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Restaurants & Bars 1

Picnic in Downtown (Long)

whitneyp | Oct 19, 200505:35 PM

just had a nice lunch at Picnic Land next door to Central Market. I’ve passed by on my way to lunch at Anna Marias dozens of times but today was the first time eating there [based on a Bunker Hill area rec].

I was humbled by the operation, the likes of which I haven’t seen in the "historic" area of downtown. this little patio lunch spot churns out grab-and-go “Picnics” by the dozens. kind of a cross between café and deli, but the concept pretty much revolves around 7 or so “set lunch” picnics. each includes a sampling of various ala carte menu items like panini, wraps, salads, soups and sides/tapas. I don’t eat red meat or poultry so I chose the “French Picnic,” which came with a smoked salmon wrap, potato gratin, salad and a side of melon. the wrap was decadent. plenty of smoked salmon and what tasted like a homemade dill cream cheese, capers, red onion and romaine surrounded by lavosh… rich, creamy, crisp, big. the gratin was a bit much for my appetite, but tasty nonetheless.

my co-worker and dining companion had the veggie picnic option - eggplant caviar, a tzatziki [?] style dip, and freshly made ratatouille served w/ lavosh and toasted French bread rounds. this was more an appetizer sampling than the other lunch picnics offered. not a fan of cucumber. to me the yogurt salad/dip looked ehhh…but I tried the ratatouille, which was said to be the standout. wow. full or art and flavor where many versions are disappointingly bland.

overall, I thought the picnics were a great deal at $8.25 for what amounts to 4-5 “dishes”. ordering ala carte here could get a little pricey though.

they had an interesting selection of salads and to drink, fruit juices, coffees and ciders. didn’t try them.

anyone ever been to lunch here and have any favorites? I'd like to check them out again sometime on a future market run. happy to see places like this finally coming online here in downtown.

Picnic Land
324 Hill Street

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