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Incredible Edibles

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Despite weekly trips to the Co-op and a persistent curiosity about the fare and wares at Incredible Edibles, I'd never investigated just what edibles were offered or how incredible they really were.

I wandered in solo and ravenous after a three-day stint surviving on coffee and beer nuts and made a snap decision from the half-dozen menu choices. Quiche of the day, house salad and soup of the day. The barrista/cook/waiter/cashier, (whom I later learned was also ending an unintentional three-day fast with not one, but two Reubens from Jim's), leaped into action with a clanging of doors and dishes from the kitchen.

The soup du jour was the kind of vegetable that just about all restaurants in town must get from Sysco. It's not half bad, but it ain't grandma's.

Enter the main course, and Holy quiche, Batman is about the only thing that comes to mind. Sans salad, this giant slice of spinach pie retails for the low price of $4.95, and given its plate-sized cut, I'd say it's a fairly reasonable lunch deal. As for flavor, the spinach would make Popeye proud and neither the egg nor the cheese was overwhelming. The consistency of the crust, as you'd expect from reheated quiche, is a bit soggy until you work your way toward the outer crust, which gets high marks for its flakiness and buttery undertones. The accompanying salad was without tomatoes (which is one of two foods I could subsist solely on) and though that was a slight disappointment, the big let down came when I removed the lemon slice from the top of my lettuce to discover a creamy white (please, don't let it be Ranch) dressing smothering my lettuce. It proved to be a tangy, Caesar-like version of the stuff that shares its name with beans and houses, and though it wouldn't have been my condiment of choice, it wasn't a deal breaker, either. Garlic and cheese-crusted croutons made from leftover sourdough were a nice touch, though a few were tooth-chippers. Satisfied and full, I noted the menu items I'd not sampled: a chicken Caesar wrap, ham and Swiss croissant, turkey focaccia sandwich, Italian panini and a chicken Caesar salad. For a place trying to pass as a restaurant, the choices were limited and the food mediocre. For a coffee shop and bakery selling lunch on the side, the choices were well-balanced and the food a quick and tasty alternative to the six-dollar drive-thru burger.

But when only decent coffee, a nibble of sweets and a good place to read a book are on the day's agenda, Incredible Edibles is a welcoming world. With enough Americanos under my belt to rival the caffeine consumption of a small nation, I like to think I know good coffee. I was impressed by the brew at Edibles, but after a conversation about the subtleties of coffee concocting with the day's brewmaster, I think the result was more his skill than the coffee quality. The bakery case was stocked with muffins, croissants and cakes, but my sweet tooth and I know each other well; I chose a lemon bar and a fruit tart. I took one bite of the lemon bar and put the fork down to inspect. It didn't taste like a hockey puck, and a closer look proved that it didn't look like a hockey puck, but the crunch sure fooled me. I broke it in half with my fork, seeking a moist and soft center but came away with crumbling cookie-like filling. The tart, however, picked up the slack. With soft shortbread tart shell, light custard filling and a rainbow of fruit on top, coupled with the memory of previously enjoyed incredibly edible birthday cake, I struck my lemon bar mishap from the record and concluded that bakery and coffee are the incredible of Edibles.

--Rachael Daigle never rolls on Shabbos.

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