By Sandra Rosenbluth
Sundays get a bad rap. Sure, they’re the prelude to another potentially long and difficult
work week, but they bring something wonderful to the table (no pun intended), too. I am
speaking, of course, about Sunday Brunch. There is nothing quite like being able to roll out of
bed three hours late and still enjoy a delicious breakfast at a great restaurant. It’s even socially
acceptable to have alcohol, even encouraged, as long as the drink is made with a breakfast spin.
Mimosa or Bloody Mary, anyone?
Boston, being the fabulous food metropolis that it is, is chock full of restaurants that serve a
great Sunday brunch. Stroll along any popular street in the springtime, and you’ll see a sign on
every block pointing the way to a delicious midday meal. Many of these places will even have
outdoor seating, allowing you to enjoy the weather and people-watch to your heart’s content.
Before I begin the list of great brunch restaurants, I feel it is important to start with a couple of
rules. (1) Brunch is not the same thing as Breakfast. There are plenty of places that serve great
breakfast, such as Panera Bread. The problem is they stop serving at 10:30 am, which is of no
use to us late risers. Conversely, places that serve breakfast all day every day, like Dunkin’
Donuts, do not qualify as brunch either. Brunch should cover the breakfast AND lunch hours
together, but no longer. (2) Brunch does not happen every day. It doesn’t necessarily have to
be reserved for Sunday, as there are places that have weekend brunch, or serve brunch on
Monday holidays, but it cannot be seven days a week. That would take away from the unique
position this meal occupies. Therefore, places such as Mike and Patty’s, or Flour, do not qualify.
1. Stephanie’s on Newbury is a hotspot on Sunday mornings. There is often a wait, as there are no reservations for brunch, so if you’re in a hurry this is not the place to go. Otherwise, I believe the wait is worth it. If you’re a fan of Bloody Marys, you’re going to love Stephanie’s.
You can build your own, complete with a choice of vodkas and garnishes. For example, you can have a Bloody Mary with crop organic cucumber vodka + extra spicy mix; olives, pickles, spicy green beans, and pepperocinis as garnish; and a smoked sea salt rim, all for less than $15.
2. The Atlantic Fish Co., as one could guess from the name, is a great place for fans of seafood. It has plenty of unique breakfast options and a complete lunch menu on Sundays. What really makes it stand out, beyond all the delicious seafood offerings, is the eggs benedict. This already fabulous dish comes with five variations! You can top your eggs benedict with crab cake,lobster, filet mignon, lobster and filet mignon, or smoked salmon, or leave as is. It also comes with a nice side of fresh fruit, potatoes, and Canadian bacon. With the extra topping, this dish comes out to around $18-20, which is not bad for seafood. (Don’t hesitate to bring non-fish lovers with you as well, as there are plenty of dishes without seafood in them.)
3. The Beehive is truly a unique locale. It’s the only place I’ve been to that has live jazz music during brunch, and the restaurant definitely possesses a strong bohemian vibe. It’s a good place to bring friends, but make sure to call ahead, as it’s always packed full of people. The menu changes a bit with the season, and when I went in the Fall, I had a butternut squash omelet that was a great balance of savory and sweet. The spare ribs appetizer was explosively flavorful, but a bit overpriced considering portion size and the $14 price tag.
4. Tremont 647 took an interesting route with the Sunday Pajama Brunch. Expect to be greeted at the door by staff wearing floppy onesies. By 1 pm, when I strolled in, all the patrons were well dressed, but I can easily imagine people coming in first thing in the morning with their sweatpants on and fitting right in. There was a delicious special with cornbread, sloppy joe, and fried eggs in a skillet, though I was a bit disappointed with the lack of vegetable or fruit sides. The pulled pork benny had a nice, large mixed green side salad, however. I was also pleased to see that the breakfast burgers were made with grass-fed beef, and that all coffee refills were free. The prices were very reasonable at around $13.
5. The Gaslight is a great place to go for special occasions. The prices fall around $10-$15, but the portions might not satisfy those who arrive with an appetite. The restaurant has a lovely French feel that the brunch menu reflects. There are both savory and sweet crepes, plus various poached egg dishes, omelets, French toast, and sandwiches; enough options to satisfy every palette.
The list is short, as many of these places somehow require multiple visits. However, I am always on the lookout for new brunch restaurants with a healthy Friedman appetite! After all, who can say no to a good Sunday brunch?
Sandra Rosenbluth is a first year NutComm student, hailing from far-away New York. Though it is incredibly disloyal, she likes Boston better. Just don’t tell her hometown friends. Need a guide to help you pick one of the many fabulous brunch places available in Boston? Look no further.