I have a glut of things to blog today. But I simply have no choice but to provide you with a ridiculously extensive write-up of my latest outing with the Boston Brunchers.
My sister was visiting and I left her in downtown Boston with a promise that I’d be back in a little while after I hopped the bus, checked in with the ladies, downed some delightful food and then hopped back.
It did not go as planned.
Because there was food. So much food. And it just kept coming. And coming. I couldn’t leave. It was almost like being kidnapped by deliciousness and being held hostage… except that it was so glorious.
So where did we go? We hit Local 149 at 149 P Street in South Boston. This was my first trip to Southie and I have a feeling I will find a reason to come back.
You wouldn’t exactly expect a killer brunch from a bar/pub but there we were, with our own lovely table.
We watched as our table was set and I’d be lying if I said our eyes didn’t go straight to these babies:
That, my friends, is a cocktail served inside a coconut. The drink has coconut water, rum, pineapple juice and other such lovely things. They were thoughtful enough to make me virgin-versions of everything, but the ladies assured me that these coconut cocktails went down very very smooth. We think they may be dangerous.
Apparently, when you finish, you can have the coconut chopped in half to scrape out what’s inside. We didn’t get around to it (a shame, what a killer photo op!) but we did pay much attention to the little candied cherries on the garnish.
Garnishes were an immediate big hit. Not just that incredibly tasty candied cherry, but all the house-pickled veggies that garnished the house Bloody Mary as well. Cauliflower, onion, carrot, all different recipes and all really good.
I loved having one of each. The coconut made a nice mellow accompaniment to sweet dishes and the Bloody Mary was perfect with the savory ones.
Oh. And food. I almost forgot.
We started with starters. Rather obvious, but very memorable.
We started with fresh fruit and a charcuterie plate. I admit that while I love meat, bread and cheese I never really find myself gravitating towards charcuterie plates. Turns out it takes only a few things to change that.
1) Deprive me of ham for 4 months.
2) Say the word “Manchego.”
The ham was fresh farm ham, which surely must mean very healthy and of course completely okay for pregnant women. And Manchego is basically the best cheese ever invented. I was introduced to it a few years ago when I made this Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Gratin for Thanksgiving. While grating my Manchego…. I think I ate about half of it. So sticking some out in front of me meant I would be eating it. Thank you very much.
I would not be eating the oysters, but they looked very tasty and were served with a house-made raspberry mignonette. (I heard good things from those who did partake.)
(To be honest, I don’t eat oysters even when not pregnant. I am not much for slimy food. And they always remind me of the little dancing oysters in the old Disney movie Alice in Wonderland.)
We hadn’t yet reached any entrees but we were already enjoying ourselves highly. Kathy was the first to have this brilliant idea:
But moments later we got serious. It was time for the food. And we started with Chicken & Waffles.
I lived in Georgia for nearly 5 years and I have never once had Chicken & Waffles. I feel a little bad about it. Especially now that I’ve had these.
We couldn’t all pick up the rosemary/lavender notes of the waffle itself, but the chicken had a great sweet-and-salty breading, the blueberries were deelish. I, for one, wished for much more of the syrup (sherry caramel syrup, according to the menu) which was fall-over good.
Next up we had what many tagged as their favorite dish of the whole event: breakfast pizza.
The pizza is a great example of just how much goes into the little details at Local 149. It’s not just a breakfast pizza with applewood-smoked bacon, arugula and quail eggs. The cheese was fantastic–a mixture of mozzarella and blue–and the crust was like a perfect cracker covered with everything from poppy seeds to hemp seeds. A great way to finish off a slice.
I don’t claim to be a foodie. If there was some kind of testing to qualify for the Boston Brunchers, I doubt I would be cool enough to pass it. But I love food. Love with a passion one cannot understand unless one has just endured several weeks or months or morning sickness. That is how I love food. My husband is not quite as obsessed as I am, he is a normal person who likes to eat. But I can totally see the two of us splitting a breakfast pizza together. With a bloody mary for me. (Since it’s a white pizza the tomato drink is a perfect accompaniment.) And the Bug tucked up in the high chair. (They have high chairs, booster seats and a family restroom. Yes, that’s right, a FAMILY RESTROOM with lots of space and a changing table.)
