possibly my favorite thing on the planet, don't tell anyone). We stopped at the factory shop because of its side of the road convenience compared to the downtown location. That was a little bit of a mistake. It looked like no one had been in there in days. The inside was a disaster. They had only a few selections on hand which confused me since that is where they make and package the ice cream. Anyways, the little one got her cone of black raspberry and I had some coffee-mocha concoction, I'm not sure what my wife had. At that point it didn't matter I was hot, full and beat but it was the perfect way to cap of a summer food adventure.

Fuel Coffee Shop
286 Main St, Great Barrington, MA 01230-1607
(413) 528-5505

Rubiner's Cheesemonger and Grocer
264 Main St, Great Barrington, MA 01230-2202
(413) 528-0488

Route 7 Grill
999 Main St, Great Barrington, MA 01230-2028
(413) 528-3235

Soco Creamery
5 Railroad St, Great Barrington (this is the downtown address, go here not to the factory!)
(413) 528-9420

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