T.W. Food is amazing. Located in North Cambridge, about ¾ of a mile away from Harvard Square, near Huron Village, the restaurant has a lovely homey, dining room with exposed brick walls and understated decor. I like that the dining room is intimate, there are fewer than 20 tables in the restaurant.
This is also a locavore / foodie heaven: T.W. Food sources locally and celebrates the produce of the region and season. I am impressed by the simple, inventive ways they highlight New England proteins and produce.
options for cooking and culinary classes for those who want to further
educate themselves in cooking.
Recently, T.W. Food began offering a jazz brunch on the weekends. So I headed over on a recent rainy Saturday with a foodie friend to check out the brunch menu.
Of course, the musicians need some floor space, which in this venue, means diners are up close and personal with the band. We were seated closest to the band, which was ok, since they weren’t deafening, but it did make it a little hard for me to hear my friend speak. If you sit further from the band, you will be able to speak normally. If you are going for the jazz, then this is the perfect table.
The only other unfortunate thing about our meal was again related to the placement of our table: the a/c unit was blowing constantly, right on me, throughout the meal. I should say two things: 1) I didn’t ask the a/c to be turned down because the rest of the room was ok and because 2) I am always cold anytime a/c is on. In fact, while I write this, poor Husband is trying to cool off and I am hiding under blankets.
The service was excellent. We were seated immediately. The staff was very pleasant and attentive. After we ordered our coffee, I asked our waitress about appropriate gluten-free options. She was able to point out every item on the menu off the top of her head, which was suitable or could easily be modified for my food allergy. Except for the obvious villains of fried chicken, pancakes, toast etc, I could have everything else on the menu and they were happy to make substitutions of home fries instead of toast.
My friend ordered the buttermilk-fried chicken served with flash-fried kale. I ordered the goat cheese omelet with beets and beet greens. We split an order of fresh, homemade sausages.
You eat with the eyes first, right? When our dishes were put down in front of us, we were both just happy to stop and look at the food for a minute. The plating is simple and really restrained, but appealing.
My omelet was incredible. The beet greens were perfectly cooked, just a little bit crispy. I loved that they retained just a touch of bitterness, which was a nice counterpoint to the sweet beets and the creamy omelet. The goat cheese was rich and tangy. The potatoes were great; some were a bit crispy and others just perfectly soft.
The sausages were really good. They had a simple, salt and pepper flavor to them. They were savory without being thirst inducing. I liked that some came out as patties and others as more traditional links. They were a fantastic complement to the omelet.
My friend enjoyed her chicken, but was really taken with the fried kale. She said it was crispy and really flavorful.
After we filled ourselves to the brim, the waitress brought over some beautiful Madeline’s with our bill (certainly softens the blow of receiving a check). I asked if they were ok for me to eat. She said no, but she would be right back. She returned moments later with two small meringue cookies. They were so cute and were the perfect accompaniment for my last cup of coffee.
The prices here are very reasonable, especially considering the quality of the meal, the great service and wonderful jazz music. It worked out to be about 3 dollars more than brunch at the Cheesecake Factory. Worth every penny (and more). This is a really special restaurant and I can’t wait to go back for dinner.