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Great breakfast in Cambridge/ boston area??

e
evadude Aug 29, 2007 11:04 AM

I'm looking for a good, sit-down breakfast place. Not pastries. like brunch food served as breakfast.

  1. u
    UrsusArctosHorribilis Aug 30, 2007 09:38 AM

    Renee's cafe near davis square in Cam/Somerville is a very good breakfast. Good omlettes and French toast, plus a bunch of omelette and benedict specials each day. Way better then the more popular Soundbites and Neighborhod rest. But you may have to stand in line for a bit.

    1. MB fka MB Aug 30, 2007 08:23 AM

      It's very casual, but I love the breakfast at Miracle of Science in Cambridge. Mostly breakfast food, rather than brunch items, but very good and an excellent value. I love the breakfast wrap (sub arugula for the breakfast potatoes), plus they have granola with fruit, grilled grapefruit drizzled with honey, breakfast sandwiches and even a Brazilian style (IIRC) steak and eggs.

      I also like Brookline Lunch in Central Square - across from the Middle East. Big, simple breakfasts served all day (all day being breakfast and lunch only), plus a strange assortment of sandwiches and lunch time entrees. The owners are from Jordan, I believe, and they make some amazing flavored jam and a harissa-type hot sauce. I like the veggie omelette with feta. This is a pretty bohemian kind of place that doesn't skeeve me out, but it certainly could for some people.

      Centre Street Cafe in JP is pretty great. I've had some amazing strata specials there. The weekend line is irritating as all get-out, though.

      1. d
        daliryma Aug 30, 2007 08:12 AM

        I've been to Masa, Aquitaine and Rocco, all in the South End for brunch. I enjoyed the food at Masa the most, but Aquitaine had more of a lively Brunch scene.

        1. c
          Carenhf Aug 29, 2007 12:55 PM

          We have been to Stephanie's on Newbury Street several times for breakfast/brunch and love it.

          1. a
            autopi Aug 29, 2007 12:44 PM

            we like centre street cafe in jamaica plain--though you pretty much are guaranteed to have to stand in line for a table.

            places you might look into--i haven't been--include bon savor (jamaica plain), acquitaine (south end) and henrietta's table (harv. sq.).

            2 Replies
            1. re: autopi
              Allstonian Aug 29, 2007 01:07 PM

              I *love* Centre Street's breakfast, but it's more of a brunch - served only on weekends (and some holidays) from 9am to 3pm. The OP hasn't yet clarified what time of day or day of the week they're looking for, so this may or may not satisfy their request.

              1. re: autopi
                edgrimley Aug 30, 2007 12:34 PM

                Agree on Centre Street. The line there validates it. Don't know of a place in the area that matches it though. In SF, every neighborhood has 1-2 Centre Streets.

              2. edgrimley Aug 29, 2007 12:04 PM

                We've been agonizing over this one for almost three years. There are good brunches to be found, but we haven't been able to find true better-than-diner breakfast. I too use the if-I-could-cook-it-at-home factor in making these decisions. We're looking for breakfasts on par with favorites in previous home cities - such as Sabrina's and Morning Glory in Philly, and Ella's, Miss Millie's, and Chloe's in SF. Creative egg dishes, well done challah french toast, superb coffee.

                Our go-to dinerish place is Zoe's on Mass Ave btwn Central and Harvard. Good quality and convenient. Great service and very kid friendly. But it's mostly for convenience. We can make everything better at home.

                I'm trying to get over to Tu y yo for chilaquiles and other mexican delights.

                I've heard decent things about Columbus Cafe in South End.

                Soundbites was okay, not on par with the Philly or SF spots.

                I'm not being much help here, suppose I'm just complaining more. If there was one thing I'd open if I were in the biz, would be a great breakfast place though. I'm picturing the hour long waits and some of those great places in other cities.

                1. b
                  bear Aug 29, 2007 11:36 AM

                  Do you tend to eat before 10 or after? That can make a difference.

                  1. gini Aug 29, 2007 11:31 AM

                    I prefer Soleil Cafe to both Soundbites and Neighborhood, but would warn that it's just a simple neighborhood breakfast place, and not even open on Sundays.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: gini
                      MB fka MB Aug 30, 2007 08:27 AM

                      I'm with you, gini. Neighborhood is just a pile of food. Once a season I give it a try again, and once a season I think "doh! why did I waste my money!?" I do like the outdoor seating, but best to bring your own coffee (theirs is wretched) and just get a big bowl of cream of wheat.

                      Soundbites is pretty good if you're in the area, but not necessarily worth making it a destination. Coffee is pretty good.

                      I've had some nice breakfasts at Soleil Cafe, though not in the past year. I recall a very nice smoked salmon and potato pancake special, and a very plain french toast (plain ol' white bread) that was surprisingly tasty.

                    2. finlero Aug 29, 2007 11:20 AM

                      Upscale, your best bet would be the hotels. I like Eastern Standard in Kenmore and Beacon Hill Bistro for their mildly Frenchified breakfasts.

                      Midscale you might consider Rachel's Kitchen in Bay Village, where you can find some thoughtful takes on the old reliables. Across the river, two Somerville institutions that have generated a lot of excitement here are Sound Bites in Ball Square and Neighborhood Restaurant in Union Square.

                      I should say I'm not an enormous fan of either of these last two, as they fail my could-I-have-easily-cooked-better-at-home test, but I'm finicky about my breakfasts out; they're generally very well-liked on and off this board.

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