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Oct 6, 2003 10:11 PM


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Can we have a discussion of the best breakfast places in town? I'm particularly interested in Boston, Cambridge and the western burbs. I'm not talking about a great muffin. I'm thinking eggs, pancakes, waffles, etc. I eat at Josephs Two on Main Street in Waltham a lot, which certainly is serviceable, but there must be better. I've been disappointed the last couple times I went to Henrietta's Table. Is Sorella's still great?

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  1. I like the honestly old-timey vibe of the food at Charlie's Sandwich Shoppe in the South End. The turkey hash has many fans on the board and I'm one of them.

    Now to digress a little...I never get up early enough to try them, but there's plenty of other explorable options that I'm hoping others would post about. A fair number of the South and Central American places all over the area offer breakfast too; e.g. Camino Real (Colombian), El Challab (Peruvian), and the offerings are distinct from the lunch and dinner options.

    I've never had pho at Nam Vang or Nam A (usually distracted by the rice plates), but if the other stuff I've had at these places are any indication, the pho, a traditional Vietnamese breakfast food, is likely to be more than servicable. (Wonder what time they open?)

    Used have roti prata (aka roti canai) for breakfast often back home, but I don't think Penang is open early enough.

    The last time I had a good soy milk with crullers was at the late Peking Cuisine (currently Noodle Alcove, which I'm still waiting for to come up with breakfast/dim sum items). Taiwan Cafe's version is good too. I could be wrong, but I think it's weekends only, along with all the other Taiwan breakfast items. Chung Shing Yuan in Newton also excels at Taiwanese breakfast fare.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Limster

      oops -- typos -- it's El CHALLAN, not El Challab.

    2. Sorella's still has every combination of pancake/french toast/omelette you could imagine. It's usually crazy busy and I hate all those paper plate specials on the walls, but it's good. I think Doyle's in JP has good blueberry pancakes. B&G Deli on Beacon St. has good breakfasts. I get decent omelettes at Cookin Cafe or whatever that place on Comm Ave. across from the big Star Mkt. is called. The Busy Bee on Beacon just outside Kenmore Sq. is okay for your basic Greek diner type place. I wasn't as thrilled with the sweet potato pancakes at the Town Diner in Watertown as others here but it's fine and their home fries looked good. And Miracle of Science outside Central Sq. has started serving breakfast which I bet is good, and Audobon has brunch on weekends. There was an article in Friday's Sauce about that. And Johnny D's in Camb. and Newton Ctr. has good stuff but gets pricey.

      9 Replies
      1. re: Joanie

        I second B&G Deli. I also like Zaftigs in Coolidge Corner. There's 2 so/so places that are really cheap: Pig'n' whistle on N. Beacon and the Breakfast Club in Allston.

        When I was in college I used to go to Mal's Deli and the Pour House they were so cheap, but now their gone.

        1. re: Jane

          The Pour House is gone? The one on Boylston?

          1. re: Dax

            i thought it was Trader joe's now?

            1. re: Jane

              Pour House is defintiely still there...the Trader Joe's was a noodle place.

              1. re: Evey

                Thanks- As I remembeer huge breakfast about $5

        2. re: Joanie

          Just to clarify: Johnny D's is in Davis Square. Johnny's Luncheonette is in Harvard Square and Newton Center.

          1. re: Susanne

            I thought Johnnys in Harvard Square had closed? Now its a Zoe's or something? I think that there IS a Johnnys at one of the Jordans Furniture places though...

            1. re: Susanne

              Ooops- just looked at the dates on this WAS open in 2003- its closed in Harvard Square now- sorry about that!

            2. re: Joanie

              Joanie- I'm new here. What's Sauce? A weekly?

            3. For a great, big omelette I love Mike's City Diner on Washington Street in the South End. But the wait can be long on the weekends if you don't get there early.

              1. There's an amazing diner in Framingham, if you're willing to make the trek (and you seem to be, since you eat in Waltham)'s in a little strip mall, and I think it's called teh J&M Diner or J&S or something like that...wonderful omlettes, amazing pancakes, delicious french toast, and the best coffee. It's cheap, family owned, extremely friendly service, and I read somewhere that it's a non-profit operation. My SO and I make the trip from Somerville about once a month, we love it so much!

                1 Reply
                1. re: Evey

                  Are you talking about Joan and Ed's in the Sherwood Plaza on Route 9?

                2. Somerville has some fine options:
                  My new fav is Soliel Cafe in Teele Sq. Not sure if they serve breakfast everyday or just Saturday - but they are closed on Sunday. I had a delicious chorizo omelette there, roasted red potatoes ont he side.

                  Down the road a bit is Renee's Cafe. This place gets seriously busy. I like their french toast, especially with fruit. Fluffy and fresh. They have a number of Eggs benne options that rotate as specials. Sometimes these are successful, sometimes the veggies seem slimy. Stick to the original though and it's a good pick.

                  The wait for a table is never as long as it looks at Johnny D's, but often the wait for the food is painful. It's a bit more expensive than diner options, but if you have some time to kill, and especially if you're ordering one of the french toast specials - like bananna bread french toast (yum) than this can be a nice treat on the weekends with live music.

                  Then there's Sound Bites. I happen to love this place the most because nowhere else can you feel good about having- basically - mashed potatoes for breakfast. Their homefries consist of a block of reconstiuted garlic mashed potates, sizzled up on the griddle. The other thing that is great about this place is that you can basically order one of everything which is what I usually want - 1 egg, a blueberry pancake, a side of homefries, the possibilities are endless. Just don't take too long to decide! I've seen the owner verbally assault those who ponder too long. The waffles are flooded with fresh fruit and the pancakes are too.