Brunch Gang hits the road: The Friendly Toast, Boston
Place: The Friendly Toast
Neighborhood: Cambridge’s Kendall Square, 1 Hampshire St. (One Kendall Square – Suite B3101)
The scoop: Boston is one of my favorite cities. I lived here for a year and a half after college, and many of my college friends are still in the area. I usually come up to visit a few times a year, so I was looking for a place for my friend Cheryl and I to have brunch on a beautiful fall afternoon. I was initially thinking about going to one of my old brunch spots, either Sound Bites in Somerville or S & S in Cambridge’s Inman Square. But Cheryl told me that her boyfriend has been raving about The Friendly Toast in Cambridge’s Kendall Square, so I did some research. When I went to their website and saw all the fanfare around The Friendly Toast, I knew we had to check it out. Not only has it been featured on “Man vs. Food” and “Good Morning America,” but it was also voted Best Boston Brunch.
The restaurant is in a bit of an odd location. When we first got into Cambridge, I parked on the street across from the movie theater, and we had a hard time finding The Friendly Toast from there. Cheryl and I finally asked someone if they knew where it was, and they pointed us in the right direction. The Friendly Toast is actually located in the middle of an office park, which is a bit unusual. But that doesn’t make this place any less popular! We finally arrived around 12:30 p.m., and I could see we would be in for a wait based on the groups of people standing outside and the people hanging around the bar inside. We went to put our name in and was told it would be a 45-minute wait, but the bar was first come, first serve. We went to wait by the bar, and as luck would have it, two seats opened up at the bar within a few minutes. The décor of the restaurant was funky and upbeat, with a little bit of a retro feel. The walls are bright green and adorned with old-school signs and ads. I loved the bar countertop, and it was fun to look at while we were waiting for our food. It had pictures of cereal boxes, candy and other fun stuff from the ’60s and ’70s, and it was lined with mahjong tiles. Since we were seated at the bar, the service was fairly attentive, although it did take awhile for the food to come out.
Bottoms up: The Friendly Toast features a full bar. You can order brunch drinks and mixed drinks, or choose from a selection of bottle and draft beers during your brunch.
Mimosa $7.50 / OJ, triple sec and champagne
I almost ordered the Harpoon White UFO draft (I love Harpoon and can’t always find it in the NYC area), but the triple sec in the mimosa caught my attention. The mimosa was served over ice in a pint glass, and decorated with a purple flower and blueberries. The mimosa was sweet. I couldn’t taste the champagne, but I could definitely taste the triple sec.
Nothing fancy about this orange juice! It was Tropicana no-pulp OJ, poured right from the bottle. It went well with my egg sandwich.
Chew on this:
Huevos rancheros $ 10.25 / Cheddar melted on anadama bread and topped with 2 poached eggs, avocado and fresh salsa. Served with home fries
Wow! This was like no huevos rancheros that I’ve ever had before. It was so unique that someone who was waiting near the bar for a table actually came up to me and asked what it was, because he was so intrigued and thought that it looked amazing. First off, let’s start with the bread. I’ve only ever seen huevos rancheros served on a tortilla, so I had no idea what anadama bread was and had to ask the waitress. Anadama bread is a bread that is usually only found in New England, and it is made with cornmeal and molasses. The anadama bread that was used in this dish was cut very thick, and Cheryl commented that it looked like as slice of meatloaf. It was soft and had a little bit of a sweeter taste than most breads. It was a good base for the eggs, which were poached well. They were nice and runny, so the thick bread was perfect. The salsa was thick and sweet, and had more of a sauce-like texture, as opposed to a watery salsa texture. The home fries were cut from red potatoes. They were soft without being mushy and had a nice subtle spice to them. This was a generous serving of food, and as delicious as it was, I couldn’t even finish it.
Egg sandwich $7.75 / Two eggs on any bread (grilled croissant, English muffin or bagel) with any cheese and home fries
I couldn’t stop talking about this egg sandwich all day! It was the best I’ve ever had. I loved everything about it. I got my eggs fried and asked for American cheese and bacon on an English muffin. The English muffin was toasted perfectly, and the egg was delicious. The bacon was crispy and cooked just the way I like it. I loved the home fries as well, although a few pieces were just a little too spicy for my liking. I was so happy that I got this sandwich and highly recommend it!
The final bite: Everything about The Friendly Toast — from the décor to the food — was unique and fun. We had a great time and can’t say enough good things about our brunch here!
Reviewed by: Jen