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Breakfast en route to Brattleboro, VT: Somewhere in Mass. off 91?

kattyeyes Aug 10, 2013 07:24 AM

Hi there,

My mom and her friends are heading up to the Brattleboro Farmers' Market and would like to stop somewhere great for breakfast on the way up from Connecticut. Any ideas along the way in Mass. off 91? Thanks in advance!

  1. j
    johnblacksox Aug 21, 2013 05:55 PM

    I would second either Jakes or Esselon.

    For comparison, Jakes is in the middle of downtown Northampton, in an old brick building. It has big windows that face the street in the front, with table service, and in the back is an old fashioned counter.

    Esselon is a new(er) standalone building, right on Rt 9, about 5 minutes off 91. You stand in line to place your order, then they run the food out to your table. They have tables inside, and some open air on the side.

    I prefer Jake's, but either is fine.

    4 Replies
    1. re: johnblacksox
      bauskern Aug 25, 2013 06:42 PM

      They are very different experiences. I have loved the new Jakes (the former was a classic diner) and really been surprised by the level of cooking. I think that Esselon does a bigger business, with more turnover, but I've never felt like the food tasted as *fresh* as at Jakes. Maybe it sits on a counter for some time before it travels from the kitchen to your table. But the coffee is possibly better at Esselon. If you travel a little further up 91 to Gfld, I think that Hope & Olive may do a weekend brunch; worth looking into that! They are great people. Also, Amanouz Cafe in Northampton (right on Main Street) does a breakfast that is really tasty, with very generous portions, and very friendly service. My last breakfast in Noho was at Amanouz, and it was delicious.

      1. re: bauskern
        onthemove Aug 26, 2013 10:20 AM

        Agree about Esselon. Avoid on weekends! It's just too busy for anything to be hot and fresh. I went during the week and had a fantastic breakfast. I went on a Sunday and it was a complete disaster. I ordered an egg dish that came with "steamed Arugula." What they did was dump a pile of over-cooked, completely sopping wet green mush onto cold eggs. The whole dish just tasted of water. It was disgusting.

        While I'm ranting about breakfasts...I had a similar disaster at Sylvester's. (Like Esselon, I had one decent breakfast there and another gross one.) I ordered "huevos con chorizos." First, the chorizos should have been called "salchichas." They were much more similar to hot dogs; completely bland and of poor quality. Now, I don't necessarily expect the chef to know the difference between chorizos and salchichas but I do expect him/her to serve something tasty. Second, he/she dumped literally a whole tub of sour cream on top of the cold eggs. I tried to scrape away as much as I could but I was still left with a dish just utterly smothered in sour cream. I like sour cream but this quantity was just gross.

        I'll probably go back to both places but be more critical of the menu. Both these gross dishes were daily specials.

        1. re: onthemove
          bauskern Aug 26, 2013 05:45 PM

          My sense is that both restaurants are swamped/inundated on the weekends, and the food quality suffers. During the week when things are quieter, probably a much different story. But I think the OP was looking for a place on Saturday. . . .

          1. re: bauskern
            kattyeyes Aug 26, 2013 06:46 PM

            Actually, my mom and friends went up on a Wednesday and just LOVED Jake's. Apparently, there was a mix-up about actually going to the farmers' market. They did go to Burlington, but not on the weekend so no market. :)

    2. a
      ahartfie Aug 20, 2013 02:14 PM

      If she goes up again, try Esselon Cafe on Route 9 in Hadley. It's 5 minutes off the highway across the river. Great breakfast (love the Tupelo Hash) and good coffee.


      3 Replies
      1. re: ahartfie
        kattyeyes Aug 20, 2013 05:04 PM

        Ooh, thanks! Their breakfast burrito sounds especially yummy! Those grilled potato cakes caught my eye, too!

        ETA: What's Tupelo hash? I looked on the menu and couldn't find. Good hash is totally worth the trip.

        1. re: kattyeyes
          ahartfie Aug 20, 2013 05:36 PM

          Tupelo Hash is only on the brunch menu for the weekends, but I've had it at like 8:30 a.m. Anyway, it's crab cakes topped with poached eggs and avocado and a lemon-butter sauce, served with toast and salad. It's amazing.

          1. re: ahartfie
            kattyeyes Aug 20, 2013 05:43 PM

            My mom would LOVE that! I'll make sure she knows to look for it. Thank you! :D

      2. m
        magiesmom Aug 10, 2013 07:45 AM

        I would wait and eat from the wonderful choices at the market. But if they need to stop Northampton has not Joe's and Green Bean, both focused on quality local ingredients.

        7 Replies
        1. re: magiesmom
          kattyeyes Aug 10, 2013 01:30 PM

          Thanks, Green Bean looks great!

          I couldn't find a Joe's (or not Joe's) except a pizza place that doesn't open till 4.

          Any favorites from the farmers' market you'd like to share? Anyone? :)

          1. re: kattyeyes
            magiesmom Aug 10, 2013 02:34 PM

            Eek, I'm sorry I meant Jakes!

            1. re: magiesmom
              kattyeyes Aug 10, 2013 02:41 PM

              Terrific! After I posted this, she told me the folks at Webs had recommended Jake's but it was closed the last time they went. :)

              1. re: kattyeyes
                magiesmom Aug 11, 2013 06:10 AM

                That is surprising,maybe during the transfer between owners.
                Both are very good, both are crowded on weekend mornings.

                1. re: magiesmom
                  kattyeyes Aug 11, 2013 06:22 AM

                  Yeah, could be--it was a while back. Thanks for your help!

              2. re: magiesmom
                kattyeyes Aug 15, 2013 07:16 AM

                Mom and friends LOVED Jake's. Mom had "country eggs Benedict" (sausage gravy) and was very, very happy with it.

                1. re: kattyeyes
                  magiesmom Aug 15, 2013 07:23 PM

                  Great! Next trip through they can try green bean.

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