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A café for the hardworking gourmand
By MC SLIM JB  |  April 9, 2008

Blunch is not the most mellifluous name, merely a pragmatic one for a place that serves breakfast and lunch. It’s also a name that dispels any whiff of that most effete and ritualized of meals, the South End weekend brunch. Rather, Blunch is a cute and casual weekday place (though it is open Saturdays) offering counter-service meals to folks rushing to work or through short lunch breaks. Its customers are far too busy for idle chitchat or noonday mimosas. This is a workingman’s café, though the nearby factory is actually Boston Medical Center.

Breakfast, served all day, is built around fresh-baked muffins ($1.95), house-made granola ($4.75 with milk; $5 with yogurt), bagels with cream cheese or tomato ($1.50–$2), egg sandwiches on a hard roll or bagel ($4–$4.50), and locally roasted filter coffee ($1.90–$2.25). Specials include delicious cupcake-size quiches ($3.25). Lunchtime focuses on oversize, beautiful sandwiches like the Loaf ($6.75), an inch-and-a-half-thick slice of Angus meatloaf, stuffed with fontina and topped with stewed tomatoes and roasted garlic on herbed focaccia, and the Big Papi ($6.75), a pressed sandwich of ham, Swiss, pickles, and chipotle mayo on baguette. One good, ample mixed-greens salad ($5.50) is on offer with two simple add-ons: goat cheese and walnuts ($6.50) or tuna salad ($6.95).

Chef/owner Nikki Christo also dishes out daily “chef’s whim” specials, like a superb tuna Niçoise sandwich ($6.95) of albacore, boiled egg, black-olive purée, greens, and red-pepper aioli, wrapped in a wheat tortilla and pressed on the grill, or a vividly curry-seasoned egg-salad sandwich ($6) with roasted red peppers and greens on thick white bread. Christo’s daily rotation of soups ($2/cup; $3/bowl) includes one brothy, like the clear, restorative ham bone and orzo, and one creamy, like the gorgeous butternut squash bisque with rosemary. In her unpretentious joint, with its handful of counter seats and plastic cutlery, Christo puts extraordinary freshness, creativity, and flair into the cooking. If you’re a sleep-deprived resident looking for the will to endure another shift, or the kind of tradesman who subscribes to Gourmet, Blunch just might be your dream eatery.

Blunch, situated at 59 East Springfield Street, in Boston, is open Monday through Friday, from 8 am to 3 pm, and on Saturday, from 10 am to 3 pm. Call 617.247.8100.

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  Topics: On The Cheap , Culture and Lifestyle, Food and Cooking, Cheese,  More more >
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