Brunch at The Painted Burro
At The Painted Burro in Somerville, it’s spacious and bright, chips and salsa flow freely, and the menu is filled with Mexican and Latin American dishes – moles, tacos, tortas, and tequila.
I’ve been there multiple times for dinner – and the last time my friends and I were there for Supper Club, I had a glass of sweet and intensely flavored pumpkin sangria (the sangria changes with the seasons, and this spring, it’s rhubarb sangria). Actually, I had two glasses of that sangria. Or maybe three.
Most recently, when I went to The Painted Burro, I did not partake of any margaritas or any other libations. Instead I chose a refreshing (non-alcoholic) drink that had me dreaming about vacations and colorful mornings in Mexico: the iced coffee horchata.
Two of the most popular brunch drinks at The Painted Burro are the michelada and the iced coffee horchata:
If you’re the Bloody Mary type of person (I’m not), you will enjoy the michelada – it’s a Mexican cocktail made with beer, lime juice, hot sauce, and other seasonings. If you’re a sweet-cocktails-like-dessert type of person (you know that’s me), you will enjoy the iced coffee horchata.
Imagine this: horchata – an iced Mexican drink made with ground almonds, rice, vanilla, and cinammon – transformed into a morning beverage with coffee. It’s not quite dessert, but it’s close. It’s sweet, creamy, and refreshing. I would like this every morning.
I love everything about The Painted Burro – from the giant mural of the burro (donkey) to the splashes of color on the furniture, I felt like I could be in Mexico.
I am not sure if they serve chips and salsa during brunch in Mexico, but I’ll take it. The chips at The Painted Burro are big and salty, and the salsa has a slight tang and spice to it.
I know I always go on and on about how much I love ordering eggs for brunch, but there are days when my sweet tooth can no longer be ignored for the benefits of protein and health (nevermind that I already have a sweet drink in hand), and I give in and order something like this:
Thich-cut French Toast a la Mexicana – egg-dipped brioche, caramelized plantains, maple syrup
This definitely tasted like a big plate of dessert. The bread was crispy on the outside and soft and eggy on the inside, perfect for sopping up the whipped cream and the sticky maple syrup.
My brunch companion ordered The Painted Burro’s take on a more traditional brunch dish
Burro Benedict – 2 poached eggs, sliced ham, refried beans, home-style English muffins, and a smoked chile hollandaise
I had a bite, and it was good; I especially liked the smoked chile hollandaise. There are a lot of other brunch dishes that I want to try next time I’m back, like the huevos rancheros and the ham and broken yolk torta. I will certainly order another glass of the delicious iced coffee horchata.
The Painted Burro is owned and managed by the same folks at Pizzeria Posto, which in my opinion is one of the most under-rated restaurants in Boston and offers exceptional Italian food. Check out both restaurants if you’re in the Davis Square area!