Best brunch in Cambridge?
I'm going to Boston over Memorial Day weekend and we are staying at the Meridien in Cambridge. Can someone recommend a great Sunday brunch place in Cambridge (walking distance, but we can probably walk up to a mile)? Am open to a more unusual type of brunch, don't want to go to a diner and get scrambled eggs and bacon (though I love that on occasion), although would like the food to have at least a few breakfast-y elements. Am pretty open price-wise but wouldn't want to spend $50 pp at brunch since we're going to both Clio and L'Espalier for dinner. Also, would like somewhere that starts brunch before 11:30 if possible.
I should probably also add, in response to the person below, that it not be a buffet as we are going to L'Espalier that night and I don't think I have enough self-control not to overindulge at a good buffet, though Henrietta's does sound good.
Henrietta's Table in Harvard Square. One of the best brunches in the Boston area. $42/person (it's not $50!). About a 1.5-mile walk from the Meridien. Also easily accessible on the Red Line. Reservations essential.
I realize you didn't want a buffet, but the Blue Room I think qualifies as a great brunch place - incredibly broad range of food, very tasty, not hyper expensive, and Sunday brunch starts at 11 am. And it's under half a mile away from the Meridien.
1 Kendall Sq, Cambridge, MA
I recently had The Blue Room's brunch. I think it's $23. A really nice mix of breakfast and lunch dishes (thus, "brunch"). My favs were the tamarind glazed ribs and grilled salmon w/ fennel. There was a good Mexican chocolate bread pudding-ish thing, along with a dozen other desserts. Indeed it is a buffet, so it may be hard to hold back.
It sounds like you're thinking slightly upscale, which is why The Blue Room sounds about right. A more offbeat recommendation would be Mary Chung's, a pretty cheap Chinese place right around where you're staying. They have decent XLB, I like their "Grandma's Pie" (sort of a meat-filled scallion pancake), and you can get a nice mix of northern (lion head meatballs) and Sichuan (suan la chow shou wontons).
Argh, I really wanted a non-buffet but I went to the Blue Room's website and it looked so tasty and inexpensive (for a nice buffet) that I just couldn't help myself. So I booked the 11am seating there and moved L'Espalier back to 8 so that hopefully we can get hungry again in that time. Am also hoping to try B-Side on Saturday; can't believe there are so many good brunch places in Cambridge!
Henrietta's and Blue Room are both great, but they are absolutely buffets and are rather expensive (Blue Room is in the thirty range, as I recall). I have really enjoyed brunches at Ole and East Coast Grill, both in Inman Square. They are both fairly upscale at dinner but brunch is menu-based and I think entrees run around $15 or less, so you can easily control your intake after what will be two wonderful, filling dinners. ECG opens at 11, Ole at 10:30.
Dante at the Royal Sonesta Hotel (across from the Cambridgeside Galleria) does a two course + breakfast pastries for $20. They have both breakfast and lunch fair. You can take a look at the menu here: http://www.restaurantdante.com/brunch....
When I went a few months ago I had the spaghetti and the frittata both of which were very good. I've also had the lombatello which was good. The pastries were yummy, the service attentive, and the view of the Boston skyline quite lovely.