Get SatisFi’d at BurgerFi!

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With attempts to bring some sunshine and warmth to the cold Boston University area BurgerFi – the new burger-joint on campus – hails from Delray Beach Florida serving up a mix of meals, desserts, and libations in an environment suitable for both students and families.

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Opened Monday thru Wednesday 11AM to 11PM and Thursday thru Sunday 11AM to 1AM BurgerFi pumps out healthier food options for their guest in an earth friendly environment much like a Shake Shack from the south with, “chairs that are made from recycled Coke bottles, tables made out of compressed recycled wood, and large fans that use 66% less electricity”. In addition they also maintain a low carbon footprint through other sustainable practices.

Prices for this new eatery vary from $5.57 to $9.97 for one of their signature burgers, including a veggie!  If your more creative they have a “Build Your Best Burger” option starting at $3.97 for a single-stack with toppings costing extra.  Next up are the Hot Dogs between $3.67 and $4.97.  Sides or “accessories” range from fries or onion  rings OR Both from $2.97 to $4.97.  Desserts consist of Frozen custards or Frozen Concretes.  You can have them in multiple ways starting with shakes at $4.47 to concretes at $5.57.  Beer prices vary, but wine is served by the glass at $4.97 or by the bottle at $19.97.

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To be health conscious the restaurant listed clearly it’s calorie content for their guest on their menu.  I love it! No guessing here.

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This new addition the Commonwealth Ave line of restaurants in Brighton was a refreshing burst of change for the area, giving customers more options on where they’d like to dine, and also making it possible to grab a beer without being in a bar atmosphere.

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Wanting to start with the basics I ordered the BurgerFi Cheeseburger and Vanilla Frozen Custard with Carmel on top.  To step on the ‘wild side’ I tried out the Crispy Onion Rings with, get this, Parmesan Cheese and Herbs!

There was bit of a wait for my meal, but once out I wasted no time.  My double-decker Angus burger containing two slices of American Cheese, Lettuce, and BurgerFi Sauce was satisfying.  I LOVE the grill branding atop the bun.  I was able to eat the entire burger with ease, and that left me happy.  Next time I go I’m getting the Brisket Burger (double natural 28 day Dry Aged Ground Brisket, Swiss Cheese, Blue Cheese, Lettuce Pickles and BurgerFi® Sauce) or maybe a Chicago Style Dog (All-Natural Dog topped with Mustard, Neon Relish, Diced Onion, Tomato slices, Sport Peppers, Celery Salt, and a Pickle spear served on a Poppy Seed Bun) to remind me of my favorite city in America.

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My frozen vanilla custard was quite yummy.  Smooth and creamy.

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My FAVORITE takeaway from this meal however was indeed the crispy onion rings!  O.M.Gee!!!  True to it’s name, these crispy delights tasted like Funyuns Onion Flavored Ring Chips!  The Amazing difference being that I was eating REAL onions with massive flavor!  Heaven!  I MUST get a LARGE order next, even if it’s 980 calories in a serving.

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Maybe next time I’ll get the Urban Fries from the “Secret Menu” that contains Parmesan and Herb Fries topped with Garlic Aioli.  The secret will be OUT if they top the onion rings and they might get swarmed and have to give up all their secrets.  But hey, it’s good for business, right? Xo!

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BurgerFi

961 Commonwealth Avenue

Boston, MA 02215

617-254-4200

http://burgerfi.com

New American at Nubar!

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Checking out hotel restaurants is a rare thing I do, but I’m noticing as time passes, I’m getting more into it.  Something about the idea of dining with hotel guest seems almost intrusive since I come in just walking off the street.  But with that negative invisible line null and void I made my way to Nubar, adjacent to the Sheraton Commander Hotel in Harvard Square.

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Opened in April 2011, Nubar puts a spin on American cuisine while obtaining a chic, contemporary lounge appearance.  As their site states, “Nubar’s Chef’s (Executive Chef Thomas Connaughton and Chef de Cuisine William Flumerfelt) combines a modern approach applied to classic dishes.”  With an affordable menu (priced between 10 and 30 dollars) this restaurant allows patrons to dine in style without blowing the bank.

