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Little Donkey Brunch

Little Donkey is an eclectic tapas restaurant in Central Square in Cambridge, from James Beard award-winners┬áKen Oringer and Jamie Bissonnette. The restaurant is globally-inspired, which is to say, there’s really no rhyme nor reason to this brunch menu. There’s truly something for every palate. You’ll want to order what looks most interesting, which trust me, is most of it.

If you’re overwhelmed by the diverse options, it’s a good idea to start with the LD pastry basket. This is not your average pastry basket. It includes a tasty raspberry danish with coffee cake crumble, Pao de Quejo (a savory Brazilian cheese bread), and Kouign-Amann (a deliciously buttery French puff pastry).

Little Donkey

The bar offers what can only be described as a signature cocktail, “The One in a Grapefruit.” You’d have to ask a waiter to know that it’s just a paloma served in an actual grapefruit. The day we went they were out of the fruit, which left us with a very strong tequila drink, without the novelty. The Bloody Marys are slightly spicy and the mimosas solid.

The chilaquiles are stellar, served with salsa roja, cotija cheese, over easy eggs, avocado, and crema. The chips weren’t too soggy, and high on flavor. These were some of the best we’ve had in awhile.

Little Donkey

The Banh Xeo piques interest as a sharable plate for the table. It’s a Vietnamese crepe with shrimp, lettuce, and herbs. Think of it like a lettuce wrap and create your own bites of savory crepe. It’s a light dish that involves a bit of effort but can be rewarding.

For entrees, the Bitches say skip the breakfast torta and kimchi quesadillas. The lamb bacon sandwich is thick on breads and thin on fillings, with over easy eggs, cheddar, harissa, and cilantro. The flavors are good but don’t shine when every bite is pure carbs. Likewise, the sunnyside egg on top of a quesadilla feels a bit too basic. The tomatillo Hollandaise has a nice bite to it, but ends up tasting like ranch dressing on a cheesy tortilla.

We weren’t wild about the carnitas hash either. With avocado, a sunnyside egg and black bean toast, it’s a super hearty dish that lacks the standout seasoning we expect from carnitas.

Little Donkey

Avocado toast grilled cheese? It’s like if you threw two Millennial buzzwords together and decided to make a dish based on it. Luckily, the dish itself is less haphazard. With comte, gruyere, pickled vegetable, cilantro, and sauerkraut, we were pleasantly surprised by this dish. The acidity of the sauerkraut is balanced nicely by the umami of the avocado and the nuttiness of the cheeses.
The little kid (or, alternatively, The┬áBig Lebowski fans) among us couldn’t resist trying the white Russian Cocoa Puffs. It’s exactly what it sounds like so if you like the combination of alcohol and milk, this ones for you.

Little Donkey

The Bitches Say: B-. With its ambitious brunch options, Little Donkey offers up interesting ideas but is hit or miss.


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