by Kezia Bacon

Picnic Lunchbreak is a new 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 winter!

Many area nature preserves offer picnic tables with gorgeous views. Need a break from your routine this week? Bundle up, 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!

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If you’re looking for a picnic lunch spot with options, don’t miss Scituate’s Driftway Conservation Park. This 334-acre town-owned property offers 1.65 miles of varied hiking trails, a 12-table picnic area, a fishing pier, a boat ramp, and numerous well-placed benches. Oh, and the view? It’s spectacular. It’s all situated directly on the Herring River, a major tributary to the North River.

In addition to its many amenities, Driftway Conservation Park boasts a rich history. In 1914, the Boston Sand & Gravel Company established an outpost here, and for the next 50 years, 14 million tons of sand and gravel were removed, mostly by barge. Much of it became the base of Logan Airport! Climb to the top of the hill behind the picnic area to get the best view of this former industrial site. Looking beyond the remains of the old piers, can you guess how the course of the river was altered?

For lunch, I recommend The Rivershed, just down the road. The extensive menu includes burgers, tacos, sandwiches, salads, barbecue, plus assorted entrees and appetizers. I chose the Fish Tacos, three flour tortillas filled with breaded fried haddock, sweet mango salsa and shredded lettuce. All tacos come with a side of Dirty Rice, but if you’d prefer something different, there are 14 other sides you can swap in. I opted for the kaleslaw — shredded kale, broccoli, cabbage and brussels sprouts in a light mayo-based sauce with a slight kick. On Sundays, a Country Brunch is available from 10-3.

The Rivershed’s offerings were inspired by owner Kara Tondorf’s love for the food, music and culture of Nashville. Gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options are always available. A second location in Weymouth Landing (Braintree) opened last November. Online ordering is an option at both locations.

The Rivershed
17 New Driftway, Scituate
781-378-2438
https://www.therivershed.com/scituate
Hours: Monday-Saturday 11:30-8, Sunday 10-8

Driftway Conservation Park
Located on the Driftway in Scituate, across from Widow’s Walk Golf Course
https://www.nsrwa.org/listing/driftway-conservation-park/
Hours: Dawn to dusk

North and South Rivers Watershed Association
https://www.nsrwa.org/

Edible South Shore & South Coast
https://ediblesouthshore.com