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Although I stopped by for dinner the location is open 7 days a week for breakfast, lunch, and Sunday brunch.  I started off with the Taleggio Polenta with Wilted Baby Spinach and a Crispy Poached Egg followed by Pat’s Littleneck Clam Roast, which came with Baby Shrimp, Toasted Angel Hair, Zucchini, Cherry Tomatoes, Bacon, and Garlic in White Wine.  Is your mouth starting to water?

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As I waited for my drink and app to arrive I snacked on the tasty complimentary herb-based bread with creamy butter.  I never had such bread before a meal and was quite impressed with the culinary teams approach to the typical dinner bread.

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My whistle wetter for the evening was the Tru Gin Horse (say that FAST! lol) and I sampled the Absinthe Minded.  I got the Tru gin mainly because of the ingredients, which made me happy: Tru Organic Gin, Apple Cider, Muddled Apple, Rosemary, and Thyme.  It was like a manly drink made for ladies who like bite!  Very good. The Absinthe contained Tito’s Vodka, Clandestine Absinthe, Fruitlab Jasmine Liqueur,
Simple Syrup, Lemon and Lime.  Though I’m not a big fan of absinthe-based drinks (mainly because I don’t enjoy licorice) this one was smooth.  I could see myself having another in the hot months of August while in the city.

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Tru Gin Horse

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Absinthe Minded

Out in no time was my polenta (cornmeal boiled into a porridge then baked, fried or grilled).  This was, by far the BEST polenta I have EVER tasted!!! So glad the host recommended it!  I LOVED the fact that it wasn’t heavy.  I’ve had polenta before as a starter and it was too dense.  To me that makes no sense, I mean why would you want to full up in the start of the meal?  The poached egg added to the baked lightness.  I could have eaten 2 of those polentas!  Nice size to share and conquerable for one.  I would recommend the Truffle Fries for those not interest in the Italian cuisine.  They’re crispy and lightly sprinkled with Parmesan.

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Completing my memorable noshing was Pat’s Littleneck Clam Roast.  Wow.  It wasn’t just good that night but it was good as leftovers the following day.  My shrimp and clams were tender, my angel was pleasing both toasted and cooked, and the random bacon bites were superb.   I must go back whenever I’m in the area again and again!

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Maybe next time I visit I’ll have some dessert.  I’m always up for trying a good cannoli or to try their Pumpkin Spiced Cheese Cake.

Xo.

Nubar at the Commander

16 Garden St.

Cambridge, MA 02138

617.234.1365

http://nubarcambridge.com

No Passport for Amsterdam Falafel Shop!

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Wanna get a taste of the Middle East without traveling out the U.S.?  Fear not, Amsterdam Falafel Shop in Somerville is here!  New in Boston since July 2012 and pushing out falafel like hot cakes.  Now dawns the questions for some…what’s a falafel?

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Falafel is spiced mashed chickpeas formed into balls (hushpuppies) or fritters and deep-fried, usually eaten with or in pita bread.  Perfect for all types of eaters Amsterdam Falafel makes eating fun with some basic order rules:

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  1. Build your sandwich carefully; there are over 21 sauces and toppings to lace your falafel balls with.  You can choose either a pita sandwich or bowl and how many balls you’d like.
  2. CRUSH YOUR BALLS!!! (love this) Make your sandwich a bit flatter so you can stuff all your toppings inside the pita pocket!
  3. Mix Up for Combinations; go gentle with some ingredients for instance the garlic can be intense.
  4. No Double-Dipping or Topping! You can only top a NEW falafel sandwich at the bar.  Makes sense for sanitation laws and purpose.

I wanted my falafel to be a mountain of amazing sensations so I topped my pita with hummus, baba ganoush (a thick spread made from ground eggplant, sesame seeds, olive oil, lemon, and garlic), yogurt dill (greek style dip), garlic cream, tahini (a Middle Eastern sauce made from ground sesame seeds), and some spicy cole slaw!  Sooooo good.

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How can you really go wrong here?  The price is reasonable (at most $10 for a meal) and the toppings are so healthy.  Next time I go I’ll adding beets!

Not into falafel?  They also have fries, wait, excuse me Dutch-styled “frieten” with a lovely crunch and lovely taste.  A pretty good alternative to me. Especially with the Curry Ketchup!  Drool!

