Monday, November 15, 2010

Boston Brunchers at East Coast Grill [Cambridge]

By: Finance Foodie

One of things I have come to appreciate the most in my move to Boston (besides my spacious apartment with real closet) is the close knit food blogger community. Although I have come to know many through twitter, it's  even more lovely when we can all get together in person and share a meal (plus it's great to eat with folks that love food as much as myself)!

When the Boston Brunchers (club? twitterfeed?) organized a brunch at East Coast Grill this past Sunday, I was naturally all hands on deck. Everyone else must have had the same thought as there were 24 of us in total - and we literally took up half of the restaurant! As I said hello to many old faces (Fun and Fearless in Boston, The Small Boston Kitchen, Justin Can Cook, A Thought For Food, Indulge Inspire Imbibe, Doves and Figs. Christine Liu, Beantown Baker, FreeFoodBoston), I also was excited to meet many a new ones (A Nesting Experience, A Cambridge Story, EatLiveBlog, Food in my Beard, Good Cook Doris, and more).

But now onto the food! Here was what we had to eat, after the jump:
We started off with family style Sweet Fried Plantains with Queso Fresco and Banana-Guava Ketchup. I totally loved the banana guava ketchup (and wished there was more on the plate!) -- the sweetness of the condiment really amplified the flavor of the plantains.

Next up were sweet potato fries served with East Coast Grill's special "hot" sauce. Although East Coast Grill is known for their generous use of spices and exotic peppers, I am not a fan of spicy food at all (I know, what kind of Asian am I?). The potato fries were pretty standard, but I'm sure the sauce made them extra special (for sure I heard some excited yelps down the table!) -- too bad I missed out :(

Another spicy-sauce ladened dish followed --  the Smoked Pork Stuffed Banana with Inner Beauty Hot Sauce. This app was fantastical (I requested mine be served without the hot sauce) -- the mousse-like banana innards paired really well with the tenderness of the pulled pork and gave the dish a light but not overbearing sweetness. This was definitely my favorite out of the four starters!

The last appetizer was a bowl of Monteray Jack Grits with Smoked Bacon and Grilled Banana and Pineapple. Growing up in Texas, grits were a total breakfast staple, so I was uber glad to see this on the menu. I was a tad nervous that the Monteray Jack cheese in the grits would make the dish too spicy for me to eat (I'm super sensitive to spiciness), but it only left a very mild after-"kick" to each bite. In all honesty, I have yet to find a place in the North that could match the grits from the South, but I totally give East Coast Grill props for the effort and creative ingredients.

Now onto the main course. I was feeling a bit full from all the rich starters but my stomach thought otherwise when it saw this monsterbaby entree:

Hello nurse (and heart attack). This Breakfast Platter, comprised of Cheesy Scrambled Eggs, Charred Greens, Mango - Avocado - Hearts of Palm Salad, Sweet Fried Plantains, and a warm Flour Tortilla was like a three car pile up (but in a good way) of the tastebuds! The charred greens were a tad too salty on its own, but I resolved that by wrapping the greens up with sweet plantains, tangy salad, and buttery eggs in the grilled tortilla. What resulted was for sure a party in my mouth -- as all five sense were tickled pink with excitement!

As I (rolled) out of the joint, I was secretly glad I had a long 40 minute walk back to "lighten the load" on my stomach. A terrific way to cap off the weekend, many thanks to Renee for organizing!

East Coast Grill
1271 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 491-6568
East Coast Grill on Urbanspoon


Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic said...

Hi Athena! Too bad we didn't get to talk much yesterday, but it was still nice to meet you! Hope to see you again at other food events soon.

ABostonFan said...

Oh you have to go to Hell Night there - amazeballll!

The Small Boston Kitchen said...

Great recap, love your good to see you on Sunday! Hope to bump into you again soon!

Fun and Fearless in Beantown said...

The walk after brunch was definitely needed! It was great seeing you on Sunday!

Unknown said...

Great photos!

Kristen said...

You got charred greens on your entree?! What happened to the beans and rice? haha. Such a fab brunch and great to see you again my dear.

(Seriously, call me whatever you feel comfortable with cause I answer to both!)

christine said...

would love to go on a bbq crawl with your texan palate. just say when!

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