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Where's Breakfast?

musicman May 8, 2008 05:18 PM

I was searching the board and didn't find a good, comprehensive string about the better basic breakfasts 'round these parts.

I used to be a fan of Arlington Diner, but that's now past tense.
Broadway Diner in Arlington may have some of the same folks, but the food isn't quite to where AD was.
Charlie's in the South End was quite good last I checked.
Johnny's Luncheonette (Newton & Harvard Sq) is credible.
Was / is there still a Kelly's in Somerville?
Julie's Place in Acton is a contender.
Years ago there was a little joint on 133 in Andover that had good homemade hash.
Deluxe Town Diner in W'town is a solid performer, although their formerly wheat-free blue corn pancakes are no longer wheat free. (The wheat free isn't critical for me, but it was nice to be able to tell friends who do care.) And I wouldn't complain bitterly if they fixed the bench seats just a little bit...
Aram's in Belmont is fine.
Linda's Donuts in Belmont is a great donut, and a good egg sandwich.
Breakfast Club on Western Ave is decent.

While most are pretty good, none of the above are to me what AD was. I'd be very happy with folks who turn out good home fries and hash, assuming all eggs are created equal. I don't need fiddleheads with my eggs - in other words this isn't about the truly "gourmet," although a well done Hollandaise is a good thing.

Who do you like and why? All geographies welcome.

  1. BarmyFotheringayPhipps May 8, 2008 05:38 PM

    Johnnies left Harvard Square years ago.

    1. mabelm4050 May 8, 2008 06:22 PM

      You know who has a really good breakfast? Spring Street Cafe in West Roxbury. It's on the corner of VFW and Spring Street near the Dedham line. It's my favorite of late.

      2 Replies
      1. re: mabelm4050
        teezeetoo May 8, 2008 07:40 PM

        ccharlies and mikes diner in the south end, victors in watertown, zaftigs in brookline, and deluxe town diner would be my favorites, in no particular order.

        1. re: mabelm4050
          ginnyhw May 9, 2008 12:49 PM

          How late? I had heard they had closed. Had several over cooked omelets there when they first opened.

        2. p
          PJ Mac BJ May 8, 2008 09:03 PM

          I second Charlie's for old world charm and a great old-fashioned breakfast. You just have to go when the tourists aren't there staring at the photos of Muhammed Ali and the World Series trophy. It's hands-down one of the best classic places to go in the Boston area for breakfast.

          1. h
            Hambone Willy May 9, 2008 08:50 AM

            I think the Paramount in Beacon Hill, Anthony's in the North End for a Western Omellete and Charlie's for turkey hash are my votes for a cut above standard breakfast places. I would respectfully diagree with Zaftig's, really dont' see what the wait is all about....

            1. j
              jessflex98 May 9, 2008 09:56 AM

              Joe Two's in Waltham is also a good breakfast place.

              4 Replies
              1. re: jessflex98
                Allstonian May 9, 2008 10:35 AM

                Seconded. BFP and I had breakfast at Joseph's 2 a few weeks ago, based on recommendations from this board, and were very pleasantly surprised. I could wish for proper maple syrup for the pancakes (which were excellent), but other than that, everthing in our meals exceeded our expectations, and the service and atmosphere were great.

                I'm another big fan of Deluxe Town Diner, and also of Centre Street Cafe in JP, though they only serve breakfast on weekends and holidays. Many folks on this board don't like to go to Centre Street because of the long wait to get seated; however there's a good reason for the long line!

                1. re: Allstonian
                  autopi May 13, 2008 12:10 PM

                  recently enjoyed an old-fashioned (overnight yeast risen) waffle at centre st, which was about as good a waffle as i've ever had. it came with a load of fruit--strawberries, mango, banana, kiwi, grapes, etc.--and was just fantastic. the secret is to get there early, and don't be more than 2 to a party. in fact if you go alone, you'll prob. be seated relatively quickly.

                  on the other hand, my dc dragged me to bon savor the other week, and while everything was fine, i guess, nothing stood out as particularly noteworthy. i thought it was very white-bread-bland-ish, which was sort of what i suspected going in.

