Boston's Hidden Restaurants

Transcript of Online Panel Discussion, March 10, 2011

Topic: Local Breakfast Places and Brunch Spots

Below is a transcript of a live online panel discussion on neighborhood breakfast places and brunch spots in the Boston area, which took place on Thursday, March 10, 2011. The panel included several panel members, with food writers, bloggers, and media people participating. The hour-long chat included talks with the panel on local breakfast joints as well as brunch spots (including buffet and dim sum places), and also included viewer participation. [Note: The original discussion can be replayed at the following link: http://www.hiddenboston.com/online-discussion-0311.html and please go to the restaurant discussions link to check out our other chats.]



Marc H. (hiddenboston): Hey, all! Welcome to yet another discussion on food and restaurants in the Boston area. Today we'll be concentrating on local breakfast places as well as restaurants to go to for brunch.

Marc H.: Believe it or not, this is our 10th discussion, and as always, we have a few people on our panel of experts who may be familiar to you. Why don't we do some introductions? I'll start--I'm Marc, the founder and owner of Boston's Hidden Restaurants and the news-based blog Boston Restaurant Talk.

Michelle: Hello folks! Michelle from Fun and Fearless in Beantown (Twitter: @FunFearlessBean) here!

Rich O: Hey marc!

Marc H.: Hey, Michelle! Hey, Rich! By the way, Rich was the one who helped get this topic off the ground (thanks!).

RichardPF: Good morning all. Richard of The Passionate Foodie here (http://passionatefoodie.blogspot.com)

Eric: Hi! I'm Eric, editor and publisher of VisitingNewEngland.com.

MC Slim JB: Howdy, all! I professionally review Boston-area budget-priced restaurants at http://thephoenix.com/Boston/Authors/MC-SLIM-JB/, fine-dining restaurants at http://stuffboston.com/feed/archive/tags/Food+Coma/default.aspx, and bars at http://www.seriouseats.com/user/profile/MCslimJB. I also blog on the Boston restaurant and cocktail scene at http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/, where you can also find my FB and Twitter pages.

Christine Liu: hi, i'm christine from somerville and write about food + media constantly. i am fond of popovers. @liuliuliu

Eric: Hi Rich!

Rich O: I'm Rich. No real affiliation or credentials other then having the honor of co-piloting many a food trip with Marc

Rich O: Hey Eric

Marc H.: Hey, all! Looks like a good crew once again!

Marc H.: I don't think we are waiting for anyone else (unless we get some surprise panel members), so why don't we get going....

Marc H.: As I was saying earlier, today we are going to focus on neighborhood breakfast places in the Boston area as well as spots to go to for brunch (including brunch buffets, dim sum, etc.). Unlike some of our previous talks, I'd like to keep this within the Boston area, not straying much beyond Route 495, though I'll set aside a moment or two for any of you who would like to mention some spots elsewhere in New England. And as always, I'd like to concentrate more on lesser-known places in the area.

MC Slim JB: So, no IHOP?

Marc H.: No. :-)

Marc H.: Although I do like their syrups.

Marc H.: One more note: For each part of the discussion, we will talk first with the panel, then we will open up the chat to our viewers.

Patrick Maguire: Good Morning Everyone. Author of Server Not Servant blog and lover of food.

NorthShoreDish: Hi everyone, it's Kristen from North Shore Dish.

Marc H.: Hey, Patrick! Hi, Kristen!

Christine Liu: i wish there were an original house of pancakes nearby, though.

Eric: Or Subway? Gee, they're open for breakfast now!

Marc H.: I heard that Subway has overtaken McDonald's in total number of restaurants, by the way.

Patrick Maguire: The parking lot @ the IHOP in Brighton was packed at 10am on Sunday morning.

Rich O: Or Perkins

Bo: Hey all:) Oddly enough, IHOP has really good chicken fingers

MC Slim JB: I got so hungry preparing notes for this talk that I made breakfast of a fried egg, Mexican beans, cheese grits, and ham. Just finished it.

Marc H.: None for us, huh, MC?

Rich O: the Cambridge IHOP was packed at 2:00 am

MC Slim JB: Sorry!

Marc H.: Heh, ok, maybe we should start...

