I know many of you are asking whether we need another thread about the Friendly Toast. The answer is yes, we do. Like other places before it (All Star Sandwich Bar comes to mind), the Toast opened to unrealistically high expections. Not only did the Toast fail to meet those lofty expectations, but it also experienced service and other blunders that were well reported on this board.
But now that it's been open for several months, I think it's time to wipe the slate clean. It's been open long enough that it should have resolved those early kinks. Has it? Should those with early bad experiences give it another chance? Should those who stayed away because of what they read give it a shot?
I had only been to the Friendly Toast twice before, both times with a group of six (three adults and three kids) at 6pm on Sunday evenings. Both times it -- both the food and the service -- was good, not great.
This (Sunday) morning, my daughter and I decided to wander over at around 9am. This was to be the first time I would try it for a weekend breakfast. This time it was better than good; perhaps not great, but it certainly was a satisfactory experience, worthy of a return visit.
We arrived at around 9:20am, late enough that the dining room was nearly full, but early enough that we were seated without a wait. (By the time we left nearly an hour later, there was a wait, and I could see a waiting list that had quite a few names on it of people who already had been seated -- it appeared that they were moving through the waitlist fairly quickly.)
My daughter and I decided we would share a couple of pancakes and one egg dish -- we opted for a simple cheddar and red onion omelet. The pancakes were delicious -- some of the best pancakes I recall having in the Boston area -- a real highlight. The omelet was good, but not extraordinary. As some may recall from one of my threads a couple of years ago, I find that most restaurants overcook omelets, and the Toast was no exception. The potatoes also were good, but I didn't see why people rave about them. The coffee was hot (unlike an earlier visit, when I was served ice cold coffee), but not particularly good -- not bad, but not good.
Importantly, the service was very good. In addition to being promptly seated, our order was taken promptly and our food arrived promptly (not fast, but not slow -- I think perhaps 20 minutes after we had ordered). As I mentioned, it appeared that they were moving people through the waitlist pretty quickly, which they only could do if they were serving tables quickly. We were in and out in less than an hour.
This was not the best breakfast I've ever had, but in a city with a terrible shortage of quality breakfast spots, hopefully this one positive experience is indicative of what we can expect from the Friendly Toast.
The Friendly Toast
1 Kendall Square, Cambridge, MA