My junior year of college I studied abroad in Cordoba, Spain. I have so many amazing memories from that time in my life, but my best memento is my friend and travel companion, let's call her Guapa.
In the time since we graduated from college she has lived in Los Angeles, Boston, New York and Washington D.C. and no matter what city we meet up in, she always recommends the best restaurants.
This weekend we met for breakfast at Tatte Bakery & Cafe in Kendall Square in Cambridge. From the outside, the bakery looked like a place you'd find in New York City. It had a similar vibe to Magnolia Bakery.
Though the patio was barren on that cold, blustery day, they do put out tables and chairs in the warm weather.
Inside, the bakery walls are lined with treats. In fact, to order, you have to stand along the main bakery case.
There are savory choices, like this tomato and goat cheese tart.
There are fruit-filled choices, like this rustic apple art.
Then there's a line of treats called the roses, which are pastries in the shape of . . . you guessed it . . . roses. They come in a variety of flavors. Everything from halva, to hazelnut, to chocolate.
There are croissant, of course, including this variety right in front that is dusted with ground pistachios.
In the refrigerated case, there are desserts galore.
Look at these tarts with whole pears on top!
I nearly fell over when I saw the shelves full of cheesecake.
What makes Tatte's set up so cool (and great for kids) is that there is a window that looks in on the kitchen where the Tatte team is hard at work making all these delectable confections.
In Tatte's dining room, the main event is this incredible chandelier. It looks like one of the window displays at Anthropologie.
We found seats in perfect position to admire the chandelier, but also watch the world go by outside the front windows.
We spent a bit of time looking over the brunch menu before heading up to the counter to order.
I love the vertical presentation of the menu.
Though we were focused on breakfast items, I couldn't help but sneak a peek at the lunch items too. I'm a fan of any place that names a salad the "Green & Nutty."
Armed with our selections, we hoped in line.
After placing our order, the cashier handed us a terra cotta flower pot with our order number and our silverware sticking up like blossoms.
When we got to our table, we also realized the pot was hiding our salt and pepper. That is just too cute.
To begin, we each ordered an ice cold drink. Ice tea for her and mint lemonade for me. She said, "This tea is just perfect. It's simple and that classic taste you always hope for when you order this drink." I ordered the mint lemonade after becoming obsessed with that drink on my last trip to Israel. Unfortunately this version didn't measure up to the originals.
Unable to ignore all the great pastry options, we shared one of the rose pastries. We chose the cinnamon pecan variety which was as close to a traditional cinnamon bun as you can get.
This bun wasn't as sticky as they usually are, but still had that great spice to it. The shape of the pastry also caused an interesting phenomenon, which was that the entire center of the bun had no cinnamon or nuts, it was somehow contained to the top, the sides and the bottom.
For her main meal, my friend went for the breakfast sandwich. It was eggs any style, Vermont cheddar cheese and bacon on sourdough bread.
After taking just one bite she shouted, "Look! The bread is grilled on all four sides." She carried on to say, "I love that they grilled both sides of each piece of bread. That is so much more surface area for that yummy, smokey taste."
Half way through the sandwich she commented, "I love that they let you pick what kind of eggs you want. I chose over medium, the best way to eat eggs, in my opinion. The bacon was great, not fatty at all and the Vermont cheddar is excellent. This sandwich has the perfect ratio of ingredients so that you never have a bite without every single component."
She also advised me to share with you that the breakfast sandwich is enormous. She normally shares it with her mom.
I had a really hard time narrowing down my breakfast choices. The Tatte menu has so many of my Israeli favorites - shakshuka, halloumi salad, eggplant & tahini dip, spicy whipped feta cheese and more.
I eventually went with the poached eggs, served over halloumi cheese, grilled marinated tomato and sourdough bread.
The eggs were cooked so expertly.
When I cut into the eggs, the yolk was a brilliant color, almost orange. I love when the egg runs all over the rest of the plate.
It had been so long since I'd had halloumi cheese. I was in a total trance after just the first bite. The grilled tomatoes were fantastic. This meal felt a bit like an open faced grilled cheese on steroids. As you can imagine, I licked the plate clean.
After finishing our egg dishes and gossiping for an hour, I excused myself to visit the ladies room. The bathroom door is marked with a bust silhouette.
Inside, the bathroom is all white. I love the mirrors over the sink and I thought the white lockers were a very cool way to hide the supplies that no doubt need to be store in here.
The honeysuckle soap was in a very pretty bottle and smelled wonderful.
Before leaving, we visited the gifts section. How cute is the tricycle hiding under the table?
There were incredible nut tarts on display. It took a lot of restraint not to reach out and break off a piece of one of these.
There were shelves upon shelves of adorably packaged goodies.
They also have a swag section including this lovely tote bag (ideal for T commuting).
My very most favorite item is the Tatte coffee mug, which you can drink out of if you order coffee or tea during your visit. Though the design is simple, it really feels like you're having something special when you lift it to your lips.
Our experience at Tatte was off the charts. I am obsessed with the design of the space - the light fixtures, the chalkboard menus, the silverware in flowers pots - I could go on! In addition to the beauty and creativity of the space, the food is out of this world delicious.
Tatte now has four locations around Boston, three in Cambridge and one in Brookline. If you're looking for a new place for brunch this weekend, Tatte is it.