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I totally agree with the site that these locations helps one escape on a mini get away to Amsterdam, away from work and everyday troubles.  I washed my meal down with an Izze since I was in the mood for healthy carbonation.

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Opened 7 days a week, swing in to Amsterdam Falafel in Davis Square and get your Middle Eastern kick!  I have to send my thanks to Washington DC for the start of this company.  Now with other locations, branching to Maryland this company is only gonna grow and expand.  I wish them all the best!

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Stay yummy!

Amsterdam Falafel

248 Elm Street

Somerville, MA 02144

(617) 764-3334

http://www.falafelshop.com/

Getting Freaky with Potatoes? Potato Freak!

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Did the name get your attention? It got mines!  One of my friend’s has a thing for eating at places with interesting names and she wanted to give this spot a try.  I’m glad we did!

This family friendly restaurant and café located in Somerville puts a spin on your average potato eating adventure.  Opened Monday through Saturday 7am to 10pm and Sunday opening at 8am this location features their main menu of all day items and a breakfast menu.

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I visited on a Saturday morning, craving something different, meanwhile my friend want to be more traditional.  A perfect setting mix to share meals!  Given a menu with a variety of soups, salads, burgers, burritos, baked potatoes and Swiss cuisines Potato Freak covers a nice variation with cultures.  Prices range from $3 to $16 making eatery a non “pocket breaker” establishment.

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I ordered the Bacalao Rostie Potato, one of their popular choices.  Rostie is a potato pie from Switzerland that has a crunchy golden brown crust with melted cheese on the inside with other fillings.  The bacalao was filled with codfish (bacalao), olives, onions, mozzarella, and cream cheese.  Exciting!  I love codfish so I was thrilled to see how this combination would work.   My friend got the Strawberry French Toast, a Texas toast topped with fresh strawberries and powdered sugar.  This was going to be a potential clash for my taste buds, but I was up to the challenge.

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With a $15 minimum Potato Freak has no problem bringing your order to your bedroom!  Well, not literally, but they do deliver to your home or office.

Any rostie comes with a fresh house side salad.  For me, the best part of the salad were the croutons.  They were chewy with a slight crunch.  This was a perk since usually croutons can be too crunchy for me, causing me to flick them to the side of my salad.

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With sips of water in between I went in for my friends’ French toast.  I was impressed.  The thick Texas toast was cooked to a proper texture leaving the bread chewy with no crunch.  The strawberries were sliced perfectly and distributed atop with powdered sugar AND cinnamon playfully sprinkled.  Each bite contained all elements.  So good.

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Next I tried out my bacalao.  The creation was surprisingly delicious.  Not only was the cod distinct in the dish, but the salt from the olives really added to the flavor.  With the mix of cheeses oozing throughout the potato pie I was filled in a matter of minutes and had to take half of it home.  My sister wasn’t mad about that part!

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This location definitely placed a twist on my concept of the typical potato meal.  Yes they have French Fries but why have that when you can get some Swiss Hash!?  Next time I visit I’m having a Baked Potato filled with Chili and Nachos.  Yes, this is an option!  Enjoy!

Potato Freak

102 Washington Street

Somerville, MA 02143

781-823-1773

http://www.potatofreak.com

The Original Tony’s Clam Shop!

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Boardwalk restaurants are the best way to go after a day at the beach, each city with a hidden gem.  For me, it took some time to find this one, but I’m so glad I did.  Recommended by a close friend, I went out to try what she described as her favorite seafood stop, and I can see why.  Tony’s Clam Shop not only offers FAST service, but great quality seafood 300 ft from Wollaston Beach in Quincy.

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Buzzer while you wait.

Established in 1964 by the Kandalaft family, Tony’s started out as a walk up/take-out stand.   Currently Tony’s can now over 100 customers using their indoor greenhouse dining area and outdoor patio.  Celebrating their 49th year in business this summer, Tony’s has developed a loyal customer base as well as staff.  From a customer standpoint, it’s a no-brainer.

