Words and images by Kezia Bacon.
Enjoying Takeout, Outside.
Picnic Lunchbreak is a new column co-sponsored by Edible South Shore & South Coast and the North and South Rivers Watershed Association. Its purpose: pairing restaurant takeout options with beautiful outdoor places, to encourage alfresco dining, even in winter!
Many area nature preserves offer picnic tables with gorgeous views. Need a break from your routine this week? Bundle up, place an order, grab your food, and meet a friend for a refreshing dining experience. Not only will it bring some light to the grey days of the pandemic, but it will also demonstrate your support of local restaurants during this challenging time!
Abington has some beautiful town-owned parks and conservation areas, several with picnic tables. An inviting option for a winter day is the 64-acre Griffin Dairy Farm on Route 58. What once was a private farm is now open to the public. It features wide-open views and a half-mile walking trail. Sturdy footbridges provide crossings of the intermittent stream that cuts through the property and flows eventually to the Shumatuscacant River, part of the Taunton River watershed.
If you want more from your walk than what the flat gravel loop trail provides, extend your route down Pattison Street to Charles Street, where you can pick up the Rockland Rail Trail and continue for three more miles.
When I first visited this property last fall, I was pleased to see two newly-installed coated metal picnic tables, as well as a few benches. When I returned this winter, with my picnic lunch, I was dismayed to find the tables stacked and shrink-wrapped! Winter picnics often require flexible thinking, so instead, I enjoyed my lunch while seated on a bench.
For takeout, I chose Yaz’s Table, 1.5 miles away. Open for breakfast and lunch, this cozy restaurant on Route 18 specializes in American classics with a Mediterranean twist. There are numerous egg dishes, including five different Benedict’s, plus innovative twists such as Pancake Tacos and the Acai Banana Split Protein Bowl. Or consider the Hummus Mezze Board, the Bourbon & Brown Sugar Wings, or the Chicken & Waffles. In the mood for a sandwich? How about a Smoked Salmon Wrap, or the Kofta Burger with grass-fed beef? There is also a generous array of sides, desserts, and craft cocktails.
I opted for Momma Maggie’s Falafel Wrap, a spinach flatbread stuffed with a tasty combination of fava beans, hummus, tahini, tabbouleh, pickled turnips, feta cheese, olives, and Yaz’s table salad. I also tried The Original Home Fries — flavorful chunks of red bliss and sweet potatoes. And of course, I had to try the baklava, which was sweet but not cloying; crisp on the outside, and deliciously chewy within. My order could have easily fed two; I saved the second half for dinner.
Yaz’s Table makes nearly everything from scratch. Their farm-to-table cuisine is sourced locally when possible, and the menu is designed to accommodate almost any dietary restriction. “We do our absolute best to make sure no one has to settle,” says owner Yazmine Zakhary. “Settling” seems unlikely at a place as creative as this.
1209 Bedford Street, Abington
Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 8am-3pm; dine-in and takeout
Griffin Dairy Farm
326 Plymouth Street (Route 58), Abington
Hours: dawn to dusk
North and South Rivers Watershed Association
Edible South Shore & South Coast
Looking for additional ideas for a picnic? Check out our other visits here.
Where’s your favorite spot to picnic? Share your suggestions with our readers in the comments below.