Last Saturday I was randomly in Brookline – not a town I find myself in very often. My friend got an appointment to see the Mad Russian, a famous, not sure what you call him, Wikipedia calls him the “eraser of addictions,” who helps people give up things like smoking or helps them with weight control. I was there for moral support as there is nothing I would like to see more than everyone giving up smoking. They wouldn’t let me in with her so I had to try and find something to do for two hours. I had no problem finding a little mani pedi salon just down the street and a Starbucks. It was also a glorious day so I was quite happy.
By the time she got out, I was absolutely starving so we decided to stay around Brookline for a late lunch. The Publick House in Washington Square seemed like the perfect “dive bar” for a bite to eat. After reviewing their extremely extensive beer list and limited food menu I surmised this is really a beer house that serves some food. The inside is a bit scruffy with dark wood tables and chairs that are a old and rickety looking and yellowing walls. The lighting that hangs from the ceiling has a gothic, monastery look to it. Not surprising when you look around and you see pictures of monks everywhere and even a “Monk’s Cell.” All of this adds to the old world pub charm of the Publick House and reminded me of local pubs back home in England.Surprisingly I did want a beer to go with my lunch, not words that often come out of my mouth very often. I rarely drink beers and have to admit I am a total beer neophyte. I felt I would be ridiculed if I order a Miller Light, so I asked for help. Our stoically friendly waiter offered a recommendation of Weihenstephan, a lighter lager tasting beer. It was refreshingly perfect.
The menu is simple with standards of burgers and sandwiches but with some twists like the Mac & Cheese that you can literally add anything to, the Belgian Pork Meatballs and Fried Green Tomato BLT, which is exactly what I decided on, with a side of fries. The Fried Green Tomatoes are what intrigued me. Perhaps I should have gone to the Mad Russian myself for weight control :). This sandwich is enormous. It was like having a full cooked breakfast of eggs, bacon and tomatoes on toasted bread. It is ridiculously good, I mean super good and super tasty. I managed to get through half of it but not for the want of trying to finish it. Dipped in equal amounts mayo and ketchup the chunky, salted fries are wonderful.
|Fried Green Tomato B.L.T. rashers, soft fried egg, basil aioli – $13|
My friend opted for the Burger with Swiss and, of course, fries. She did a magnanimous job at almost polishing off her entire plate. She said her burger was delicious.
If I had to share any negative about The Publick House it would only be that we waited quite a long while for our lunch orders, however, on a sunny, happy day and my friend’s story of her experience with the Mad Russian, I was okay with the wait.As the sun streamed into the bar we sat back and relaxed for a while longer, while I enjoyed my beer. The wait staff, who looked beer intelligent intimidating to me, left us pretty much alone.