This past weekend I stayed in Boston with one of my friends, and it was the perfect opportunity to check out Back Deck's new brunch menu. On Sunday morning, we both worked on some wedding stuff at her place, and then we headed over to Back Deck right when it opened at 11:30. (Brunch is served on Saturdays and Sundays from 11:30 to 3.)
It's located on West Street in Downtown Crossing, and while the street itself is a little dark and shadowy, the restaurant gets a good deal of natural light. The teak chairs and plentiful potted plants give the room an outdoorsy vibe, sort of like sitting out on a patio.
The concept behind Back Deck is backyard grilling in a laid-back city setting. The restaurant has three hardwood charcoal grills, which chef Paul Sussman has nicknamed "Big Red," "Monty," and "Nelly." There's an open kitchen so diners can actually see the grilling happening, just as they would at an outdoor picnic or at a roof deck party. But unlike an outdoor picnic or roof deck party, the restaurant brings grilling inside and keeps it going all year-round.
Shortly after we were seated, our waitress came over to take our order and she was super-friendly and helpful, answering our various questions about the offerings (what vegetables are in the goat cheese and vegetable omelet, etc.). We were impressed that Back Deck offers iced coffee, and my friend ordered one, while I went with an iced tea.
We decided to start with the grilled pink grapefruit half drizzled with honey. I'm not sure if this is typical, but we actually got two halves when our order arrived.
We loved the warm grapefruit, which was nicely charred and lightly sweetened. The only difficulty was getting it out of the peel because it wasn't sectioned at all. I realize it would be difficult to grill a sectioned grapefruit, but it would be helpful if it was sectioned after grilling -- or if it was served with a serrated grapefruit spoon.
My friend is a huge eggs Benedict fan, so she was immediately drawn to that on the menu. It ended up being a great choice because it was absolutely perfect. The eggs oozed golden, runny yolk everywhere as soon as she cut into them. And she described the hollandaise as being light and just the right amount -- some eggs Benedicts can have overwhelming, thick, gloppy hollandaise, but that was not the case here.
We shared a side of the green apple slaw. This was the only disappointment that morning. It just didn't have the apple presence we expected. It's more like regular slaw with bits of apple. We both wanted to punch it up a bit with a lot more apple and a little more acidity. It was crunchy and not swimming in mayonnaise, so those were pluses.
We also shared a side of home fries, not realizing that both of our breakfasts would come with them. It didn't hurt having an extra helping of them, though. They were crisp on the outside, cooked through (I hate home fries that are still raw in the middle), nicely seasoned, and accompanied by soft onions.
I ordered the ham and cheddar omelet. I know it's not the most adventurous breakfast option, but it was exactly what I was in the mood for. The omelet was stuffed with a thick layer of cheddar and plenty of thinly sliced ham. A little grilled bread on the side was charred and very soft and buttery.
Overall, we really enjoyed our brunch and were pleasantly surprised by the relaxed, patio-like atmosphere in the midst of bustling Downtown Crossing. While we opted to have egg dishes, there are also more lunch-like options on the brunch menu if that's more your thing.
This meal was complimentary, but as always I'm giving you my honest opinion.
What's the strangest thing you've ever grilled or the strangest grilled thing you've ever eaten?