I met up with a friend for a lunch outing last week (the blogosphere knows her as Juniper Disco). We both wanted to check out a new place, and I came across Firebrand Saints after doing a search on Google maps for restaurants in the Kendall Square area. Neither of us had even heard of it before which is a little odd considering that we’re both kind of foodies (by our own definitions!). I’m not exactly sure when it opened but according to their blog, I’d say it was somewhere in early December.
It’s located on Broadway near the T station, and towards the Longfellow Bridge to Beacon Hill. One word of caution before you check this place out: it is quite LOUD both inside and outside in the patio area. Maybe I’m a little more sensitive about noise with a baby in tow, but my friend and I had to repeat ourselves a couple of times to be heard across the table. It’s not terrible but it’s not quiet either – just sayin’!
We both liked the big open space inside. There’s an open kitchen area where you can watch them prepare dishes with tall stool seating looking into it. The bar area is perpendicular to a wall that has a really cool projector playing sketches of different neighborhood scenes. The lighting on the way to the restrooms are eye-catching rods that drop down from a super high ceiling.
If you were there at one of the surrounding tables while we were there that day, you probably noticed us giggling a lot. That was partially because we’re such avid food photo takers and we totally understand each other’s need to snap a photo before the food is touched. We laughed about how well-trained our husbands are too – more often than not, their arms or hands are what you see in the background of our food photos. And on this day it was me ordering her not to touch her food yet, and vice versa. But we didn’t even need to explain our craziness to each other which was awesome. 🙂
It seemed to take a while longer for our food to arrive but once it did we were quite pleased. She had the slow roasted beef “French Dip” sandwich au jus with a side of their parmesan fennel mashed potatoes, and I had the harvested mushroom sandwich with bacon added.
The French dip sandwich was delicious but kind of messy to eat with your hands so she opted for a fork and knife most of the time. The sandwiches are a really good sized portion and quite filling. Here’s a photo of the inside of her sandwich with the really nice rarely cooked beef. (Yes, I am a rare-meat-loving-carnivore. You should know that about me by now!)
My sandwich was served with balsamic onion, grilled asparagus, and smoked mozzarella cheese. It usually comes with a red pepper tapenade but I had to ask them to exclude it for food allergy reasons. It was delicious! I was less elegant than my friend and just used my hands and got messy with my sandwich. I had them add some applewood smoked bacon which was really tasty. I also liked how there were tiny chive bits as a garnish along with some scallions on the side to munch on with the sandwich for an extra bite of onion flavor.
As mentioned earlier, I did have my 9-month-old who was passed out in her stroller with us when I arrived. She didn’t seem to mind the loud music and energetic lunch crowd once we were seated and slept for a few minutes longer. The wait staff was friendly and helpful in setting up a high chair for her (one of them was super sweet and constantly said hello to our little one – it was cute!). We got there shortly after noon and managed to get a table with no problem (there was a lot of open seating outdoors but it was just a tad too sunny and hot for us), but it did start to fill up closer to the 12:30 pm lunch hour.
Overall I think this was such a great find! They have strings of light hanging in their outdoor seating area so I’m interested to see what it looks like at night (busy and crowded with the local biochemistry workers and MIT crowd I’m sure). It’s a fun spot for a casual date or for a small group outing, and for just hanging out at the bar (did I mention the super wide TV screens with scrolling captions and stuff?). The menu offers tasty sandwiches (3 different kinds of burgers!), a mezze bar, a couple of entree options, and a list of beers, wine, and cocktails for everyone’s tastes.
Neither of us had any room for dessert afterward (house made pies and ice cream – tempting!) but we both had an inkling for some caffeine, so I took her over to Voltage on Third Street for some tasty iced lattes. If you’re in that area, also stop by Xylem (near Voltage) to check out some cool gift items including this super adorable baby onesie for that particularly geeky computer friend of yours. 🙂
Cambridge, MA 02142