I was really excited to get back together with the Boston Brunchers and enjoy a meal at Back Deck. Smack dab in the heart of Downtown Crossing and just a block from the Common, this was a good one to check out for me. You never know when you’ll have tourists in town and need a spot to eat or if you want somewhere to chill after a night at the movies or the theater. Eric and I are pretty casual in general, so a backyard-themed grill-based restaurant is definitely up our alley.
I brought along Tesser Messer, who enjoyed all the attention she got from the other brunchers, many of whom hadn’t seen her since she was a big lump in my belly. As usual she demanded food. Constantly. Luckily we had a lot of it and she was quite pleased with everything she tried. In this picture she is making her FEED ME NOW face.
I was pleased to see a kids menu with good choices. You’ve got your standards: burgers, grilled cheese, chicken. But there were also salads, including a waldorf salad with apples that I bet a lot of kids would go for. It’s nice to see a restaurant offer food for both the picky and the adventurous kid.
I was pretty pleased with their cocktail menu. They definitely fit the backyard grill theme, but were more exciting than anything I’d throw together at home. They all made me think of summer. And none of them were trying too hard to be hip. I could’ve chosen any number of them but I went with the Blueberry Limoncello Cooler, as I’m a sucker for muddling and this one came with muddled berries and mint. It was lovely, refreshing, and not too strong or too soft.
We tried a variety of appetizers. Back Deck is one of those places that offers lunch and breakfast style food at Brunch, which is always nice. So there was a whole bunch of different stuff to try. As Tessa was acting like she’d been starved for weeks, I spent most of my pre-meal time making sure she ate. But I did manage to sneak some of the grilled veggies with garlic mayo, which I really enjoyed. Tessa happily munched on the chicken livers.
The grilled grapefruit drizzled with honey is pretty amazing to look at. Be prepared for a little work eating it, though. And the hot wings definitely have a kick.
I did get some of the Butternut Squash Soup and it was fantastic. Unlike a lot of squash soups that try to make it sweet or mellow and cover up the flavor, this one had a nice slightly thick consistency and celebrated the squash taste. I definitely could’ve eaten the whole bowl.
As we are the “brunchers,” most of us got breakfast items for our meal. The Eggs Benedict and Eggs Diablo were popular. (The Eggs Diablo has a super-hot habanero sauce with it that was not for the faint of heart.) The Challah French Toast with Bourbon and Brown Sugar was a huge portion and a lot of us tried it. I was really impressed at how good it was. I have trouble believing they grilled it because it turned out so nice.
As for me, I got the Grilled Chicken and Sweet Potato Hash. I am a sucker for hash and sweet potato, plus I knew it’d be easier to feed the Messer. I was kinda meh about the idea of chicken in it. But my mind was changed. The chicken was the best part, it had a fantastic flavor that added a nice exclamation point to the homey hash.
Forgive the gigantic pic, but doesn’t it look scrumptious?
Also, can we just take a moment and appreciate my new camera and my slowly-improving camera skills? I am way too proud of myself over this picture. I didn’t even edit it, you guys.
The only downside of my meal was that my eggs were overcooked. It seemed like it was a hit or miss issue for the whole table, with about half the eggs being perfectly poached with that nice runny yolk effect and the other half having a hard yolk, like mine. I was kind of disappointed because this dish would have been perfect to slather in egg yolk.
We tried a whole slew of desserts after our meal. (Who says brunch can’t include dessert?)
I found the chocolate cake and the pound cake okay, if a little dry. The pineapple definitely elevated the pound cake, though.
They have ice cream brought in from Toscanini’s and we opted (after much prodding from myself) to go for a bowl of the Drunken 3 Musketeers flavor. It was FANTASTIC. And since I’m not sure you can get this flavor at Toscanini’s, it’s worth the visit just for this. We spent a while playing the Which-Liquor-Is-In-This-Fantastic-Dish game but couldn’t come down with a firm answer. It had nice big chunks of candy bar and had a lovely and perfect boozy flavor.
We also sampled what’s obviously the house special dessert: their s’more. Of course you have a s’more if your theme is backyard grilling, right? Their s’more has a house-made graham cracker and a cranberry marshmallow. It was definitely different than any s’more I’ve had before. The cracker was thick and crispy. We also sampled a s’more with peanut butter marshmallow. Some people thought the peanut butter flavor was too strong, but I liked it a lot. Warning: you’ll probably have to eat this s’more with a knife and fork.
Overall I was pleased with Back Deck, especially considering that I wouldn’t have thought they’d have a brunch menu. I can definitely see this as a place Eric and I (ever more likely to be wearing jeans than dressy clothes) will be happy to come for burgers and drinks. And it’s definitely on my list for brunch, too, especially since the options around the Common can be overcrowded and overpriced. Prices for entrees were about $8 to $13, putting it firmly in the more affordable range for Boston brunch. Definitely for the downtown area.
Thanks to Back Deck for hosting the Brunchers. Our meal was complimentary but we were required to write a review.