Myself, and the General Manager recently spent a very pleasant afternoon treating ourselves to lunch at a local sandwich shop followed by taking in the traveling Pompeii Exhibit currently at the Boston Museum of Science (leaves February 12, don’t miss it!). We enjoyed it so much that we felt compelled to share our experience with you.
We started off at the All Star Sandwich Bar in Inman Square. All Star has a reputation of offering meat laden sandwiches and tasty sides. This reputation proved to true…prepare to nearly dislocate your jaw if you plan to take the turkey club on. Though noisy and a tad crowded at lunchtime, the atmosphere is relaxed and the menu offers choices not normally seen in Cambridge (“Beef on Weck” and Cubano, for example). The wait staff is very friendly, but busy, so don’t be afraid to speak up if you don’t get you side order of sweet pickles.
In my opinion, no meal in Inman Square is complete without a trip to Christina’s Homemade Ice Cream, conveniently located next door to All Star Sandwich Bar. Offering traditional, as well as their own special, flavors of ice cream, Christina’s is a local institution that should, in my opinion, be a mandatory stop for anyone visiting Cambridge. Personally, I have never had better Coconut Butterfinger ice cream (that is coconut ice cream with Butterfinger candy pieces mixed in) anywhere. Of course, I don’t think I have ever seen the flavor anywhere else, and I visited more than my fair share of ice cream shops. The unique flavors may be in part due to the fact that the owners also run a fantastic spice shop next door. Christina's ice cream is a true delight for all the senses.
Finally, the real point of the outing was to take in the Pompeii exhibit at the Museum of Science. If you have any interest in the Roman Empire or life in ancient times, this is a fascinating, must see exhibit. Many everyday objects from the ill fated town are on display, including coins, glass jars, medical tools and assorted pottery. Perhaps the most touching, if not a tad disturbing, part of the exhibit is the room filled with body casts of people and animals killed when Mt. Vesuvius erupted in 79A.D. Even now, nearly 2,000 years later you feel almost like you are witnessing the final moments of their lives. The emotional impact of the exhibit may not be suitable for all.
If you get the chance, in Cambridge or elsewhere, the Pompeii exhibit should not be missed.