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Ball Square - Sound Bites & Lyndell's

Will be in the area on Monday. Thought of having breakfast at Sound Bites, and have seen lots of favorable reviews, but not specific dishes mentioned. I was there once and had the corned beef hash, which was good but not memorable. Is there something else that I should try? Also, I love the jam filled cookies at Lyndell's, but am I missing something better?

Thanks for the help!!

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  1. I like the delicious eggs bene with no place like home fries at Soundbites. Ask them to toast the english muffin for you ... last time they forgot and it needs it. I also like the breakfast sandwich with canadian bacon and cheese. People rave about the waffles, grilled muffins, etc., but I'm more eggy at breakfast so I cannot say.

    1 Reply
    1. re: yumyum

      N.B. - Yasser just switched his waffle irons to Belgian, from, uh, non-belgian. He's happy about it.

    2. The eggs bene are great. They seem to be even better in the new location. The texture of the hollandaise has improved, keeping the yummy taste. In the Green Eggs No Ham, they are now using wilted baby spinach, much improvement over the chopped frozen they used before.

      The omelets are also great. Tender, generously filled...great with those potatoes.

      Like yumyum, I'm more into the savoury stuff, but have tasted triple-berry pancakes and cream-cheese and fruit stuffed french toast, and they are great, too.

      1. I usually get a fruit plate and a side of no-place-like-home fries (fried mashed potatoes, for those not initiated). But really, how awesome can a fruit plate be, you ask. Pretty damn awesome.

        6 Replies
        1. re: gini

          Totally second the fruit plate. Along similar lines, I like either the pancakes or Belgian waffle with fruit on top.

          This place passes my "could I have easily cooked a better breakfast at home" test pretty much only because of the fresh fruit. The quality of the fruit is fine, but the quantity and variety are outstanding.

          Yes, I could of course prepare a massive bowl of strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, kiwi, pineapple, grapes, and apples at home, but it would be expensive, tedious, and time-consuming. The waffle and pancake batters are adequate enough, but it's really a treat to get them with a massive assortment of really fresh fruit piled on top.

          I'm personally not a huge fan of the muffins here, grilled or otherwise.

          1. re: finlero

            The "massive assortment of really fresh fruit piled on top" reminds me of the waffles at the Centre St Cafe in JP. Have you ever had the fruit-topped waffles there? I swear, there are nearly 2 entire bananas atop the waffle, along with equally impressive quantities of other fresh fruit. How do the two compare?

            Also, does Soundbites have any waffles or pancakes with fruit or other goodies mixed into the batter?

            1. re: fbf242

              They do have pancakes with fresh fruit in the batter, but not sure about the waffles. The triple berry cakes are quite good. I believe blueberry, strawberry, and cranberrry, which adds a nice tang without overwhelming. They have other choices, which I can't remember, also I think chocoate chip and coconut. The fresh fruit on top is great, too, as is the fruit plate, and as yumyum says, Yassir will sometimes comp a small plate. Juicy, ripe and nice variety.

          2. re: gini

            I think we chatted this morning!

            1. re: enhF94

              Did we now? I wasn't anywhere near Soundbites this morning. Sorry!

          3. I love the omelets there. I always have a hard time choosing which one but am always happy withy my choice. The omelets all come with the no place like home fries (which are griddled mashed potatoes) and toast.

            I've always wanted to try the fruit plate because it looks great. I never have because it's huge and I couldn't eat that and my breakfast plate. Well, I probably could, but would feel mighty sick.

            They also have great coffee at Soundbites.

            2 Replies
            1. re: beetlebug

              If you go there and chat Yasser up, he'll usually bring over a small bowl of fruit while you wait. And you're right -- I was going to mention the better than average coffee. Although with True Grounds right across the street (and those guys being full on coffee nuts) it's an embarrasment of riches. The smaller place SB used to be in and now the Ball Square Cafe (owned by the Victors Deli family) is finally open. I'd try it but I think I'd feel like I was cheating on Soundbites.

              1. re: yumyum

                wait'll you see the menu! Several dishes are *really* close to Sound Bites, even down to similar names.
                Sound Bites: "Basic" and "Basic Plus"
                Ball Sq Cafe: "Our Favorite" and "Our Favorite Plus"

              1. re: taxi

                In Ball Square, Somerville, on Broadway. Pleasant, recently-moved-into space a couple of store-fronts down from where they were for years. Good burgers, sysco coated spicy fries, great prices at dinner.

