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

   

12 Responses to “Boston Brunchers at East Coast Grill”

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    MelissaNibbles posted November 15, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    It all looks amazing. I’ve only been there for dinner, I’ll have to try the brunch soon!

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    Emily posted November 15, 2010 at 12:19 pm

    I was also hoping for a runny egg! Great recap, and so nice to finally meet you. Maybe we could hit up Clover in Harvard Square one of these day for lunch!

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    Renee @ Eat.Live.Blog posted November 15, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    So I am a hot-sauce guzzler myself! The Inner Beauty actually didn’t test my heat levels, but that pickled jalepeno on the side of the pork banana….that was unreal!!! Heat and delciousness all in one! Great to finally meet you!

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    Karen posted November 15, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    great recap of a very fun brunch…so glad we finally had a chance to meet!

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    Daisy posted November 15, 2010 at 2:45 pm

    that hot sauce was intense, but i kept going back for more. so good to see you again my dear!

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    Finance Foodie posted November 15, 2010 at 9:18 pm

    Hey Bianca! Yeah def wish we got to chat more – next time 4 sure :)

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    Elizabeth posted November 16, 2010 at 8:09 am

    Yes! Extra queso fresco FTW! :) So glad we finally got to meet in person. I actually stopped by JP Licks yesterday and all I could think was, this is definitely not Christina’s.

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    Michelle posted November 16, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    It was SO great to meet you on Sunday…finally! I’m glad you gave me a hug because it felt like we already know each other. I hope we can hang out at more blogger events in the future!

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    blackbookkitchendiaries posted November 17, 2010 at 11:48 am

    sounds like a lot of fun:)….. i would love to try the brunch someday.

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    justcooknyc posted November 19, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    It’s been way too long since i’ve been to East Coast Grill… sigh.

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    Christine Liu posted November 30, 2010 at 7:07 pm

    Amazing brunch times. Your photos are channeling the morning back to me. You should try the atomic meatloaf sandwich at All-Star Sandwich Bar (right down the block) — it’s laden with the inner beauty hot sauce but it’s done so, so well. Are there hell-o-daze in your future? It’s next week: http://www.eastcoastgrill.net/main/specialevents.htm

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