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I was VERY impressed with the customer service.  One of the managers, Shawn, always has a smile on his face and an upbeat attitude even if the line is out the door.  I’ve eaten here now 3 times and Shawn is always pleasant.  Table turnover is pretty good, meaning you will find a table for eating in rather quickly.   No long waits.

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Tony’s menu is full of comfort favorites such as hot dogs and burgers, seafood options, and even Middle Eastern specialties, like tabouli and falafel!  Menu items are a reasonably priced, getting two out of four dollar signs on Yelp ($$).  Although seafood is usually a pricey item anywhere, what you get at Tony’s (regarding portion and taste) makes their numbers acceptable.  I heard the Lobster Salad Roll ($18.95) was a MUST so I ordered one, then added Fried Shrimp ($11.45), and a Fried Clams Strips Plate ($14.95).  I wanted all my favorites, including a Raspberry Lime Rickey.  Not into soft drinks, Tony’s has their liquor license giving customers a variety of beers and wines to choose from.

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First to my mouth was Shrimp!  My shrimp was great.  Best part, NO TAIL!  I could just eat them whole.  Hot fresh and crunchy on the outside, steamy on the inside.  So glad I didn’t have to share the box.

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My instagram Shrimp

Next up was the Clam Strips Plate.  Tony’s won me over with the French Fries alone before even getting to the clams.  I love the cut of the fries. No ketchup needed is a BIG win for me and that’s what I received.  Crispy and golden.

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The clams came out crispy and chewy.  Nothing dry begging for seasoning here.  Salt and Pepper brought out even more flavors.  Insert Homer Simpson Drool HERE!  So good.

And last but not least, Tony’s Famous Lobster Salad Roll.  I’ve had the competitors Lobster Salad for 2 years straight and although it was okay, THIS is where it’s at in Quincy.  Chunky bites of lobster overflowing on a toasted bun.  You NEED a fork to tackle this beast.  I love that there’s no overkill of mayo on the lobster, allowing you to taste and appreciate the crustacean.  My only request NEXT time I dine is no lettuce.  I think it gets in the way of my lobster and roll affair.  My dinner of Champions was complete!

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Want a BITE?

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I’ll continue bring my family and friends to Tony’s because I love the well-rounded quality of the restaurant.  It’s something you don’t usually find anymore while getting grub near the beach.  Most places want you in and out to generate more revenue.  Tony’s has a different approach.  Stay Awesome!

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Tony’s Clam Shop

861 Quincy Shore Dr

Quincy, MA 02170

(617) 773-5090

http://www.tonysclamshop.com/

Ten-Ichi Dynanmic Kitchen!

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All You Can Eat!

One of my favorite phrases when that involves good food.  I’m not a fan of buffets since the food served usually is unmonitored for quality control regarding taste and freshness.  Here’s where I make the exception:  Hot Pots.  What’s a hot pot?  Well, it’s when you order raw food and cook it in a broth right on your table to your liking then devour.  Sounds like a lot of work?  It’s actually done in minutes.  I decided to head out to Natick to Ten-Ichi Dynamic Kitchen of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean delights and give their hot pot a try.

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Located down the road from Shopper’s World, this staff friendly, zestful restaurant offers an eclectic menu of dim sum, sushi, maki, noodles and rice as options for those looking to satisfy a crowd wanting to sample many different Asian cuisines under one roof.  It’s easily a problem solver.

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Open 7 days a week, Ten-Ichi offers their “All You Can Eat Hot Pot Special” Monday thru Thursday from 11:30am to 8pm.  So far that’s the best All You Can Eat Special I’ve found in Massachusetts for hot pots.  For $22.95 per person you get all the food you can stomach with a 2-hour seating limit. Last seating is 8pm.

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First part of hot pot decision-making is the broth to cook your food in.  My friend and I decided on a split broth of both Shang Tang (light and flavorful) and Kim-chi (a fermented Korean dish with vegetables and seasonings; spicy).

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There are 6 broths to choose from, 4 spicy and 2 regular.  Next came the meats.  Beef, Beef tripe, Salmon Fillets, Shrimp, and White Meat Chicken were are options.  New for me regarding hot pots were the beef tripe and the salmon.

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Although I stuck to the meats and veggies that came with the deal, one can choose from the A La Carte options, which include Rib-Eye, Lamb, and Lobster at various prices.

