Restaurant Review: Brewhaha

After the unparalleled wonders of a Thanksgiving feast, we found ourselves once more craving a meal beyond the dining hall. This week we take you to a Saturday lunch at Brewhaha, a cafe in North Adams.

We arrived as a group of three to find the small eatery full, and began our experience by ordering off a posted menu at a small counter. The menu spanned traditional coffee house bakery combos, full order breakfast options, lunch salads, sandwiches and daily soups. We were happily surprised by the innovative menu options, such as a banana-nutella-peanut butter sandwich. You could dine for $1.50 on a bagel and spread or splurge for a larger plate at around $6.50.

Guess what we all chose ? the larger plates. Casey opted for the (only) Brewhaha salad ($5.25), which includes a tremendous assortment of salad “traditionals.” This mixed field-green, vinaigrette-based concoction included fresh sprouts, raisins, chick peas, tomatoes, carrots, onions, shredded mild cheese, apples, olives and two slices of warmed multi-grain bread. Her only criticism was of the burnt homemade croutons. A nice option for this meal includes adding a portion of hummus, tuna, or grilled tofu for $1.50. The non-flavored tofu was soft, grilled, and soaked up the hints of herbs from the vinaigrette dressing.

Susan ordered a panini-grilled Spinach Wrap ($6.25). She was surprised that the wrap did not actually include spinach leaves, but rather black beans, carrots, steamed broccoli, and jack cheese, encased in a green spinach wrap. The wrap was warm and flat, crimped in a panini style; hearty and natural but without accent or spice. It was accompanied by a crisp pickle and a bag of Ruffles potato chips.

Olga sampled their panini-grilled Turkey Wrap ($6.25). This wrap included smoked turkey, provolone, apples and an overpoweringly sweet cranberry mayonnaise. She really enjoyed the first half of this wrap, but by the second half the sweetness became too much and she too turned to her salty pickle and Ruffles.

Seating was limited and on a grab-as-available basis. The outgoing staff, though few in number, delivered the orders to the table promptly, as well as directed us to the convenient free filtered water. Wraps were served in country-style baskets, and the salad in an attractive wooden bowl. The atmosphere was typical of a chatty, community-centered coffee house. As the name suggests, Brewhaha offers a variety of specialty coffee drinks. However, the cuisine takes center stage.

Brewhaha lets you decide your mood, from pancakes to pumpkin cheesecake (made by our favorite Nuns of New Skete). Casey was impressed by the quantity of creative veggie sandwich options considering the typical dominance of meat in the deli realm. Sandwich and salad prices were a bit high, but in line with exorbitant Spring Street prices. If you’re looking for a place to relax and enjoy a light meal, you’ll be pleased with Brewhaha. Brewhaha’s hours are 7 a.m.-7 p.m. daily, closed Wednesday, (413) 664-2020.

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