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Paramount and Trident alternatives

Both were my goto options for classic American breakfast - eggs dishes, french toast, some fresh juice and coffee - but lately I have been left very unimpressed by both

1) Trident has got way too big and popular. The place is extremely noisy, and I've felt several times that waiters were pretty much trying to "process" me as quickly as possible so that the can seat new people. Makes sense from a short term business point of view, but not exactly sure how this strategy plays with repeat customers. Food itself was underwhelming too, for example their poached eggs had watery pockets. Not great.

2) Paramount (Beacon Hill) seems to have changed the food to filler ratios quite a lot. I have ordered omelets several times now and it appears they are getting less tasty and smaller while the amount of home fries seems to grow steadily. Is it possible they use less butter or less ingredients compared to earlier? Something clearly has changed. Also every single time I am surprised about the bill: Just this morning I paid about $40 for breakfast for two which was neither really good nor really filling.

So, long story short I need a few alternatives. I am explicitly not looking for "fine cuisine brunch" or however one might call this but more for a nice, non-greasy breakfast place where I can get some eggs, waffles etc. that should taste better than I can make them myself and have a pleasant atmosphere.

Any ideas?

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  1. Location may be an issue for you but, if not, my favorite breakfast places are the Spot Café in Watertown, Victor's Diner on North Beacon in Watertown (which has a new name that I can't recall), Johnny's Luncheonette in Newton Centre (never on a weekend however), Anthony's Café on the Waterfront on Commercial Street, Town Diner in Watertown (I don't like the one in Newton Centre), Martin's in Brookline and Family Restaurant in Brookline. Mandy and Joe's in Brighton Center is good but I find it is sometimes icy cold and I don't like to eat in my coat! Also Brasserie Jo serves breakfast and it's a good one.

    2 Replies
    1. re: teezeetoo

      I second both Johnny's Lunchonette and Deluxe Town Diner (also agreed Watertown>Newton on that one). I have to say my favorite breakfast meal in the Boston area is corned beef hash with poached eggs and a single banana pancake from DTD. Now I want that.


      1. re: hungrytommy

        Second the Family Restaurant in Brookline.
        And try Brookline Lunch in Central Square, Cambridge. You will be full and it's hard to spend more than $10 a person. (There's usually a line on weekends, though)

    2. Since I often recommend Trident and haven't been myself in the past few months, I'm going to check it out. I would think the second floor restaurant space would have taken the pressure off but maybe it has created a bigger seating area than the staff and management can handle.


      1. I haven't been for a year or so, but you could give Metropolis in the South End a try. It won't be cheaper, but it's been pretty consistent when I've gone. You could also check out Gaslight.

        In the North End, my husband and I recently went back to the North Street Grille after avoiding the place for a couple of years due to significant service issues. We were pleasantly surprised. You could also try Ferrara's on Salem St., although we haven't been for a couple of years. Either place will likely still cost $40 for two.I'm not endorsing either place, just trying to give you Boston options to check out. If you're driving, we park at the Parcel 7 garage on Sudbury and buy something at Haymarket to get the ticket validated. It costs $1 for 2 hrs. or $3 for 3 hrs. (If you go over 3 hrs., you pay the exorbitant regular fee!)

        We were underwhelmed by Joe's American the one time we went, and haven't tried Met Back Bay. I'm not including any of the 10 a.m. places on my list, just the ones that open fairly early.

        If you make your way to Cambridge, the Saturday breakfast at Henrietta's table is surprisingly affordable and very good. Don't go on a Sunday, though, unless you want an expensive buffet.

        1. Try Thornton's Restaurant on Huntington Ave across from the Christian Science Center.


          1. "Just this morning I paid about $40 for breakfast for two which was neither really good nor really filling."

            Given the size of the pancakes at The Paramount, this surprises me. I can't leave there without feeling like I'll never need to eat again, at least not without being very careful about what I order. And I can't remember the last time I paid more than $20 for breakfast for two (pancakes, sausage, eggs, coffee).

            We did this topic a little while ago and you may want to consult the thread "best pancakes in the Boston area":

            1 Reply
            1. re: donlan

              Well, I don't know, but we both ate omelets. These were quite small.

            2. I would never go the paramount or many breakfast places on the weekend. I'm not surprised to hear their prices are up, I don't think the southie location is working.

              1. I've always liked Thortons Fenway Grille on Peterbourough St in the Fenway. I don't think they're related to Thortons on Huntington. They've a patio in the summer for outside dining. Note: avoid if there's a Red Sox game that day.

                1. I think we need some geographic parameters. I am not one to travel for breakfast, but maybe you are.

                  1. I don't think that The Allston Diner gets nearly enough love on this board. I refuse to go on weekends, as it's always packed, and I've heard horror stories about how slow the service is, but my wife and I love it during the week.

                    First, they have great coffee. As a black coffee drinker, I can't be fooled by an inferior cup of joe, and Allston Diner's coffee is a top notch, dark, rich brew.

                    Secondly they are the only breakfast place that I have been to in the city which consistently delivers eggs that have no browning to them whatsoever, at least on my visits, which number more than 10. I have had my usual eggs over easy, and an omelette there, and both were beautiful with no brown to be seen.

                    Third, they have some great unusual breakfast meats such as the BBQ sauce chopped brisket (my usual, and excellent), and a wonderful house made corned beef hash. I'm not a biscuits and gravy person, but I've seen them, and they look tempting.

                    Again, I can't recommend it for a weekend visit, as that level of attention to the eggs alone would mean a long wait if they are packed, but for a mid-week breakfast, I don't think there's better in the city.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: kimfair1

                      I posted about them early and quite liked them but then they changed the very good hash browns to something forgettable and the corned beef hash seemed "out of a can" the last time, so we haven't been back in a while. I'll give them another shot.

                      1. re: teezeetoo

                        The thin sliced rosemary potatoes are the only misstep for me, I like the potatoes, but I'm not a huge fan of rosemary, but the hash is definitely not from a can, at least not any of the times I or my wife has had it (and one of us almost always orders it when we go).