A Quick Guide to Dave’s Fresh Pasta
If you have never tried the sandwiches at Dave’s Fresh Pasta, stop reading this article and go eat one immediately. If you have tried the sandwiches at Dave’s Fresh Pasta, you have probably eaten more than one. In fact, having been exposed to such panini-pressed glory, you may find that you enter a sandwich-induced trance as soon as you set foot in the doorway, one that dulls your senses to all non-sandwich related distractions. Difficult as it may be to suppress this primal (and so understandable) instinct and direct one’s attention away from the sandwich board, an exploration of the packed, albeit small, store is worth the effort.
Disclaimer: you will pay a pretty penny for virtually everything at Dave’s, but the quality is often worth the price if you are willing to splurge. Wallet permitting, following are some items to put on your watch list:
Spreads. The refrigerated shelves by the door contain a variety of aioli and dips, from baba ghanoush to edamame hummus to kalamata olive tapenade. All are homemade and cost around $5. They also sell sizeable containers of homemade tomato sauce that looks stellar. If you are curious as to how these dips will taste, turn around and take advantage of the bread-and-spread sampler on the adjacent counter. The workers will not judge you as you shamelessly try everything–twice. Better safe than sorry.
Cheese. My friends and I have taken to de-stressing with a hunk of nice cheese once a week, and Dave’s has been supplying our addiction. They have a serious selection of cow’s, goat’s, and sheep’s milk cheeses. I had trouble choosing recently and asked a worker to recommend one – she was equally enthusiastic about all of the candidates. Not helpful in the decision-making process, but who can blame her? They are all really, really good. “Drunken goat” is an appropriate choice for wine and cheese night. And again, sample opportunity on the adjacent counter.
Pasta. Surprise! Dave’s lives up to its name. Fresh and frozen. Check out the frozen raviolis, which contain a variety of unique fillings.
Chocolate. For any occasion and any mood. Baking? If you’re going small, bags of quality (Guittard) chocolate chips cost $5 (I just buy these to snack on). If you’re going big, check out the blocks of chocolate, which are sold by the pound. Special occasion? There are a variety of gift-worthy bars at the counter. Looking for a quick fix? There are some truffles by Venchi by the register that are unreal.
Chocolate milk. If you’re one to indulge in real-deal chocolate milk every once in a blue moon, Dave’s has you covered.
Wine. Only for those with identification, of course.
The produce is hit or miss, and many of the store’s pricey packaged items are imitated very well by Trader Joes. Cheese and anything homemade are your best bets, sandwiches aside.
Dave’s Fresh Pasta
81 Holland Street
Medford, MA 02155