Marc H.: So let's begin with local breakfast spots (we'll save brunch and brunch buffets for later in the hour). Perhaps we can start in and around downtown Boston, then move out into the Boston neighborhoods and then the suburbs. Do any of you have any favorite neighborhood breakfast spots in, say, the North End, South End, Beacon Hill, downtown, the Back Bay, the Fenway, or the waterfront area? What specific dishes do you like there? Also feel free to talk about atmosphere, prices, service, etc.

MC Slim JB: It does put me in mind of one of my favorite overlooked breakfasts: Salvadoran and Guatemalan places like Mi Pueblito and Restaurante Montecristo in Eastie. Cheap, huge, delicious. Example: desayuno Montecristo: scrambled eggs topped with tomato and onion; beans, sliced avocado, crema, fried plantains, warm corn tortillas, ham and chicharrones, $11. That can last you all day.

Marc H.: I was considering going to Mi Pueblito last night; hopefully soon.

Christine Liu: blunch in south end has a terrible name but awesome coffee, egg sandwiches, and these cute little eggy muffin things (like crustless quiche tartlets)

Marc H.: I can overlook bad names if the food is good (Thaitation in the Fenway is one example of this).

NorthShoreDish: MC, just had almost that exact meal at the newish Casa Antigua in Lynn. It was outstanding. (Sorry, marc, not Boston)

MC Slim JB: Mike & Patty's, Bay Village. Teensy, with lovely, fresh food. Adore their pork roll egg & cheese, migas, grilled banana sandwich with honey. Only place in town I know that serves peameal bacon!

RichardPF: Grilled banana with honey? Now that sounds delicious

Marc H.: Has anyone had a good breakfast in the North End? I find myself there a lot on Sunday mornings (often going to Monica's Mercato), but never seem to know where to go.

RichardPF: Cafe Nuovo looks like it has a good breakfast but I have not been there yet

MC Slim JB: North Street Grille, but I've only been on weekends, technically a brunch spot.

Patrick Maguire: I still enjoy the family-owned, iconic Charlie's Sandwich Shoppe in the South End. The raisin bread french toast combined with scrambled eggs and syrup and a cup of tea are a great way to start the day.

MC Slim JB: Love the old-time atmosphere at Charlie's, too: one of the first places to break the color barrier in Boston, in part due to their big customer base of jazz musicians.

Patrick Maguire: I love hearing Arthur, Chris, Fontaine and Marie tell stories from the early days @ Charlie's.

Marc H.: How about our viewers out there? Any favorite local breakfast places in and around downtown Boston?

Eric: The Paramount on Charles St. is a good spot. They've been around forever. They make some really tasty omelets. I like the tomato, basil and mozzarella.

Marc H.: Oh, I love the Paramount. Great for breakfast and dinner alike.

Michelle: The Paramount is the only real breakfast spot in Beacon Hill but a little too tourist-heavy on the weekends.

Eric: I agree, the Paramount can be overwhelmingly busy with tourists. No one goes there anymore, it's too crowded!

Rich O: Sorry man, the concept of being in Boston proper early enough for breakfast is foreign to me these days

Marc H.: Ha ha, I guess you could always do a late brunch, Rich. Or dinner.

Rich O: Or stay in Cambridge and Somerville ;-)

MC Slim JB: Beacon Hill Bistro does an excellent, if pricey, breakfast.

Christine Liu: Does Clover Food Truck count as breakfast? :)

Marc H.: Sure! Why not? :-b

Christine Liu: Popovers, muffins, hot cranberry juice, good tea and coffee

MC Slim JB: Yes, it should, Popover Lady! Great coffee, too.

Michelle: I will say that Fill-A-Buster by the State House makes some mean breakfast sandwiches that can really hit the spot.

Marc H.: Great name. And near my old stomping grounds.

Jackie: Finally, got in - hola!

Marc H.: Hey, Jackie! Your comments seemed to be delayed for some reason. Feel free to introduce yourself!

Jackie: I'm a freelance writer and publish the Leather District Gourmet blog at (@LDGourmet) on Twitter.

Jackie: Has anyone tried Caffe Nuovo on Salem St North End?

Andy: Masa has a great deal for brunch on Saturday and Sunday. $7.95 for two courses and coffee

Marc H.: Hey, Andy! We're going to focus on brunch later in the hour. Right now we're doing local breakfast joints.

