Despite living in the Boston/Cambridge area for 7 years now, I had yet to visit Cafe Luna for brunch until two Sundays ago. And you can bet I wont let another 7 go by until I visit again, in fact I’ll probably be back in a month or two (once our bank account and stomachs recover from our trip to Italy).
Disclaimer: all opinions are my own. I was not invited or compensated by Café Luna for this review.
When looking for a brunch place to take my dad out for his birthday, the usual suspects came to mind: Rosebud Diner (awesome blueberry pancakes), Trident Cafe (get their apple and brie omelet), or Russel House Tavern (I could eat their granola yogurt bowl with bruleed bananas every day). But I wanted to change things up and take him somewhere we haven’t been yet. After asking friends and searching online, Cafe Luna seemed to be everyone’s go-to place. And after taking a peek at the menu online I understood why: smoked salmon and avocado eggs Benedict, lobster and avocado omelets, lemon poppyseed pancakes, double thick Belgian waffles – everything sounded so good! And the best news? It lived up to my tastebuds’ expectations.
But let’s back up. First the location. Cafe Luna is on the border of the Central Square and Kendal Square areas in Cambridge. For those of you ice cream-lovers it is just a few doors down from Toscanini’s on Mass Ave. Although it doesn’t open until 9:30, people started lining up at 9 to get their names on the list (note: they wont start taking names until about 9:15). But being the planner I am, I had made a reservation two months ahead of time so we wouldn’t have to worry about waiting. They don’t take many reservations and you have to do it via email, but if there are more than two of you I highly recommend making a reservation as there aren’t many 4 person tables.
Inside, the cafe is adorable! It’s super tiny, I think there were at most 12 tables (possibly even less). The interior transports you to a small cafe in France with tables pushed against one wall, a small aisle, then a coffee bar on the other side. While this may make it sound like you’ll be waiting forever for a table, they do get the food out very quickly, so unless people are being extra talkative that day it seems like tables turn over quickly. However, this is not a place for a big group, in fact I wouldn’t go with a party any larger than 4 people.
So onto the food. Our server recommended we start with grilled biscuits served with warm maple butter. The biscuits were nice and soft, reminiscent of a crumpet, and perfectly buttered without being greasy. The maple butter was exactly what it should be: sweet, rich, and delicious. We finished the basket in seconds.
Both of my parents got the Lobster and Avocado Omelet with a side of fruit. The lobster was perfectly tender and with the avocado melted like butter in your mouth. But in my opinion, the best part was the egg part of the omelet. It was so light and fluffy – they clearly do a good job of whisking enough air into their eggs!
I couldn’t decide between the Roasted Vegetable Egg Hash and the Smoked Salmon Spinach and Avocado Benedict, so I ordered the hash for myself and the Benedict for Bry. I honestly couldn’t tell you which I liked better. The hash consisted of roasted broccoli, cauliflower, butternut squash, and potatoes that were slightly spicy from the seasoning but thankfully not overly salty. Over the veggies was a very generous amount of melted cheddar cheese – actually too much cheese, I would have preferred about half as much. Then on top sat two perfectly poached eggs. The vinegar from the eggs cut through the savory vegetables to balance it all out nicely. While the dish was delicious, I recommend ordering a side of fruit to lighten things up a bit.
I’m not a hollandaise sauce fan (I always ask for my Benedicts without it. . .which I guess defeats the purpose) but Bry found the sauce to be savory without being overly rich and paired nicely with the salmon. The smoked salmon itself was absolutely delicious and they did not skimp on the portion! But my favorite part was the English Muffin. There must be a place in Cambridge that makes homemade English muffins because this is the second time I’ve gone out for breakfast in Cambridge and have been surprised with how spongy and absolutely delicious the English Muffins have been.
I am already itching to go back to Cafe Lua, but next time I plan on talking Bry into splitting an order of lemon pancakes and the Salmon Benedict.
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