Best Breakfast On Earth

That might be an overstatement, but it’s how we felt yesterday after four days of efforts to surmount canceled and delayed flights finallydelivered us back to Boston: our alt.home sweet home.

So we went out to breakfast at a new place for us: the plainly named Neighborhood Restaurant & Bakery, in Somerville.

My wife and I are both foodies of sorts (she more than I, since she has been in the restaurant biz and is an excellent cook), and we couldn’t remember a better breakfast place, anywhere. Sure, there are excellent spreads at four-star hotels, and some favorite places to chow down egg and pancake variants (the Cajun Kitchen and Shoreline Grill are two in Santa Barbara), but nothing better than the NR&B. Even Johnny D’s Jazz Brunch, also excellent, and also in Somerville.

My wife had a Portuguese special with perfectly cooked linguica (homemade? not sure. but outstanding), while I had an omelette also with linguica and other ingredients, plus crab and cod cakes, all outstanding. I’m an egg freak, and I like them soft. That means I like runny yolks in my fried and poached eggs, wet scrambles and omelettes that aren’t browned and hard. I looked around at other omelettes in being served in the tiny restaurant, and all of them were perfectly soft and un-browned. The kid had crepes crusted with something, and filled with large fresh strawberries and blackberries, among other things. It was perfect too.

They start you off, regardless, with fresh fruit or cream of wheat sprinkled with cinnamon. We opted for the latter. Great stuff. I even grabbed a few bites of the kid’s, which he didn’t finish, after it was cold. I called it “desert”. It was that good. I could go on, but I won’t. Suffice to say it’s worth the trip, even if you don’t live around here.

5 comments

  1. Rick Burnes’s avatar

    As good as it is in the winter, it’s even better when you can have breakfast outside, under the arbor.

  2. Flip’s avatar

    One of the things that was difficult for me when I moved to California was finding that most restaurants hire Mexican workers in the kitchen who like to cook eggs into paper. Hard to get soft eggs even when you specifically request it.

  3. Doc Searls’s avatar

    If I’m not mistaken, the first language spoken in the Neighborhood Restaurant & Bakery’s kitchen (which is off the kitchen, so one might notice) is neither English nor Portuguese, but Spanish.

    From what I can tell, the tendency to overcook eggs isn’t an ethnic matter. It’s as American as venti lattes.

    At hotels and buffets I tend to order a lot of omelets cooked right in front of me. With very few exceptions, they come out browned and dry, even when I tell them exactly how to make what I want. This happens with cooks of every ethnicity.

  4. Kate Brodock’s avatar

    Doc –

    I love the Neighborhood for many reasons. It has good, simple food, they fill your plate, it’s a family joint and it’s cozy (unless you’re by the door in the winter). I had anything bad. And if you’re someone who likes things on the healthier side (as I do), they have made several full-breakfast options that are lighter fare.

    I’m a big fan!

    Kate

  5. Doc Searls’s avatar

    Thanks, Kate. Looking forward to breakfast outside there as well. Discovering it was a delight. Even after I was full, I kept wanting more.

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