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 as we move into spring.

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!

Plymouth’s Nelson Memorial Park is a perfect location for a Picnic Lunchbreak. The oceanfront property offers several picnic tables and benches that look out over the water. But if you find that it’s too cold or windy to sit outdoors, even the parking lot offers an exceptional view! Nelson Park also features a large playground area, a small sandy beach, an osprey nest in plain view, and a launch ramp for small boats. Whether you’re a kayaker, a bird enthusiast, or a parent or grandparent to young children, this is great spot to know!

After lunch, take a stroll on the North Plymouth Rail Trail. Also known as the Seaside Rail Trail, this 1.2-mile ADA-accessible pathway begins at Nelson Park, and continues along the route of the Old Colony Railroad, past the Holmes Reservation, to Cordage Park. Along the way, it passes through several different habitats including salt marsh, open field, a bramble-filled thicket, and a cliff overlooking the ocean. Composed alternately of pavement, concrete and crushed stone, the trail is navigable for strollers, bicycles and wheelchairs.

There are quite a number of restaurants in Downtown Plymouth, and thus myriad options for takeout. I wanted to try something new, so I placed an order at Roll Street Tavern, which bills itself as “the place to go when you want familiar food served in unfamiliar ways.” The keyword here is “roll.” Pizza rolls, spring rolls, lettuce wraps, puff pastry pockets, nachos made from eggroll wrapper… Nearly everything on Roll Street’s menu is presented in some form of a roll.

The fillings are far from typical. While yes, you can order an eggroll with the traditional stir-fried vegetable filling, you can just as easily opt for one containing steak and cheese, chicken chimichanga, or BBQ pulled pork. If you’d prefer a non-fried “fresh” spring roll, consider the chicken Caesar salad, or perhaps “Philly” style, with lox, avocado, and garlic cream cheese. The puff pastry pockets are heartier fare, filled with cheeseburger, for example, or chicken parm, or “Beef Rollington” (like a Wellington with spinach, mushroom, onion and blue cheese). Feeling health-conscious? Try a Chicken Cobb or Lobster Salad lettuce wrap. And save room for dessert! Roll Street also offers puff pastries and eggrolls in sweet and delicious styles such as S’mores and Bananas Foster.

So many options! I wanted to try a few, so I kept it light. The Cold Ramen Noodle Lettuce Wraps involved two double-layer “cups” of crunchy Bibb lettuce topped with a salad consisting of ramen, edamame, red peppers, cucumbers and scallions in a lemon-soy sauce. The classic Veggie Stir Fry Eggrolls were a nice blend of broccoli, cabbage, peppers and onions rolled tight and crisp-fried. Yum. My favorite was the Fresh Spring Rolls. I opted for the “salad” filling, which included spinach, orange and yellow bell peppers, cucumber, avocado, dried cranberries and lemon pepper seasoning. All rolls come with a choice of dipping sauce,…and there are lots of choices! Asian style favorites such as duck sauce, hoisin, lemon-soy vinaigrette, and sriracha, but also ranch, marinara, buffalo-blue, and two kinds of BBQ. For dessert, I tried the Apple Pie Bites. Oh my! These bite-sized fried wontons were bursting with warm apple pie filling, and topped with powdered sugar and cinnamon. So good!

Roll Street Tavern is located on Main Street, in the heart of Downtown Plymouth, right next to Craft Beer Cellar. The restaurant, which also offers milkshakes, “boozy shakes” and innovative specialty cocktails, aims to combine all the best features of your favorite burger joint, Tapas spot, pizza/sub shop and gastro pub. It is open daily for takeout as well as in-house dining. Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options are available. View the full menu online.

Roll Street Tavern
35 Main Street, Plymouth
Hours: Open daily at 11:30am

Nelson Memorial Park
255 Water Street, Plymouth
Hours: dawn to dusk

North and South Rivers Watershed Association

Edible South Shore & South Coast