I have previously waxed poetic about my love for Cambridge and Somerville’s wealth of cafes/sandwich shops. I prefer the selection here over that of Boston proper. Cambridge has Crema Cafe, Mariposa, Darwin’s, and Petsi Pies, among others. Somerville has The Biscuit, Diesel, Bloc 11, and Sherman Cafe. Based on my experience, Sherman Cafe is slightly lesser known than some of the others. I only learned of it when its neighboring shop, Sherman Market, opened in 2009.
Sherman Cafe is located right in Union Square, Somerville. Natural light floods the space, with decor that is minimalist with industrial accents. A copper counter and case of baked goods greet you when you enter, along with several chalkboard menus. The seating area is spacious and the whole cafe has a very relaxed feel to it.
The menu is compact, with eight sandwiches, two salads, some soups and other miscellaneous items. I ordered a hummus sandwich with greens, red onion, carrots, and celeriac on 7-grain bread. It came on a very soft and chewy sourdough with a coating of cracked grain around the crust. The hummus was silky and rich. It was made with some herb or seasoning that lent it a slight green color and a wonderful flavor. The thinly sliced cucumber and carrot added the perfect crisp texture without making the sandwich soggy.
Sherman Cafe’s extensive selection of baked goods is a good thing of course, but terrible for my indecision. Coffee cakes, muffins, a cream cheese frosting-topped carrot cupcake the size of my head, scones, cookies and more. The scones in particular caught my eye. They were massive, standing at least two inches high, with coating of sugar that gave them a sparkly finish. The chocolate chip orange looked quite appealing that day. Some scraggly edges were burnt but they did not detract from the overall beauty of it. The exterior, as you can see from the photo, was wonderfully crisp and crunchy. Beneath the surface, the soft interior was moist with a mellow orange flavor and studded with large chocolate chips. It really is quite massive and if you get one of their scones, I strongly advise that you split it with someone or save half for later.
Since one scone is not enough baked good for me, I picked out a beautiful chocolate chip cookie as well. Do not be fooled by the seemingly-burnt edge on one side. This cookie was excellent. All too often cookie middles are left practically raw in an effort to create the contrast between a soft middle and crisp edge. To my delight this one was actually baked through all the way. The middle was nicely chewy without being mushy and raw. The whole cookie had a wonderful deep, caramelized flavor and nice crispy edges. Definitely one of the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve had in the Boston area.
257 Washington Street