Brunch at Catalyst

Banana bread. With dulce de leche.

Was more than enough to make me want to go to Catalyst for brunch.

Of course I didn’t need much convincing (or actually, my friends didn’t need more convincing, since I was the one who suggested it anyway). It’s been about six months since I first tried the delightful food at Catalyst and since then I’ve been back a handful of times for dinner. I’ve heard good things about their brunch (banana bread with dulce de leche!) and finally I was able to try it during Easter weekend.

This dish was perfection: thin slices of soft banana bread with a small side of sweet, syrupy dulce de leche. I can tell that the dulce de leche is homemade (unlike the canned version I love to use) – there were still caramelized granules of sugar that gave it a grainy, almost rustic texture. I love that this was in the “for the table” section of the brunch menu, suggesting that yes, your table should share an appetizer for brunch.

Can you think of a better way to start your brunch? What would make this even better is if some of your tablemates don’t share your sweet tooth, or want to save their appetites for their main entree, and then you can say things like “Oh there’s an extra slice over there? Oh let’s not let it go to waste…” and then you can pretend you’re just eating it because no one else would and you’re really starving from your workout (which was true anyway) and really, we shouldn’t let this go to waste. When in reality all you really wanted was just the whole plate for brunch, and you don’t need no breakfast sandwich when you can have dulce de leche

Or scones. We also ordered some coconut-lime scones with berry jam. I am loving the idea of appetizers during brunch.

Two of our friends just got married (congrats, Val and Lou!) and when the kitchen found out, Chef Will Kovel sent out some sparkling wine for the table (thanks, Will!):

At this point, I’ve already had a slice of banana bread (okay, maybe two), a couple of bites of the coconut scone, and champagne. I was pretty much all set (if only I could have one more slice of banana bread and an entire dipping cup of dulce de leche) but I somehow managed to order this:

Bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich on soft, buttery brioche, served with home fries.

The sandwich had arugula and pickled onions, too, and normally I would’ve picked out the onions, but I’m starting to realize that I actually don’t hate onions anymore (I used to pick it out of everything). In fact, I actually really like it. Especially in pickled form. They’re no pickled jalapenos but they added a nice zing and crunch to the otherwise typical sandwich.

I tried a bite of the vegetable frittata too (because, you know, I didn’t get to eat enough) and it was fluffy and light. I think next time I will order this, especially if we are sharing some apps. And by “if we are sharing some apps” I mean if I can control myself not to eat the entire banana bread order by myself.

I practically had to roll myself out of Catalyst. Then I proceeded to eat candy.

What’s the best thing you’ve had for brunch lately?

Catalyst on Urbanspoon

See my favorite dishes at this restaurant on Tasted Menu


29 Responses to “Brunch at Catalyst”

  1. #
    Emily @ A Cambridge Story posted April 18, 2012 at 9:15 am

    I want to try brunch at Catalyst for the banana bread alone! The egg sandwich on brioche is also sounding pretty tempting!

  2. #
    Elina (Healthy and Sane) posted April 18, 2012 at 9:30 am

    I haven’t been out to brunch in a while and this really makes me miss it. I’ll have to remedy the situation this weekend in NY :)
    All of this sounds incredible. I love the idea of appetizers at brunch. Why not? ;)

  3. #
    Elizabeth posted April 18, 2012 at 9:34 am

    I’m finding myself less enthused by brunch offerings lately, but these seriously all look good. That fritatta looks fantastic.

  4. #
    Michelle posted April 18, 2012 at 9:40 am

    I had a really great cranberry mimosa after the B.A.A. 5K. Does that count?

  5. #
    Daisy posted April 18, 2012 at 10:06 am

    I have seen a couple other reviews singing the praises of Catalyst’s brunch. I need to get over for there for this meal! And how nice of Chef Will to send over some bubbly, congrats to your friends!

  6. #
    christina posted April 18, 2012 at 10:09 am

    Your pictures are so good! Everything looks unbelievable. That bread? It’s like, perfect. I want some!

  7. #
    Erica @ In and Around Town posted April 18, 2012 at 10:16 am

    That breakfast sandwich looks to die for (or at least a walk across the river for!)

