Yeah, you read that right: Joe’s American Bar & Grill has BRUNCH. And breakfast, by the way. I’m about to tell you all of the awesome delicious things they have, but know in advance that it’s delicious. They’ve had brunch for awhile … but now, they’ve elevated and revamped their offerings.
They very kindly invited me to a blogger brunch to taste the new menu over the weekend, but I was feeling kind of crummy, so I stayed home. Luckily, they offered me the chance to come in and taste it anyway, so I popped over there Wednesday and was able to chat with Newbury St.’s GM, Bri and Chef Dan, who created the new menu. Right now, the new brunch offerings are only available at the Newbury St. location, but will be rolling out to all of the other locations in the next few months. Breakfast is served from 7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. daily, and all of the new brunch options are available. On the weekends, Joe’s opens at 7 a.m. Saturdays, and 8 a.m. Sundays. They’re the only spot in the area open quite that early, besides Stephanie’s across the street.
I’ll tell you what I tried: Crab Cake Benedict, Lobster Frittata, Blueberry Pancakes, Lox + Bagel, and Granola, Yogurt + Seasonal Fruit, Peach Bellini.
The Granola, Yogurt + Seasonal Fruit might seem like a classic, boring dish that you can’t really go wrong with, but are typically never overwhelmed by, and in this case, you’d be wrong to think this yogurt and granola is boring. It’s not. Greek yogurt and granola happens to be one of my favorite things to eat on the regular, so if you can offer me one in a restaurant that tastes as good as (or better than) what I can whip up at home — we’re in business — and Chef Dan delivers. The yogurt is infused with a blend of mint and honey (YES!) and then is topped with crunchy granola and seasonal fruit. Not only does the yogurt have a little something extra, but the fruit will change based on what’s in season in the northeast.
“Just because you can get it [berries] from somewhere — Colombia or Guatemala — it doesn’t mean you should. It makes a long trip here on a jet … it leaves a huge carbon footprint,” he explained.
The plan is to incorporate apples for the rest of the fall season, then things like huckleberries and cranberries during the winter months while the restaurant awaits local spring fruits and summer berries again. Also worth noting, is that the presentation of this item is going to change and won’t always be in a glass like it is now. It’s going to be, “really cool,” Bri said.
The Crab Cake Benedict remains the restaurant’s classic dish, with their Maryland-style, lightly breaded, lump-blue crab cakes, with a whipped egg white meringue and a dash of mayo; they rest on an english muffin and are topped with hollandaise sauce, but they get an update with new brunch potatoes. The potatoes are now in “feeds herbs” made up of tarragon, thyme, parsley and rosemary, then they’re tossed in parmesan cheese, olive oil and salt and pepper, the best part — they’re crispy.
The recipe for the Blueberry Pancakes is changed up a bit — less buttermilk — more crispy and fluffy. They’re topped with a delicious drizzle of blueberry reduction and whipped cream cheese frosting. No maple syrup needed — these babies rivaled what my mom has been making my whole life.
You can’t go wrong with anything lobster, we are in New England after all, so the Lobster Frittata is a must-get. Not only does it come in a fancy cast-iron skillet, which looks cool — that also helps it cook all the way through and get a slight crisp on the outside — and keeps it warm while you’re indulging in other things. Not only is the lobster tender and sweet, but it’s balanced with fresh herbs and greens and is made extra indulgent with gruyere cheese.
The Lox + Bagel is super fun. It comes deconstructed — a bagel, smoked salmon, lemon confit, minced red onion and capers, plus a fresh plain bagel and house-made chive cream cheese — so you can decide what you’d like on it, and how much. The setup comes with a generous helping of salmon and more than enough cream cheese and toppings to please just about anyone who loves a good lox and bagel — even — dare I say … a New Yorker?
The Corned Beef Hash is Chef Dan’s pride and joy. The meat is cured in house; from beginning to end this dish is made from scratch. This isn’t a brisket either, the corned beef is made from short ribs, so it’s more tender and flavorful than its traditional form. Typically if you get it from somewhere else, the meat has already been cured and the chef doesn’t have control over the flavor profile or how tough the meat is. Once it’s cured, the meat gets cooked with beer, onions and garlic, with a splash of water. That braising liquid eventually gets re-used to cook the potatoes for the hash underneath. It all gets piled on, topped with a fried egg and a mustard cream sauce. I didn’t try this dish, because I don’t eat beef (sorry, folks), but I talked to a couple people who tried this, and they say it’s some of the best corned beef they’ve ever had.
Chef Dan’s California upbringing, mixed time he spent in the south, have really influenced this soon-to-be favorite Boston brunch. Other items on the new menu include a Cheddar Chive Omelet, Biscuits + Sausage Gravy, a Brunch Burger and several side dishes. All of the menu items are also available in smaller portions for the kiddos and drink options include coffee, tea, espresso + cappuccino, juices, infused teas and lemonades, hand-crafted sodas, brunch cocktails and a full bar.
I enjoyed everything I tried, but my top picks are definitely the Granola, Yogurt + Seasonal Fruit, Blueberry Pancakes and Crab Cake Benedict.
What are you waiting for? Head on over to Joe’s on Newbury Street and try out their new brunch menu!
Where’s your favorite Boston brunch? Have you tried Joe’s new menu yet?