by Kezia Bacon

Picnic Lunchbreak is a weekly column co-sponsored by Edible South Shore & South Coast and the North and South Rivers Watershed Association. Its purpose: pairing restaurant takeout options with beautiful outdoor places, to encourage al fresco dining, even in these blustery days of March!

Many area nature preserves offer picnic tables with gorgeous views. Need a break from your routine this week? Place an order, grab your food, and meet a friend for a refreshing dining experience. Not only will it bring some light to the grey days of the pandemic, it will demonstrate your support of local restaurants during this challenging time!

Cohasset is a small town with a lot of open space! There are numerous places for a nature walk, but if you’re also planning for a Picnic Lunchbreak, I recommend Wheelwright Park on North Main Street, where there are several picnic tables. You’ll find three very close to the parking area, but if you look out across the meadow toward the road, you’ll see another at the edge of the woods. That one has the best view.

This 232-acre town-owned woodland features a 1-mile walking path with several connector trails to adjacent properties, including Barnes Wildlife Sanctuary, Cornelia & Richardson White Woods, and Holly Hill Farm. Probably the most striking features are the glacial erratic boulders, many of which are named: Big and Little Tippling, Split Rock, Devil’s Chair. The main trail is generally broad and flat. The side trails sometimes present more challenge. If you don’t mind steep terrain, be sure to follow the Eagle Trail to Eagle’s Loft — a large, moss-covered rocky outcropping tucked into a small valley. Most of the land here drains to Richardsons Brook, which flows to Little Harbor. The remainder drains into James Brook, which flows to Cohasset Harbor.

On the way, stop down the road at 5 South Main, a Cohasset mainstay. Their (currently) takeout-only menu includes appealing soups, salads, sandwiches and a handful of entrees, plus special offerings for kids. The Roasted Pear & Arugula Salad was recommended to me, and I’m so glad I tried it! My plan was just to eat half, and save the rest for later, so I could also sample a sandwich. I ended up devouring the whole thing! It starts with a generous serving of arugula. Sweet roasted pears are placed on top, along with thinly sliced toasted almonds and crumbled goat cheese. A cider vinaigrette comes on the side, so you can dress the salad yourself and avoid sogginess. This is a great combination. The sweetness of the pears is balanced perfectly by the peppery arugula, and the varying textures of cheese, nuts, fruit and greens pull together nicely.

Alas, I barely had room for the Tuna Melt that I ordered as well. Full-disclosure: I had a few bites, and wrapped the rest to bring home “for tomorrow.” However my hungry teenager caught sight of it, asked if he could reheat it, and that was the end of that particular sandwich! We agreed that it was quite tasty. The tuna was mixed with red onion, celery and mayonnaise, topped with a thick slice of cheddar cheese, and placed between two slices of buttered sourdough bread before hitting the grill. Delicious!

Some of the other sandwiches available at 5 South Main include the Nashville Spicy Chicken, the Three Layer Turkey Club, and the Gooey Louie — lobster salad with cheddar on sourdough. The Lola features avocado, pesto, tomato and fresh mozzarella. The Cordon Bleu involves lemon rosemary chicken with ham, swiss cheese, and honey mustard on a toasted baguette. Altogether there are 14 to choose from, not counting specials.

These are hearty sandwiches, but if you’d prefer something heartier still, consider one of 5 South Main’s entrees for your picnic. That actually sounds pretty good during this still-chilly weather! Choose from Garlic and Herb Meatloaf, Orecchiette with sweet corn, bacon and breadcrumbs, Chicken Marsala with mashed potatoes, and several more. Prefer something a little lighter? There are five different proteins you can add to a salad, including balsamic steak tips.

Pre-pandemic, 5 South Main offered in-house seating. These days, it’s takeout only, with both phone and online ordering plus curbside pickup. The menu includes vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options, plus brownies and fresh baked jumbo cookies.

5 South Main
5 South Main Street, Cohasset
Hours: 11am-8pm daily, for takeout only

Wheelwright Park
202 North Main Street, Cohasset
Hours: dawn to dusk

North and South Rivers Watershed Association

Edible South Shore & South Coast