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Bites Nearby: Six Degrees of Summer Meals

On a quest for the best of Brookline's summer eats through Bites Nearby's past culinary adventures.

Baby, it's hot outside, but these six restaurants have you covered. They'll serve you a hot meal in a cool hangout--or vice versa--when even the thought of turning on the oven makes you break out in a sweat.

The Cool

Take a trip to for sandwiches worth their wait in line. A favorite is the Spuckie, a combo of meat, cheese, and olive-carrot slaw that plays savory, crunchy, chewy, and hot in every bite. The Ham Dijon is another winner, with soft, smoky ham from Niman Ranch on a baguette spread with Dijon and butter and sliced cornichons for a vinegary contrast. Pack these in your basket, alongside hand-squeezed limeade and a bag of housemade potato chips, for the perfect picnic.

 

One of the best ways to cool off is with a beer, and the choices are plentiful at in Washington Square. Sidle up to the bar for a couple of small plates, like the amazingly delicious sausage and pepper spring roll or the deviled bacon and eggs. If it's a full meal you're after, nothing quite says summer like a nice burger in one hand and a drink in the other.

 

Summertime produce is on its way in, and at , menus change daily to capture the best of the season. Start off with a refreshing salad, like a dish of roasted beets with goat cheese, pickled cherries, and toasted almonds, and work your way towards a steak with roasted mushrooms. You'll find the best of the sea here, too, like the clean salinity of Island Creek oysters or a filet of grilled Scottish Salmon, now paired with spring onions, beans, and basil. 

 

The Hot

If any restaurant could be sultry, it's , with its small plates and long wine list. Share a slice of baguette topped with a thick round of goat cheese and oregano, or sliced Spanish ham, or a dish of shrimp sizzling in garlic and olive oil so good that you'll sop up every drop with bread. Sit outside in an off-the-shoulder summer dress, with a light breeze playing about your shoulders, and pretend you're on the Mediterranean coast.

 

The hottest thing in is the oven itself, burning hot enough to turn out pizzas with an even, crisp crust and real style. Two favorites are the Margherita and the white pizza, topped with figs, pears, goat cheese, and a thicket of arugula. Dishes like pasta with pecorino and sea scallops also caught our eye, and you can't go wrong with the meatballs. Jimmy's garage-style windows open during the warmer months for a breeze and a view of Beacon Street.

 

What's a cemita, you ask? A Mexican-style sandwiche with bold flavors packed between a soft sesame-seed roll, found at in its many incarnations. You'll also find cheesy quesadillas, and tacos stuffed with tender chicken, steak, or fish. A favorite is the Ensenada, beer-battered white fish with pickled onions and a drizzle of crema; another excellent choice is the shrimp with jicama and pineapple salsa. Or anything on the menu, really. Cool down with a Mexican Coca-cola and enjoy this little spot that's muy caliente.

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