Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Eating on Newbury: Charley's, Cafeteria, & The Met

I'm still figuring out the best places for a classier/less casual/yet still affordable meal in Boston, and whenever I want a nice ambiance and a decent meal, I always find myself wandering back to Newbury Street. 

A few months ago, I went with Jen to Charley's Saloon. All their brunch options come with a complimentary cockatial, so she got a mimosa and I got a spicy Bloody  Mary. She then ordered the eggs benedict, and I was feeling more in a lunch mood, so I got an onion soup and a Maryland lump crab cake. It isn't the most delicious tasting brunch I've ever had, but the seating area is very comfortable and lined with paneled windows. Not a bad brunch place or hangover cure. 

Eggs benedict

Onion soup gratinee

Maryland lump crab cake

Charley's Saloon
284 Newbury Street
Boston, MA 02115

I honestly wanted to try Cafeteria for their parmesan fries, so I asked my cousin Emily to accompany me for lunch there one weekday afternoon. For starters, Cafeteria is no cafeteria. It has a very simple, modern-rustic (if that even makes sense) vibe. We split two sandwiches: curried chicken salad with grapes, almonds, curry aioli on sourdough and a Greek salad sandwich on a French roll. The curried chicken salad, I feel, is becoming an increasingly popular option at many modern restaurants or gastro-pubs; it's flavorful, familiar, and completely new. Definitely something that I would order again, especially at Penelope's or Foundry on Elm. The Greek salad sandwich is exactly as it sounds like, a Greek salad in a French roll held together by tzatziki, a cucumber yogurt spread. The fries were delightfully crispy, but my favorite fries in the Boston area is still in Central Square's Garden at the Cellar. Cafeteria is definitely a good choice for a quick bite when you're on Newbury Street. 

Curried chicken salad sandwich with parmesan fries

Greek salad sandwich with parmesan fries

279a Newbury Street  
Boston, MA 02115

Want another lunch place on Newbury? Read about Stephanie's!

Mid-afternoon snack: 
Saturday morning, I went for a run and then headed out for some afternoon shopping. I did not realize how sensitive my body's metabolism was, and I found myself dehydrated and famished on Newbury Street at 2pm. Good thing Megan wanted to get a drink, so we headed to the closest cafe-looking place: The MET. They have plenty of starters that I wanted to try including short rib tacos, wild mushroom pizzette, and hand-made buttermilk biscuits, but we settled on curried cauliflower. I then was craving a burger, so I pounced for the Kobe burger, LA style (it's good to keep things consistent). LA style means served with bacon, avocado, sprouts, lettuce, tomato, and roasted garlic mayo (which was finger-licking good) on a sesame bun. The beef wasn't as juicy or tender as I hoped it would be, but it hit the spot. I was, however, quite disappointed by their MET truffle french fries because they were just plain fries. I even asked the waiter if it was right because there was not a single hint of truffle. How disappointing. Regardless, I think The MET has the most comfortable seating area with nice bay windows and ample seating space. Definitely a place that I would visit again for another casual afternoon snack, lunch, or brunch. But keep in mind, even though I got there at 2pm, there was still a slight wait. How queer.

Kobe burger, LA style with truffle fries 

The MET Back Bay
279 Dartmouth Street
Boston, MA 02116

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