My best friend and current roommate, Drew and I used to meet almost every weekend for what we liked to casually call our “hangover cure breakfast club.” You can read about some of our old favorites here (The Breakfast Club, Eagles), and others included Masa in the South End, and The Neighborhood Restaurant and Bakrey in Somerville. However, our most recent adventure, City Girl Café, at least solidified its rank in Drew’s heart (and stomach) as his new favorite and even earned his designation as “best in boston.” I’m not sure if I’d make that claim just yet, but I certainly loved the food.
As is to be expected almost anywhere in Greater Boston, there was quite a wait (around 30min), but unlike today, the weather was great, and we worked up an appetite by walking around the center of Inman Square for a bit. We went back before the expected wait time was up, as I’ve known hostesses at small restaurants like City Girl (only 19 seats) to be very quick to give up your spot in line (reminds me of a very funny joke by Gary Gulman, whom I saw recently live with, about giving up your place in line at Trader Joes- will post link shortly) if you’re not eagerly waiting and maybe even more importantly, doing so in her direct line of sight.
Besides guaranteeing our spot in line, Drew preferred our people watching (a favorite pastime of both of ours) options in the crowd of other hungry prospective brunch patrons.
The options included a very interesting-looking May-December couple that perfectly embodied the quintessential “Cambridge Look,” multi-colored scarves and all. Additionally, there was an interesting looking pair of female friends, whom we probably paid more attention to because of their cliché conversation than their looks. Within only a few minutes, we could already pick out the trend-setter and trend-follower within the group. The leader, had the typical look of a hip, Cambridge, short-haired, sexually ambiguous female (Picture Pink with black hair). Whereas the other, could have easily been a poster girl for your ivy league, J-Crew model turned hipster (turned out to be NESCAC, but close) toting her thick-rimmed black frames (which she CLAIMED to actually need for the unlikely purpose of seeing things).
Their conversation quickly transitioned from some recent film culture (the trend-setter recently saw Zero Dark Thirty (high on my to-see list) but found it “too violent,” to one of the most popular TV shows I hear discussed today, whether in line, in a restaurant or on public transportation- Lena Dunham’s Girls. (I used this trend as another answer in my BSS application. When this topic came up, I couldn’t help but laugh and point out the irony to Drew. Luckily they didn’t hear me, as within a few minutes we were seated at a 4-person table directly next to them.
I can’t remember whether it was Drew or I who struck up conversation with them first, but it certainly wasn’t one of them. I’m pretty sure he started with a simple, “have you guys been here before, and if so, what do you have to recommend?” One had and one hadn’t, but didn’t have any quality recommendations. Though, this didn’t matter, because everything on the menu looked great, and I loved my “Spinach, Roasted red pepper & fontina egg sandwich,” served with “roasted red bliss potatoes,” and a hearty side of bacon:
The girls and Drew all had the “Goat cheese, bacon & carmelized onion egg sandwich,” also served on the same delicious French baguette and with the red bliss potatoes, and they all swore by it:
I firmly believe that there are so few variables in a Breakfast/Brunch menu, that it is critical to nail those which tend to vary (Potatoes, breads, and meats)- and the City Girl did indeed nail all of these. I’ll admit that I was skeptical when the potatoes came out and they didn’t look as crispy as I usually like. However, they were surprisingly crisp and unbelievably seasoned. Drew’s only complaint about the whole experience may have been the translucent coffee mugs. For some reason, which I don’t quite understand, he doesn’t like seeing his coffee as he drinks it-
Putting the tremendous food aside, the conversation that went along with it was enjoyable as well. Drew and I both tend to be fairly outgoing, and when we strike up conversations at Brunch, as oppose to over drinks in a loud and/or crowded bar, our approach tends to be less threatening and (usually) more successful. With these girls, when they brought up Girls for a second time (which I would’ve bet money they would) and we indicated that we watch it, we were in. We quickly found out that the “hipster,” had attended Brandeis College, studied abroad in some third world country, and written a blog entitled “A Broad, abroad,” (which I was shocked to discover is not unique (and moreover, there were multiple Brandeis students who had named their blog this). The other, the heavily optically adorned blonde, it turned out had gone to a certain NESCAC school in Maine, the same one in fact where the group of girls we had just spent the previous night partying with had gone. By this point in the conversation, we had all become somewhat friendly with one other, but then realized that no one had been introduced. Before we had a chance, they blurted out, “no wait, let us guess first!” I quickly became labeled “Brad” one I had never heard before, and a name that I would more associate with a WASPier looking individual. I have a preppy looking appearance and style, but I have fairly dark hair (most likely from the half of my family which belongs to the tribe) and I mostly would picture a stereotypical Brad as a blonde, although that’s just me. Drew on the other hand became “Tanner,” though I really can’t find any explanation for that one and I don’t think they much process behind it either.
We exchanged our real names and numbers on the walk we shared back towards Central Square and Drew and I realized that our friendliness at Brunch and our interest (even if partially feigned) in Girls, earned us two potential new “friends” (though he did make me promise, to keep them as only friends for the time, as we’re seriously lacking in female friends) in Cambridge, to where we have recently relocated.