The meal of the week for me. Valentine’s Day work party with pizza from Upper Crust comes in a distant second. They make a mean pesto chicken pizza, but I would probably need at least half a large pie to feel sated and I didn’t want to pig out in front of the coworkers. Little Miss Piggy should not come out during the day, I say, so as not to scare the children or the faint of heart.
I had planned to have brunch at Cafe Luna a few times before but for whatever reason it didn’t happen until today. Shame on me, because the brunch there is fantastic. They thoughtfully offer the french toast dishes in full or half-size portions, thoughtful b/c while delicious, the full orders are enormous and you might think twice before committing to one. There must have been at least eight variations of french toast available, in addition to a delectable selection of pancakes, waffles, omelets, breakfast sandwiches, and paninis. M’s eyes honed in on the french toast section of the menu, and while she debated between the nutella & banana and the monte cristo, I convinced her we should split the nutella one “for dessert” so she went with the monte cristo as her “main”. Haha french toast for entree and dessert. I ordered a brunch special, the ham, spinach, and gruyere strata made with egg-soaked Iggy’s (!) bread (foccacia, think).
Major props to Iggy’s on their brioche, which is the base for all Cafe Luna’s french toast dishes. The topping combinations are pretty standard; it’s the bread that sets this french toast apart. In my mind, Iggy’s and Hi-Rise are the gold standard for European style bread in Cambridge. I hear Flour is first-rate too but do not have first-hand experience and so cannot compare. The french toast was eggy and super fluffy, with a rich mouth feel but light going down. If you eat too fast, you could easily down a couple thick slabs of it before feeling the gut check.
M’s monte cristo french toast: french toast, ham, swiss, mustard, served with syrup. Probably could’ve used some more time under a broiler to melt the cheese more. Sweet and savory is the ultimate taste combination.
Someone very pleased that her food has arrived:
The strata is a welcome riff on your average quiche — in composition it falls somewhere between a quiche and frittata. More delicious Iggy’s bread bound and baked with eggs and plenty of gruyere. Ham and spinach were the meat and veg of choice (I think they change it up daily). Served alongside a fresh salad, it was a textbook savory brunch dish that I would happily add to my regular rotation.
Generous portion of strata with a side salad: looks a bit like lasagna, no?
While small, Cafe Luna lends itself to studying/lingering, though maybe not for too long on early weekend afternoons, since lines tend to form and while there are a million other places to go study, there are a very limited number of places to go and eat french toast made with fresh Iggy’s brioche. There was a guy chilling there, just him and his laptop, and while he didn’t cost M and I a wait, he was definitely lingering at the expense of others. I wonder if the restaurant should have some kind of policy guarding against that type of behavior on weekends; it would be in their best interests to do so but good for them for holding out so far. Ooh, and I hear in the spring/summer they have outdoor seating, and the restaurant faces out on Mass Ave, which could lend itself to some pretty amusing people watching.
“Dessert”: half-portion of the nutella & banana french toast. Huzzah!
Luna, you have another convert. I’ll be back!
403 Mass Ave
Cambridge MA 02139