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Sep 25, 2008 02:53 PM

Saturday Brunch, what's good?

I am going to the movie at the Boston Common theatre on Saturday, and I'd like to have a brunch before it. What do you think is the best place?
I'm sort of thinking about going to South End (Union, Aquitaine or Masa), but I'm not really sure yet.
What do you think? Which one is the best out of the 3? Is there any place around that level? (I'd like to spend $20 a person or so, we don't drink alcohol)
I know dim sum is good, but I just went last week, so I prefer something else.

Thank you!

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  1. Of those three I would pick Union. It will certainly come in at under $20 pp, especially if you pick the $9.95 brunch special. I'd say Masa if you are looking for something Southwestern-leaning. I like Aquitane too, but if you have not been to Union or Aquitane, then go with Union and try Aquitane another time. I have found Aquitane a little less relaxing than Union (tables closer, noisier and generally more frantic). Personally, not ideal for a (sometimes slightly hungover) brunch.

    1. I actually really disliked Masa's brunch last time I went. Incredibly disorganized, the eggs benedict were just plain bad. They had run out of many of the menu items...just not a great experience.

      Union is alright- much more organized but Ive never been blown away by their food.

      In that area-how about Gaslight- I had a great dinner their recently and Ive heard great things about their brunch...

      4 Replies
      1. re: fmcoxe6188

        Liked the brunch at banQ in the south end reasonable prices....had the French Toast with the Baileys and Kahlua marscapone and a killer asian bloody mary.

        1. re: fmcoxe6188

          We had a pretty bad experience at Union this past Sunday.
          I almost started a post about it but honestly didn't know where to begin.
          We have been there many times before on Sunday mornings and ordered that prix fixe special. The food is good enough, and it's certainly a great value for the money.
          This Sunday --service was so incredibly disorganized and amateur. We were meeting my Dad and friend there --in error, they showed up early (9:45) before Union was officially open --the manager (they think) opens the door for them and says they are not open yet and they'll need to wait till they open --at 10. Outside. Where it''s pouring rain.
          The wait staff is all there, setting up...they can't sit these two older folks at the bar with a cup of coffee for 15 minutes? A small gesture, but one they totally miss the ball on, and it t only gets worse from there.
          We arrive, order our entrees...that part goes smoothly, Then we wait. . And wait. The place starts filling up. J doesn't get her juice. We try and flag down a waiter, the juice eventually comes. We run out of coffee. Flag a waiter down (ours) and he brings us our coffee. I note as he's filling it up that the canister says "decaf" on it. None of us ordered decaf. I think maybe he just filled up a decaf container with regular coffee and is giving it all to us, but then see him put it back down at the service station, clearly marked decaf. No clue if we actually got decaf instead of regular or if there is no difference btwn the two. No way to ask him because he has disappeared. Someone finally comes to deliver our meals. Not the waiter who took our order. He isn't sure what he is delivering or who it goes to. We try and figure it out --but a few folks got omelettes and you can't really tell what's inside. One dish is not what anyone ordered. But the guy who dropped the dishes off is gone. Again, very difficult to flag anyone down. When we finally get our waiter, he apologizes, brings it back to the kitchen. Meanwhile my toast is completely dry. There's no butter on the table or jam. I'm out of coffee again. Waitstaff is all over the place, but no one stops by our table. 4 out of 5 of us are eating our meal, the other is just waiting. And waiting. Finally, about 10 minutes later, her food comes. Our waiter brings it, says he's sorry for the wait. We note that the service hasn't been great. He says there are "lots of new people on the floor." I think he's one of them.
          Once we finish, we're ready to leave. We get the check, and it's totally incorrect. 4 out of 5 of us ordered the $9.95 prix fixe meal, but instead everything is itemized. The coffee. The juice. The entree. When you add it up, it comes to about $12/meal. We ask the waiter about this, he is genuinely confused. It takes about 10 minutes, but he comes back with a new check, for a little less, but with the same problem. We try and explain it to him again. He says everything has to be itemized, so that's why we don't just get one listing of $9.95. We say that's fine, but again, when you total everything up, our specials come in at higher than 9.95 per. Hmmm. He looks at the check but he still seems confused. We say "maybe we should talk to a manager." He says he'll go talk with the manager. Then he says "well the 9.95 special is only from 10-11." We have gone back and forth with the check so much that the check now is time stamped at 11:10. So.....wait. We were here at 9:45 and because you screwed up the check we have to pay more for our meals? Not even sure where to go with this but I think he realizes that was a lame excuse so he drops that.
          He finally gives us the check and it's finally correct. We should have talked with the manager, but to be honest, I didn't really get the sense he cared. And at that point we were more than ready to leave. He was up in the front, and spent no time in the dining room. We are pretty low maintenance folks, so if we were unhappy, I can't imagine there weren't others feeling the same way (or worse.)

          The food was ok but not stellar and certainly not worth overlooking that service. After that experience, I'd have a hard time recommending Union any time soon. Yikes.

          1. re: twentyoystahs

            Wow, I went to Union on Saturday, and it was GREAT!

            1. re: 02139

              I've had pretty good experiences there in the past as well....but we usually go on Saturdays. That may be the key --perhaps they couldn't keep up with the volume on Sunday. Not sure, but it was pretty pathetic.

        2. If you decide against the South End, there's always Sel de la Terre, which I enjoy for brunch.

          1. I like Gaslight and it isn't too expensive. Definitely not more than $20 for brunch.


            1. The Other Side Cafe in Back Bay has a surprisingly good breakfast. I love the bar, but I'm not a huge fan of the food. It's big on vegan food.

              The breakfast selection was awesome though! They have great morning cocktails, an extensive menu, and even a dish that contains all 4 major food groups (Sugar, coffee, Meat, & Booze). Sadly I can't remember what it is called.

              Just go there.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Jonny509

                "The Coffeehouse Breakfast" -- Includes all of your basic food groups - sugar, coffee,
                bacon & beer! All that’s missing is the nicotine.
                One Mighty Fine Waffle with whipped cream and a side
                of bacon. Coffee syrup instead of maple, served with a
                pint of BBC Coffeehouse Porter. (You must provide
                your own cigarettes.) 12.99