I picked Sofra for this trip. It's a fabulous bakery, specializing in Middle Eastern fair (although the owners are not from the Middle East, at least as far as I know). They have a lot of savory options and while they call themselves a bakery, you can certainly get breakfast and lunch there as well.
Sofra is in Belmont, the next town over, and I decided to again ride through the trails on my way there. I again used the Diverged ride route and decided in advance to avoid the steepest section, just above Snake Hill Road. Just before the turn off I noticed, for the first time, an old water tower, probably connected to Maclean Hospital. For an isolated spot, at least a half mile from the nearest road, it was covered in graffiti:
The top is capped with a conical roof, which I couldn't capture from below and couldn't focus on it from a distance. It's colored with rust, above the graffiti:
Just beyond this was, I thought, the steep section. And just before the steep section was a turn. I think that's were I left the known route or maybe I already veered off since I didn't have the GPS route and I had only been on these trails twice before. In any case, I soon found myself descending into the Maclean Hospital grounds. The hospital is expansive and some of the buildings looked like there were in the middle of renovations:
There was also the new residential development that was built within the grounds after some lean years in the 1990s. It was odd seeing the modern somewhat dense residential development surrounded in places by the older institutional buildings. I didn't have a map (although I could have looked at Ride With GPS on my phone (I added a route, just in case I got really lost) but knew that the road I was looking for, Mill Street, lay to the north. I was lucky that the path I followed led quickly to a road then I simply followed what seemed to be a one way road until I saw an exit sign, which did lead me towards Mill Street. From there I followed Trapelo Road to Sofra.
Sofra was packed. The line for ordering and waiting for your order was long but it seemed to move quickly. I grabbed a seat but noticed that there were empty seats outside. I considered that but I was lightly dressed and it was fairly cold so I stayed inside. The coffee (a cappuccino) was fabulous and I had a savory and a sweet pastry:
I shared my table with a woman waiting for a friend and enjoyed some conversation, but also a relaxing few minutes on my own. It had been a busy morning, with my wife away for an appointment and me playing with the boys while I raked up a considerable volume of leaves, hopefully most of what I need to do this fall. I'd love to come back here for lunch some time.
I managed to find more trails on my way home, descending from Huron Avenue down the path along Fresh Pond, and then taking the bike path into Arlington. It was a 12 mile ride with a decent amount of uncertainty about where I was and mostly very nice roads and trails. Trapelo was the exception but there was a lot of room (seemingly enough for parking and a good bike lane) so it wasn't bad despite the traffic.
Miles for the ride: 12, miles for the month: 58, miles for the year: 2621.
My personal coffeeneuring map (let me know if you want to do this for yourself):