Sunday, March 13, 2011

Breakfast: My Favorite Meal of the Day!

I think that I could eat breakfast for all three meals of the day - it's one of my favorite meals to go out for on the weekends and I also love to make it on my own - muffins, pancakes, waffles, frittatas, scrambles. I could keep on going, but instead I'll share with you a couple reviews for breakfast places I've been to in the past couple weeks. There seems to be an endless list of breakfast and brunch places nearby - and they're not the greasy spoon type places, but rather cute cafes or restaurants with really unique menus - my favorite kind of brunch places!

44 Charles St, Beacon Hill

I've had dinner here, but I've been meaning to try breakfast for a long time given all the rumors I've heard about it being fantastic! Last weekend I met a good friend here and after walking around Beacon Hill, we finally decided on giving Paramount a try because we quickly realized that having "brunch" at 9am doesn't really work because all of the brunch places around that area don't open until probably 11am. Given how busy Paramount was though - it seems like those other restaurants would have plenty of business if they also opened earlier.
I didn't realize it was sort of cafeteria style - you wait in line, order at the counter and by the time your food is ready and you've paid, there's magically a table waiting for you (despite the long line and very busy atmosphere that makes you doubt whether there will actually be a table for you). Don't let this scare you away though! The food is reasonably priced (for Beacon Hill), fresh and delicious!
We both ordered pancakes - my friend got Fresh Blueberry and I got Banana Chocolate Chip (both came dusted with confectioners' sugar and a big dollop of butter that melted on the hot made-to-order pancakes). We both got a cup of fresh fruit too - because it seemed as though everyone else before us had ordered a cup and the fruit looked so fresh and yummy! They had the right idea - I ate my entire bowl of fruit and if I remember correctly, I ate most of my pancakes too. The portions were large - I must've just been hungry (and left very, very full)! I will definitely be making another trip here!

The Friendly Toast
1 Kendall Square, Cambridge

I've been hearing about the legend of The Friendly Toast for years now. This restaurant started in Portsmouth, NH and opened up another spot in Cambridge (near Kendall Square) probably two years ago. This gives me two opportunities to check it out, and yet - it's taken me years to finally make my way there for breakfast. Dinner - I've tried, and enjoyed of course, but breakfast is another story. At a family party a couple weeks ago my cousin was telling me of the time he went to the one in Portsmouth and ordered the gingerbread pancakes - and I knew I had to make it a priority to get to this restaurant! Luckily, I had plans with a good friend to meet for breakfast this weekend and we both agreed on The Friendly Toast.
Just two miles from my apt I planned to walk there so that I wouldn't feel quite as guilty about eating my weight in pancakes when I got there, which was a good plan because I devoured the pancakes I finally decided on. I got the Coconut Pancakes - which usually come with cashews in them, but I opted for no nuts because pancakes and nuts - that just doesn't seem like a good mix to me. The mixture of coconut and chocolate chips with a coconut sauce drizzle - delicious!! My friend got the Pumpkin Pancakes (also opting to subtract an ingredient - they come with raisinettes mixed in, but we both agreed that was a little strange), which she also enjoyed!
Funny enough, this was the other dish I was considering - the "King Cakes." I managed to find this picture online - and I think it would've been too much with the bacon so I'm happy with my choice of Coconut Pancakes. These King Cakes were Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes with a layer of Peanut Butter in between and homemade whipped cream on top with bacon - their ode to Elvis Presley. This gives you an idea of the really creative menu items they offer though - definitely not a shortage of different breakfast options here. Other options that stood out: Hansel and Gretel Waffle (gingerbread waffle with pomegranate molasses), Costa Rica Scramble (which reminded me of my time there!), French Toast with your choice of a long list of fresh breads made on site!

Long story short - I highly recommend The Friendly Toast - for all of you in the Greater Boston or NH areas! Don't get there too late though - when my friend and I were leaving around 11 the line was out the door!

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