Breakfast places around Porter
I'm looking for a good breakfast place around Porter Square to get a good saturday breakfast. I would prefer something on the cheaper side with an interesting selection.
I used to live at Porter Square and there was a classic and very popular breakfast place on Mass Ave about 4 blocks north of the T stop, west side, I think it's still there but I can't remember the name.
If you hit sound bites when it's busy (ie every weekend when Tufts is in session), prepare for the breakfast nazi to insult you and your entire genus and species for thinking you might get a table or some food at his restaurant.
If it's slow, it might be worth it.. the food is decently good.
Otherwise, for an interesting selection, I'd hop on over to any one of the Indian places on Elm St in Davis Square for a belly splitting brunch. Get mango lassis! If you're on the other side of Mass ave, hit the porter exchange for b-fast. It's by Lesley U, hidden behind City Sports there is a mini Asia with a variety of great choices for a more lunchy brunch.
I am not a fan of Soundbites, food was mediocre, service was...well, above poster commented on the breakfast nazi and that sums it up. I'd take the Rosebud over Soundbites anyday. But for a really good and inexpensive breakfast, head up Highland Ave. There's a great, tiny place across from the hospital that is my first choice when in Somerville.
Or Kelly's Diner, Ball Sq, Somerville, just a few doors up the street from Soundbites. Classic diner, classic diner food, friendly and efficient service. I used to love this place when I frequented the area a few years back.
For more of a bakery experience, check out Petsi Pies, a 10ish minute walk from the Porter T stop on Beacon St.
The place is very small, with counter service only, but I've never met a Petsi baked good I didn't like. Scones, muffins, quiche, coffee cake, etc. Lots of posts on this board.
I actually used to go to Tufts and live in Ball Square. I've been to Soundbites many times and was relatively happy with the food, however, the whole breakfast nazi is simply absurd. It was fun the first time to draw the obvious seinfeld comparisons, but the quality of the food is not good enough to warrant that. I like to eat a relaxing slow breakfast.
I went to kelleys several times and was generally dissapointed everytime. I guess it does have a classic feel to it which is nice, but the food was a bit mediocore.
I walked by Andy's a couple times and glanced in and I wasn't particularly impressed. From people's posts that impression seems fairly accurate.
I frequently hit up the porter exchange for dinner and lunch but I had never thought of going there for a late breakfast. I'll give it a shot.
Thanks for the ideas guys
Wow, I love Soundbites. The line moves quickly, and while I don't go there expecting to linger all day over my coffee, I've never felt like anyone was standing over me waiting for me to finish either.
I also like Kellys - I just like Soundbites better.
Andys is what it is. I wouldn't go out of my way for it, or define it as "chowish," but it fits the bill if a big greasy spoon breakfast right in Porter is in order.
I'm one of the many long-time fans of Soundbites, and have to say that while I have personally seen Yassar get angry with some customers, on each and every occasion he has been angry at their inconsiderate behavior towards other customers. Maybe I'm a breakfast Nazi, too, but for the love of God, if there's a line of twenty people out the door and a small restaurant with a dozen tables or so, is it more rude to occupy a table reading the newspaper or to tell that person to leave? Likewise, in the dead of winter, is it more rude to stand there in the doorway propping the door open while waiting for a table, or to ask that person, "Do you speak English? Read the sign. Close the door."
Could he be nicer to those people? Sure. But we're not talking about yelling at people for sport, or having some ridiculous set of rules for how to order your food. I suppose it's a bit ironic that what seems to provoke his being rude to a customer is that customer's being rude themselves.
I also happen to have witnessed 10 times as many warm, gentle, sweet, loving interactions between Yassar and his customers than I have rude ones. Among them, one of my favorites, when a week or so after 9/11, I was standing in line outside, he came out to have a smoke, was chatting with either us or other customers nearby, and on the state of current events said, "I don't understand this terrorism. I know pancakes, waffles."
Anyway, long story short, I've been a frequent customer for well over 10 years now, and every so often someone feels compelled to trash Yassar for being rude. Frankly, I hope every customer he's ever said something rude to never returns. Otherwise I expect that customer will be reading the paper while I wait for a table or holding the door open letting in cold winter air while I try to eat.
