juleps and jazzy jams at beat brasserie
For all you history buffs out there, let's see if you get this one right. What do Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, and Peter Orlovsky have in common?
Short answer: Beat
If you're confused, don't worry. Back in the 1960's, a new generation known as 'Beat' formed which encouraged rebellion against 'standard norms' of the time. The new Beat era stimulated intense spirituality, psychedelic drug trailing, and provocative experimentation. The new standards in Beat generation were derived from a new form of literature - referred to as Beat poetry. Of the most famous Beat poets were Ginsberg, Burroughs, and Orlovsky.
Beat Brasserie - also known as Beat Hotel - was inspired by the Beat- hippie movement and famous Beat poets. With very whimsical and colorful decor, the brasserie has modernized 1960s flare and groove.
I was very excited when the invite came through to try the new lunch menu at Beat, in part because I was excited to venture into Harvard square (a Boston neighborhood I rarely travel to anymore) and also because I know it is the sister restaurant to of one of my favorite local spots, The Beehive. Their expansive lunch menu is offered every week day (Monday through Friday) from 11am - 3pm.
I started my lunch with a drink - the Grapefruit Julep - which contains Vodka, pomegranate, mint, and grapefruit. Oh my gosh, it was so good. I especially loved the mint garnish. For those who shy away from acidic fruit drinks, however, I would also recommend the American Breed (a bourbon based cocktail with apple cider and St. Elder Elderflower liqueur).
For an appetizer, my friend and I ordered the buffalo cauliflower and the tuna tartare. Both plates were delicious. The tartare especially was so unique. Rather than cubed or sliced, the tuna was saturated in white mustard, topped with capers, and served as a spread alongside crostini bread chips. We loved it!
For our entree's, we decided to split the country fried chicken and the short rib grilled cheese. The fried chicken was doubtlessly a 10/10. They served up a simply perfect, classic fried chicken dish. The chicken itself was incredibly moist and fell right off of the bone. The breading was flaky, warm, and did not feel or taste greasy. The chicken was served atop creamy mashed potatoes and with a side of peach hot sauce (yes, peach hot sauce). So tasty!
The short rib grilled cheese was also delicious. The bread was thick and the short rib was billowing out of the sandwich. The cheese to meat ratio was on point (for all you cheese lovers, I know how important the 'cheese ratio' is). Another classic dish that Beat mastered.
At this point, my guest and I were pretty full. But all of you know that dessert goes into a separate stomach. So, after a quick glance of the dessert menu, we ordered the apple cobbler.
Yes, yes, and yes. Take three of another perfectly mastered classic comfort dish. We loved the cobbler and ate it straight out of the skillet (thanks for the side plate, but no thanks…)
All in all, I had an awesome lunch. I am so happy to have learned about this hidden gem. The food was awesome, the service was lovely, and the decor is unique and fun. Beat Brasserie hosts jazz artists at night as well, so I am certainty going back on a Friday or Saturday evening for some Grapefruit Julep and jazzy jams.
See you there!