The Best New Foodie Road Trips! (No. 6 Goes to…)

1221754730Road trippers, rejoice! The next two months bring arguably the most pleasant driving conditions we get all year in New England (crisp, refreshing temps in the high 50s to low 70s) and, by mid-October, the most stunning visuals anywhere (brilliant-hued, leaf-shaped eye candy).

It’s also just about this time that once a year, every year, the brilliant-hued notion dawns on local foodies to take a gastronomic day trip to some farflung restaurant. Noble plan—if only the target weren’t the same tried-and-true restaurants every time.

To demonstrate that there are journey-worthy culinary destinations beyond the excellent Fore Street in Portland, ME, and Simon Pearce in Queechee, VT, Chowder put pedal to the metal to come up with new and exciting (and appetizing) alternatives that probably aren’t on your radar yet, but should be.

Every Thursday, for the next six weeks, Chowder counts down the best new foodie road trips, starting with No. 6 and working our way up to No. 1—which will be revealed in the November print edition of Boston.

Let the countdown begin.

No. 6: RUBI’S SANDWICHES (Great Barrington, MA)

Who in their right mind would drive two hours and 21 minutes west for a sandwich shop? Anyone who’s sampled the Lemony Grilled Halloumi Toast. Seriously.

Chowder’s still fantasizing about this unbelievably tasty concoction. A huge, salty swath of halloumi cheese (for those unfamilar, it’s a softer, fattier, more nutty-tasting take on feta) is grilled open-face on a buttered baguette, with pieces of Spanish preserved lemon (salty lemon pickles…) hidden beneath the melted cheese, then drizzled with bracing, floral Sicilian lemon oil for good measure. Pure heaven.

The quirky sandwich shop also does a mean Sunday brunch, with delightfully creamy soft-boiled eggs, French toast, and a “Daily Chocolate Sandwich” that, on Chowder’s visit, was rich enough to require two espressos (each boasting a perfect crema) to get down. A very Manhattanite crowd, patrons sat at communal tables reading the New York Times, several enjoying a weekend-morning glass of wine (also offered by the bottle).

Next door, Rubiner’s Cheesemongers is a gourmet store reminiscent of South End Formaggio, with local cheeses, cured meats, an interesting wine selection, and an assortment of other posh victuals for the journey home.

BEST BETS: Halloumi Cheese Toast, Comte Grilled Cheese Sandwich, “Daily Chocolate Sandwich”

DRIVE TIME FROM BOSTON: 2 hours, 21 minutes

INFORMATION: Rubi’s Sandwiches, 264 Main St., Great Barrington, MA 01230, 413-528-0488.

**** NEXT THURSDAY…NO. 5! ****

Image by Kit Latham, used by permission by