Sunday brunch is my favorite meal of the week. There is something so glorious about sleeping in, meeting your friends at that in between hour, ordering breakfast or lunch and being encouraged to drink alcohol with your eggs. Oh, and of course, gossiping about the night before.
My love of brunch has spawned a quest for the best brunch places in Boston and beyond. A few months ago when meeting girlfriends for brunch at Temple Bar in Porter Square in Cambridge, I noticed a place two doors down that was equally cute and had a delicious menu posted outside the door. I made a mental note to check it out the next time I was meeting a friend in that neighborhood.
That newly discovered Porter place is called West Side Lounge.
You can spot West Side Lounge on Mass Ave by its adorable, four seat, outdoor patio.
On the inside, the restaurant lives up to its lounge name. The room is dim, the bar and tables are a rich, dark wood and the walls are painted red.
We had a reservation, but the place was empty so we were seated right away in a cozy booth across from the bar. Our waitress set up a very nice display with our menus and the white and red striped napkins. The napkins were the same design and material as the napkins at a southern comfort restaurant I went to in Miami called Yardbird.
West Side Lounge has one of the best brunch cocktail menus I've seen. They range from fizzy to fruity to coffee-based to the classic bloody Mary or mimosa.
My brunch date selected the Pomimosa which is orange juice, pomegranate juice and champagne. It came garnished with a fresh orange slice. She loved the drink because it was light, but had that little extra boost from the pomegranate.
I ordered a cocktail called the boozy iced latte. It's espresso, Bailey's and Frangelico topped with frothed milk.
I am going to go ahead and say this is the best cocktail I've ever ordered. It was creamy like a latte, had that coffee taste you want with breakfast, but the Bailey's added a smoothness that was divine. If you order this, beware, one drink is definitely enough. I was a bit wobbly by the end of our meal.
Everything on the brunch food menu looked so fantastic we were having a hard time deciding what to order. Since we are both vegetarians, we opted to split the two plates that looked best to us. Why settle on one meal, when you can share and try two?
Our first pick was the veggie eggs benedict. A traditional eggs benedict puts the poached eggs over ham or bacon, but these eggs sat a top thick, juicy slices of tomato and a bed of spinach. The eggs also came with a side of fruit (pineapple, honey dew melon, strawberries and grapes) and home fries made from roasted, red bliss potatoes.
Look at that creamy Hollandaise sauce! Heaven.
Our second choice was the California omelette which came with fruit, home fries and toast. We asked for whole wheat.
The inside of this omelette was stuffed with avocado, tomatoes, scallions and feta cheese. I will order anything that has avocado in it and I was overjoyed that this omelette had not just a slice or two, but clearly an entire avocado cut up into it.
We took our time savoring every bite of this feast. Our waitress was friendly, attentive and never rushed us.
After brunch we decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather and bop around Porter Square. We looked at furniture and decor in Abodeon, admired the antique maps in Ward Maps and sat on every piece on patio furniture on sale at Pier 1. To end our stroll, we ordered micro's (kiddie size) at Berry Line. I ordered the creamsicle flavor with graham crackers as my topping. Here's my Instagram photo of my fro yo creation:
If you're looking for a new brunch place, you have to try West Side Lounge. It's an easy walk from the Harvard Square or Porter Square T stops, the cocktails are amazing, the food is fresh and delicious, they have outdoor seating and it's in the perfect spot for post-brunch shopping.
Visit West Side Lounge at 1680 Mass Ave in Cambridge. Be forewarned, when you click on their website, it plays very loud music!