Driving around looking for places to eat
Drove off to the South End to find Render Coffee Bar which I have been hearing about for weeks. They are included in the Disloyalty card you can get at Voltage on Third Street.
Render is at 563 Columbus Avenue, close to Mass. Avenue. Chris Dadey is the owner. They use Counterculture Coffee and Dadey previously managed Espresso Royale and Pavement. Render is serious about coffee without being disproportional about it.
As you would expect The Globe’s Ike Di Lorenzo was already there.
Some days it seems impossible to get enough coffee so we then drove to Dorchester Avenue to visit Ba Le at 1052 Dorchester Avenue. They make extraordinary Iced Vietnamese Coffee. The small shop is filled with unusual foods but insist the Vietnamese Coffee is amazing. Some foods are as brightly colored as a Twinkie or Hostess Sno Ball. I’ve been slowly working my way through the store’s offerings, with guidance from Steve and Dana An. Sandwiches are great. I haven’t been able to determine if there is a hot Vietnamese Coffee.
Finally as the sun set we drove over to the CloverHub on Cambridge Street near Inman Square. This is the big Clover location and comissary and I’d give them a Jane Jacobs Award for a very small idea they have executed. There is what looks like a small room next to the entrance that might be an afterthought, or space for an ATM. In this neighborhood the space could be used by a fortune teller or a tattoo artist. Clover designed it to temporarily house very small businesses or pop-up business ideas with a short intended life. First in the space is Grillo’s Pickels. I love pickels. Pickles are great for you. They’ll cure anything and everything and make you happy. Grillo’s is collaborating with Clover and was giving away fried pickels. This is how to open a food business!
There is a vimeo movie about the company that was unavailable but here is the website