                1. re: bear


                  Gah, that's the wrong soundbites, even though I clicked on the right one and it won't let me edit it!! It's across the street at 708 Broadway. (*&^ places.

                  Looks like two bugs in places. When you search on Soundbites, it returns both the original and the grill across the street. No matter which you click on, the grill is linked and the remove button doesn't seem to have any effect. Guess that's why it's beta.

                  Sound Bites
                  704 Broadway, Somerville, MA 02144

                  1. re: DavisSquare

                    I think that's actually Yasser's sandwich place across the street.

                    Soundbites breakfast place is at 708 Broadway.

              2. Lyndell's does a black-and-white cookie that they're known for and is indeed good, though it's more like a very small flat cake layer with the expected frosting. Enjoyed it and the other cookies I've tried when I've been.

                1 Reply
                1. re: bachslunch

                  I second the black and whites at Lyndell's - they are so delicious. They have a good hazelnut buttercream cake there (but only available as a whole cake - usually not a problem for us!). Their small Italian cookies are tasty. Cupcakes are small and always fresh. Come to think of it, I really enjoy most anything from there - go crazy!

                2. From Lyndells, try a Boston Cream donut and an eclair. I'd be 10 pounds lighter if they didn't sell them.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Nomacmac

                    Honey-dipped are great, too, but if you're not fond of lemon flavoring, be forewarned.

                  2. Lyndell's has a fantastic chocolate cake, and I usually hate chocolate cake.

                    Also, my favorites at Soundbites are the Green Eggs No Ham, the Basic with poached eggs, and the waffles. I'm a little less fond of the omelets but I have friends who swear by them. The No Place Like Home Fries are worth the half-hour drive from my house alone. Also, the garlic and chive cream cheese is fantastic too. You won't have any friends for the rest of the day but it's worth it.

                    1. At Soundbites, I sometimes get the Boston's Best Blue, which is just scrambled eggs (with cheese, I think?), home fries, and half a grilled blueberry muffin - sounds simple, but it's wonderful. Another favorite is something where the name escapes me, but it's made up of cheddar-cheesy eggs with dill and a scone - really lovely. I'm always an egg person there, and they've rarely let me down. It's easily one of my favorite places in the city, and probably the only place I would *have* to go back to if I were to move and return for a visit.

                      1. I like the walnut raisin scone, which comes with the cheddar-dill scramble. Also love, love, the fig-stuffed French toast. The banana nut pancakes are good, too - the bananas are sliced onto the top of the pancakes before they're flipped, so they cooked into the batter, which is nice. Doesn't work so well with the strawberry version, though. And the basic egg/toast/meat plate is always well done - not too greasy, good and hot. The coffee is much improved in the new place.

                        1. Wow, I never had the urge to go to Soundbites before, but this thread has my stomach growling! I think it was the idea of ridiculous lines that most turned me off... are they as bad in the new space? Is Soundbites worth checking out if you don't live nearby? I am much closer to all of the Watertown breakfast spots.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: fbf242

                            when i went a few weeks ago, the line was nowhere near the old wait at the former, smaller location. the service was a bit slower, however... but it is always worth it imo- the waffles with fruit, the eggs beni, and the tunisian (or is it moroccan?) eggs- are really yum!

                            1. re: fbf242

                              The line is indeed crazy. This morning at 11 it was maybe 30 people long while the Ball Square Cafe next door (in the old, small Soundbites space) had no line at all. There was even a line at Kelly's (yuck). That said, if you can make it there around 9 on a weekend morning or any time on a weekday, there usually isn't a wait, and it's pretty good too.

                            2. I'm a bit late to this thread but I thought I'd chime in anyway ...

                              Soundbites: The smoked salmon omelet is outstanding and huge, with tomato and some kind of melted cheese (jack, maybe?) Order it with a bagel on the side and you will not need to eat much the rest of the day. Good stuff.

                              Lyndell's: My favorite recent find there is the apple dumplings, which are amazing and huge -- it's a whole apple, plus brown sugar and cinnamon, covered in a crispy pastry, which they glaze with royal icing to totally throw it over the top. Definitely enough to share, not that I do <g> ... and the best part is the price, which I could not believe the first time I got one. $1.50.

                              I also am a huge fan of their "Ritz Carlton cookies", which are moist, slightly chewy chocolate chip cookies with walnuts. They are incredibly rich and buttery, and I've eaten way too many of them over the past couple of years...