My favorite stop while biking in Concord is Farfalle Italian Café in Concord Crossing. Where? Most bikers know ATA Cycle. If you stand in front of their store on Thoreau Street in Concord and look directly across the street, you will see a railroad crossing. On the other side of the crossing is Farfalle. It is a biker friendly café. I always find plenty of space to park my bike and they have outdoor seating and shade, which is good on a long, hot summer ride. But shade and bike parking are not the reason why I return again and again. Think of stopping at your Italian mother’s house for a great home cooked meal. That is how I feel when I stop in. Owners Gina Nasson and husband Jeff Nedeau greet me by name, which is a big improvement over faceless staff at unnamed big box chains who barely acknowledge my presence. Gina knows that I like the prosciutto panini and she knows I like to sit outside in the summer even thought it is pleasant and cool inside. Just like at home.
Here is my bike parked next to an outdoor table and umbrella. I head inside to meet Gina and Jeff and ask “what’s for lunch?”
There have a variety of simple, tasty Italian dishes, like stuffed eggplant, stuffed peppers and rice balls, along with great salads with sides of fava beans, beets (great for any biker), corn, and whatever else is fresh today. The wine and beer counter beckons me, but I will have to wait for a visit by car so I can carry some of the interesting Italian wines home.
Jeff is making an espresso using locally roasted beans from Gracenote. Then there are the desserts. My favorite is the ricotta cake, which, if eaten with an espresso make a delicious combination and the added benefit is it will supply fuel for about 20 miles of riding!
Here is my delicious lunch and dessert along with my bike, water bottle and helmet. Whenever I leave, I always tell Gina and Jeff, “thanks for lunch” just as I would to my Italian mother.
26 Concord Crossing
Gina Nasson and Jeff Nedeau