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May 25, 2005 01:03 PM

disappointed by new Darwin's on Cambridge St.

  • j

This place is always full, so I guess I must be in the minority here. I live on the same block and so really wanted to like the new Darwin's more than I do.

They've done a good enough job with the interior; some signs still visible from its laundromat past, but nice comfortable sofas and armchairs and good lighting. The deli counter and produce sections are spacious and visually appealing.

The first problem is the APPALLING service, which shows no signs of improving after the first few weeks. No real system for lining up. Sandwiches take forever to be made. The people who work at the counter are really slow and indifferent to the line order and have major problems making the coffee drinks.

And the chow itself? Nice selection of Lakota cookies (I love the oreo ones), Iggy's bread and bagels (although a raisin pecan roll I bought was stale), a small selection of salads. I've tried about five of the sandwiches and have found them all kind of disappointing and often messily made. There's too much filling or they're so badly cut so that they fall apart immediately in your hands. The quality of the meat cold cuts seems low -- the turkey is piled very thickly but is watery and flavorless. Nor do any of the sandwiches seem to have much flavor or gusto. The condiments are low quality, too -- like thin sugary honey mustard sauce of the Au Bon Pain variety.

Despite all this, I guess I'll keep on going until exam period is over! Does anyone have any suggestions for better choices?

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  1. Cambridge St. in Cambridge? Boston? Allston?

    4 Replies
    1. re: Joanie

      I think the OP meant Darwin's on Mt. Auburn in Cambridge. Service there is almost comical but I am there for the sandwiches (generally takeout), not the service. I like the place but don't love it.

      1. re: Dax

        Darwin's have opened a 2nd shop in Cambridge on Cambridge St. (I forget the #)

        I have always loved the shop on Mt. Auburn St., but this one is closer to my office in Kendall Sq. I think the sandwiches are great and have never been put off by the staff. Saying that I've never mentioned it to somebody without them asking if the service has gotten any nicer, so maybe they just like me.

        1. re: johnnymac

          Sorry -- I should have been clearer. The new Darwin's is opposite the Rindge and Latin high school, at the intersection of Cambridge and Trowbridge Street.

      2. re: Joanie

        No, the OP was referring to the second outpost of Darwin's which I mentioned a few months back. It's on Cambridge Street in Cambridge, between Harvard Square and Inman Square.

        I am sorry to hear the negative review. I do encounter the messy disintegration problem at the original Darwin's too, but I put up with it because I think the ingredients are so good. That may not be the case at this new location.

        Thanks for the post.

      3. the new Darwin has very fresh sandwich -- as good as the original but it's true that service is slow. they also cater; the last time i was there, they were making 50 sandwiches for lunch takeout....

        1. Couldn't agree with you more. Sounds just like the one on Mt Auburn St. It is almost as if you are not hired unless you can be extremely rude.
          Great alternative in Harvard Square is Pronto, in the Charles Hotel Courtyard. Great sandwiches and 2 daily specials-it is our office favourite

          1. I've been to both numerous times and I don't think I've seen worse service. I don't care so much that they're disorganized -- although really, how difficult is it to kick out some sandwiches? Rather, it's the utter disdain most of the young staff displays to the customers on a regular basis.

            I hear there's a new sandwich place in Inman... not far from the Cambridge Street location of Darwins so maybe a little competition?

            2 Replies
            1. re: unionsquaregrl

              Just found this thread...I'm sorry to hear that Darwins disappoints. I myself am a big fan, especially the Cambridge st. location. However, I never get sandwiches. I like their coffee and bakery items. I've never had bad service, though I haven't tested them (a big order of sandwiches during lunch rush should be the true test). But whenever I come up to the register, I'm greeted immediately, and when I'm snooping around the bakery selections, I'm asked nicely if I can be helped. Lastly and not leastly, I once asked which scone was the least dry and crumbly. The young worker told me upfront in a very "this-is-what-I-tell-my-friends" voice that they ran out of the lemon scone, which is really their most chewy. She said the ones remaining were your typical scone. I appreciated this bit of straight talk, because most places would simply tell me which of the remaining goods was the most chewy, not really caring if I'm disappointed. So, I didn't get anything that day and just left. Since then, I've returned again and again, and have eaten many a lemon scone.

              1. re: NYA Joe

                Maybe things have changed in the 2 years since this was posted. I know my experiences have been good.