This past weekend I had the pleasure of joining Boston Brunchers for an outstanding Sunday brunch at Local 149. I’ve been dying to go to Local 149 since they opened not too long ago, but it’s not in the forefront of my mind when I want to try new places because it’s completely off the beaten path (or off my beaten path, anyway). Out in Southie, the restaurant sits just a couple of blocks from the beach, and is a total hidden gem. If I lived in the neighborhood, you can bet I’d be there at least one a week! The staff is gracious and accommodating, and extremely informative. The atmosphere is laid back and comfortable, and really allows you to unwind and focus on the food. And the food! The food speaks for itself. As their website says, they serve “upscale comfort food” and that’s exactly how it comes across – unpretentious and scrumptious dishes that leave you wanting more.
When we arrived at Local 149 to see a long high-top table all set up for us, already laden with wonderful goodies. Little did we know this was just the tip of the iceburg – over the two hours that we sataround that table, we were served a whopping TEN different dishes, and FOUR cocktails! You can certainly imagine the state we left in… all feeling about 10lbs heavier and ready for week-long naps. But, it was totally worth it.
We started off brunch with a cocktail – a tropical coconut concoction which tasted like juice but was definitely alcoholic. All of the drinks we tried had a very sneaky way of tasting alcohol free even when they weren’t. Very dangerous. As such, I tried to pace myself, but it was HARD! Everything was just too good.
Along with the coconut drink (which included fresh coconut water, rum, fernet, and some other delicious libations), we were served a lovely fresh fruit salad. I had a few pieces of fruit, but wanted to save myself for the good stuff to come.
There were also charcuterie plates on the table when we arrived, piled with cured meats and pates and house-made mustard and pickled veggies and cheeses. This is the plate that I ate from, and everything on it was just perfect. I’ve never really had a charcuterie plate for brunch before, but it was a fantastic idea.
Before we knew it, our second cocktail was being served, this time a horseradish Bloody Mary with a skewer of the house-made pickled veggies. It had a good bite from the horseradish, but was very smooth and dangerously easy to drink. This is where I started the water-guzzling to attempt to pace myself!
And next… oysters! If you asked me now what kind we had, I would sadly have to shake my head and tell you I don’t remember and I didn’t write it down, but they were not oysters I’ve tried before. They were really good, and I say that as I’m still learning to really appreciate oysters. They were larger than I’m usually brave enough to try, but they were light and buttery, and actually quite delicious. They were served with a house-made raspberry mingonette, declared by one of our waitresses as “the best raspberry mignonette you’ll ever have.” Now I’ve admittedly never had raspberry mignonette, but it was indeed fantastic – the perfect balance of tart and bitter and sweet. It paired beautifully with the oysters.
After the oysters came our first really substantial bite of food – fried chicken and waffles. For a while earlier this summer, Kevin and I were on a mission to find them to satisfy Kevin’s craving, but we never did. Such a shame, because they are INCREDIBLE! Whoever thought of putting salty fried poultry atop crispy, sweet waffles and then dousing the pile with maple syrup… well they deserve a pat on the back. The waffles were infused with rosemary and topped with a blueberry sauce, that was just so lovely. Oh, yum… I’ve had dreams about this dish. A complete bite with waffle and blueberry and maple syrup and crispy chicken skin and tender chicken meat – need I say more?!
After the chicken and waffles came another delicious thing (and really, that should be no surprise)… house-made roasted onion chicken sausage. And so we ate some more, because at the end of the day, that was our JOB! We were there to eat. At some point they also brought out some house-made hot sauce, which was spectacular. I’m a wimp when it comes to hot things, but their sauce was incredible – super spicy up front, but the heat faded fast, and left a wonderful smokey-sweet flavor in your mouth. It went really well with the sausage.
And as if we weren’t liquored up enough – another drink was placed in front of us! The house mimosa, with fresh-squeezed orange juice and a splash of pomegranate. It was a beautiful drink to look at, and poerhaps even more beautiful to drink. Smooth and silky and fresh and fruity – I had to stop myself from finishing this one completely.
Naturally, after another drink came another dish… that seemed to be the theme of the morning, and another dish that wow’ed us all. This breakfast pizza had the most incredible crust, covered in sesame (and other) seeds – perfectly crunchy and buttery and thin but still tender. This was a white pizza with fried quail eggs, smoked cherrywood bacon, arugula and a spicy creme fraiche sauce. It was out of this world – probably one of my favorites of the morning.
Next up: french toast. But not just any old french toast, no this french toast is made with brioche that has been soaked in expresso martini. Yes… SOAKED IN ESPRESSO MARTINI. So insane. It’s then coated in crunched up Cinnamon Life cereal, fried up, and topped with whipped cream and a chocolate straw. Mine was also topped with Mangolista bacon, apparently the cream of the crop in the bacon world, and it was so very good. Very tender as far as bacon goes, and very rich tasting. Mmmmm!
At this point, I honestly thought I could not handle any more… but where there’s a will and a way, and so I welcomed this beautiful glass of Peach Sangria with open arms. The sangria is made with Spanish white wine, brandy, peaches and citrus, but the real recipe is a secret. All you need to know is it tastes ike fancy juice. And it was delicious. I muddled the mint garnish into mine, which was a mighty fine choice (if I do say so myself!)
And of course, more drinks meant more food, but the wait staff had caught on that our bellies were bulging, so they just brought out a few of the last two dishes for everyone to share. Even still, much of it got packed into doggie bags. The first of the final two dishes were the Lobster MacMuffin, which was a mile-high stack of lobster-packed eggs, cheddar cheese and canadian bacon on an english muffin, and hash on the side. The egg was light and airy and full with chunks of lobster. The hash was also so good – it got overshadowed by all of the other amazing flavors, but a solid hash is important! I brought a bit of this home for Kevin and he absolutely loved it reheated with hot sauce.
The second of the final dishes was the Yorkshire Pudding, a hearty and homey dish with house-made chicken sausage patties, gravy, poached eggs and hash… and a popover on the side for good measure. Despite the fact that we were all moaning about ripping apart at the seams and not being able to eat another single bite, this seemed to be a crowd favorite. It was comfort food at it’s finest – so simple, but so incredibly delightfully delicious.
The 10th and final course was a taste of the “five dollar milkshake” from the regular menu, a chocolate malt milkshake with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of sweetened coconut, and another chocolate straw! I don’t often indulge in milkshakes – I prefer a bit scoop of ice cream with lots of cookie or chocolate chunks throughout. But this milkshake totally knocked my socks off. I’m going to have to reconsider my stance on milkshakes… this. was. SO. GOOD. I nearly finished it all, despite literally feeling like I couldn’t possibly fit another drop of water into my belly. And then I rolled myself out the door and into my car and back home.
Local 149 totally exceeded my expectations in every way. I wanted it to be good, but it was so much better than that. The atmosphere and the service were spectacular, and the food was just perfect. I didn’t try a single thing I didn’t really like, and the company of course helped to make for such a memorable morning. Thanks to Boston Brunchers and Local 149 for a wonderful Sunday!