East Coast Grill, Inman Square, Cambridge; Boston’s Second Great Brunch Spot !!
Man o Man. To think we’ve been missing this all these years.
But now, like Paul Simon says, that streak of bad luck is “gone at last”!
We arrived at 2pm and, though they stop brunch at 2:30,the smiling greeter couldn’t have been more sunny and welcoming. When we asked our waitress if she minded the late arrival she seemed surprised and said. “I’m working dinner tonight too so it’s of no worry to me!” A few waitlisted parties had gone elsewhere so we were seated pretty quickly and soon there were 4 other tables free in our section by the grill. Wall colors and decorations make you feel like you’re in FL or the Caribbean,definitely by the ocean.
Everything we had was outstanding. While we have admired the food there since Chris started all those 25 yrs ago, we had stopped going to ECG when dinners just seemed overpriced to us. So it was a delight to see the brunch servings so generous and quite the bargain. The cornbread was 2 large tall squares with just enough sweetness, served with that paragon of slathers- the amazing chile lime honey butter w/ toasted cumin seeds. I really loved it that each plate had a number of components, including some type of ‘salad’.
Inspired by a CH poster, My Love had the Smoked Pork Tostada- lime garlic pork topped w/ poached eggs- in a corn tortilla cup, with chiptle salsa and avocado and black beans on the side. And finally I found a great Boston version of my beloved Huevos Rancheros (by any other name) i.e. Yucatan Breakfast Platter. Three fried eggs over a pool of terrific salsa roja (i asked for it to be a deep pool ); reeeeeealy superb refried beans made w/ BLACK beans, not the normal red; rice(i’ll nix this next time),fried plantains, a well griddled red chile flour tortilla and a salad of avocado, mango, onion, cilantro and hearts of palm. Man, the deal of the century at $9.75. Coffee was “v.good”, medium roast. The Sangria was not as good as mine, but still very good and not cloyingly sweet. And since ECG basically birthed the first good restnt. margarita in Boston, (and hence the subsequent many places that learned them from him) I’m sure all the ECG margarita versions make for excellent sampling.
Being a duo and seated by the open kitchen, it was fun hearing the spirited macho lexicon of the line crew. I felt like I was listening to a jovial baseball sportscaster. These guys work sooooo hard, and making it fun certainly must help them enjoy themselves. After eating, we met Eric, Chris’s v. nice right hand man/main guy, and got some interesting numbers info. Eric said they typically will do 250 covers for brunch, go through about 150 avocadoes, and many many many hundreds of eggs. I also learned that they do a big food donation every Tuesday to the shelter organization in Central Square. That’s great. This is a really bustling loud place, filled with happy diners and lots of regulars. Now that we’ve joined the ranks, can’t wait to go back. ;^))
Brunch conclusion for us:
It’s Sound Bites for the egg heavy/ pancakes/waffles/fr.toast kind of breaky and ECG for the more savory kind. We’re feeling wicked lucky.
East Coast Grill and Raw Bar
1271 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139
704 Broadway, Somerville, MA 02144