Trident Cafe and Booksellers
338 Newbury Street
Boston, MA 02115
It was adventure time. To hell with planning and organizing and knowing exactly where we were going to end up. Sunday morning, sunshine pouring, and Boston sprawling, all just screaming at us to explore the unexpected.
And so we did. We walked across the bridge, practically skipping into the Back Bay, the worries and stresses of a busy week melting away with the ice beneath our feet. We followed our feet, and like most things lost in Boston, we ended up on Newbury. After a few blocks we’d found what we were looking for.
The cafe’s exterior is a beautiful red tower of brick, nestled in between afternoon shadows and the bustle of Newbury street, with tall glass windows revealing rows and rows of shelves stacked high with books. I walked in not knowing quite what to expect – libraries and bookstores have always been a place of introspection for me, a quiet, peaceful corner to discover how far your imagination can take you. Trident seemed nothing like this. At first glance, it was just a loud cafe, a dense pack of tables clustered around the tall windows in the front of the cafe, with customers and waiters alike talking, eating, laughing.
We got lucky I think, because just as we got to the front of the line a perfect table opened up by the front window. A little cramped perhaps, but the table was bathed in light and the view of the most picturesque street in Boston was unparalleled. I ordered a prosciutto and melted Brie sandwich, and shared those delicious sweet potato fries with Tara.
The food came out pretty quickly, and our platters of food were enormous. I was a little surprised on my first bite at how completely the fig dominated the sandwich’s tastes. I didn’t particularly mind, because I happen to quite like figs, but I was expecting a little more balance, to be able to appreciate the saltiness of the prosciutto and the creaminess of the Brie. Instead, the strongest flavor in the meal was the sweet tanginess of the figs. I actually couldn’t even finish the entire sandwich, although whether that was because of the enormous portions or the overwhelming flavors I’m still not sure.
We talked for a bit after we finished up, enjoying the din of the cafe. And after we’d paid came my favorite part of the day. We got to explore the rows and rows of books. We didn’t even have much time, but for a few minutes we walked among pages, down aisles of thought and emotion and stories, all of them screaming one thing at us: it was adventure time. 6/10
I always thought that four exams in one week was reserved for a special week called “Finals Week,” but apparently I was wrong. Back-to-back-to-back tests was a bit of a struggle for my brain, and I’m still in awe that I pulled through the week. Needless to say, I was happy this weekend. After sleeping in until noon, I strolled across the Harvard Bridge into Boston with Danny and we decided to get late Sunday brunch at Trident Café and Booksellers on Newbury Street.
Newbury Street is famous for its miles of trendy shops and boutiques, but it definitely has a fair share of unique restaurants. Trident Café and Booksellers is exactly what it sounds like: It’s a cozy café with a bookstore in the back. Even around 2:30 in the afternoon, the café was packed and bustling with people.
We started off with an appetizer of sweet potato fries, which came with a curry mustard and a roasted garlic and chive aioli dipping sauce. The fries themselves were freshly crisp and hot, and their distinct savory-yet-sweet taste worked best with the garlic and chive aioli. The curry mustard had a sharp curry flavor, but it did not pair as well with the sweetness of the fries.
Even though it was mid-afternoon by the time I ordered, my stomach was still asking for breakfast food, so I went with the Lemon Ricotta Stuffed French Toast. The six generous cuts of challah bread were draped with blueberry sauce on top.
The lemon ricotta between the slices added a unique texture to the toast, and the subtle hints of lemon added a welcome zest to the dish. The blueberry sauce was a bit excessive, and I scraped most of it off to the side or else it would have overwhelmed the toast.
The portions were enormous for my little stomach, and so it made the $11 almost completely worth it. Overall, though the café part of Trident was a bit too compact for comfort, the food was delicious, though a bit on the pricier side. 8/10