Marc H.: How about local breakfast spots in Boston's neighborhoods? I'll start by mentioning one of my go-to places, namely McKenna's Cafe in the Savin Hill section of Dorchester. It is a true neighborhood hangout, with lots of hustle and bustle, friendly servers, good prices, and some excellent food items, including a very nice granola-covered French toast.

MC Slim JB: How about a beloved hangover breakfast? O Senhor Ramos aka The Snack Bar, an Azorean place in East Cambridge. Portuguese Man o' War sub, huge at $5.50: pork, ham, egg, cheese. (Not that I ever overdo it anymore.)

Marc H.: Actually, since MC has mentioned a place in Cambridge, let's include Cambridge and Somerville in this section, as the next section will be more on Boston's suburbs. By the way, do we know for sure that Anthony Bourdain was at The Snack Bar?

MC Slim JB: Dot2Dot Cafe in Dorchester. Nice British chef/owner, brunch seven days. Bakes her own brioche (and other breads and pastries), which makes for one of the more fabulous French toasts I've had lately.

Jackie: "the neighborhood restaurant" Slim?

Christine Liu: there's always mul's diner in southie. classic. greasy. i think you can walk out of there stuffed for 3.99.

Christine Liu: oh! can't forget KO catering and pies in southie (a cat's throw from mul's diner). super brekky menu available. vegemite on toast. croque monsieur. tam tams. good rao's coffee.

Marc H.: I never thought of going to KO for breakfast. Good one!

MC Slim JB: Killer corn fritters at KO Catering, too! Does anyone else like pho for breakfast? Pretty common breakfast food in Vietnam. Xinh Xinh in Chinatown opens at 10am, does a lovely chicken pho.

Jackie: SLIM - YES - give me warm and savory over sweet and sticky for breakfast any day

Rich O: When I first moved to Cambridge I lived at Andy's Diner. Good food but fast and no one breathing down your neck like in Ball Sq Somerville

Andy: I like cafe luna

Andy: Cafe luna in cambridge, good french toast from Iggys'

Rich O: BUT, Renee's in Teele Sq is really good if small

Andy: best breakfast I ever had is Craigie on Main. Beef hash, pancakes and donuts are incredible, but pricey

Rich O: Ah...the Snack Bar. Only walked past as I thought it was another sub shop little did I know what it hid inside

Marc H.: Have any of you tried the Nutella French toast from Victoria's in Roxbury? A photo: http://www.hiddenboston.com/foodphotos/victorias-french-toast.html

Patrick Maguire: I've had bad luck at Victoria's. The joint wasn't very clean.

Andy: Gargoyles on the square has great donuts too

Andy: best french toast I've had is Beehives. But it better be since they deep fry it

Marc H.: Anything is better if it's deep-fried. :-)

MC Slim JB: I nearly plotzed over the smoked finnan haddie hash at Craigie. Unbelievable. Their potato galette is among my favorite breakfast potatoes in town too: like proper hash browns, which almost nobody does.

Andy: Masa's french toast is my second favorite

Christine Liu: speaking of plotz, the S&S deli in inman square is hilarious and dependable for whitefish platters and grey-haired regulars. go during the week for low-key and no lines.

Jackie: Bonus points for proper use of Yiddish, Slim

MC Slim JB: I don't mean homefries! Shreddy and crisp is what I'm talking about. Who else does them? I know Oceanaire, does, but that's not a breakfast joint.

Andy: Yea, every breakfast place seems pale in comparison to Craigie

Jackie: pet peeve: coming away smelling of the flat top

RichardPF: I had the Craigie corned beef cheek and beef tongue hash recently and it was delicious. As was the potato galette.

Marc H.: Do any viewers out there have any favorite local breakfast joints in Boston's neighborhoods (or Cambridge/Somerville)?

Nicholas: Kelly's Diner in Balls Square. Their corned hash beef had me wanting more. @iamnickye

Patrick Maguire: Christine- A full breakfast @ Mul's for $3.99 is even cheaper than Mike's City Diner!!

Marc H.: And you get a real flavor for the "old" Southie there.

Jackie: pet peeve # 2 - soft homefries w/not a single crispy edge.

