The Greater Boston area remains (for the most part) a region that is heavily Irish, so it goes without saying that hearing an Irish brogue is not an uncommon experience in and around the city. This is certainly the case at a restaurant in Weymouth called the Mad Hatter that has undergone some changes of late (more on this in a bit), with both the staff and many of its customers being from the Emerald Isle. And while this dining spot is a favorite among both Irish immigrants and locals in the nearby neighborhoods, very few outside of Weymouth and the towns immediately surrounding it seem to know about the place, which is a bit of a shame, as it is a really special spot in a location that is easy to get to from many areas.
The Mad Hatter used to be located in a small commercial structure on Route 18 just north of the Route 3 exit, but it has since moved to a much larger space nearby on Route 53 at the former Hajjar's site. What was once a tiny breakfast and lunch spot with counter seating, a few tables, and a takeout window is now a multi-room restaurant that includes plenty of tables, two bars, and a buffet station. Because it is now in such a large space, the endless weekend lines of the old Mad Hatter Cafe are now not nearly as bad, though there can still be a wait at the new Mad Hatter space, but since there is so much seating, the waits should be a lot shorter in general--and there is plenty of room to wait inside, unlike at its old space where customers had to wait outside until their name was called.
Several of the breakfast items at the Mad Hatter have been carried over from the old Mad Hatter Cafe, including an over-the-top breakfast pizza that includes scrambled eggs, ham, bacon, sausage, jack cheese, and tomatoes; a yankee pot roast breakfast with tender braised beef, gravy, and eggs; French toast that is encrusted with Frosted Flakes; and some outstanding home fries, along with quiche and a traditional Irish breakfast, while other items have either been relegated to past memories of the old place or as present/future specials, including the Mad Hatter Delight with pastry stuffed with corned beef hash, a belly-busting prime rib hash, and a very rich crab cake benedict. As mentioned earlier, the Mad Hatter now offers a breakfast buffet with all kinds of items offered, including fruit, bagels, pastries, eggs, bacon, sausage, home fries, pancakes, French toast, and more, while lunch items include many of the sandwiches served at the old Mad Hatter Cafe (including ham and cheese, BBQ chicken, and tuna salad), and freshly-made soups are also available daily, including an outstanding potato leek soup. Dinner is a new feature at the Mad Hatter, and there are some unusual options, including a delicious house-made chicken and rice soup that's on special, meatloaf that is wrapped in bacon and comes with turnips, carrots, and mashed potatoes, a wonderful steak tip curry pie that has just the right amount of "kick" from the curry, bangers and mash with three huge Irish sausages, a hearty turkey and ham dinner that has stuffing, mashed potatoes, and gravy, a chicken breast that is stuffed with roasted red peppers, broccoli, and cheese, an Irish beef stew with slow-cooked angus beef added, lobster macaroni and cheese with five cheeses used, a boiled dinner pie with corned beef, root vegetables, and a bit of mustard, and baked haddock served with rice. A small section of the menu is dedicated to "brinner," or breakfast items for dinner, including a house-made corned beef hash plate and the aforementioned Irish breakfast. Alcoholic beverages are a new feature at the Mad Hatter (the old place did not have a liquor license), and of course you can get a pint of Guinness here, but a number of other beer options are available as well, along with a handful of wine options, martinis, Jameson whiskey, and more.
Weymouth has a number of good breakfast spots, and the Mad Hatter Cafe was always one of the best, if not the best, and now, with the restaurant coming to a new space and focusing on lunch and dinner as well, there is even more reason to come to this Irish eatery. Indeed, the Mad Hatter continues to be one of those places that almost exclusively gets repeat visitors, which should certainly tell you a little something about its reputation in the local area.
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