Commonwealth

11 Broad Canal Way | Cambridge MA 02142

In celebration of Anji’s impending graduation, the full CSC family line got together for lunch after finals. We chose to eat at Commonwealth, a trendy restaurant in Kendall adorned with wooden accents and rustic elements. The outdoor patio was full, so the eight of us sat indoors, enjoying the natural sunlight without being attacked by the harsh winds outside.

For lunch, the menu was quite limited, with only a dozen sandwiches and salads available to our choosing. I, along with Lisa, went with the Sausage Parm sandwich, with sausage, provolone, spicy cauliflower, and basil. The sandwich was satisfying, though the sausage overwhelmed the other flavors quite a bit. I could barely taste the spicy cauliflower or basil, which I had hoped to stand out in this sandwich. The duck fat fries that came with all the sandwiches were also average at best, though I can’t say I’m a connoisseur of French fries. Lisa felt similarly, saying, “Overall I liked my sandwich, though the sausage was a bit on the salty side. The flavors in the sandwich itself were very rich, but the fries were great!”

Anji and Ann both ordered the Italian Stallion sandwich, which came with salami, mortadella, capicola, ham, provolone, lettuce, and tomato on a baguette. “It was a surprisingly good Italian sandwich,” Anji explained. “Parts of the bread got soggy quickly but I’m not sure if that could’ve been prevented. I especially liked the touch of pepper vinaigrette used on the meat to add spiciness. It complemented the hot peppers also in the sandwich.”

Jackie tried the Pork Belly Banh Mi. “The sandwich bread had an appropriate amount of crunch, balanced well by the soft, tasty pork belly in the middle,” Jackie said. “The fatty portions were really well seasoned but, well, fatty. The parsley added a nice tinge of refreshing flavor and in general it was a very good Vietnamese-style sandwich. The fries were a bit too heavy and thick-cut for me, but grease and salt can never taste too terrible. Overall I really enjoyed it!”

Annie and Amy both ordered the Smoked Turkey and Bacon sandwich, which came with turkey, bacon, avocado, pepper jack cheese, and arugula. “The sandwich has a great balance of flavors,” Annie told me. “Even though there was so much turkey in comparison to the bacon, you could taste the bacon with each bite. The baguette was also crispy enough on the outside for a satisfying crunch, but soft enough on the inside so my jaw didn’t hurt by the end of the sandwich. The duck fat fries were also delicious and well-seasoned.”

Renee ordered the Chopped Salad, which came with romaine, bacon, a hard-boiled egg, blue cheese, a spicy ranch dressing. “The salad was okay,” she said. “Not the best I’ve had but better than the average chain.”

Annie also ordered a cocktail called the Surfboardt with cognac, mango, lemon, and zinfandel. When the drink came, we could smell the alcohol from our seats, but Annie insisted that her drink “didn’t taste as strong as it smelled, and had great fruity flavors!”

Overall, Commonwealth is a reliable lunch destination for a quick eat with friends or family, but I can’t say that the $13 price tag on every sandwich was completely justifiable. The service was mediocre at best, and the food was just a touch too salty/greasy/ordinary for me to classify the place as upscale. 7/10