Rich O: I have issue with all 3 Ball Sq joints as I want to "relax" at breakfast. That's just me

Marc H.: Let's move on to the suburbs (again, inside Route 495 for the most part). Any favorite breakfast joints? One of my favorites is Stars in Hingham, which maybe isn't a true hidden gem, but their specials are always interesting, including house-made pop tarts, donuts, and mocha waffles.

MC Slim JB: It's well-known, of course, but Deluxe Town is a rare place that does jonnycakes, an olde New England favorite of mine. Would love to know of other places that do them (besides Commons Lunch in Little Compton, my all-time favorite version).

Marc H.: MC, you know about Commons Lunch? We took a quick look at that place awhile back and were intrigued. I'm hoping to try it this spring or summer.

MC Slim JB: Commons Lunch burned down a few years ago, but they're rebuilt. A real local-yokel hangout. They do the thin "West of (Narragansett) Bay" style of jonnycake I prefer. Deluxe does the thicker "East of Bay" style.

Rich O: Agree with MC on Deluxe. Didn't they just open a new joint?

Marc H.: Yes, it's in Newton Centre. Not sure if they do jonnycakes there, though.

RichardPF: Pignone's Cafe in Stoneham & Christopher's in Reading.

Christine Liu: my trio rotation (and picks) for cafes: crema (harvard sq -- the croissants and the english muffin), bloc 11 (union sq -- the bagel egg sandwich with seasonal greens, cheese and prosciutto), sherman cafe (union sq -- addicted to the gruyere and ham rolls, same format as a cinnamon roll but savory).

Marc H.: I recently went to Crema to get one of their chocolate croissants (based on talk about them from a previous chat). They were out of them for the day, darnit.

Christine Liu: btw, i'm super excited to make a maiden voyage to kane's donuts in saugus this weekend! sunday morning. any advice/hints?

Marc H.: Two words, Christine: Cinnamon roll. :-D

MC Slim JB: Pack a flask of Fernet Branca, Christine?

RichardPF: Kane's: Coffee roll, size of a hubcap

MC Slim JB: Great Taste Diner in Somerville, part hash house, part Peruvian. They do a breakfast butifarra sandwich (fried chicharron with onion relish, whoa!)

Rich O: How about the New York Diner? I don't actually know how the food is other then the toast as I've never been there before 2:00 am

Marc H.: Love their scali bread...

Eric: Butters Bakery and Cafe, at Routes 27 and 1A in Walpole, is a real hidden gem. They make some delicious griddled coffee cake, French Toast, buttermilk pancakes, sugared french donuts (beignets) smoked salmon, and hushpuppies with corn and cheddar (served with honey butter). If you like cupcakes for breakfast, they have blueberry pie, orange creamsicle and root beer! The owner Steve Butter (great name for a baker) is a real nice guy who worked as a chef at Aquitaine.

Marc H.: Yeah, I was impressed with Butters when we went there on a recent trip. Definitely an nice-looking spot.

RichardPF: Swiss Bakers in Reading: excellent croissants, Berliner "donuts" & much more

Marc H.: Richard, tell us more about their Berliner donuts!

RichardPF: Berliners are essentially a filled donut, without the hole, usually with fruit fillings, though they have just a cinnamon one too.

RichardPF: Think a much better jelly donut

MC Slim JB: Cue the JFK quote.

Jackie: ich ben ein....omosubi

NorthShoreDish: Sugar Mag's in Gloucester does a great breakfast. Carrot cake pancakes w/maple cream cheese butter are a fave.

Eric: The Milk Bottle Restaurant on Route 138 in Raynham, MA. With a gargantuan milk bottle structure jetting above the trees and no sign out front, the Milk Bottle Restaurant is definitely one of a kind. They make really good basics, like chocolate chip pancakes and waffles. The service is about as friendly as it gets. Call this one "A restaurant in the Hood."

Andy: best croissants I've had by far is Canto 6 in JP

RichardPF: Donut City in Lynn, great independent donut shop

Christine Liu: also zoe's diner (the greek one on mass ave between central/harvard). it's huge, it's cute, they're always super sweet despite the huge crowds. not mindblowingly good, but really comfy, tuck-in-able breakfast.

NorthShoreDish: It's a bit far a field, but PB Boulangerie in Wellfleet is outstanding.

Marc H.: Hold that thought, Kristen! We'll be talking about favorites outside of the area in a minute.

