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Seeking brunch venue in Somerville, Medford, Cambridge

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for a 'quasi wedding shower'. It will be a 20-ish person affair for friends of a 30-something couple having a destination wedding. This brunch will be for folks who cannot make the destination wedding in the Spring.

Many of the guests are non-drivers (MBTA dependent) and some have cars so location dictates. There should be SOME parking AND the venue should also be reasonably T accessible.

The couple are a pair of hip web designers so venue ought to be interesting.

Food should be reasonably priced relative to it's quality.

Anyone got recommendations?

Again criterion:

-T accessbile
-Some parking available (even if on street)
-'not a chain' or hotel
-reasonably priced

Thanks!

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  1. not sure if you need a private room or not. Both East Coast Grill in Cambridge and Highland Kitchen in Somerville have great brunch. The Independent in Somerville has a new chef and new menu. All three places are T accessible with some parking available (ECG, lot across the street, HK, lot behind, Indo, parking in front and on street). Prices are reasonable and good quality, in my opinion, but all three are very popular and can get crowded and noisy, and I'm not sure what private room options are available, and if these venues are interesting enough for 30's hip web designers!

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    East Coast Grill and Raw Bar
    1271 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139

    Highland Kitchen
    150 Highland Ave, Somerville, MA 02143

    2 Replies
    1. re: Madrid

      i don't see 20 people for brunch at highland kitchen being anything less than a disaster. the place is not very large, extraordinarily loud, and virtually always crowded. and it's T accessible if and only if a > 1 mile walk from the nearest T station qualifies. good eats though.

      i've never been, but the friendly toast in kendall might fit that particular bill. i've heard the food is pretty mediocre, but then a lot of people have limited expectations when it comes to brunch anyway. probably better food, though doesn't fit your "not a hotel" requirement is henrietta's table in the charles hotel in harvard square. also henrietta's table a lot of things, but "hip" is (to its credit) not one of them.

      me personally, i'd disinvite 15 or 18 people with a quickness, and then toddle over to craigie street, which has hands down the best brunch i've had in boston. as in, by a country mile.

      1. re: autopi

        Gargoyle's for Disco Brunch or Posto (Davis)

    2. My sisters and I hosted a birthday brunch for my father at The Blue Room a couple of years ago, and people really enjoyed it. We also had 20-ish people, so we had the side of the dining room left of the bar to ourselves. It's a buffet, though, so we had to go through the regular dining room to get our food -- which was fine, but I don't know if you are looking for something more "private" than that. It is T accessible, has validated parking, and is not a chain or hotel! I'm not hip enough to judge the hipness factor. :)

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      The Blue Room
      Hampshire and Portland streets, Cambridge, MA 02139

      1 Reply
      1. re: stomachofsteel

        About two weeks ago, I went to the Blue Room for brunch with a large group (20 people). I really enjoyed it. It is a buffet and usually that's not a good thing, but in this case the food was very well prepared in small batches, and there was plenty of variety. I would warn that there's not that much breakfast food -- just pancakes, eggs, sausage, and bacon. There's a much larger selection of lunch foods.

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        The Blue Room
        Hampshire and Portland streets, Cambridge, MA 02139

      2. I think the food at the Friendly Toast in Kendall is quite good, and certainly reasonably priced, but I have had severe service issues at prime brunch time on weekends.

        Posto is a good suggestion, although the food is a bit more on the lunch side of brunch if that matters. Certainly easily T-accessible, reasonably priced, and they have a private room that can accommodate 25 or so.

        Russell House Tavern might be another good option. I have not been for brunch, but I've enjoyed their lunch and dinner menus, and a thread from soon after they opened raved about the brunch (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/705278).

        If you are willing to forgo the reasonably priced part of your request, Craigie on Main does do private dining for 18-24 people. Hands down the best brunch in the area, but significantly more expensive than any of the other options that have been suggested.

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        Craigie on Main
        853 Main Street, Cambridge, MA 02139

        The Friendly Toast
        1 Kendall Square, Cambridge, MA

        Russell House Tavern
        14 JFK Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

        1. If you've got 20 people, none of the standby Camberville brunch places will work for you—Sound Bites, Highland Kitchen, East Coast Grill, Friendly Toast, the Neighborhood, etc. Those are all mob scenes. A party of two has to wait 45 minutes to sit and another 30 minutes to eat.

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          East Coast Grill and Raw Bar
          1271 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139

          Highland Kitchen
          150 Highland Ave, Somerville, MA 02143

          The Friendly Toast
          1 Kendall Square, Cambridge, MA

          1. Friendly Toast does have an alcove space in the very back of the restaurant that would provide some privacy - and from memory is probably enough space for 20 - but the service is VERY slow at busy times. Every breakfast or brunch I've had there is good (unch or dinner dishes hit or miss). If you are a hip artsy type, you will like this option. Very funky.

            The Garden at the Cellar has a great brunch menu and you could probably ask to have the Cellar downstairs room to yourself for a few hours.

            Not had brunch at Russell House Tavern but it is big and the food is good. and they have private functions upstairs. Harvard Sq fits your T and parking requirement too.

            Elephant Walk outside Porter Sq - GREAT brunch. french/cambodian. I've had brunch with 14-15 people there before.

            Upstairs on the Square? Harvard Sq

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            Elephant Walk
            2067 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02140

            The Friendly Toast
            1 Kendall Square, Cambridge, MA

            Russell House Tavern
            14 JFK Street, Cambridge, MA 02138