I have to second everything said by BJK. I've been a regular Soundbites customer for close to 7 years and would also insist that his "breakfast nazi" demeanor comes from trying to limit or deal with the rude behavior of others. Sure, he could tone it down.
BUT, if you are standing outside on a cold january morning, wouldn't you be glad to know that someone inside is doing their best to keep the line moving so that you can come inside, warm up, and enjoy those out of this world whole grain waffles (my favorite!)?
And then, when you've eaten - leave your table so the next cold customer can come inside...
ps: had their french toast last weekend for the first time in quite a while - very good. Nice thick slices, perfectly cooked, yum.
Just tried Soundbites today on the recommendation of several people. Have to say that the food was very underwhelming, although I didn't experience rude service. I had the triple berry cakes which were limp and flavorless. My friend had the 2^3 with eggs, sausage, and apple cinnamon cakes. The apple cinnamon cakes were similarly flavorless, and the sausage was mediocre. I've had better pancakes in Omaha, Nebraska. The only redeeming thing was the hot cocoa.
As Patricia said, Rosebud is tastier and cheaper (if greasier.) If this is the place that's been voted Best Breakfast/ Best Pancakes by Boston Magazine, I have to hope that there are better places in Beantown. Because this place in no way compares to brunch greats like Sarabeth's in New York or Walker Bros outside of Chicago. Needless to say, I will NOT be going back to Soundbites.
On the food, having eaten my way through the menu over the years, I'd highly recommend the following:
* any of the eggs bennys
* waffles with fruit
* the fruit bowl
* any of the omelettes
* grilled muffins
* turkey sausage
I've never been wowed by the hash, and never bother ordering plain eggs outside of my own kitchen. For pancakes, I prefer the Deluxe Town Diner in Watertown.
If you're willing to head up to near Davis Sq., there's Qingdao Garden for a Northern Chinese breakfast.
We seem to have moved from Porter to Davis, which I suppose says something about the quality of breakfast available in the former. Rosebud is a decent breakfast, though it is indeed in Davis. Nice old school diner car, I remember the eggs benedict being good (not a patch on the great Chef Paul of Sarasota, Florida, but that is another story), and the one truly unique element is the bloody marys with clamato. Wierd, wild stuff. Is this a New England thing?
In Porter itself, I think the best bet for a cheap and decent breakfast is the halfshell, which is about a block south of the station on Mass Ave. Not chowish by any stretch, but they do make a mean bacon-egg'n'cheese.
And windycity, I am puzzled. Would it not stand to reason that they would make top-notch flap jacks in Nebraska?
Just a note -- there was a long line in front of Soundbites at 9:30 this morning ... in the rain! I think this says more about the lack of good breakfast options in the area than it does about the food at SB, although I do enjoy the "no place like home fries" (actually garlicky mashed potatoes crisped up on the grill, yum) and the eggs bene.
I know Jay's wasn't GREAT, but now there's really no other option for Tufts kids (go Jumbos!) in the very close vacinity. I think Kelly's is mediocre and Broken Yolk can only fit like 5 people at a time. If I'd been heading to brunch today in the hood, I'd have stopped in to Tu y Yo, which is open Sat and Sunday brunch now. Has anyone been?
The line at Soundbites is deceiving though, because there's no room to wait inside at all. I avoided trying it for years, assuming that if the line was so long as to spill outside, it must be totally insane. Once I tried it, I was hooked...and I've never had to wait more than 15 minutes.
Spirit in Porter has a brunch now, don't want to vouch for it but they have some Irish standbys and liquor.
I must hesitantly agree with the pro-Yassar SoundBites crowd. He can be abrupt, but always in defense of customers' experience as they're eating. Certainly it's not a place for a leisurely breakfast when it's full.
At least nine (sometimes ten) kinds of seasonal fruit in the fruit bowl; ordering egg beaters means automatic dry toast (for the weight watchers among us); a choice between grilled or toasted english muffin (who'd notice a lack of choice on that?); and of course Rosie's pictures on the wall make SB my vote for a little-bit-of-brooklyn right here in Ball Square.
Double yay for the Petsi's rec! Renee is a total sweety!!!
I'm sorry to say that I think that both Kelly's and Broken Yolk are SYSCO Specials. Meh.