Memorable | One of the Best
Neighborhood Restaurant and Bakery
Review by: Maggie Rosenberg & Trevor Hagstrom
We never thought we’d write this, but you really must try the cream of wheat. It’s richly creamy, nourishing, and full of cinnamon flavor with a hint of salt: porridge for the ages.
Breakfasts at Neighborhood Restaurant come with a bowl of this fine porridge. It is a testament to the “nobody leaves hungry” hospitality of the place. The generosity of the founder, Mario Borges, was so well known that the city of Somerville named the square outside of the restaurant after him. The restaurant is still in the Borges family; prices are still fair; portions are still hearty. If there are waits for a table, coffee is given out. On nice days everybody eats outside under pergola hung with grape vines.
Eager to experience some of the Portuguese flavor of Southern New England, we ordered a special Portuguese Breakfast, which combines many Portuguese-inspired side dishes on one overflowing plate. It is like a Portuguese take on the full English breakfast: Spicy linquica sausage, blood sausage, cod cakes, meat cakes, shrimp cakes, red beans and rice are piled onto a plate with home fries and eggs. Every element is perfectly cooked and flavorful, if occasionally on the salty side. The highlights are crisp, pillowy cod cakes and soft blood sausage with warming spices. We should mention the red beans as well; they also are exceptional.
Breakfasts are served with a tiny glass of orange juice and unlimited, adequate coffee. You will also be served a little plate of decent house baked breads with homemade jam. Homemade is important here. We were told that they even make their own wine from the grapes overhead. That was enough to scare us away from ordering it.
The blueberry pancake isn’t terrible, but it does not live up to the standards set by the other dishes, nor the promise of a restaurant that bakes most of its own breads.
All calculated, the short order cookery here is expert and the recipes flavorful. Evaluated as a diner, the Neighborhood Restaurant and Bakery is excellent; but it’s more than that. It’s a welcoming breakfast place with unique character and great food.
|Meals Served||Breakfast, Lunch|
|Credit Cards Accepted||Yes|