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S&S Restaurant in Boston

U.S. Brunch Review
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One of the great things about growing up in Florida was the ability to easily hop to a Caribbean island for a weekend away. Not that I actually did that when I lived there, but had I been so inclined, the option was there—and that was all that mattered.

Now that I’m in the Northeast, I am making up for all those lost weekend trips by hopping about this area of the country whenever I can. So when a dear friend invited me to Boston to accompany him to a family wedding, I said sure, why not, packed an overnight bag, and zipped up there on a Jet Blue flight.

The wedding was lovely, as Boston weddings are; but the best part of the trip was the Sunday afterwards, when we brunched in town and then promptly fell asleep in the public gardens, watching the swan boats and listening to the buskers attempt to play the violin. Now, that’s a perfect Sunday.

S&S Restaurant

We were there the weekend after the Marathon bombings, but the city was quite calm considering the trauma it had been through just a week prior. My friend, a Bostonian native, was grateful to be home, and he drove us all around his favorite neighborhoods, waxing poetic about his memories and his love for his city.

Being so familiar with best spots in town, he decided we would brunch at S&S Restaurant and Deli in Cambridge, and he invited a gaggle of local friends. I invited an old friend of mine from college, another travel buddy with whom I had bopped about Europe during a semester abroad in college.

He’s now an award-winning infographic designer for the Boston Globe, and there were big hugs to be had, as I hadn’t seen him since, well, since college. He was at S&S waiting for us when we arrived, and together we all slid into a shiny booth and started reminiscing and laughing about terrifying Ryan Air flights to Italy.

I was so engrossed with my friends and the great conversation that I barely noticed how absolutely precious S&S is. Clearly it’s been there for a good while and it’s proud of its heritage. It’s been a Cambridge “tradition” since 1919, serving, oh, 62 million cups of coffee since then—and Ma Edelstein (or at least her cardboard cutout) is standing and watching over the day’s specials board.

S&S Restaurant

The entrance of the restaurant is actually a fully functioning deli, and offers meats and cheese and pastries that you can select from behind the glass. The bagels—my goodness—the bagels were the most glorious sight. It’s old school, and you can imagine the ancient cash registers ringing and clanking with business 80 years ago.

S&S Restaurant

Inside the restaurant, it feels like a diner, but cozy. We ordered mimosas from the extremely—extremely—nice and excited waitress. She was just so happy to be helping us! We were quite a large table and she handled us like it was second nature to her, not a thing missing, nothing wrong, everything arriving promptly. What a pro.

The mimosas were tall and pulpy, made with freshly squeezed orange juice. I never felt like I got any actual champagne, but they were delicious nonetheless.

The great thing about a restaurant like S&S is that the food is reliably enormous and reliably delicious. Also, there’s a ton to choose from; the menu is gargantuan. Our plates were massive—and each came with sides, like fruit tumbling out of bowls, bagels, eggs, eggs, and more eggs. This is the place to go to get full.

S&S Restaurant

For instance, the Eggs Maryland dish came with not just homemade crab and shrimp cakes (quite large ones, at that) topped with two poached eggs and hollandaise sauce, but also asparagus, home fries, fresh fruit, and a bagel with cream cheese. That is just so much food, people.

I ordered the breakfast pizza, because it is “Ma’s Brunch Pizza” and so how could I resist the dish named after the lady of the house? It arrived thick and greasy (exactly what I needed), covered with melted monteray jack cheese. Underneath the cheese, Nova Scotia salmon, onions, tomatoes, and chive cream cheese. And the crust was homemade corn-meal. Yum.

S&S Restaurant

It was so much greasy carby goodness that I had to order a side of fresh fruit, which arrived in a darling ice cream dish. So cute.

S&S Restaurant

The quiche lorraine was a thick hunking slice, with country bacon, onion, and cheddar cheese. Of course, it came with fresh fruit and a bagel and cream cheese. It’s like you cannot order anything here without getting one of their amazing bagels on the side.

S&S Restaurant

The steak and eggs dish was a nicely portioned eight-ounce slab of meat. It came on a plate of its own, and then another plate arrived with two eggs, home fries, fruit, and, of course, a bagel and cream cheese.

And then the omelets. Oh gosh, there is such a selection we could barely decide. There are Nova Scotia omelets, Inman omelets, Danish omelets, caprese omelets, English omelets, Boursin omelets, Alpine omelets—you name it. The one we ordered, the pesto omelet, came filled with Jarlsberg cheese, broccoli, mushrooms, and onions. And it was amazing.

We were so painfully full after brunch that we had to sit and just relax for a while. Once we waddled out into the sunlight, it became apparent that we needed to sit down again, and so we made our way to the public gardens and promptly passed out for a solid post-brunch nap in the sun.

S&S Restaurant

Glorious, Boston. What a city.

S&S Restaurant and Deli
Inman Square
1334 Cambridge St
Cambridge, MA
(617) 354-0777

S&S Restaurant and Deli serves brunch Saturdays and Sundays.

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