In the past two days, I’ve made reservations at one of Boston’s most upscale restaurants for a Mardi – Gras celebration complete with live jazz, hush puppies and king cake, and eaten duck confit at a corner pub in Brookline. I’m not sure if this is more of the high-end comfort food trend where four star restaurants serve fried chicken and pub menus include items like pork belly, duck confit, and truffled everything or if it’s something I’ve only noticed since moving to the city. I suspect it’s a little of both’ comfort food is in, but much like finding the secret parking places and back alleys to avoid city traffic, you learn about the lesser known restaurants with excellent food at affordable prices. I feel like most of these spots are outside of Boston proper, and have started venturing into Cambridge, Somerville, and Brookline to try them.
The corner pub in Brookline with the duck confit was the Regal Beagle, which I tried recently for brunch. I walked in around 2pm on a Saturday and the place was packed, but I was able to find a spot at the bar. The service was friendly and quick, I had decided on my order after looking at the menu on the window and it arrived within ten minutes of my sitting down. Although there were several options I would have liked to try, I went with the one that sounded the most creative: sweet potato waffles with duck confit, a fried egg, and a maple sriracha sauce.
This dish completely exceeded my expectations. Instead of a few pieces of duck confit, the waffles came with an entire leg. It was all topped with two fried eggs, which were still runny and when the yolk mixed with the other ingredients it created a sauce that brought all of the flavors together. The maple sriracha sauce reminded me of Thai sweet chili sauce and gave the dish a little kick, but was not overly spicy.
I had coffee with my brunch, but the drink menu included some interesting cocktails and craft beers I would have liked to try. I also got to see some of the other dishes come out while sitting at the bar, the burger and mac and cheese looked amazing, and I would definitely like to go back and try them.