Pleased by my experiences at Hall’s, Carbone’s, Krauszer’s, and other grocery stores that seem to sell far more grinders than groceries, I checked out the Kensington Market in Berlin.
The current establishment has been in existence since ’97, but one Yelp reviewer states that the same property used to be occupied by a place called the Victory Market, so named for the Allied victory in WWII.
I wanted to get more pictures of the interior, but that was tough to do inconspicuously in a cramped space, at lunchtime, with tons of people around. I did get a little of their menu.
There were lots and lots of prepared dishes available, both hot and cold – the usual stuff like lasagna, cutlets, pasta salads, etc., but also several things I couldn’t even put a name to. I was so sorely tempted… but I was here to try their grinders.
I got ham, Genoa salami, capicola, provolone, lettuce, tomato, oil and vinegar, and salt and pepper.
The vinegar was balsamic, and for the capicola, they asked me “hot or sweet”? This was the first time I’d ever been asked that. I’m not sure I even knew that sweet capicola existed. I opted for hot.
$9, and there was rather more meat than the previous photo suggests.
The bread was baked in the store – soft, chewy, quite fresh, delicious. I know it looks unremarkable, and while it didn’t have the character of some loaves I’ve had elsewhere, it was at least a notch above the Franklin/Wethersfield/Poquonock tier.
The balsamic vinegar didn’t make itself known the way that it did in the Italian grinder I had from Hall’s, and that might be partly my fault for including lettuce and tomato. Fortunately, the coldcuts had more than enough flavor to stand on their own. I was slightly disappointed that there seemed to be a little more ham than either salami or capicola.
This was the first grocery store outside the New Haven area where I found Foxon park soda. Delightful! I’d been meaning to try the gasossa.
I loved this. The lemon flavor was very delicate, and much less sweet than your average soda. I could easily have had two or three more, and I felt like this was a throwback to an earlier time when soda didn’t have to knock you in the head with X-Treme Wild Flavor Blast… but I could be making that all up.
I couldn’t resist picking up some State Line chips to go with.
Overall, I would give the Kensington Market a solid recommendation based on the grinder alone. It wasn’t as distinctive as Hall’s, but I felt it was nevertheless a good example of what an Italian grinder should be. From what I saw of the offerings inside their deli cases, I think another visit or two might turn that recommendation into a zealous endorsement. That stuff looked really, really good.