Overall, that was my favorite takeaway for Local 149, you can take your foodie friends there and they’ll be impressed, but you can also take your meat-and-potatoes husband and they’ll love it, too.
We made a detour from savory over to sweet for our next dish: Life-Cereal-encrusted french toast. Confession: I am not much of a sweet-for-breakfast person. I’m much more likely to order an omelet than french toast, no matter how fancy and amazing it sounds. But with that said… I was won over.
(Don’t you dig the 70’s plate? They had random garage-sale mugs as well.)
So the deal on the french toast: soaked in espresso martini. And they don’t just say that. You can taste the espresso in that bread. Which is brioche, of course. Topped with grand marnier whipped cream. And, of course, encrusted in freshly mashed Life cereal. (The name of the dish is Toast to Life and Bacon, as it comes with bacon on the side. Oh, and did I mention they have 3 different kinds of bacon?) You can taste every ingredient, and the Life cereal is a perfect touch of texture without being too sweet.
It is a rich dish, though. After all we’d already eaten, I could only eat about half.
Especially because by this point they’d brought out the Mimosas, made with orange and pomegranate juice. I know pomegranate juice is all trendy right now, but I don’t usually dig it much. This mimosa, though, was fab.
There was not much more we could do after this, surely.
Except they kept coming with more.
And the “they,” I should add, were a group of charming servers who were obviously enthusiastic about the food they were serving. I love being able to ask a server about a dish and actually have them be able to tell me what’s in it and that they’ve eaten it themselves. (And I love being given virgin drinks for my pregnant self.)
But no. Not done. By this point we were so full we could have been rolled back home, but then we saw this:
Sometimes you have a dish you know is a superstar. Obviously this is your guy. A lobster, cheese, egg and canadian bacon breakfast sandwich the size of a small child.
Being nearly spent, I gave the muffin a pass (I’m not much for seafood) and instead dove into the Yorkshire Pudding.
This was certainly the simplest dish we ate, but it was one of the best. Over easy eggs, house-made chicken sausage, gravy, popover. The gravy was lovely and peppery, I could’ve eaten it all day. If I order it again, I would probably get extra gravy on the side just because. The chicken sausage wasn’t like many you find that are dry and tasteless, it was very moist and flavorful. I easily ate more than half this plate that I was supposed to be sharing.
Around this time I remember that my sister existed.
Did you forget, too?
It’s okay. I texted her and she said she’d found a giant TJ Maxx and was okay. I sighed in relief. The next bus back to the city was coming in 10 minutes. I stood up and began to make my way out…
And then they brought milkshakes and I sat back down.
I don’t know what they were thinking, bringing milkshakes to a table full of girls who had just stuffed themselves silly for 2 hours.
Oh wait, yes I do. They were amazing.
They were smart enough to serve them in little tasting glasses so we got the perfect amount of sweet chocolate-y goodness to finish off our meal. Those little shakes did not last very long.
The vibe is casual, you can certainly wear jeans, and there is a full bar (since it is a BAR after all). Entrees price around $10 to $15 each. If you are all in-the-know, you’ll probably be glad to discover they’re under the same ownership as the Biltmore. If you want a peek of what we tasted and more, here’s their brunch menu. Also… they apparently have breakfast tacos. WHY DIDN’T ANYONE TELL ME THERE WERE BREAKFAST TACOS???
Oh, and one more thing. I did take a bit of a sip of yet another drink (it was a pregnant lady and a table full of lushes, I tell you) the white peach sangria. It was excellent, sweet and mellow and light and perfect as we were winding down our meal.
My thoughts on the sangria: You know when you were little and you saw people drinking and you thought, “That must taste really good.” This sangria is what you imagined drinks tasted like. *swoon*
I am already trying to find excuses to get back to Local 149. (Does anyone want to come visit on the weekend? I must have the breakfast tacos!) This was well above your average neighborhood brunch. Even at that really good neighborhood place… this is better. Can they maybe open a second location right across the street from my house?
Oh, and can all the lovely ladies of the Boston Brunchers come along, too? They are a delightful bunch.
Brunch at Local 149 was provided to me at no cost as part of a contest put on by Local 149 and the Boston Brunchers. My review was not required and all opinions are my own, except for a few things I may have stolen from some of the other ladies at the table.