Stephen Rushmore Jr.
Okay, I read over the posts and didn’t realize (1) that you have kids and (2) that you are planning to drive (are you out of your mind!?).
As a former Brighton/Brookline/Allston resident, here’s a thought for a market excursion. Berezka is good, but small, but it’s a couple of blocks from a Super 88 on Brighton Ave. at Packards Corner (where Comm. Ave. turns South and Brighton Ave. goes straight and east, it’s Boston, go figure). That’s the Super 88 that has the food court with a good assortment of Asian kiosks. If I had big kids and a family into walking I’d take the Green Line B train to Packards Corner, but if you can drive out of town you’ll find some parking in Allston/Brookline.
Hit Super 88 for the shopping experience (be sure to hit the "candy" aisle and get the kids some Pocky, "Mens Pocky" with the chocolate is a good hit if they have it. If you have boys, spend time with the live fish. They keep the pork bellies and Virginia hams way in the back corner. Check out the food court and see if there’s anything there they’ll eat.
If not, there’s a Spike’s Junkyard Dogs about four blocks up on the other side of Brighton Ave. These are meal-sized beef dogs with lots of toppings.
If you’re on Comm. Ave., one of the best bread bakeries in town is down a side street in Brookline. Clear Flour provides many of the best restaurants, and they also make cookies to die for. http://www.clearflourbread.com/
Berezka is just before the intersection of Harvard Ave. and Comm. Ave. so if you have a safe parking spot and you’re kids aren’t little you can walk down Comm. Ave. from Super 88 or down Harvard Ave. or the side street next to Spike’s from Brighton Ave. Note that parking near Berezka is on the "local" travel land to the right of the trolley tracks and mostly cab stands.
From Berezka, it’s only a few blocks (left turn across trolley tracks!!!) past Rubins deli to JFK crossing with the Butcherie (urban Kosher supermarket), Kupels Bake & Bagel (Jewish bakery), the second outpost of Daily Catch and an Anna’s Taqueria. Note that Harvard Ave. becomes Harvard St. in Brookline. If you’re on foot at this point and so inclined you can turn up Beals Street for a couple of blocks and see the birthplace of JFK.
Continuing on Harvard St. to Coolidge Corner and there are a lot of shops and restaurants, including Zaftig’s, which is the latest incarnation of a "strong like bull" deli and Upper Crust which is said to have some of the best thin-crust pizza. Like everyplace else, Coolidge Corner has been "Gapped" but there are still some local shops. If you want a real blast from the past check out Brookline News and Gifts, a block past the Barnes & Noble. A real old-fashioned newsstand and novelty store with a surprising collection of cigars if you’re so inclined. If it’s not in the case, they can probably pull it out of the humidified back closet. Now, even Mike, the owner, can’t smoke his pipe.
The Coolidge Corner Cinema is a minor deco landmark and one of the survivors from the revival cinema era of the 70s. They sold their storefront and created a not-for-profit to promote independent film. Just before it is the Arcade which is an early version of an urban mall which has some shops and professional offices in an atrium-like space (but there is a sex shop upstairs, not for the kids).
At the corner of Beacon and Harvard is a food icon. The S.S. Pierce building, a half block of Tudor that was once headquarters of the major purveyor of tinned "gourmet" foods in the East Coast. Even in the 60s, in New England if you wanted turtle soup or caviar it probably came from S.S. Pierce. The corner storefront is now a Walgreens. There’s a bunch of neat shops and restaurants mostly to the west on Beacon St. when you hit Coolidge Corner, but this being primarily a market search, if you’ve never been to a Trader Joe’s there’s a small one with a liq,20,284480.032,1,29660,126.96.36.199
284511,284480,284480,2007-03-20 18:42:50,RE: Best of Boston?”