When I heard there was a third lunch at Common Ground in Allston that I wouldn’t be able to go to, I figured I’d throw caution to the wind and just go, kids in tow. Why let the kids destroy all the fun? And why not take advantage of the opportunity to have someone else make lunch for me and Graham?
So I gathered up my courage. (We skipped the T this time, not because I wanted to deprive Graham of the fun of riding the bus AND the orange train AND the green train, but because we weren’t ready in time.) And we headed out.
Why was I so interested? Wouldn’t you be interested in a place that has Geek Trivia night AND all-you-can-eat breakfast on Saturdays for $6 AND all-you-can-eat brunch on Sundays for $10 AND makes their own bacon?
Common Ground is right at the intersection of Harvard Ave and Brighton Ave, close to pretty much everything, right in the heart of Allston. Our hosts were a little embarrassed that as we came in, a pub crawl was exiting. But I think that’s kind of what I loved about Common Ground: it works for pretty much everyone. As a parent bringing my kids, I didn’t feel like it was a “kiddie” place full of yuppies. And the soon-to-be-finished-with-the-school-year celebrating college kids didn’t seem overly freaked out by the fact that we were heading into their territory.
Me and some of my lovely fellow-bloggers tried a sampling of appetizers and dishes from Common Ground’s very friendly folks.
The deviled eggs with big slabs of the aforementioned housemade bacon were scrumptious.
Not surprisingly, they also throw in some of the bacon with their seared scallops. (If you made your own bacon, wouldn’t you? And yes, I HAVE eaten chocolate ice cream with bananas, caramel and bacon before. Shut up.)
My favorite appetizer, though, was the Margarita chicken, marinated in a tequila mixture, perfectly grilled, and served with a nice, spicy chipotle mayo. I was glad we got a big pile so no one would notice that I went back for seconds. (And also thirds.)
To me, this looks like an appetizer for 2 as I could easily eat half of it. (I’m sure it’s probably meant for 3 or 4.)
We tried some of their main dishes, too. This grilled cheese on multigrain bread was ooey gooey and would go great with tomato soup. (Whaddya know, they’ll give you some of that, too!)
And we tried their legendary veggie burger. What I love about it is that it’s not like those frozen-style veggie burgers that are big patties of… who knows what. And it’s not one of those veggie burgers that are trying so super hard to be hip and vegetarian that they’re all veggies and not really a burger at all. This is a chickpea-based veggie burger so you have a real patty that holds its shape and can take on lots of great flavors.
Last but not least, we tried their duck salad, with crunchy braised duck, apples and dried cranberries. A great savory/sweet combo.
We ate on their adorable patio which you’d never know was there just walking by. And we finished off the meal with a shot of vanilla milkshake (which was far too little milkshake for me, Bug called it “ice cream in a cup”) and a little bowl of housemade ice cream. Yum.
I love knowing there’s a place I can go where the food is reasonably priced (hard to find around here), I can bring my kid if I feel like it, I can watch the game, I can order a drink, I can wear jeans, etc. It’s a nice one-size-fits-all kind of place, which is my favorite kind.