I am a huge fan of brunch. I like that it is not officially breakfast, which would make it a far too guilty a pleasure to enjoy a Mimosa or Bloody Mary and it’s not officially lunch, but it is between the hours of 11-3pm so you are given the freedom to enjoy that guilt free cocktail with your choice of eggs, a sandwich or salad. However, more importantly than a cocktail is the leisure time and endless cups of coffee that brunch offers at a weekend… oh and of course Eggs Benedict. You make a reservation at noon and you can still be chatting with friends late into the afternoon with no stress of getting back to the office.
This past weekend I found myself in Harvard Square with my friend, Erika. We were initially heading to Crema Café but with standing room only we decided we needed a little more personal table service so made our way to the Beat Brasserie (aka Beat Hôtel).
Opened by the guys from the Beehive a few years ago, the Beat Brasserie is located on Brattle Street in Harvard Square in the old Tannery Space. A subterranean huge open space with a long bar that runs the length of the cavernous restaurant and bar – not a hotel at all. The décor of hand crafted and painted woodwork, murals and funky tables brings a kitschy feel to the space. Jazz and blues music from live performers is featured every night of the week and weekend brunch. This particular Sunday was really quiet so we were fine without a reservation, however, I can imagine in the cooler months this restaurant is very popular.
Seated close to the stage while listening to the live soft jazz background music, we checked out their interesting and eclectic looking brunch menu. For something to share the menu offers a raw bar with oysters, clams and shrimp. We ordered three Wellfleets each. I can tell you Wellfleet oysters are fantastic right now! The only one mild issue we had with our time there was that we waited an incredibly long time for the oysters. I actually think they may have given our order to someone else, but as soon as they realized we were waiting our service was on full alert with both our waiter and the manager, which we really appreciated.
The main dishes offers a funky choice of egg dishes from Eggs Shakshuka with North African tomato sauce and polenta, Breakfast Burritos, Turkey Hash and Poached Eggs and Eggs Benedict. Erika enjoyed the Eggs Benedict with Spinach, which to quote her “is ridiculous!”
They have a sandwich and taco offerings of a club sandwich, wild mushroom tacos, burgers and what I eventually went with, the Harpooned Local Swordfish Tacos, which if Erika said her Eggs Benedict was ridiculous, I will say my tacos were insane. Absolutely bulging with fresh slaw and big chunks of mildly spiced meaty swordfish, this dish served as a fantastic change for me. It also felt quite a bit healthier than the dishes I normally gravitate towards.
Their menu also offers interesting “earthy delight bowls” which can simply be a salad bowl or something a little different like the Bowl Aztec with spiced quinoa and Hippie Bowl with chickpeas and raisins.
Low key and mellow, Beat Brasserie gives its customers that relaxed, laid back, leisurely brunch we sometimes really crave.