Random Find – Best Turkey Sandwich in Town? Rafiki Bistro

Another bit I’d love to add to the blog – if you’ll indulge me, of course – is little injections of the favorite spots I come across in my little urban explorations.  I know, it’s just my humble opinion here.  But I get so excited about these finds – particularly when food-related – that I tell just about everyone I know anyway.  Might as well get the word out a little farther!

What inspired this?  Well, I had (perhaps? most certainly?) the best turkey sandwich I can recall in a long time.  And this is after a long, rewarding run yesterday, folks.  It took serious restraint to eat this in more than two minutes.

The source?  Rafiki Bistro in Cambridge (between Porter and Harvard).

I had passed this place several times in my quest to find new cafes that are oh-so-slightly farther than Diesel or the Wi-Fi friendly Starbucks in Davis.  So where did I head?  The Wi-Fi friendly Starbucks past Porter.  I know, original.  But on the way there last week, I noticed that Rafiki Bistro appeared to be partnered with Clear Conscience Cafe of Central Square, and proudly announced on a chalkboard that it has free Wi-Fi, pastries, great coffee, etc. – that’s what I’m talkin’ about.  Prior to this, I’d seen Rafiki Bistro on plenty of jaunts to Harvard, but always assumed it was a restaurant.

So when I ventured in, up for stumbling on something new… it still looked like a restaurant to me.  And I gather that the staff is used to the ambiguity.  While this awkward set-up does kind of deter me from wanting to plop down with my laptop there all the time, the staff really did all they could to convince me otherwise.

The extraordinarily friendly and familiar (that might sound odd to say, but I have a special love for encounters with strangers that feel like you’re just interacting with old friends) waitress explained the set-up – Rafiki is an offshoot of C3, meant to be both a cafe and a transition into great food and beverage in the evening.  I won’t complain about that.

So she suggested the turkey sandwich when I was deciding between a couple of options, brought me a jug of water (5 points right there), and then two Wi-Fi coupons (turns out Wi-Fi is just free for one hour per coupon, but suited me anyway).

I’ll move onto the good stuff.  I am no food critic.  Whatsoever.  But I’ve tried many a turkey sandwich in my day, and had nearly given up on them since they just tend to be dry.  This one was DELICIOUS.  More caps:  MIND-BLOWING.  More:  I IMMEDIATELY CHANGED MY AWAY MESSAGE TO RAVE ABOUT THIS FOOD EXPERIENCE.  Wow.  Ingredient list:  free-range turkey, cranberry mustard, apples [really excellent addition], cheddar [more delicious than it sounds], and lettuce.

Oh and what’s that free-range business?  Yes, they’re all about organic and sustainably produced food.  I love it.  Other pluses?  Made a point to tell me I could stay there with my comp all day if I’d like.  The bartender/coffee-man-by-day came over to reiterate how happy they were to have me there and gave me coupons for a free drink and a discount on future visits.  Another waiter (not mine) and that bartender came to chat when I was packing up, saying again how they appreciate me coming in.  And their tea list is decent.

What I’m not so sure about?  Still felt a little funny being in there on my comp while others were just dining.  (No, didn’t open the laptop while eating.  I read, like a classy lady.)  Apparently I was in on an off day, and it’s usually more busy with laptoppers.

Next stop?  Rafiki… for brunch!

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