  8. #
    Megan posted April 18, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    That breakfast sandwich is next on my list of things to try there. Then the frittata, which I almost ordered last time. I can totally vouch for that banana bread and dulce de leche. So good! (Thanks for linking to me.)

  9. #
    Rebecca @ Miss Magnolia Munches & Moves posted April 18, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    Brunch food is the best! Seriously, whoever came up with brunch is my hero. I love any thing with a runny egg on it, especially eggs benedict.

  10. #
    Meesh posted April 18, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    lol @ “I practically had to roll myself out of Catalyst.” I FEEL YOU GIRL. that banana bread is flippin’ amazing

  11. #
    Colleen @ Culinary Colleen posted April 18, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    I love when restaurants have the option of ordering something sweet for the table, especially when it comes before the meal (because I am usually STARVING when I get to brunch). I love the beignets at Highland Kitchen for that exact reason!

  12. #
    Rhonda posted April 19, 2012 at 12:02 am

    that bread looks amazing, and the sauce on top makes it even better. I don’t know how you managed to only eat a couple of pieces. My husband’s family is from the mid-west so brunch is always ‘hot dish’ which can take on various casserole forms. It is not gourmet but it is great comfort food.

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted April 19, 2012 at 2:09 pm

      I love comfort food, especially casseroles!

  13. #
    MelissaNibbles posted April 19, 2012 at 4:50 am

    The banana bread isn’t playing games. Delicious! Congratulations to your newlywed friends!

  14. #
    Lauren at Keep It Sweet posted April 19, 2012 at 8:00 am

    Everything looks delicious but I probably would have been so distracted by the banana bread and dulce de leche that I wouldn’t have eaten anything else!

  15. #
    Alaina posted April 19, 2012 at 8:02 am

    That brunch looks amazing! It’s been so long since I’ve been out to brunch. It’s my favorite meal. Unfortunately David doesn’t like brunch, so I have to find some brunch buddies! ;-)

  16. #
    Meghan posted April 19, 2012 at 8:06 am

    Yum! Everything looks incredible.

  17. #
    Aylin @ Glow Kitchen posted April 19, 2012 at 11:14 am

    Mmmmm dulce de leche is a soup in my mind :) I just realized you live in Harvard Square. I lived there for 4 years :) As a chocoholic myself, I was obsessed with Burdicks, but there is none of that goodness in Istanbul :(

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted April 19, 2012 at 2:11 pm

      Hi Aylin! Yes, Burdicks is obsession-worthy *drool* But I’d love to visit Istanbul someday…

  18. #
    Sacha posted April 19, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    Like you, I think I would be set with just the whole plate of that banana bread for brunch, but I usually like something savory and that sandwich or frittata would certainly do the trick!

  19. #
    Adri @FoodieBeFit posted April 19, 2012 at 11:58 pm

    Lately, I think it would have to be the Easter brunch I hosted this year, I made gazpacho and came out really good. I also had brunch at The Ritz and fell in love with their truffle risotto. That bread does look amazing and the dulce de leche thing is bringing some ideas to my head ;)

  20. #
    Joanne posted April 20, 2012 at 8:20 am

    Oh my. Now this is a brunch to be reckoned with. I mean, all I needed to hear was the banana bread with dulce de leche and I was hooked. And then, all the rest of it…swoon!

  21. #
    Tracey posted April 20, 2012 at 11:54 am

    Looks so good – I love banana bread. I am very excited to going to Catalyst for dinner tomorrow night for the first time!

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted April 20, 2012 at 8:44 pm

      Oooh I hope you love it as much as I do! Make sure to save room for dessert – I love the butterscotch pudding!

  22. #
    Amanda L. (Tales from a Kitchen Misfit) posted April 21, 2012 at 9:09 am

    Wow that all looks fantastic! And anything is better with duche de leche on it!

  23. #
    Taryn posted April 21, 2012 at 11:55 am

    That all looks amazing… and banana bread is one of my all time favorite foods. I’ve never thought to pair it with anything but butter, never mind dulce de leche! Totally genius… I need to have some of this in my life.

  24. #
    Erica posted April 22, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    oh my gosh yum! I am obsessed with brunch- its my favorite meal out. Favorite as of late? An awesome omlet

  25. #
    shannon posted April 23, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    an excuse to have dulce de leche for brunch? sold. still have to get there for brunch!

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