The weather was so gorgeous Sunday afternoon that my family and I wanted to eat outside, so we headed to one of our favorite places to eat -- the taco stand at Las Palmas Mexican grocery in the city's Brookline neighborhood.
The guys loaded us up with four soft tacos -- three chicken, one chorizo -- and two bottles of soda for $11, and after we dressed the tacos with lime, cilantro and salsa, we found a stretch of curb in the sunshine where we could savor them, and the idea that this stand is open year around.
It was also nice to see that just up Brookline Boulevard, Pitaland was selling food out front, under a tent: $5 gyros and chicken shawarma sandwiches (like the one being dressed above) with $1 fresh-squeezed lemonades.
We weren't still hungry enough for a second lunch, but we still were hungry, so we made the short drive to the edge of Brookline for dessert at the new Le Cupcake Shoppe. On cobblestoned Capital Avenue just above West Liberty Avenue, the cute little storefront sells even cuter mini cupcakes. For $5, we got a half dozen -- Maple Bacon, Salted Caramel, Red Velvet and three Hot Chocolates -- and we also ordered a Carrot Cake cake pop. The proprietress, Alexandra Hagen, wearing her Steelers colors, couldn't have been sunnier.
It was a great lunch outing and one I know we'll repeat on nice Sundays this fall and winter.
It'd be great if more Brookline food establishments took it outside. The neighborhood, which already is the setting for a food tour, could become even more of a destination.
The Las Palmas taco stand is open from about 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, as is the new stand on Atwood Street in Oakland.
Pitaland's tent is open from about 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Thursday through Sunday, and the weather looks to be so nice this week they'll set up Wednesday, too. They'll go all winter long and in the spring, the Mediterranean bakery and store will open an indoor cafe that we can't wait to try.
Le Cupcake Shoppe is open noon to 4 p.m. Sundays. Hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.
Bob Batz Jr. photos