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Hearty Breakfast Spot

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In the mood for a good hearty breakfast ... sunnyside up eggs, hash browns, sausage or hash ... or perhaps blueberry pancakes. We love refined food for dinner ... for breakfast we just want good and hearty. We live in Cambridge (near Brookline Lunch ... it's just a tad bit cleanliness-challenged for us and we're in the mood for something new) but would be willing to take a morning drive to just about anywhere. Any suggestions?

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  1. I love the Deluxe Town Diner in Watertown. Superb breakfast food. Thick-style Johnnycakes, yum.

    4 Replies
    1. re: MC Slim JB

      =i second the deluxe. superb food. good selection of mem tea. con: it is a bit busy on sunday mornings as the three or four area churches let out. pro: if you can't get a table, sit at the counter and watch the grill area. should reassure you of their food handling

      1. re: mbc

        I live nearby and go there often, but don't think it deserves all the praises - definitely deserves some. Home fries are boring and the eggs often seem overcooked to me. Love the toast options, coffee is decent, sandwiches are great, but I go there for breakfast because it's convenient not a destination.

        1. re: MB fka MB

          I love Deluxe Town Diner, but for the pancakes. Eggs and hash browns are basic, you could get that at any diner. I like the blue corn pancakes.

          1. re: MB fka MB

            The DTD used to be our destination when the owners ran the Blue Diner, then the Art Zone/Blue Diner over in the Leather District downtown. Agreed that their eggs are often a bit overcooked in their omelettes, but they do a mean smoked salmon benedict, and those poached eggs are usually perfect. Not to mention their sweet potato pancakes, which are divine.

            I still schlep from downtown and get in line to eat there when I need my sweet potato pancake fix. Though the words on Busy Bee in Brookline and Victor's Diner in Watertown have now piqued my curiosity, too.


            Link: http://www.deluxetowndiner.com/

      2. 3 Yolks on Route 1A in Revere. Drive North out of Logan Airport, on your right hand side before you reach Bell Circle. Good hearty breakfast. They serve 3 egg omelets, grits and biscuits with gravy (YUCK!). Coffee is just ok, but everything else is very good diner-ish breakfast food.

        Another great little place, but certainly not as easy to get to is Leo's in Wakefield. Located in the Greenwood section of Wakefield on the Melrose line. Very small, but great raspberry pancakes. The raspberries are in the pancakes, not just on top.

        2 Replies
        1. re: kate@50

          Except if Brookline Lunch offends the cleanliness meter, then 3 Yolks is sure to do the same for the OP. I do love the place, though.

          1. re: MB fka MB

            Sometimes you have to dumb down your own personal cleaniness views for some of the best hash browns in Boston;)

        2. If you don't mind counter service (with a side of grumpiness), the Eagle Deli in Cleveland Cirle is my favorite spot for a hearty breakfast. Their home fries are great.

          1 Reply
          1. re: cmd

            Re: The cleanliness at Brookline Lunch.....If you think that is bad I wouldn't go to the Eagle Deli- I've seen some of the shadiest and most revolting food handling there- ever....

          2. Victor's on N. Beacon in Watertown is great - friendly service and all the traditional, hearty diner breakfast options. We MUCH prefer Victor's to the Deluxe Town Diner - I think Town Diner is overpriced and over-rated . . . .

            1. Busy Bee in Brookline near St. Mary's! A retro diner with great food cheap. You can get a hearty breakfast for $7 or less.

              1. I love Soundbites in Ball Square Somerville (although I wouldn't want to wait in line there in this weather!), but it's not the cleanest place in the world.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Carrie

                  kelly's diner is a couple doors down from sound bites. great diner food at reasonable prices, waitresses with just enough attitude and a far shorter wait in an indoor entrance way.

                2. The River View, where Route 4 crosses the Concord River in Billerica. Good eggs, hash browns, sausage (including Greek sausages) and pancakes. Good corned beef hash too.

