Boston Brunchers at East Coast Grill

What do you get when you have 24 Boston food bloggers get together for brunch? An awesome prix fixe menu courtesy of East Coast Grill, and a lot of “so nice to finally meet you!” and “it’s great to put a face to a blog” and “I’m a lurker on your blog. I stalk your posts religiously.” Okay, so maybe the last sentence mostly came from me, but nevertheless everyone seemed to enjoy the second Boston Brunchers event.

East Coast Grill served several family-style appetizers, and we had three choices for the entree. I’ve been to ECG multiple times for dinner, but it was my first time there for brunch. I was glad to find out that their brunch options still feature the same bold flavors.  The restaurant was also as packed as it usually is for dinner (there was a line even before it opened at 11 am) and there was a lot of good energy around.

Many thanks to Renee at Eat Live Blog for organizing the fun brunch. I actually wasn’t able to RSVP on time so I thought I would miss this – but thankfully a spot opened up and I was able to squeeze in! It was really nice to finally meet the people behind some of the blogs I’ve been following for months now (hi Michelle, Brian, Justin, Lara, Elizabeth, Dan, and Emily!), seeing some of the other bloggers and foodies whom I’ve met at past events, and  meeting new people.

Of course the focus of our brunch was the food, and East Coast Grill did not disappoint. Their signature hot sauce, the house Inner Beauty Hot Sauce, was served on two of the appetizers (on the side). I love love love spicy food, and this was definitely one of the spiciest things I’ve ever eaten. In fact, I remember that first time I ever tried it on the “wings of mass destruction,” I commented that my tongue burned off. In spite of that, I still like it.

appetizer #1: fried sweet plantains with queso fresco and banana-guava ketchup

I like eating fried plantains as dessert (dusted with some sugar, yum) but I’ll eat anything that comes with queso fresco. I knew there was a reason that Elizabeth and I ended up sitting next to each other – she asked for extra queso fresco on the side, which cements the fact that she’s definitely my kinda girl! The banana-guava ketchup reminds me of the banana ketchup in the Philippines. I do not like eating dessert with ketchup.

appetizer #2: sweet potato fries with house inner beauty hot sauce

Yes, that is the famed hot sauce on the side. I heard that East Coast Grill’s famous Hell Night offers even spicier dishes than this. I will have to check out the next Hell Night!

appetizer #3: banana rellena - smoked pork stuffed banana with house inner beauty hot sauce

This did come with a warning (“muy caliente!”) because the hot sauce was on top of the pork, but it was just the perfect amount of (really spicy) hot sauce. My tongue still burned though. (Yes, I still like it.)

appetizer #4: monteray jack grits with molasses glazed grilled banana, pina, jalapenos, toasted pecans and crispy smoked bacon

As some of you may know, I am not the biggest fan of combining sweet and savory together, but I’m trying to outgrow that (hehe) so I still tried this dish. I was able to scoop out a couple of tablespoons of grits with jalapenos, but avoided the grilled banana and pineapple (I couldn’t help it! I’ll outgrow this quirk on some other day).

I only had a bite or two of each appetizer, because I wanted to save room for my entree. Our choices were: breakfast platter “in the style of the yucatan,” cornbread crusted french toast, or smoked pork tostada. I ignored my sweet tooth and went with the tostada.

garlic-lime smoked pork shoulder with tomato-chipotle salsa, smashed avocado, black beans and a runny egg

This dish was really good, although I have to admit that I was pretty disappointed that mine did not come with a runny egg (it was overpoached).  I don’t think this is my ideal brunch meal because it’s a little too heavy, in spite of me not eating the plantains and only half of the pulled pork.

I really like the fun and quirky vibe at East Coast Grill; it was a good choice to host a brunch event there. Our server Arthur was really friendly and helpful. I think genuinely friendly servers make up a good portion of any dining experience, so kudos to the ECG staff.

I had a great time at brunch, and I’m looking forward to more blogger gatherings  in the future! Have you been to East Coast Grill? If so, have you tried the Inner Beauty hot sauce?

East Coast Grill on Urbanspoon


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