i had a great brunch experience here last weekend. first off, my drink was the "rosalita," i believe. tequila blanco, aperol,"vermouths," and "mole bitters." it was fantastic, one of the best drinks i've had all year, and i'm sort of a cocktail nut. for eats, i had the duck confit hash, which was tremendous. duck, fingerling potatoes, some peppers, an egg over-easy on top, and i forget what else, all served in a skillet, and absolutely great. I had a previously poor brunch experience there over a year ago when i ordered a boring country fried steak and stuck with beer (not as good in the morn). but this was stellar. also, i was worried the place would be too dark for a brunch affair, when i prefer some good natural light. fortunately, they have sky lights and large front windows -- the place was very nicely lit, and not too busy, not too dead (at least around 11-noonish). and the service was quite friendly and attentive. it's a great neighborhood spot that i know i should frequent more often. . . it's just that whenever i can go out i know the place will be packed. any suggestions on other menu items, drinks, times to go?
I just wanted to pile on the love for Deep Ellum. I had only been here a few other time in the summer on Sunday nights. If you are looking for less crowded times to go I think that might be it other than the obvious middle of the work day.
Mr. and I went last night for dinner. We arrived around 7 and lucked out that there was one table open. It did get much more crowded after that. I had the Peralta that others mentioned. That cocktail that is right up my ally. Though, for all that chartreuse and grapefruit I would have liked it a little less sweet and a little more bitter and bracing. Just a personal preference.
We started with the deviled eggs. Mr. is not big into mayonnaise but even he had an egg and enjoyed it. The one with a bit of lemon in it and maybe chopped parsley was nicer. For entrees Mr. had the Best Wurst plate and I had the vegan cassoulet. I'm not a vegan or vegetarian but I am a sucker for white bean and tomato dishes. I've been cooking this sort of thing all winter long but I just can't get enough of it. The combo of the juices of the tomatoes and the starch of the beans is just such a homey and comforting texture to tuck into a chilly March night. And while I usually steer away from ersatz food, the vegan "sausage" which was seitan based was not bad either. Good flavor and a nice firm texture to contrast the mushiness of the beans. There were a few shiitake mushrooms in there too but they were kind of slimy and tasteless so I could do with out that. A meatier cremini or button mushroom with a bit of browning to it would have worked better.
Oh if only I lived within walking distance of this place I could really become a regular. Its got all the dark and coziness of my beloved Rivergods (which is in walking distance) but with much better cocktails and more interesting food.
On a side note, a few weeks ago I went to the Gallows for the first time and I was just sort of underwhelmed. I guess I wanted the Gallows to be a lot more like Deep Ellum. But the Gallows space is just too big and blond-wood paneled (feeling a bit like the Houston's chain) to match its gastropub menu. In contrast Deep Ellum ticked all my boxes for dark and cozy, good music, nice staff, great drinks and comforting food.
Deep Ellum Bar
477 Cambridge St, Allston, MA 02134
Was March 10, 2011 really the last time I was here? We had another great meal at Deep Ellum last night. I had the Green Goddess salad (arugula, asparagus, grape tomatoes, pickled grapes (!), topped with a fried egg) and the Best Wurst appetizer and MR had the pork schnitzel with spätzle and pickled beets. We also enjoyed some smoked beers which are so hard to find everywhere else. Me the High and Might Fumata Bianca and he whatever Rauchbier is on draft right now. Both were excellent.
The salad was pretty good. I admit I was mostly attracted to the pickled grapes and they were indeed my favorite part...I wish the dressing packed a little more punch... more garlicky, more herby?.... something like that. That sausage in the best wurst plate is just awesome... especially if you like a sausage with a little kick. It has a nice fine texture that I've only had before in Lao sausage at East West Grille in West Hartford. I loved the generous amount of grainy mustard and pickled veggies they serve with it too (if you like pickled things then run don't walk here).
The schnitzel was also outstanding. After taking a bite of that perfectly crunchy breading on mouth-watering tender pork, I enviously eyed MR's plate the rest of the meal waiting for the moment when he, perhaps, couldn't finish (it never happened).
Hope to return is less than a year this time.  "in less than a year this time."
Oh yes, the elusive amazing beer bar that's also an amazing cocktail bar that also has pretty good food. I like it on Saturday afternoons and summer weeknights.
And that Manhattan exposition cocktail they have right now, with cognac, sloe gin, and I forget what else, is something else. Also love the white Manhattan (made with genever) and the Peralta (rye, cynar, citrus, and I think grapefruit bitters).
Also a fan of the peralta. Also did the bohannon or something like that, it's based around gin & arrack. I usually drink mostly beer there just because that's my current fancy in the constant pendulum swing.
I think that out of the beer/booze/food triangle, the food is the worst of the three, but it's still pretty decent. I think brunch is usually the best bet there.
In terms of crowding, if I could figure that out I'd be there a hell of a lot more. My #1 complaint is how crowded it always is. It's a bit of a hike for me to get to, and the only thing in that area that I'm usually interested in going to, so it's a real bummer when it's slammed.
That back deck is indeed awesome, but like the main space, it also can fill up fast.
Oh I do when I can, that's my favorite time to drink!
Unfortunately that usually limits me to saturday and sunday which puts me squarely in the brunching hours over there :) The best time I ever had there was the sunday of a memorial day weekend on the back deck. It was just warm enough to hang out there all day and most of the rest of boston was off at private cookouts and such. It was mostly just us all day and it was great.
When the back deck is open (roughly the end of April through the start of October), that's my favorite little hideaway in all of Boston. Nothing better than playing hooky from work--which admittedly is easier for me, being self-employed--and hanging out there all afternoon with a magazine, a beer or a cocktail and a plate of deviled eggs or a couple of the killer soft pretzels, adn then slipping out just as the after-work crowd is congregating. Cannot wait for summer!