Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Cafeteria, Boston

This past weekend was absolutely gorgeous here in Boston, and for some reason, whenever it gets nice out- I start craving out door dining. It always seems like a felony to sit inside in bad lighting when the sun is glorious. So Sunday morning, with highs projected well into the 80's and me eager to capitalize on the first half of the day-I insisted on eating outside for brunch.
As we strolled down Newbury Street in search of the perfect patio seating, I realised that I was not the only one to have my genius plan-everywhere people were dressed in their summer best waiting to get into any number of places. Finally though I spied Cafeteria with no line. Located at 279A Newbury Street- its a spot that has always seemed cursed. Restaurants open there to little fan fare and seem to close before you know it. Cafeteria seems to be lingering, so I thought it might be worth a try.
We were immediately seated in a prime spot on their patio for people watching which was definitely a great show to watch that day. We ordered quickly under some time constraints, but the menu seemed really intriguing. Their breakfast pizza, with smoked ham, eggs and Fontina cheese sounded, and looked delicious, but craving a lighter fare, I settled on Truffled eggs on Bruschetta topped with Arugula. I am beginning to notice on restaurant menus that "Truffle" is a word that they like to throw around- apparently its now trendy to use it on the menu- though that is no indication that Truffles are in any way used in the making of the dish. Now to be fair, for $10 I was not anticipating actual Truffles to appear visibly, I was however hoping that the eggs would at least be cooked in Truffle Oil and imparted with a little of the flavor. Sadly this was not the case. I was served regular old scrambled eggs, on a piece of toasted french bread that had been toasted too long and burned on the bottom, topped with a handful of Arugula. Had the toast not been burned, it would have been an ok dish. I liked the combination of the peppery Arugula with the eggs, and the bread was a really nice back bone for it. There was just no need to add the word "Truffled" to the dish though- they werent there, and to be honest I probably would have ordered it anyway but been far less disappointed in it. The toast though- the need to work on- no where have I see that Bruschetta means "burned".
As an aside- did you know that most American Truffle Oils do not contain any real essence of Truffles but are actually completely synthetic? The scene from Father Of The Bride where Steve Martin throws a fit in the grocery aisle because the "Wiener Company" and the "Bun Company" are ripping off the American public comes to mind...
J decided on their French Toast served with fresh fruit and whipped maple cream. He was much more successful with his choice- the French Toast was nice and eggy and moist, the fruit was fresh, though the maple cream tasted more like cream than maple, but luckily maple syrup was served on the side.
Service was quick and efficient, and they readily refilled our drinks without any prompting so they definitely score some points there, though that is definitely their strongest suit.
Will Cafeteria go by the way of its location predecessors? I don't have a crystal ball, but to be honest- I would assume so.

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