Backyard Betty’s, a newer addition to the South Boston restaurant scene, is attempting to bring Sunday fundays to the popular W Broadway Street. The owners, who brought us Publico in Southie, created a place that makes you feel like you’re at a cookout in your friend’s backyard, but with a retro twist. The restaurant caters to the late 20s to 30s crowd who are looking for a casual, fun vibe without having to wait in a notorious Southie bar line. That’s exactly what my fiancé Mike and I were looking for when they invited us in to sample brunch one recent Sunday.
When we arrived, we were struck by the size of the restaurant complete with three unique areas: The main dining room had a modern diner feel, outfitted with mustard yellow leather booths, retro Betty Boop and Route 66 wall décor, and a long bar showcasing vintage TVs playing legendary classics like “Painting with Bob Ross.”
The adjacent game room was outfitted with an artificial grass floor, four cornhole boards, giant Jenga, and two Pac-Man arcade machines – a nod to the retro look and feel from the previous room.
At the far end of the restaurant was another bar hidden behind a set of silver garage doors. Once inside it transports you back in time to an old school auto repair shop, with American flag décor, neon signs, and a vintage motorcycle mounted to the wall. The only thing missing was the smell of motor oil and brake dust.
The restaurant had plenty of seating, and we sat at a table with full windows open to the street. I had read about the boozy milkshakes and spent the entire duration of the walk talking about how excited I was about them, so I had tunnel vision to the Cocoa Puffs shake on the menu, which kicked off our order. It arrived in a classic soda-shop style glass with crisp Cocoa Puffs piled on top of blended chocolate ice cream and outfitted with two giant red straws, reminiscent of the classic Friendly’s shakes from my childhood. It tasted like a better version of the Cocoa Puffs cereal milk, but with twang of Stoli’s vanilla vodka. We were definitely cuckoo for this Cocoa Puffs shake.
As a starter we chose the deviled eggs, but instead of the traditional paprika-dusted eggs, they added a twist to this comfort food classic. Filled with a delicious creamy yolk with strong notes of dijon mustard and topped with goat cheese and coriander oil, each egg was sprinkled with crispy smoked bacon for an added savory crunch. I’m keeping this recipe in mind to impress guests next Easter, as these were hands down the best deviled eggs we’ve ever had.
Next, we ordered the chicken and waffles (recommended by our server) and a mushroom and Swiss omelet. We were intrigued when the fried chicken came out on top of a whimsical bubble waffle versus a traditional fluffy Belgian waffle. The dish was drizzled with a thin layer of diced apple maple syrup and topped with a generous mound of Vermont maple butter that’s worth smearing all over the crisp waffle. The omelet was more traditional, loaded with mushrooms and fresh baby spinach, albeit a bit under seasoned. It was served with sautéed fingerling potatoes with onion strips, with a side of toast. I’m sure everyone has a home fry preference, and mine happens to be the greasier, crispier, college dining hall-type home fries, so Mike ate most of these.
Before we left, I made sure to check out the bathroom – yes bathroom – floor, since it’s been acclaimed as the most Instagrammed bathroom floor in Boston. Car bumper stickers were layered to create a colorful vintage mosaic, representative of the time and thought that these experienced owners put into every aspect of this restaurant’s décor.
The Bitches say: four Champagne flutes!
We’ll plan to return for a game of cornhole and boozy shakes during a daytime sports game.
Backyard Betty’s serves brunch Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.