Eric: Coffee Sensations in Medfield, MA. This is an authentic luncheonette! It's located in the old-fashioned Lord's department store in between gifts, greeting cards, kitchen goods, toys, clothing, and electronics! They do a nice job with the basics like waffles, pancakes, French toast -- the atmosphere just makes it that much better.

Marc H.: How about our viewers? Any favorite local breakfast joints in the suburbs?

MC Slim JB: Has anyone tried The Rox diner in W. Rox? It used to be Auntie B's, a regular diner I loved because it also served really creative, gourmet breakfast dishes.

Marc H.: The folks behind The Rox are also behind the new Sugar Bakery in Roslindale, aren't they?

MC Slim JB: I did not know about the Rox/Sugar connection.

Michelle: I'm a big fan of Vic's Waffle House in Tewksbury (formerly TD Waffle). The prices haven't changed in 20 years but the breakfast is worth the line out the door everyday.

Marc H.: Michelle, is that anywhere near Mango II?

Michelle: Not near Mango II...closer to the Tewksbury/Lowell line off of 495.

Michelle: Donna's Donuts, however, is right across the street from Mango II.

Christine Liu: TD Waffle sounds like a bank :) may i make an investment?

Marc H.: Or a sports arena. It's be funny if Von Wafer played at TD Waffle (sorry, I just had to say that).

Christine Liu: never been to their brick and mortar bakeries, but danish pastry house nibbles are buttery and delish.

Marc H.: Danish Pastry House is one of my favorites.

NorthShoreDish: Love Danish Pastry House in Watertown. melt in your mouth flaky goodness.

Jackie: anyone tried the waffles at Saus? Not in the suburbs, I know...sorry

Michelle: Love the waffles at Saus! Not really a breakfast joint - although I could eat waffles and frites for breakfast.

Michelle: Saus also does a deep-fried egg served on top of their frites.

MC Slim JB: Okay, how about another hidden Latino spot? La Fogata, in Eastie, Colombian bakery/cafe/ice cream shop. Many fine empanadas and pasteles if you want a quick turnover to go. But they do this thing called an apepa de chocolo: ham, butter, mild white cheese, and a drizzle of sweetened condensed milk. Lovely, slightly sweet breakfast sandwich. They also do a giant steak and egg brekfast plate (mini bandeja) with chiccharon, beans, rice, plantains, and an arepa. You need a breakfast nap after that one.

Marc H.: Before we move on to brunch places, if any of you have any real favorites for breakfast elsewhere in New England, this may be a good time to mention them. I'll go first--158 Main in Jeffersonville, VT (just north of Smuggler's Notch) is a place I always think about, in part due to the incredibly rich Grand Marnier and vanilla bean-flavored French toast and the coma-inducing grilled maple bread with maple ganache.

RichardPF: Farmer's Diner in Quechee, VT

Marc H.: I have had good and bad experiences at Farmer's Diner, though the highs definitely outweigh the lows.

Michelle: I like the Green Cup Cafe in Waitsfield. They do some great pastries to go along with a sit down breakfast service.

Marc H.: Maybe those of us who are going to the Vermont Cheese Festival this summer can all meet at the Green Cup for a quick breakfast!

MC Slim JB: Black-Eyed Susan's on Nantucket: super-fresh breakfast joint, one of the cheaper good meals on the island.

Jackie: for the donut fans out in the burbs - did you see the Betty Ann Food Shop guy in the Chronicle breakfast segment?

Guest: Foothills in Warner, NH

Christine Liu: now we're really looking beyond the borders :) but +1 on farmer's diner. it's an oldie style diner car with all ingredients locally procured.

RichardPF: The pancakes at Farmers Diner are one of my fav pancakes anywhere

MC Slim JB: Jack's Outback Restaurant, totally hidden in the middle of Yarmouth Port. Fabulous breakfast place, great popovers!

Marc H.: MC, I was in Yarmouth Port on Sunday. Never saw the place. I think I'll need to do a bit of research on this one, since I'm in that area a lot.

MC Slim JB: I almost couldn't find it even with GPS. Very poorly marked, down a driveway, way at the far end of a parking lot. Plus: no tourists.

