Restaurants & Bars

Boston Area

The Friendly Toast!

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Restaurants & Bars 141

The Friendly Toast!

bobot | May 18, 2009 10:42 AM

So now that it's actually open, I feel like we need a new thread for reviews. I'll kick this one off- even during opening week, even with all of the staff in training, even with only 3/4 of the menu being served, even with a not-up-to-speed-yet kitchen, I can already tell that this is going to be one of my favorites and my go-to brunch spot.

The decor is kitschy but not stupid or tacky. They must've bought every vintage Formica table in New England, and they are gorgeous, but they also (wisely) bought new, comfy chairs. The homefries are, according to our server, not up to the Portsmouth location's standards yet as they are still waiting on some kitchen equipment, but they were delicious and very different (more on that later).

I wasn't expecting there to be a bar, but there is, and it's gorgeous. Looks like they got Anise's liquor license as they have cocktails in addition to beer/wine. Harpoon on tap. Very comfy (yes, a word I'll repeat often about this place) environment.

We started with a plate of Guinness-batter onion rings. I think they used both cornmeal and corn flakes- deliciously crunchy with a nice sweetness. Sauce provided was some sort of creamy caper concoction.

My compatriots got huevos rancheros (served on a huge piece of homemade bread, which I thought was odd but was told was very tasty) and smoked salmon benedict. I got the DGGC (damn good grilled cheese). In writing this I'm realizing how reliant I am on online menus, because I'm having a hard time remembering what was in it! I think there was mayo or some other creamy sauce, in addition to whole grain mustard, American, and cheddar. The best thing about it was the strawberry habanero sauce provided for dipping, which was the perfect complement. Homemade bread, lots of butter.

The homefries deserve their own review. They are not homefries, nor are they hash browns. They're thin (1/8") slices of whole potato, seem to have been par-boiled and then lightly fried with onions and what tasted like a pinch of cayenne. You can imagine that, if fried longer and cut a little thinner, they'd make great chips. As it is, they're really delicious breakfast potatoes but I'm not sure what to call them! There was both a sign and a talk from our server telling us not to be disappointed if they're not exactly like the Portsmouth location's potatoes just yet- the kitchen can't handle it now but they're hoping to be there by this weekend.

All told, I'm totally happy to add this to my usual lunch/brunch rotation and can't wait to see it develop after it's been open a while. A great addition to the neighborhood!

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