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Cutty's, Brookline Villiage, 2/25/10

I took advantage of a late-starting work day to stop in for a light breakfast at the newly opened Cutty's in Brookline Village. It's a simple, pretty space - very nice and bright, even on a gloomy morning like today. It feels a little bare, though, especially when there's nobody in there - a couple of small pictures on the walls wouldn't necessarily ruin the plain aesthetic. White walls above natural wood wainscoting, with square rustic-wood tables. The menu is handwritten, posted on sheets of butcher paper hung on one wall, with an additional list of takeout items on a green chalkboard. The guy at the counter was very pleasant.

Breakfast offerings are minimal - chocolate and almond croissants and pecan sticky buns, all from Iggy's, plus a house-made crumbcake, yogurt with honey and house-made granola, hard-boiled eggs, and bananas. Coffee is George Howell Select. I had an almond croissant (wow! I haven't tried an Iggy's croissant before, and it was terrific, though rather small. Still, the price is good - $1.65.) Since the croissant was small, I also tried the crumb cake. They're done up in muffin cups, kind of like breakfast-y cupcakes. The crumb topping was generous and tasty, though the cake was a little bit on the dry side.

It looks like the main focus of the menu, though, is the lunchtime sandwich offerings, and I was sorry that it was too early for me to get one for my lunch later on. The special combinations look terrific. I was especially intrigued by the ham with house-made pimento cheese spread and house-made pickles on a baguette. (Breads are also from Iggy's.) I'll have to figure out how to get over there to try a lunch some time soon!

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Cutty's
284 Washington St, Brookline, MA 02445

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  1. I've tasted three of the sandwiches so far--they're all really, really good. (As are the perfectly seasoned homemade potato chips.) The standout is the Saturday-only roast pork sandwich with either pickled fennel and roasted garlic or with broccoli rabe and provolone. Terrific sesame roll, too. Must-try. Can't wait for breakfast sandwiches and donuts.

    3 Replies
    1. re: lizbomze

      Yes, breakfast sandwiches are definitely in order! Will they be making their own donuts? That would be awesome.

      1. re: lizbomze

        You have tried both pork sandwiches? I have been watching this closely to see how their roast pork with rabe and sharp provolone turns out, same flavors as a Pork Italian but obviously a bit more upscale take. Rabe pre-prepared? Meat flavor soak into the bun? Allstonian says breads from Iggy's, but what about the Sesame bun? Although I am predisposed towards the original (and the more local italian sausage+rabe sub), I won't rush to judge the owners take and I do respect some of what they said about Cooks Illustrated/ATK in the Globe interview a while back. They also seem to have not tried to bite off to much (like ASSbar), but while adding some variety so a good start, but I want my first sandwich to be the pork and don't think I will get there this Saturday.

        1. re: itaunas

          I have had the Roast Pork w/ Broccoli Rabe and Provolone, to go. We picked up the sandwiches about 10min after they opened on a Saturday. The rabe appeared to be pre-prepared as it still had a bit of a chill to it. It had an abbundance of flavor, though. So much so, in fact, that I did not get much pork flavor coming through. I do recall a bit of pork juice soaking into the bun, but again, this was only detectable as texture, not so much as flavor. On its own, the pork was very flavorful. The meat was warm, but not hot; I believe the meat flavor would have come through more if it had benefitted from more heat to get the aroma moving. I also did not taste much in the way of the provolone. The sesame bun was awesome. If I get this again I will probably remove half of the rabe.

      2. The3 on-line menu has no prices. Any idea what sandwich prices are?

        1. Sandwiches run $6-9, with spuckies available in half-sizes. The food is terrific. The place looks only 90% finished. I think those paper signs will eventually be replaced by chalkboard writing, and the exterior sign isn't up yet, so it's easy to miss.

          http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

          1. Wow, I just checked out the online menu. This place looks very promising! I'll definitely be checking it out......

            1. This has been the location of death, so good luck to these guys. Puzzling that the most interesting thing on the menu is available only one day a week.

              3 Replies
              1. re: drb

                Sometimes a location is jinxed, and sometimes it's just a series of bad concepts. Without good signage, it's very easy to miss that spot, too.

                Franky 'n the Boys was not a goer, for sure: not terrible, but not well-priced, and a hideous room. The Omelettry Cafe had a lousy name and very inconsistent food. Rizelli's was an unremarkable Greek-American sub shop in a neighborhood that had two long-established ones within a couple of blocks. (I think it was a nail salon before that.)

                http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                1. re: MC Slim JB

                  Re: location jinxes, the Tavern on the Square in Porter has been extremely successful on that corner spot that had been Cottonwood Cafe and several other failed incarnations.

