The traffic was a little thicker, presumably with leaf peepers taking in the bright fall foliage, on the just-over-two-hour drive from Boston to Great Barrington. There's a serious of small yet famous towns that one drives through to reach the end destination. Stockbridge, with its Victorian house-lined streets regularly depicted in Norman Rockwell paintings, is picturesque with the sun bouncing off of yellow leaves. There are a lot of people out and about in this miniature downtown. The drive continues, and Great Barrington isn't far.
The main street is a long stretch that winds through the mountains, and it's bustling with activity. A convenient parking spot opens up right in front of Rubiner's, a former bank that is now a cheese and specialty shop. The outside of the shop is very regal and still looks like a bank. Inside, the cheeses are displayed along with other accoutrements and meats.
Near the cheesemonger, there's a line outside of a Baba Louie's, known for its heavy-handed and unique topping-laden sourdough pizza. It's crowded and noisy, and while the menu is more than just pizza, every table seems to be ordering pizzas and giant leafy salads.
A walk is in order after the pizza, and there are several shops to pop into. Downtown is bustling, and there is a distinct chill in the air. The buildings that line the streets are predominately brick and flat on top, and each store's decorative awnings provide bursts of color. The appeal of Patisserie Lenox is too hard to pass up. Jazzed up French music is playing, and every table is full. Finally someone relinquishes a seat, and a view of the glass pastry case is in sight. Craving warmth after the walk, and finding it hard to resist a French onion soup, we order the soup along with a sampling of macarons.
A short drive away, The Meat Market offers exactly what one would think — lots and lots of meat. With cases of ruby red, gorgeous cuts from all different parts of the animal, The Meat Market is the modern-day butcher. The shop offers sandwiches and other pre-made items in addition to the meats themselves. There's also a charcuterie program with large temperature- and moisture-controlled rooms and glass dry-aging rooms that resemble museum cases.
Deciding there's just enough room for a charcuterie plate is a good move. It comes accompanied by chutneys, mustards, and some crusty baguette slices to slather it all on. After that, the signal of a full stomach means it's time to drive back to Boston.