Rich O: sorry, work stuff, but wanted to mention my favorite place ever Angelo's Orchid Diner in New Bedford

Marc H.: Rich, we need to talk about a New Bedford food trip.

Rich O: soon

Eric: The Lyndon Freighthouse restaurant in Lyndonville, Vt., reflects Vermont's "green" perspective by tapping into local natural and organic ingredients for breakfast (and lunch, too!). On our first visit, we had delicious blueberry/raspberry muffins and rye and maple swirl bread, and an organic omelet with organic cheddar cheese. Yum! This is not just a restaurant but also a gift shop, railroad museum, coffee shop, ice cream parlor and information center all set within a historical building. The Freighthouse is one of two buildings left from the 22 built in the area by the Boston and Maine railroad!

Jackie: for characters The Owl Diner in Lowell

Marc H.: All right, let's talk about brunch, including brunch buffets and dim sum. Since we're a bit short on time, let's talk about places both in Boston and in the suburbs instead of separating them. First, how about weekend brunches that are not all-you-can eat spots? One that comes to mind is the Centre Street Cafe in Jamaica Plain that does a very nice weekend brunch where you can get such items as sourdough French toast and breakfast burritos.

Jackie: Love Masa's brunch. And Hei La Moon's dim sum is head and shoulders above others.

Christine Liu: tupelo brunch! biscuits and gravy, grits as sinful as you can imagine, lots of great tuck-ins

MC Slim JB: The Gallows started serving brunch recently, and it is superb. Great red flannel hash, a really good patty melt, heuvos rancheros, house-smoked bluefish pate on a bagel, and fine eye-openers.

Marc H.: Love Hei La Moon and Tupelo. Still hoping to get to The Gallows soon.

Eric: Rich and Marc, If you go to New Bedford, try the Shawmut Diner. It's an authentic 1954 diner with food made from scratch. Owner Phil Paleologous spent many years as a syndicated radio talk show host. I think he's on WBSM now (a New Bedford station) He once broadcast live from the diner! Very nice family, great diner!

Marc H.: That's definitely on our list, Eric! Sounds like a great place.

Rich O: Love the Shawmut Eric but Angelos was my place

MC Slim JB: South Coast represent! Don't forget Al-Mac's Diner in Fall River, which sounds a lot like the Shawmut.

Eric: Al Mac's is amazing, good suggestion MC Slim JB!

Michelle: I'm a big fan of Lord Hobo's brunch offerings. They have some unique dishes like their mushroom ragout topped with a poached egg.

Jackie: Heard good things about Tupelo. Tough to get to on T.

Jackie: Gallows brunch? So there!

RichardPF: Tupelo is one of my favs. Also love The Beehive, Craigie on Main, and Acquitaine.

Jackie: Excellent red flannel hash at Henrietta's.

Jackie: Yes, Craigie does great brunch.

Rich O: Does anyone remember brunch at the Ritz? Was a great experience (and I was gifted it, not paying for it)

RichardPF: In Somerville, Pizzeria Posto has a very good brunch, including pizza with bacon, eggs, cheese and home fries.

Michelle: And of course East Coast Grill does a great brunch. The pork tostada never fails...and the make-your-own Bloody Mary bar is always a big hit!

MC Slim JB: Toro, slightly less hectic at brunch than usual. Amazing corned-tongue hash.

MC Slim JB: Myers+Chang: fried egg/bacon banh mi, Momofuku-like pork belly bao, spicy kimchi pancakes.

Michelle: The eggs benedict at Henrietta's Table was featured on Food Network's Best Thing I Ever Ate. It wasn't necessarily the best eggs benny I've had but I adore their complimentary mini-pastry bread basket.

Michelle: Sorry, meant Upstairs on the Square.

Christine Liu: toro also has PITCHERS of bloody marys (only place i've seen this, probably for a reason) and sometimes captain crunch on the menu :)

Christine Liu: the neighborhood. yes, the cream of wheat is great. yes, you will be stuffed to the grills. yes, you should wait in line. yes, the patio is where it's at. yes, they have egregious things like red bull + cava cocktails, but it's a-ok because the linguica, toast, eggs, juice, coffee, everything just is like a big hug.

Rich O: Red Hat has pitchers of anything...no brunch tho (I don't think)

Michelle: Henrietta's Table is on my mind because of their awesome hash.

