1 Kendall Square, b3101 | Cambridge, MA 02139
MIT has IAP (Independent Activities Period) all of January, which gives students an entire month to take a class, find a month-long internship, do research, or just stay at home. For me, my IAP consists of doing research at a bioengineering lab, taking an ice skating class, and most importantly, reviewing lots of food!
Today, I decided to take three of my friends to The Friendly Toast in Technology Square in Cambridge, and though it only should have been a 15-20 minute walk from dorm row, a wrong turn made us suffer the bitter cold for an extra 10 minutes. The wind kindly decided to make our 13 degree morning feel like -8 degrees. The weather taught me two important lessons:
- In the wintertime, look up directions before the walking begins.
- Go to The Friendly Toast on a viciously cold weekday to avoid any wait time.
In past trips to The Friendly Toast, my wait times were around an hour. It is an immensely popular breakfast/brunch spot, so I would absolutely avoid weekends in the late-morning. We were seated right when we entered today, and it felt unearthly.
For my friends back in Pittsburgh, The Friendly Toast is the first place I’ve found in Boston that reminds me of Pamela’s Diner. Quirky from wall to wall, The Friendly Toast boasts the personality of a 1950’s diner, with vintage posters, 50’s advertisements, bright colors, diner-style furniture, and even a mustache-toting hamburger.
The breakfast menu was extensive, its options ranging from waffles and pancakes to omelettes and eggs benedict. Like the décor of the place, the names of many dishes stood out (the Sklarmageddon omelette, or the Hansel & Gretel waffle, for example), and an interesting vegan-friendly alternative I saw on the egg section was “Substitute tofu for $1.25.” The price range was slightly pricey for breakfast, with most items costing from $9 to $12.
My dining hall did not have bananas fall semester, so to make up for my lack of bananas, I have been supplementing my breakfast meals with bananas as often as possible this month. I decided to try two slices of French toast on white bread, with caramelized bananas on top. Plopped onto the thick slices of French toast, the sweet bananas pleasantly contrasted the savory, comforting taste of the toast. Unfortunately, the toast was also covered in an extensive crust of brown sugar, which overwhelmed the toast and bananas. The toast also was not evenly soaked in egg, with some edges being noticeably drier than the center. But overall, my two slices of French toast made my stomach happy, and were certainly filling. I’m just not sure if they were worth the $9.50 ($7.50 for the toast + $2.00 for the bananas.)
Jen ordered the Guy Scramble, which was eggs with avocado, salsa, cheddar, and black beans.
Tara: So tell me about it.
Jen: I don’t know how to say food things insightfully.
Tara: Just try!
Jen: I thought the cayenne-cheddar toast, which I ordered with the eggs, complemented the eggs well. Is that good?
Tony ordered the Egg-In-A-Hole, which was two slices of toast with an egg in the middle of each.
Tony: It was yummy.
Tony: Well, the egg was a little runny. I wasn’t expecting that. I don’t think I like runny too much.
Tara: Sorry to hear that.
Tony: It’s okay.
Cathy ordered King Cakes, which were two banana and chocolate chip mini pancakes, with peanut butter stuffed in between, and whipped cream on top.
Tara: That looked like the best pancake toppings on one plate.
Cathy: Oh the combination of bananas, chocolate, and whipped cream was pretty addicting.
Tara: And those were mini pancakes?
Cathy: The pancakes were huge. I wanted to keep eating, even though I was getting full, and that was with half a plate left!
Overall, I think that The Friendly Toast’s food is definitely above average, and the portions will absolutely leave you with a full stomach. However, I think that part of the price is the name and fame of the eccentric diner. I would recommend visitors to Cambridge or Boston to check it out for the experience, but I can’t say that it is worth a weekly trip. 7/10