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Veggies and Tofu

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My favorite part of the entire experience was…THE FISH SAUCE!  My friend taught me how to take this sauce (more like a paste) and mix it with scallions, onions, pepper, and soy sauce and create this magical experience for my mouth.

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I dipped everything in it!

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My salmon fillets were fantastic.  In seconds they gained their white tinned color.  Although I’m not a huge fan of vermicelli noodles, I’m glad I tried them. I like thicker noodles, like Shirataki or just regular noodles presented with the order.  I left not only happy and full, but satisfied and determined to spread the word about this location.

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Raw Salmon

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Cooked Salmon

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Beef Tripe was decent.

Traveling for a good meal isn’t a bother when it’s fresh and satisfying.

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Thank you Ten-Ichi!

Ten-Ichi

1400 Worcester Street

Natick, MA  01760

Phone: (508) 875-1888

http://www.tenichidkb.com

Quick Brunch at Deep Ellum!

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Last Saturday, craving a brunch to satisfy my simplistic needs (anything with syrup and mimosas) I took a trip bringing me to one of Allston’s finest eats.  I’ve been meaning to get to this well talked about bar and restaurant for some time but the moment wasn’t right.  Usually when I think of Allston I reflect to my college years and think of a swarm of hipsters and people who claim to be “anti-hipster” but appear as such, with a mix of grunge and I tried not to blend.  Now that I’m older, and don’t care, I noticed Allston is home to a lot of delicious food gems.  This one in particular being Deep Ellum, which has a hipster vibe.  Cool.

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Busy as a bee in work Deep Ellum was packed, but not crowded for brunch.  With indoor seating, a bar, and a patio in the back guest have options on where they would like to sip and dine.   Word of advice: If you’d like to sit on the patio, GET THERE EARLY.  No reservations here.  Not only does the patio fill up but it can be a 25-35 minute wait to eat in the shade.

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Since opening on January 4th, 2007, Deep Ellum has been wowing the city.  Nominated for Best Beer Bar, Best Outdoor Drinks, Best Al Fresco Dining on the Boston A List, and getting 4 out of 5 stars on Yelp (those critics are TOUGH) this small yet popular restaurant deserved more recognition from Potbelly (wink).

The name, Deep Ellum, comes from an area of Dallas, TX known for great music, good food, and an “enticing nightlife since the early 1900’s”. Owners Aaron Sanders and Max Toste are  bringing this vibe to Allston.

Brunch on Saturday and Sunday is from 10am to 4PM.  Yes!  4PM!!!  If that doesn’t scream “amazing” I don’t know what does.  Then again it’s my favorite meal.  PERIOD.

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Since I had a simple craving I decided on the Fall River French Toast and the Buttermilk Biscuits and Sausage Gravy. A mimosa accompanied my meal and comforted me while I waited.  My friend ordered some bacon, which I had to steal.

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Menu options are definitely priced within reason.  I like the option of having “Starters” before your meal.  I already have my fantasy brunch prepared consisting of two starters (poutine and a charcuterie plate). The rest of the menu is split between Sandwiches and Breakfast.  Starters are between $3 and $16, Sandwiches are between $5 and $10, and Breakfast is between $7 and $10 with sides at $4.  Not bad at all.  Most cocktails and cold drinks are an even $10 while beer varies between $6 and $9.  Not your cup of liquor?  There’s a full stocked bar with lots of whiskey’s to try.

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The bacon was good, just wish I had more.  My French toast which consisted of Portuguese Sweet Bread, Spices, Powdered Sugar and Maple Syrup satisfied my craving.  The thickness of the bread and the texture not only looked mouth watering but tasted sweet and gave a good chew.  My biscuits were another hit.  Thick and drenched in gravy these buttermilk delights were tasty.  Shame I was too full to finish them.

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With street parking and bus service in the area Deep Ellum is not hard to find.  Very welcoming environment and helpful staff, I can see why people this place is successful 7 Days a week!

Don’t intend to go on July 4th however, the restaurant is Always closed.

Deep Ellum

477 Cambridge St. Boston, MA 02134

617-787-BEER (2337)

http://www.deepellum-boston.com