                  1. I'm late for your Sat. meal, but some standbys for me are Martin's in Brookline Village and Cookin Cafe or whatever they're called on Comm. Ave. at Packard's Corner. Grecian and Steve's on Harvard Ave. for breakfast with a side of rock. That place in Brighton Center (closed on Sun.) is fine. Just had a good grilled cheese & bacon w/ okay onion rings for $6.45 at the 50's Diner in Dedham which was good. Breakfast prices seem slightly high tho and pancakes were pale.

                    1. If you want hearty, it's hard to beat the Neighborhood Restaurant in Union Square, Somerville. This is a Portuguese family-run place, and their weekend breakfast specials provide TWO FULL DINNER PLATES of very decent food - eggs, meats, pancakes, fruit, cereal, you name it.


                        1. This place is terrible! over cooked eggs,old tasting greek sausages, dried out home fries.Terrible service, the place was freezing and dirty.25 years ago the place had real good food and service.

                          1. I'm surprised nobody mentioned Henrietta's Table in this thread. I think the breakfast food is superb for the price, and it's a nice, spacious atmosphere--great for lingering over some work or the paper.

                            1. Trident Cafe has some good breakfast options. Steve's in the Back Bay too has a decent and low cost breakfast.

                              1. Busy Bee in Brookline on Beacon St and Carlton - short car ride from the BU bridge.
                                The service is incredible - faster than if you were cooking at home and they are very clean. Go early. The breakfast is good standard fare, not too greasy and they cook to order. If only the coffee was better - we usually pass on it. But there are other coffee options on the block for post B dining. I like the Japonaise Bakery coffee and there is a DD up the block if you like that sort of thing.

                                1. I'm a HUGE fan of Johnny's Luncheonette in Newton Center and there is another one between Harvard and Central Square (I forget what the main street is running between them). The Semi or the 18 wheeler are both great! The Blueberry pancakes are perfect and if you get home fries with your meal, substitute the sweet potato fries with tarragon mustard dipping sauce (extra charge), they're totally worth it!

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: billyboy

                                    See, this is a problem when someone who doesn't live in a particular city gives recommendations for that city. Sorry to give you grief, billyboy, but the Johnny's Luncheonette in Cambridge (on Mass. Ave.) has been closed for more than two years - it's now a Greek diner called Zoe's. Coincidentally, BFP and I had breakfast there for the first time about a week ago and it wasn't bad. Actually, the potato-egg scramble thing that I had was unexpectedly delicious.

                                    I know a lot of folks didn't care for Johnny's either, but we really liked it and miss it. Zoe's has a similar but not identical breakfast menu, and not stellar service but much friendlier than the dinner I had there solo about a year ago. Overall not bad for Harvard Square vicinity, which I find especially difficult for breakfast, but not what it used to be.

                                  2. I second the Sound Bites recommendation (Ball Square). The food is always very fresh and the portions are large. We try and go early so as not to have to wait in line. Seems clean enough to me in there!

                                    1. I third Sound Bites! Try the Ole omlette. Don't miss the "no place like homefries". Fruit and granola is a great side. Bring cash. They don't take credit. And (VERY IMPORTANT) don't anger the owner!!!!! It is very funny to watch him flip out on a customer. Worth the lines at noon on the weekends!

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: naughtywaitress

                                        Yes, I've seen the Sound Bites owner flip out on a customer. This couple was lingering at their table while there was a long line waiting outside and when the owner asked him politely to pack it up, the customer got very snotty and refused to leave. Before you know it, the entire wait staff surround the guy's table and made them uncomfortable enough to leave. IT was great! The owner is a sweetheart for the most part. If customers want to linger, they need to find another breakfast spot to do it at. If you can get with the program and enjoy your tasty grub within a reasonable timeframe so that others who are waiting can get in, this is the place for you.

                                      2. This is a great place and a nice ride when the weather gets better. www.parkersmaplebarn.com/