In the Grand Prix Café

The new Grand Prix Café on Mass Ave north of Porter Square has become one of our favorite hangouts. The free wifi was the initial attraction. The huge panini, and the pastries that are far too tasty, are good. The motorsports decor (black-and-white checked flags, helmets, car models) has a certain appeal.

But I enjoy the fact that the café become something of a neighborhood hangout for this part of North Cambridge. Everyone seems to know the pleasant owner, Sergio, by name. Sometimes you’ll see a bunch of guys hanging out watching sports on the big flatscreen TV — if it’s soccer it’ll be an international crowd, whereas if it’s kickboxing you’ll hear real Cambridge and Somerville accents. There’s always a few geeky people, like Carol and me, typing quietly away at laptops. Just now, a woman came in with a toddler in a stroller, and Sergio, the owner, brought out a small soccer ball and started playing catch with her. Soon, the little girl was making “brrrrm, brrrm” noises as Sergio zoomed a chartreuse Corvette model around her.

My only fear is that the café will become so popular, as happens with all good things in Cambridge, to the point where we won’t be able to get a place to sit. Which means that I probably shouldn’t tell you about it on this blog, because you might go and like it and help make it too popular.