Thursday, March 31, 2011


The Haven
2 Perkins Street
Jamaica Plain, MA

Groupon gave us the perfect opportunity to visit this Scottish eatery: The Haven in Jamaica Plain was cozy, warm, and inviting. The bar was especially charming and we would have happily sat there, had there been three stools. And everyone from the hung-over hipster to the young family to the two old dudes eating breakfast together had come out to chow down. Decked out with antler chandeliers, plaid swatches, sheep art, and rustic wooden tables, The Haven promised just the kind of comfort food we were craving on this chilly March morning.

Wait: 45 minutes
Wait for food: …also 45 minutes (what?!)

Melissa’s Brunch: The Haven Breakfast Sandwich, $12
One fried egg, Lorne-style sausage, a tattie scone, huntsman cheese, pickle sauce on a brioche bun with a side of baked beans   

There was just so much going on in this sandwich, and all of it good! The melted cheese, the sausage square, the mushy egg, A SQUARE OF FRIED POTATO?!…this has all the component parts of awesomeness! This sandwich started off strong but halfway through I found myself drinking all the water allotted in our table's bottle due to the saltiness. The beans on the side were deliciously spiced and still maintained their beanish firmness (a rarity in baked beans), but also veered to the salty side (I'm guessing from the ham in them).

Nicola’s Brunch: Bubble & Squeak, $13
Two poached eggs, duck confit, fennel, cabbage, mustard greens, parsnips, leeks, and tatties

Eggs fascinate me. Honestly, I don’t even know if I like the taste of them. But for now I only seem to “like” them poached. At least from an aesthetic point of view, these were gorgeous; they sat like little pillows on a bed of (slightly greasy) root vegetables, and when I broke into them the yolk oozed over the veg, which filled me with a childlike glee.  I thought the vegetables were delicious – the potatoes especially – but I had to snatch a piece of cabbage from Sarah’s plate as mine was completely devoid. The duck was stringy, as duck typically is. It was good, but to be honest, I didn’t find it necessary. It felt like more of an afterthought to me.  I would recommend this, but you have to have a healthy love for carrots. On another note: the tea was weak. Disappointing for a Scottish place!

Sarah’s Brunch: Bubble & Squeak, $13 (same as Nicola)
Two poached eggs, duck confit, fennel, cabbage, mustard greens, parsnips, leeks, and tatties

First of all, how can you not automatically love something that has “tatties” in it? This was great. The vegetables were tender without being mushy and the poached eggs added a nice creaminess to the bowl that would have otherwise been lacking. Also, duck. Wow. Love duck. The duck added a nice greasiness to it (good grease not yucky grease). It was satisfying, but I would have killed for a good piece of crusty break to mop up the juices in the bottom of my bowl. I would recommend this, but only if you’re in the mood for a lot of root vegetables.

TOTAL RATING FOR THE HAVEN: While the food was good, we can’t say it was worth the wait. In total, we were in there for two and a half hours… way too long for a Sunday brunch. And it’s pricey. The tea was weak and the coffee could have been hotter. With that said, we suspect The Haven is not typically known for its brunches and is moreso a lunch or dinner joint. We also suspect that the kitchen and wait staff was overwhelmed by the number of people who showed up to use their Groupons all at the same time; we saw quite a few of them while we were there. 
  3 out of 5 muffins.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Brunch Whores Do Boston: An Introduction

We’re such whores for brunch. Scones, benedicts, diner toast, hash browns, scrambles, pancakes, omelets, French toast, bacon (oh God, bacon). All of it. We love it. Top it off with some coffee or tea and we’re done for.

A little bit about our blog:
As we’re all students, we can’t afford to eat brunch out as often as we’d like, but here’s how we’re breaking it down. A small profile of the restaurant: What’s the atmosphere like? Who eats here? How much are you going to spend for your breakfast favorites? Then, by our specific meals: What are its strengths and weaknesses? What are our general overall impressions? Would we recommend it? And finally, our fool-proof muffin rating system.

1 Muffin: Pitiful excuse for a brunch. You ought to be ashamed of yourself. ASHAMED.
2 Muffins: Meh. It’s okay. I guess this is slightly better than I could make for myself at home.
3 Muffins: Some of our brunchiness has been enjoyable. Some of it has been lacking.
4 Muffins: Damn. You’ve got a good thing going on here. Kudos.

We’re three roommates located in Boston, Massachusetts. Kindly allow us to introduce ourselves.

Loves: Potatoes in every format. Grilled muffins. Mushrooms.
Dealbreakers: Bananas. Get those terrible things and their byproducts away from me. Rude customers/waitstaff.
Weaknesses: Pie.

Loves: The tomato-basil-mozzarella trifecta. Anything potato-based, really. And a good cup of tea.
Deal-breakers: Let it be known that historically, I hate eggs and mushrooms. Have all of my life. But in the last two years I have made it my mission to overcome that revulsion. Why? So I would be free to peruse the length of any breakfast menu. No longer will I be constrained to pancakes, French toast, and waffles! Vive la revolution!
Weaknesses: Pine nuts, avocado, rhubarb.

Sarah –
Loves: Eggs. Anything I can spread butter on. Bring the little piggy home from the market because I love bacon. Bacon. More bacon, please. Also, asparagus.
Deal-breakers: Soggy home fries. Coffee that isn’t scorch-your-tongue hot. Bad hollandaise.
Weaknesses: Cheese. Fresh fruit. Any kind of baked good. Lox. Quiche.

Want to nominate a brunch place for us to review? Email us at