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Allen Street Hardware Cafe

It was one of those dark winter nights, when the day is done late, the cupboard is nearly bare, and all you want is good food, fast.

We ducked into Hardware.  It was darkly cozy inside, with patrons lining both bars, and a few people seated – we’d beat the evening rush.  The walls at Hardware are regularly covered with a rotating display by local artists, and the glow of low-lit halogen tracks were just enough to enjoy the art, see our menu, our food and give a soft glow to the orange walls.  It was comfortable to say the least.

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The menu had everything from burgers to lobster tails, and we decided on a few sandwiches, red wine for me and a soda for my daughter.  
I got the buttermilk fried chicken breast decked out with lettuce and tomato and a side of fries.  It was tender and delicious. 
Sometimes, fries are just a good excuse to eat ketchup, but these are good all on their own.
Bella had a BBQ chicken breast with carmelized onions and a double order of mac and cheese, so she was sure to have some left for breakfast the next day. 

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She made yummy sounds at first bite.  
This is a person who judges a restaurant by the quality of their mac and cheese, and she wasn’t disappointed.  Whenever it comes out hot, broiled in its own dish to give the top layer a crunchy coating, she’s happy.
We saw people we knew as the dining room started to fill – seems you always do at Hardware – and we thoroughly enjoyed our meal.  Hardware is a good place to eat, chat, network, and on many nights – though much later – owner Mark Goldman brings in a variety of bands that rock the former hardware store.

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When all was said and done, we were sated, had some good conversation between ourselves and with friends we saw.  The bill, with tax, came to $31, and we left with a little package filled with tomorrow’s breakfast.  
Sure, we could have gone to the grocery store instead, but this was such a nice treat for two chilly and hungry people.  And at Hardware, it’s always come as you are.
245 Allen
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