French Toast Fun


Hello Monday Morning,

I was up at 8:30 to start my day (that’s early-ish for me:))  I have quite a few things to accomplish today as I’m babysitting tomorrow morning and then leaving for Baltimore in the afternoon.  Consequently, I had planned a trip to DC to visit four of my best friends from high school and college this coming weekend, so I’ll just be staying in Baltimore until I go to DC on Friday.  I had been looking forward to a low-key week at home because I have been traveling a lot this summer.  Oh well,  the upside is that I’ll get to see my family, which is always a treat!

On to yesterday’s brunch.  I’m sure you’re not surprised to find out that I’m a foodie.  I’m not so great in the kitchen, but I absolutely love dining out (umm, who doesn’t love dining out?)  Even if it’s just ordering an appetizer at a dinky pub, I still love the process of sitting down and examining the menu, and the anticipation of the meal to come.  Because Boston is full of fabulous restaurants, I’ve had to make a list of all of the places I want to go in order to remember the names.  As I mentioned earlier, restaurant week is taking place in Boston over the next two weeks.  I have mixed feelings about restaurant week.  On one hand, I think it’s a great way for a poor student like myself to eat at some swanky places.  But on the other hand, I feel like the menu is so limited and the quality of the food is not always up to par, so the experience may not be a true representation of the awesomeness of a restaurant.  That being said, there is no way I can turn down a two-course brunch for $15.  So, I phoned my  foodie friends and pulled out the old ‘places I’m dying to try’ list and made the trek to Upstairs on the Square in Harvard Sqaure.  The inside of the restaurant was really cute, but I have a thing for patios…

While Lauren and I waited for the men to park, we ogled this bread basket full of miniature delights. When the men arrived, I helped myself to all three flavors: a cheddar scone, a sticky bun, and a petite blueberry muffin!

The restaurant week menu only included two brunch entrees, so Matt and I decided to split both rather than order the same thing. Since this was a two-course meal, we also decided we would split the appetizer and dessert course to create a mini four-course tasting. The appetizer we ordered was called ‘Fruit Two Ways’ and it was nothing special.

The men also ordered bloody marys…

The two entrees were the eggs benedict with pancetta and tarragon hollandaise and the brioche french toast with blueberry compote.  Absolutely the best french toast I’ve ever had!!!!

At this point, I was starting to get pretty full, but what’s a girl to do when she’s already pre-ordered dessert?  Enjoy it!  This is the walnut brown butter cake with roasted plums and a red wine caramel sauce.

The dessert was unique, but I’d call it a sweet bread and not cake. I’m more of a cookie and cake with icing person myself. While I hadn’t planned on such an indulgent brunch (this was more like a three-course dessert!), it was worth every bite.  After lunch I had an errand to run, so Matt and I ended up taking a nice two-mile stroll.  We didn’t finish brunch until nearly 4 o’clock, so we weren’t exactly hungry for dinner.  I finally got hungry again around 9:30 and enjoyed a bowl of yogurt with banana, apple, and a sprinkle of cereal before bed.

Today will definitely be a bit more balanced as we have fresh groceries from Trader Joes!  For now, I’ll leave you with a wine-drinking zebra (on the tables at the restaurant) and a question:

What do you think of restaurant week?  Is it worth it or are the small portions and limited menus a rip-off?

  • wishful nals
    August 16, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    i agree, restaurant week can be hit or miss. i love trying out a few pricey restaurants that i wouldn’t go to otherwise. i’ve heard great things about restaurant week at rialto (in cambridge) — apparently it’s delicious and not skimpy! i am hoping to try hamersly’s bistro this year. 🙂

    • Laura
      August 16, 2010 at 9:12 pm

      Ohh, I really wanted to try Hamersly’s this year too, but didn’t see them on the restaurant week webpage:( I’ll def have to try Rialto though!

  • allieatfood
    August 16, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    I usually love restaurant week! The only time I was let down was when I went to one in NYC at a place called Asia de Cuba. The food was great, we had to ask to see the restaurant week menu and they tried to act like they didn’t know what we were talking about until we threatened to leave and the appetizer and dessert were shared which was kind of a bummer. But normally it is a good deal. Philly has 2 restaurant weeks in September and I can’t wait!

  • Kerry
    August 16, 2010 at 6:56 pm

    I have had the best Restaurant Week experiences at places that are nice, but not ‘too’ nice. They seem to really want the business and try to create a nicer menu. Last year I had an amazing meal at the Beehive in the South End!

    • Laura
      August 16, 2010 at 9:20 pm

      Maybe that’s my problem, because I always go to the most expensive places. I’ll keep that in mind!

  • Buzz
    August 16, 2010 at 10:34 pm

    Great pictures!

  • Susan
    August 16, 2010 at 11:39 pm

    I live in Sonoma County, CA and we had our first restaurant week at the beginning of the year. I hope they do it again next year. What I did was go to the website that listed the participating restaurants and had menus. Then I compared the RW menus to the regular menus to make sure I was saving by going during restaurant week. We had $19, $29 & $39 levels. Looking at the regular menus, I found there wasn’t much value in the $19 restaurants. I had really good meals at the other levels, though. At the $39 level, I basically got two courses for free and I will definitely go back there again.

  • Miranda
    August 17, 2010 at 1:05 am

    I haven’t participated in the restaurant week in Houston yet, but I’ve heard good things. Over a hundred restaurants participate and everywhere puts their menus online for free. The husband and I are planning to attend next years, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed!

  • Balance is Beauty
    August 17, 2010 at 9:48 am

    I never think to add toppings to pre-made pizza…thats such a simple solution!

  • Ashley BW
    August 23, 2010 at 8:45 am

    I went to Sel de la Terre on Boylston Street for dinner last week and the Restaurant Week menu was great! I agree that these things can be hit or miss, but this one was definitely worth it. Sel de la Terre is the less expensive, more low-key version of L’Espalier. It was a great chance to try several of their dishes at a lower price.

    They also have a lunch menu for Restuarant Week. Aside from the food- great cocktails and beer selection.

  • Bad Blogger « Taking Back my Twenties
    August 29, 2010 at 11:55 am

    […] mentioned yesterday that Matt and I were going out to dinner for a special treat.  Remember when we went to a restaurant week brunch and decided not to do a restaurant week dinner ?  Well, we set aside the money we would have spent on a dinner so that we could enjoy a fancy […]