Ah, Sunday brunch. After a long night of drinking, there’s nothing better than some greasy grub to soak up the residual alcohol in your system. Those of us in the restaurant industry detest brunch service -- probably because we’re equally as hungover as our guests -- but if you’re sitting at the table rather than waiting on it, brunch is awesome.
Boston’s South End is full of awesome restaurants that do brunch right. If you’re looking for a new place to go next weekend, I recommend one of these spots.
Metropolis Cafe (584 Tremont St.). This wonderful South End gem has a small-yet-cozy atmosphere reminiscent of a Parisian brasserie. They serve typical brunch favorites like pancakes and French toast, but my go-to meal at Metropolis is always the Monte Cristo sandwich -- farm ham and gruyere cheese sandwiched between two sweet slices of French toast bread, plus home fries and maple syrup. And since the sandwich will only set you back $9.95, you might have some extra cash to get yourself a mimosa.
Stephi’s on Tremont (571 Tremont St.). Right across the street from Metropolis lies Stephi’s on Tremont, sister restaurant to the famous Stephanie’s on Newbury. The bright, clean, modern decor of Stephi’s provides an upscale (but not stuffy) atmosphere that I find particularly attractive. When you’re there, try the Meat Loaf Hash -- diced meat loaf with mushrooms, peppers, and onions, topped with two eggs, Hollandaise sauce, and mushroom gravy, in a cast iron bowl. You may have to loosen your belt buckle a few notches, but you won't regret it. Stephi’s also serves what I believe is the best Bloody Mary in the city -- rich, strong, spicy, and sultry.
Flour Bakery (1595 Washington St.). From exalted Boston chef Joanne Chang comes this South End hot spot, which is the perfect place if you’re on the prowl for something quicker and more casual and want sweet and delicious baked goods. Flour's sour cream coffee cake is so decadent and wonderful that you’ll want to get a second one to eat on your walk home. The chocolate croissants are flaky, buttery, chocolaty, and heavenly. My favorite thing to get at Flour, however, is their sticky buns. Oh, the sticky buns! I sometimes find myself daydreaming about them. They're topped with a rich, dark, sticky caramel and toasted pecans. Trust me -- you won’t find anything better. And since Flour also has locations in Central Square and Fort Point, you can get some of their goodness no matter where you are.
Mike’s City Diner (1714 Washington St.). Mike’s and I have a love-hate relationship. I've experienced some shockingly terrible service there, but two things about the place keep me coming back: the food and the prices. If you wake up on Sunday morning and find that you only have a few dollars left in your wallet but are still hungry, go to Mike's. Their food is cheap, and their portions are huge. I come here so much that I don’t even need to look at the menu because I already know what I want -- a bacon, egg, and cheese on an English muffin. Including a bottomless coffee, it runs me about $5. Their pancakes and French toast are all good, too. But if you’re gonna get the home fries, heed my advice: Ask for them well done. They’re just not crispy enough normally. And remember, the portions are huge, so consider that before ordering a ton of food!
Masa (439 Tremont St.). Since this restaurant specializes in authentic Latin food, I usually come for the tapas and free salsa lessons on Thursday nights, but I’ve also recently discovered how awesome their brunch is. Masa's menu is pretty large, so you can find something for everyone; they even have tapas-style small plates at brunch! I can’t get enough of the Caramelized Plantain Empanada. Stuffed with cinnamon cream cheese, it’s a divine taste. Their fish tacos are also superb. Served with pico de gallo, chipotle tartar sauce, and pickled onions, they have a wonderful, balanced flavor. But my favorite dish at Masa is the Masa-Burgesa -- a quarter-pound patty topped with avocado, chihuahua cheese, and a fried egg, all sandwiched between two thick slices of brioche and served with chile-dusted fries. I call it the Hangover-Buster Burger.
Where do you go for brunch in the South End?
'Culinarily Curious' is TNGG Boston's column on all things food, written by Anthony Howard.
Photo by 路易豪豪 (Flickr)
About Anthony -- I'm a 22-year-old Massachusetts native -- grew up in the 'burbs and now spend my young adult life in the city. I am passionate about cooking and currently assistant manage a restaurant kitchen in Kendall Square. Let's just say that when I invite friends over for dinner parties, no one ever turns me down.
The author is solely responsible for the content.