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Brunch before Cape Ann Whale Watch

rosiebcook Sep 7, 2013 01:18 PM

I know the usual suspects (e.g., Duckworth). Looking for a more casual, affordable but inventive menu for my 14-year-old son and me before a whale watch. I'd like a bloody as well!

Thanks in advance,

  1. b
    Bmorse Sep 8, 2013 09:48 PM

    I'd recommend Sugar Magnolias it is consistently our favorite breakfast/brunch place in Gloucester.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Bmorse
      justbeingpolite Sep 9, 2013 06:12 AM


      1. re: justbeingpolite
        Boston_Otter Sep 9, 2013 06:16 AM

        I love the food there, but my only caveats are:
        - The wait can be crazy. Last time I went, we were told it'd be "15-20 minutes". My group of three waited for nearly an hour and a half.
        - They don't serve alcohol (to my knowledge) so the OP's desire for a bloody mary wouldn't happen :)
        EDIT: yes they do, but maybe not bloodies?

        1. re: Boston_Otter
          treb Sep 9, 2013 07:46 AM

          They so sell beer and wine, Mimosa's! Agree, the lines on the week-ends are their only downside.

          1. re: treb
            Boston_Otter Sep 9, 2013 07:56 AM

            Oh wow, you're totally right treb -- I forgot about my "I just waited for 1.5 hrs" mimosa.

    2. Boston_Otter Sep 7, 2013 01:47 PM

      I'd recommend checking out Alchemy Bistro. Their brunch is a nice mix of traditional (benedicts, omelets) and more inventive (like Irish poutine) plus some seafood dishes meant for sharing.

      You might also check out Passports, which has a seasonal menu as well as the usual brunch stuff.

      Both of these places are just a block or two from the whale watches in Gloucester.

      7 Replies
      1. re: Boston_Otter
        bear Sep 7, 2013 02:14 PM

        I've been to Alchemy a couple of times for brunch and enjoyed it, so that's a solid rec in my book.

        Does Passports do brunch anymore? We tried to go last year and they had stopped serving Saturday brunch, and I don't see any brunch hours listed on their (rather confusing) website.

        1. re: bear
          Boston_Otter Sep 7, 2013 02:37 PM

          I have to admit, I don't know. I've had a quite nice brunch there (about a year & a half ago) but haven't been since, and their website is, indeed, very confusing. I don't even know what they serve for breakfast anymore. So that may be a moot reco, sorry.

          1. re: Boston_Otter
            bear Sep 7, 2013 06:48 PM

            Let's hope they start up again! Such a great little place.

          2. re: bear
            rosiebcook Sep 9, 2013 05:01 PM

            Thanks so much for the recommendations.

            Made the choice to try Passports, hoping for brunch. Though they no longer do brunch (they once did), lunch at 11:30 was terrific, and so was the service. Turns out that three sisters own the place, and one of them took really good care of us. Business was sparse at 11:30 on a Sunday, so she hung out with us a bit, introducing her friends who work in the place, and giving us some background

            Fresh popovers and butter arrived at the table almost immediately.

            I had the Asian shortrib bahn mi. Was so disappointed they didn't have the brunch I was in the mood for that I ordered haphazardly. But this was a great sandwich, layered with
            tender and intensely-flavored shortrib, slaw, fresh cucumbers and Sriracha mayo, served with a side of well-executed pasta salad. All ingredients fresh, and the sandwich was a monster. Had the other half of the meal for dinner. Since our server knew we were going on a whale watch, she offered to refrigerate my leftovers until we disembarked.

            Son had the Adriatic Seafood Stew. Ordered a small, but it was huge, fresh and brimming with fresh seafood.

            We didn't have time for dessert, so left with a certificate for a free dessert or appetizer during our next visit. These girls (and family and extended family) work their asses off, and really care about what comes out of the kitchen. I was so impressed.

            Two entrees, two glasses of wine, bill about $50 with gratuity. I hope you all try this place if you're in the area. It's a gem.


            1. re: rosiebcook
              opinionatedchef Sep 9, 2013 09:02 PM

              that banh mi sounds really terrific. must get one next visit up there, so th you! did you see many whales?

              1. re: opinionatedchef
                rosiebcook Sep 10, 2013 04:19 PM

                I'd get the bahn mi again and again. And yes, thanks for asking: we did see whales. We live locally so do the whale-watch thing every couple of years.

                I can't say enough about the effort the owners put into this place. It's literally a labor of love, and they clearly care about the food they serve. Menu is eclectic enough to suit anyone. I'm a fan.


                1. re: rosiebcook
                  Boston_Otter Sep 10, 2013 05:05 PM

                  I'm sorry they didn't have the brunch you were after, but I'm so glad that you had a great meal and came away a fan. I've had lovely meals and great memories from Passports -- it's one of my favorites in the Gloucester area.

                  (For the record, my other must-eat spots whenever I go to Gloucester are Lee's for breakfast and Captain Carlo's for seafood.)

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