Looking to bring some New Yorker's to breakfast...
I have some friends and family from New York coming in this weekend and they are looking for the whole day out kind of thing. I've got dinner covered (figured we do something touristy and stick to Rustic Kitchen, etc..), but they want to do breakfast as well--any suggestions?
I've been going to the Neighborhood for years - I like it for what it is - but the food just really isn't that good. It's nice to go sit outside and have a long breakfast (no choice because the service is so slow). The cream of wheat is the bomb (yes!), the pancakes can be good, omelettes are only decent and the homefries stink. Add a side of bacon and things improve. Love the scali bread toast. Everyone goes mad over the pastries served to each table - but 9 times out of 10 they're dried out. Just sayin', not sure I would bring out of towners there.
I've had some real winners at brunch at Perdix on Sundays recently. Standouts are an amazing cod cake dish and an layered egg/carnitas dish. Plus a made-to-order dish of donuts with an almond cream icing to dip into. And a 'cheap beer of the day' - it was kind of fun drinking a frozen PBR out of the can.
Charlie's Sandwich Shoppe?
Henrietta's Table, expensive but a feast of high quality - though the crowd can be a bit crumudgeon-ly (sp?)
Brunch looks fab at Upstairs on the Square tho' I haven't been yet. Good for touristy strolling before/after.
East Coast Grill (Sundays)
Of course, there's always 3 Yolks on Rte 1A in Revere for something completely different. Local color, warm service and a chef from North Cakalacka. The southern scrambler is a heart-stopper: an omelette of everything (really) covered with the sausage gravy. Oh lawd! I've had the most perfectly prepared scrambled eggs there, too. Not sure why it's so hard to get right?
The South End offers the quintessential Boston brunch experience, with lots of great options within a few square blocks. Union Bar and Grill on Washington St is a narrow favorite: it's fancy but friendly. Aquitaine, Metropolis, the Nightingale, Tremont 647, the Claremont Cafe, Rouge, and the Red Fez (nice patio, free parking!) are all very fine.
I love the brunch at Sel de la Terre on the waterfront: great breads, drinks, and rustic-French brunch and lunch dishes in a pretty setting.
In Cambridge, my faves include the East Coast Grill, with its Carribean-inflected brunch and DIY Bloody Mary bar; the B-Side Lounge, a great bar with superb eye-openers that serves a very tasty brunch till 4pm; and the Blue Room, which has about a 50-dish buffet, amazing.
Call ahead; some of these places only serve brunch on Sunday.
Doyle's in JP has a unique Boston-Irish flavor to its weekend brunch in a charming, old-school setting. For a real old-country Irish breakfast, go to Matt Murphy's in Brookline Village, (unless you have a headache, in which case the live toodly-too band in the corner can grate.)
My favorite pure-breakfast place is a short drive away in Watertown, the Deluxe Town Diner: modern updates on the classics in an authentic 30s-vintage diner setting. Awesome hash, great johnny cakes (a New England obscurity, basically rich cornmeal pancakes), fabulous pancakes of every description. So good, there's usually a line, but it's worth the wait.
Renee's Cafe on Holland St. (very close to Teele Sq. in Somerville) has been a favorite of ours for a long time. Never had a problem with service or quality and the prices are good. Get there early on Sundays as the line can get long. Very "mom and pop" type of establishment.
Charlies Sandwich Shoppe on Columbus Ave. -- lots of character and characters, great breakfasts, but never on Sunday.