33. Puritan & Company: A very Cambridge brunch

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For the first official meal of this Best of Boston adventure, Mr. B and I went to a place I’ve had my eye on since before it opened. We decided to go to Puritan & Co.‘s Sunday Brunch. I was enticed by the menu‘s pastry section and I was not disappointed. The pastry counter was a sight to behold: piles of buttery, flaky, sugar coated treats, bathed in the glow of mason jar light fixtures.

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Since I’ve been spending a lot of time on the interior design website Houzz lately, I was highly attuned to the style of the decor. It had all the tropes of the “farmhouse kitchen” genre: rustic wooden tables, mismatched cabinetry, a vintage stove repurposed as a hostess stand, and a couple of stuffed pheasants perched high above the bar to seal the deal. Between this styling and the high ceilings, the effect was somehow spacious, yet cozy, and undeniably hip.

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We both enjoyed our food. It didn’t reinvent the brunch genre (and as brunch is already awesome, I wouldn’t want or expect it to), but was very good brunch food. I had a Berkshire pork hash with two sunny side up eggs and herbed crème fraîche. The hash was hearty but not greasy, with a subtle kick. Mr. B had a breakfast sandwich on a biscuit, which he described as “good” and “a biscuit.” His home fries were “tasty”, which he said was “probably the bacon fat”. (And that’s about as descriptive as he gets, ladies and gentlemen!)

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For the pastries. we chose the lemon cronut (although they didn’t call it a cronut), the cinnamon monkey bread, a dulce de leche & coconut danish, and a sweet potato ginger muffin that I’m saving for tomorrow’s breakfast. These were the real hit of the meal for me. First there is the fun of choosing, then there is the fun of tasting, then there are the pastries themselves – winners, all.

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Our server was helpful, unobtrusive, and didn’t need to write anything down, which I’ve always found more impressive than I really should. Entrees cost $12 – $20 (for the lobster BLT), which, once you add coffees and the obligatory basket of 4 pastries for $10, gets a little spendy for brunch.

I’m not actually writing reviews here so I don’t plan to have a standard rating system like stars or whisks or thumbs up. Any kind of thouroughness or objectivity would require a lot more time, money, and menu items than I can really afford. I’m just trying to get exposure to restaurants that are already supposed to be the best! So instead of a standard system, I’m just gonna go with whatever rating feels right.

Puritan & Co.
1166 Cambridge St.
Inman Square
Cambridge
(617) 615-6195

Rating: 12.5 cronuts

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