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Picnic Time in Arlington

How to have a great picnic using local treats.

Whether you are heading downtown with the backdrop of the Charles River speckled with boats and the air full of buzz from the crowds or you are staying in town, the summer is prime time for a picnic. 

If you don't already have the perfect picnic basket or your cooler has seen better days, stop in at  Shattuck Ace Hardware for a whole lot of choice.

As for what you pack in your basket, there tend to be two main camps when it comes to picnic foods:

  • Those who pack the classic American picnic with sandwiches, potato, pasta or some sort of jello salad, and fruit, brownies or sweet treats to finish it off.  
  • Those who go the Martha Stewart, Barefoot Contessa, Food Network route with all kinds of specially prepared picnic-worthy foods. 

Most do a little of both with some of the dishes from childhood picnics for the nostalgia factor and some more modern favorites. The common thread with all these foods and recipes is that they are comfortably packed and eaten when spread out on a picnic blanket with everyone strewn about.

For your sandwiches, stop by Quebrada for some perfectly fresh and soft sandwich bread. Loaves of white and wheat bread are baked on Saturdays so you can pick up one or two just in time for your July 4th picnic. If you prefer a Challah, they are baked fresh on Fridays and are available plain, sesame, poppy or raisin. Quebrada uses unbleached, un-bromated flour and no preservatives "just like grandma or great-grandma" made.

Fill your sandwiches with egg salad, cold cuts, fresh mozzarella and basil or whatever your family and friends like best. D'Agostino's Deli will even put together platters of meat and cheese so all you need to do is have Quebrada slice the bread for you, pack up some condiments and everyone can make a sandwich themselves to their own taste. 

If you prefer to bring everything ready-made then D'Agostino's Deli will do your sandwiches to order. You can stop by Blue Ribbon BBQ for a pint of pickles, sandwich rolls or cornbread, chicken wings, cole slaw, potato salad and so many other bites that scream "summer!!". 

For some snacking foods before the picnic begins or late while you're sitting under the glow of the fireworks consider picking up some olives, dried fruit or nuts from Christo's Fruit Market. Boyle's Market will also put together a salad platter or finger sandwiches. 

If you really didn't have a plan, grab a blanket, order a pizza from Sabatino's Italian Kitchen, Andrina's Pizzeria, Villa House of Pizza, or Jimmy's Pizzeria among many others.

Pour some lemonade or brew a batch of iced tea into a large mason jar that you can pick up at Balich 5 & 10 get a box of cookies from Lakota Bakery and your guests will be none the wiser.

Then all you have to do is load up the car, the bike, the wagon, or the stroller and head to your own patch of grass in Boston or on top of the world at Robbins Farm Park.

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