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A Toast to the Friendly Toast

9 Nov

You might think from its kitchy, retro décor that the Friendly Toast is just some too-hip restaurant that’s almost too cool for its Cambridge locale. But after my first visit on Sunday, I can safely say this much: don’t judge a book solely by its cover.

The Friendly Toast is one of those perfect brunch places. It’s homey, intimate, local, and fun, and the food is pretty darned terrific too. But better than that is this aspect of the menu: A few of the items can be ordered a la carte. How many times have I gone places like Johnny’s Luncheonette and bemoaned the fact that I couldn’t order a little of this and a little of that? At the Friendly Toast, you can do just that. In fact, that’s just what I did on Sunday: I ordered one piece of French Toast (on the cinnamon raisin bread) to go with my waffle. The waffle was actually a late decision. I almost ordered one pancake instead. Anyway, both were yummy. Amy, who went with me, ordered the King Cakes and said they, too, were good.

The Friendly Toast has only been in Cambridge (near the Kendall Square movie theater) for about six months, but it’s got quite a following (no doubt partly due to its other location up in Portsmouth, NH). At 11 a.m., we were quoted an hour to an hour and a half wait. But then we saw two seats open up at the bar and we sat right down. It was worth it.

I’m always looking for good, “new to me” brunch places that make basic brunch food well — none of that chi chi frou frou fancy schmancy stuff that masquerades as “brunch” — and I have found a winner in the Friendly Toast. Can’t wait to go back.

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