MC Slim JB: Eastern Standard for the best Ramos Fizz in town to ease down your smoked-brisket hash.

Jackie: Oh Ramos Fizz! smoked brisket hash...starving now

Marc H.: Jackie already touched upon this, but how about all-you-can-eat brunches, including buffets and dim dum? I don't love Amrheins in Southie as much as I did when they were "old-school" (back in the days when I would see Dapper there), but their buffet is still excellent. Everything from pancakes to hummus to pasta.

Michelle: The Blue Room is excellent for brunch buffet.

Marc H.: For any of you viewers out there, what are some of your favorites for brunch, including buffets and dim sum?

Bo: Had brunch at Back Bay Social Club this past weekend..Donut Burger was so-so, but the banana bread that they start you off with, plus the 'basket of pastries' is a great way to start a lazy Sunday:)

MC Slim JB: Grits with eggs and chorizo at Metropolis Cafe. (Sorry, I live in the South End.)

Marc H.: God, I love the Metropolis Cafe. Gotta get back there.

Jackie: don't know if everyone knows this but you can order special dim sum at HLM from managers. like ha chung fan with cilantro - rice noodle with shrimp and cilantro

Marc H.: Hei La Moon is kind of across from the main part of Chinatown, so it's a bit of a hidden gem.

Michelle: As is Henrietta's Table for breakfast brunch. I love their brunch dessert table!

Jackie: Good to know that Blue Room is stll good.

Christine Liu: on my list to try, but la hacienda in east boston has all you can eat breakfast on weekends, 8am-noon, for $5. sick!

Bo: Also, Temple Bar has a pretty good brunch selection

MC Slim JB: Irish breakfast at J.J. Foley's Cafe in the South End, with a properly-poured Guinness.

Jackie: they just doubled their capacity and it's still rockin'

Jackie: Did anyone see this? Me on Chronicle? http://jacquelinechurch.com/ldg/2033-more-on-breakfast-and-me-on-chronicle

MC Slim JB: Yes: you looked awesome!

Jackie: thanks!

Christine Liu: btw, anyone curious about the chocolate brunch buffet at the langham -- there are ZERO savory options! it's for serious chocolate hitters. at some point it's like 'water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink.'

Jackie: stomach is actually growling

Jackie: Does that bar in Brookline Village, Matt Murphy's? - still do irish breakfast

Eric: The Olde Hitching Post in Hanson has always done an excellent job with brunch. It's in an 1810 farmhouse that has greatly expanded through the years. No exotic dishes here, just a great place to eat lots of bacon and scrambled eggs and the like within a nice "New England" atmosphere. My late mother-in-law loved this place; will always remember the special get togethers. All generations in the family really liked the Hitching Post, which speaks volumes of its appeal.

Marc H.: So guess what time it is...... :-/

Jackie: time to eat?

Marc H.: Well, yeah. Ironically, I'm eating rice chex as we do this chat. :-O

Eric: Ummm... time to have some breakfast?

Marc H.: Sounds good to me!

MC Slim JB: Talk about the XLB at Mary Chung's cartless dim sum?

Marc H.: That too!

Michelle: Seriously! This discussion has me famished!

Christine Liu: oh oh oh. great brunch at atwood's and the druid. (my hood!) great beer, comfy, no divas in sight, super hearty and on the high end of delicious for irish places.

Marc H.: Two of my favorite places, Christine!

MC Slim JB: Christine, both those places do a great burger, which I often crave at brunch.

Rich O: Thanks as always for hosting/moderating Marcus

Marc H.: Thanks, Rich. And thanks to all of you for being on the panel! And of course, thanks to all of the viewers for stopping by!

MC Slim JB: Indeed, thanks! Great fun as always!

Michelle: Thanks Marc! Signing off now. Can't wait for the next chat!

Jackie: Toodles, all - going to chow down. Thanks Marc!

Christine Liu: thanks for all the picks, everyone!

Eric: Thank-you, Marc, for moderating/leading this breakfast discussion! I'm headed to McDonald's. Just kidding.

Marc H.: I'm heading over to get more rich chex. :-)

Bo: Thanks Marc

Marc H.: Thanks, Bo!

Rich O: See ya Eric. Good day everyone

Eric: Take care, Rich, hope to see you and Marc soon