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Franklin Cafe, again

MC Slim JB Apr 2, 2007 12:26 PM

Not that anyone needs to be steered here, but I had another fine recent dinner: a couple of meaty, beautifully-fried duck spring rolls on a little pile of lightly-dressed, herbed bean sprouts with a plummy dipping sauce and sriracha; an excellent roasted-tomato soup with a little grilled cheese sandwich; the always-excellent turkey meatloaf with fig gravy (with a pile of figs on top) plus good mashed; and a very creditable, juicy fried chicken (nice crunchy coating) with a good heap of collards in maybe some kind of red-wine sauce. A lot of very fine comfort food for under $50 inclusive.

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  1. aadesmd Apr 2, 2007 06:32 PM

    I love this place. There are no pretensions. The food is great, and the wine pricing more than fair. Also, they serve late, very late. In addition, every server I have had has expressed true pride in what the Franklin is doing.

    1 Reply
    1. re: aadesmd
      b
      BackBayGirl Apr 2, 2007 07:06 PM

      I agree. This is one of my favorite places and somewhere I constantly recommend to people. The food is always good, the wine reasonably priced. I've had great servers each time too.

    2. b
      BostonCorkDork Apr 2, 2007 06:54 PM

      i agree with the food being reasonable and the wine list having a respectably low markup. my only problem with the franklin is its rather loud music.

      1. m
        michellezin Apr 4, 2007 07:32 AM

        I love the Franklin and specifically went in to get the duck spring rolls. I was so excited. But....they changed the menu as of Tuesday and weren't on the new menu. So I consoled myself with a fresh pea soup (strong ham flavor) with creme fraiche and a curried short rib with isreal couscous app. Both were very good although the soup's flavor was more split pea with ham than something lighter for the spring. But that was my interpretation of the menu and I didn't clarify. Entrees were the steak frites (very good) and a pork tenderloin with cheddar grits and grilled peaches, which was absolutely delicious. The pork was so tender and flavorful and the peaches (wherever they came from in April were really flavorful too). But the best part was the Faust Cab - $58!!! This is a big, brawny red from the makers of Quintessa and it was fantastic. I've seen it on lists in Boston well over $100 so it was a delicious bargain. I'm continually amazed at the wine prices here. There is always something great and affordable to try. So I did manage to recover quite well from not having the duck spring rolls.

        7 Replies
        1. re: michellezin
          t
          twentyoystahs Apr 4, 2007 07:46 AM

          Do you remember if they still had the fried chicken on the menu? That's definitely not a regular menu item, so I'm wondering if it's still there after the menu revamp. I'm hoping so....

          1. re: twentyoystahs
            b
            BostonCorkDork Apr 4, 2007 08:05 AM

            when is the tuna tar-tare coming back?

            1. re: BostonCorkDork
              d
              drewames03 Apr 4, 2007 02:59 PM

              Are they opening a second (bigger) location in Boston?

              1. re: drewames03
                MC Slim JB Apr 4, 2007 03:12 PM

                No, the one-time plan to open a second, larger location on Harrison Ave is off. The new plan is to expand to the second floor of the current location. Most of the Franklin's neighbors appear to be against this, however. It will be interesting to see if they get approval despite this.

                1. re: MC Slim JB
                  h
                  heWho Apr 4, 2007 03:28 PM

                  Is that even possible? I have friends that live on the 3rd floor of that building, I can't imagine they'd be too happy to hear that! :)

                  1. re: heWho
                    b
                    bostonman Apr 4, 2007 06:07 PM

                    no, it's a dead deal. The neighborhood was very opposed to the expansion upstairs.

                    So, it seems they're going to close for a week or so within the next month to overhaul the restaurant, which hasn't had a fresh coat of paint in a few years. (Remember it was an olive green inside when it first opened??)

                    hands down, the franklin cafe rocks. Was, is, and probably will always be our #1 spot in the south end --- and for the most part -- the city itself

            2. re: twentyoystahs
              litchick Apr 6, 2007 12:01 PM

              agreed: news on that front, please! franklin's fried chicken = decadent, crispy, heaven.

          2. anitab Apr 5, 2007 11:00 AM

            I have always appreciated Franklin's reliability. Never had an "off night" here. But, what I don't understand is the absence of a dessert menu. Just checked out the dessert options in Gloucester and, while modest, I would certainly love to have any of the 4 options available at the S. End location. The only reason that I can come up with is the small space. Shawmut has a teeny-tiny kitchen so they may not want to deal w/ dessert but...if only....

            1 Reply
            1. re: anitab
              MC Slim JB Apr 5, 2007 11:06 AM

              That's easy; there's already a 90-minute wait for tables for big chunks of most nights, and dessert is an extra 30 minutes that doesn't add a lot to the check size. I'm happy with it (especially when I'm the one waiting). You can always sit at the bar of any of dozens of nearby places that do serve dessert, or get an ice cream from Picco or Francesa's.

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