On the eve of yet another move to yet another neighborhood in our fair city, I find myself reflecting back on all the favorite hangouts that are no longer, sadly, a short walk or short T ride away. Over the past 10 years I’ve (somewhat affordably) lived near Brighton Center, Packard’s Corner in Allson, Cleveland Circle, Forest Hills in Jamaica Plain, and, starting tomorrow, Jeffries Point in East Boston. Among the many highs and lows, the tradeoffs of each street address and zip code, and the life changes that accompanied each move (my mother has drilled into my head that “everything happens for a reason” so many times I now believe it), I’m trying to make the best of the current set of changes and remember that some doors in life don’t open until you close others.
To that end, here’s a sneak peek of the view from the deck off my new kitchen:
Now before you get too excited, the view tradeoff is that my car insurance doubled. Yes, doubled. But I am very excited. And thinking about switching back to Zipcar.
But back to the food. Places I like to hang out, especially on my (student) budget, tend to be low-key, casual, affordable, with friendly service that doesn’t rush you out or get in your face constantly, and I can just relax, sit, and chill. In no particular order, here are some of my favorite haunts that I wish I could take with me:
- Cafe Mirror, Brighton Center. Breakfast and peanut doughnut.
- Eagles Deli, Cleveland Circle. Best breakfast sandwich and best home fries. My favorite home fries!
- Zaftigs, Brookline. One of my favorite restaurants, everything is good. Try the silver dollar pancakes with strawberry butter, tuna salad sandwich, potato salad (yum!), or cupcakes. Best to hit Zaftigs on off hours (not weekend brunch time) or you could easily have an hour wait. Late afternoon or after dinner-rush is best; late afternoon best for chatting with other diners.
- Taam China, Brookline. Everything is good, especially the lunch specials.
- Chill, Cleveland Circle. My favorite frozen yogurt.
- Cooking Cafe & Grill, Packards Corner. I love their steak and cheese.
- Java Jo’s, Forest Hills. Even though it takes 15 inexplicable minutes for them to make, their sophisticated sausage sandwich will be extremely hard to replace.
- Ula Cafe, Jamaica Plain (between Green St. and Stonybrook T stops). While it could get crowded, this is another high quality cafe where all the food is good. Get there early to get your favorite items, like granola and yogurt or pastries (popovers with homemade jam – YUM), before they run out.
- Doyle’s Cafe, Jamaica Plain. Great food steeped in history? Oh how you will be missed.
There are probably many more that I am forgetting to mention, but I need to get back to packing. Mover ETA in 7 hours…