Centre Street Café
|Features - Chefs and Restaurants|
|Written by Lara Zelman|
Lately I find myself saying the same thing when deciding where to shop or eat out, “I don’t mind paying a little extra if I know where it’s going”. Our local stores and restaurants are what make our communities unique and different than places with all those national chains that make you feel like you could be in Anytown, USA. In addition to paying a little more, I also don’t mind driving a little farther to know that I’m spending my money well and getting something fantastic in return.
One frequent weekend trip that meets these criteria is to the Centre Street Café in Jamaica Plain, MA. My husband and I find ourselves setting our Sunday alarms at 7:30 a.m. to make sure we are out the door and in line for brunch by 8:50 a.m. Since our first trip there in 2005, we have regularly set our alarms and set off down Route 9 from Framingham to JP so that we are in the first seating. What makes it worth the effort? Friendly staff, a fun atmosphere, and of course the food! Marc, the master of brunch ceremonies, is always there to greet us, assure us that we’ll get a seat, and serve us a delicious meal.
The Centre Street Café is a locally owned establishment that has been creating delicious meals for over 20 years. Almost their entire weekend brunch menu is locally sourced. The creative and inventive specials showcase seasonal ingredients and are usually my choice for breakfast. When we went in for brunch last weekend, I ordered up the special benny (Eggs Benedict). This weekend’s version included local pesto scrambled eggs, Canadian bacon, and a lemony hollandaise sauce. On the side, I ordered a grilled sweet potato and chive biscuit. My husband sticks with the same breakfast every time, but who can blame him, it’s the breakfast banana split.The split is a large, fluffy pancake du jour topped with local yogurt, granola, and a huge pile of fresh fruit. This weekend’s pancake was pear and ginger. He is never disappointed.
There is something wonderful about knowing where your food comes from. I challenge you at your next meal out to ask your server where they buy their ingredients. I asked Marc where they get their eggs, and he pointed south and said, “I think we get them from a farm over there”. After some research in the kitchen, it turns out that he was pointing in the direction of where they get fresh milk – Thatcher Farm Dairy in Milton. The eggs in my breakfast made the trip in from The Country Hen in Hubbardston, MA. Even the coffee is local! The fresh brewed coffee is Biscuit Brand Coffee, roasted locally in Foxborough, MA and part of the New England Mobile Book Fair and Jessica’s Biscuits company. For every menu item, I would be able to list another local provider! So if you're looking for a great, healthy, and uniquely local breakfast (they serve a great lunch and dinner too!), the Centre Street Café is the place to go.
See you on Sunday morning, bright and early - I’ll be there waiting for a table!
Lara is a graduate of Boston University and works full time as a marketing manager. Whether it’s family gatherings, vacations, dinners at home, holiday parties, or just a regular weekend, Lara's goal is to make the food a part of the experience. In her spare time she visits farmers markets for interesting ingredients, blogs (www.goodcookdoris) about her adventures in the kitchen, and finds time to fit in a few rounds of golf. She is currently pursuing an MBA degree and working on a plan to make her passion for all things food-related a full-time adventure.