Sunday, May 18, 2008

Panificio, Boston

You'd think that with Mrs Heinz living up the road you could get some baked beans for breakfast. But not if you go to Panificio, 144 Charles Street, Beacon Hill. Not a bean to be found. So eggs benny it was, served on "English muffin bread", whatever that is.

panificio benny

Turns out to be some kind of vaguely circular toast, with very little in common with an English muffin. Not that this was a problem. The muffin-toast, eggs and hollandaise were all pretty good. The weak link was the so-called home fries: four chunks of potato, none of which seemed to have spent much time in the frying-pan. Another weak link was the mysterious slice of cantaloupe, which was caught in the twilight zone between side and garnish. It wasn't much good as the former (too thin and dry). Nor was it much good as the latter (it made the dish look stupid, not pretty).

Looking back at the Panificio menu I can see that I misspoke, Hillary-style, about the beans. You can, in fact, get yourself a tasty serve of huevos rancheros, black-beans included. It's only if you're looking for Heinz baked beans that you'll be disappointed. But this is probably part of a deliberate environmental initiative of the Heinz Endowments. Never mind that Therese jets about in a Gulfstream and drives three gas-guzzling SUVs. The real solution to global warming is to boycott baked-beans at breakfast. Join the BBB@B movement and reduce your carbon fart-print today.

If I go back to Panificio (which is not out of the question), I think I'll try the French toast. The only question is: which version? The apple-cinnamon raisin-bread version? Or the Challah version stuffed with cream cheese, blueberries, strawberries and banana? Decisions, decisions...

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Sunday, May 11, 2008

Arthur and Pats, Marshfield MA

I think if I was allergic to dairy I'd kill myself - Michael Scott

I wonder if Steve Carrell improvised this line while thinking of the bread pudding french toast at Arthur & Pat's, 239 Ocean St, Brant Rock, MA, Tel +1 (781) 834-9755? Apparently he is (or was) a Marshfield local, and it's hard to believe you could live near this place without being drawn in for a bite, and that once bitten, your world view wouldn't be permanently and irrevocably damaged. I ate the french toast. And my world has been twisted.

bread pudding french toast

What could be better than a big, fat, spongy slab of bread and butter pudding (made from recycled croissants and brioche), soaked in eggs, fried, then smothered in creme anglaise, caramel and whipped cream? What could be worse than living without it?

Well, nothing. That's what.

Mind you, eating this stuff more than once a year will probably kill you.

Damned if you do. Damned if you don't.

To avoid this catch-22, you may want to dodge the sweet stuff and try the lobster omelet, or the filet mignon eggs benny, or the omelet with sweet roasted peppers and provolone. I tried the crab eggs benny and wasn't disappointed. Good eggs and hollandaise. A decent amount of crab. And a bonus serve of spinach.

crab benny

Arthur & Pat's is a diner-style venue with bunched up tables, and bar seating if you're flying solo. It's nothing fancy, but it is colorful. The walls are plastered all over with flyers describing what's on the menu. It looks like a bunch of hippies were dosed up on acid and let loose with paper, crayons and glue.

Just be sure to check your dates before schlepping down from Boston. They close from November to March.

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