                  1. re: Bob Dobalina

                    And Beacon St. Tavern does well in what was once a "cursed" space.

              2. Lunch on Saturday, 2/27. The roast pork with roasted garlic and pickled fennel was very good. On a very good sesame seed roll. Not a huge sandwich but very tasty. Note that I saw a half sandwich, the veggie spuckie, and it was too small for the cost. The prices are a little premium.

                14 Replies
                1. re: lergnom

                  I agree that price vs. portion size is going to be a problem for some customers here. I don't mind paying a premium for quality, and I don't like giant subs, but it will be interesting to see how the larger market responds to Cutty's value proposition.

                  http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                  1. re: MC Slim JB

                    We too went to Cutty's for a couple of takeout sandwiches on Saturday. We chose the ham and pimiento cheese and the roast beef, both of which were outstanding and entirely good value for money. These are top-quality ingredients perfectly matched: they don't need to be huge to be satisfying. If it were just that much closer to home (say, Coolidge Corner instead of Brookline Village), I'd be eating lunch here a couple times a week: you have any idea how hard it is to get pimiento cheese at all here, much less really GOOD pimiento cheese?

                    1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                      I'm with you: I think it's a good value. But we live in Cheesecake Factory Land.

                      http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                      1. re: MC Slim JB

                        We were back in our old hood Saturday afternoon and heard good things from the locals- they love Cutty's and we heard the new owners are part of the Christopher Kimball organization, long time Brookline Village tenants. There was no love lost for Frankie's so it may not be a bad luck location. Next trip- pimento cheese!
                        Off topic we were shocked to see a Papa Gino's next to Dunkin' Donuts.

                        1. re: Berheenia

                          Yeah, when did THAT show up? I swear it wasn't there when I bought Allstonian her Valentine chocolates at Serenade!

                      2. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                        Barmy, it was the half that was small. And it was. The price is more than half and the expectation, I think, for a customer is that the half is more than a strict measured cut. I was quite happy with the pork. The pimento cheese I tried on bread and it was great.

                        I hope they add more food because it is well made and well thought out. I would have put a little more pickled fennel and a little less roasted garlic on the pork but the food had taste, which is something many places can't grasp.

                          1. re: phatchris

                            Better. And I LOVE the pimiento cheese at HM.

                            1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                              Will definitely have to make a trip out to Brookline. The pork and rabe sounds fantastic as well.

                              1. re: phatchris

                                I just saw one of the pork/rabe sandwiches on Man vs. Food yesterday, gotta get to Cutty's (and back to Phily).

                                1. re: Joanie

                                  I went this past Saturday. The pork/rabe/provolone sandwich was out of this world. Also got some of the house made potato chips. Really great. I agree it's a bit pricey, but I'm willing to pay for good ingredients and food that someone cares about making right.

                          2. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                            Had the same sandwiches today whilst playing hookie - they were amazing. I am ordinarily bored by ham sandwiches, but the spread, homemade pickles, and the ham were of the highest quality. I actually preferred the roast beef sandwich - the beef had actual flavor (they roast it there) and the combination of crispy shallots, thousand island, and cheddar was perfect. It's what the Radius burger would taste like if they eased up on the salt. The potato chips were unusual and delicious too - shaved atom thin and deep fried. They seem to both crunch and melt in your mouth. Overall a very high quality operation, they know how to get some great flavors out of their food. Totally worth the price.

                            1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                              I had no idea what pimento cheese was, but I took your advice and tried the ham with pimento cheese. Definitely not a huge, overstuffed sandwich, but so tasty that it was very satisfying. It's actually kind of nice to get a normal amount of food for a reasonable price. The flavors worked really well together. And I ended up buying a tub of pimento cheese to take home. Which disappeared in about a day, so maybe I shouldn't be doing that anymore.

                              The chips are delicate and lovely, with a nice brown color and taste. The crumb cupcake was good. The brown sugar cookie was outstanding.

                              Went a second time and got the ham & pimento cheese again. Also the Italian spuckie for my DC, which stood up to the high expectations created by the ham. Roast beef will be next.

                              1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                                Is Cutty's pimento cheese typical? Cutty's gave me my first taste of it, and I've bought several tubs from Cutty's since. With Cutty's limited hours, I bought a tub of PC from Trader Joe's and it's completely different (and yucky). The TJ PC is thinner, with a very different flavor in a mayo base.