                  1. re: autopi
                    Allstonian May 13, 2008 01:52 PM

                    I *LOVE* Centre Street's raised waffle topped with fruit. Outstanding fruit salad mix with a wide mix of fruits, not just honeydew, cantaloupe, apples, and grapes; tasty tasty waffle. For about 2 years I schlepped out to Centre Street on Sunday mornings via the 66 bus connecting to the 39, to have an early walk around Jamaica Pond followed by brreakfast at Centre Street. I'd say that I had the raised waffle about 70% of the time. It was hard for me to choose anything else!

                    I was always alone and usually arrived just before they opened at 9, and indeed I usually got seated in the first batch. Go any later and you're subject to the length of the line; it's true that deuces will get seated quicker than parties of 5 or 6, but it's still a long wait for those tables to turn, waiting till you can at least get up to where you can while away your time looking in the window of Gadgets!

                    1. re: Allstonian
                      Joanie May 14, 2008 04:48 AM

                      For those of us who can't eat that much that early, it always looks fairly quiet toward the last hour of brunch. I seldom see a line after 2, maybe even a little earlier sometimes. Odd how I've never gone and I live 3 blocks away.

              2. g
                ginnyhw May 9, 2008 01:07 PM

                Friends in West Rox rave about Harry's for brunch on Centre Street near the Arboretum. Keep meaning to try it- they say the Eggs Benedict are great and there is never a line for a table - it's a little off the beaten path. We have yet to go as we usually hit Auntie Bee's, farther up Centre near Roche Bros, out of habit when we're in the area..
                Brookline has two old school diners- the Busy Bee and Martin's. they tend to get very crowded and food can be hit or miss but it's always interesting to sit at the counter and watch the action.

                3 Replies
                1. re: ginnyhw
                  lycheefloat May 11, 2008 05:42 AM

                  I LOVE Harry's All American Breakfast. Their pancakes are phenomenal, and the service is always good. The only downside is that the lighting isn't so great.

                  North of boston, Nancy's is really nice. Its in stowe, I think, overlooking a small airport. The view is great, and it's just a really nice, quaint restaurant. Look out for their specials, they have some really cool twists on eggs benedict.

                  1. re: lycheefloat
                    musicman May 11, 2008 06:37 PM

                    Good reminder on Nancy's Airfield Cafe. I've been a couple times and enjoyed it.

                    1. re: lycheefloat
                      Joanie May 13, 2008 01:30 PM

                      Is this the place across from Yucatan Tacos? Can't remember what it used to be called when it was more of a baked goods cafe.

                  2. gansu girl May 9, 2008 03:56 PM

                    Victor's on N. Beacon in Watertown

                    1. steinpilz May 9, 2008 04:57 PM

                      I've had good breakfasts at The Other Side, nice because it's convenient for a good post-prandial Saturday stroll afterwards.

                      1. b
                        BBHound May 10, 2008 11:01 AM

                        The breakfast capital of Boston is Ball Square in Somerville. Check out this thread:

                        1. j
                          joechristo May 13, 2008 07:10 AM

                          Best egg sandwich Ive ever had is at Elisa's on Adams St in Newton.
                          2 eggs, cheese, 4 slices of bacon or ham on buttered scali toast.

                          2nd Best was at Queen Annes on 138 in Canton usually on a bagel, really good sandwich.

                          The breakfast places around Boston have kind of gotten out of control, the Town Diner in Watertown is good, if your a Fortune 500 CEO, a 2 person breakfast can quickly top 30 dollars if youre not careful. large juice $5.00?? yeah its fresh squeezed, but I didnt know that and didnt care, it just aggravated me.

                          The egg and I on western ave is very reliable good food good service decent price,

                          The NewYorker in Watertown sq slipped a bit in recent years but isnt awful.

                          Talk of the town is a nice place although Ive gone there and it wasnt open on more than one occasion.

                          Victor's on North Beacon in watertown is a good place.
                          good price lots of choices.

                          1. c
                            Climacus1 May 14, 2008 03:15 PM

                            Deluxe Town Diner in Watertown is certainly a good place to go, but often too crowded in my experience. The homefries are excellent. I think they use Chicken seasoning, or something like it.

                            I would also recommend the Grecian Diner in Allston, near the corner of Commonwealth and Harvard St.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Climacus1
                              Ralphie_in_Boston May 15, 2008 08:15 AM

                              Timing is crucial with Watertown diner. I've had the best luck showing up by 9 AM. And, when there is a moderate line outside, it it *Does* move quicker than I expect it too (and I'm impatient about restaurant lines in general!)

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