brunch diaries: post-vaccination brunches

It has been SO. LONG since I’ve posted a “brunch diary” entry! Like…almost a year at this point. For most of last year I didn’t go out to eat as much because of the pandemic so even when places started to reopen in summer 2020, I would only go to places that had outdoor seating. I held off for awhile until I went to Vegas and I felt more comfortable because people in Vegas were more compliant with mask wearing than people in Maine. Then winter came and so did the third wave, it didn’t feel right to eat out so Brandon and I just relied on take out. I also didn’t want to do “outdoor” seating because waiting in the cold for a heated igloo (which were also separately priced…) wasn’t worth it in my opinion. Like many other people, I waited until I was fully vaccinated to do things like eating out and hanging out with friends outside of my circle (for the past few months it was my work friends circle hehe). In today’s post, I’ll be sharing some of my post-vaccination brunch experiences from Portland to Boston!

  1. EARL’S KITCHEN + BAR – BOSTON, MA

I went to Earl’s Kitchen + Bar for a much needed shopping and brunch day with my friend Christie (follow her on IG @christieashley). Earl’s is located inside the Prudential Center in Boston Back Bay and is one of my go-to’s any time I’m in the city. Their menu has a wide range of selections for lunch and dinner – but of course, I’ll be talking about their brunch happy hour menu that they serve specifically on the weekends.

the bougiest brunch consisting of lobster, champagne & Chanel

Earl’s brunch happy hour is available on weekends & holidays from 10am til noon for a few dollars cheaper and from noon to 3pm brunch resumes at full price. I got the lobster and shrimp omelette while Christie got the lobster eggs benedict. Both meals came with a side of home fries or salad and with a side of ketchup. The portions were great for the price and they did not skimp out in terms of seafood servings.

2. TUSCAN TABLE – SOUTH PORTLAND, ME

If you either a) know me in real life and/or b) been following me in IG for awhile, you know by now that Tuscan Table is one of my favorite places to dine in the southern Maine area. I’ve been coming here since they first opened and they’re a favorite among my gal pals. They didn’t release a brunch menu until recently and of course, I had to check it out when I got a chance! I’ve actually been to their brunch a couple times since being vaccinated and tried two different things in the meanwhile.

a delicious brunch spread between work friends

Tuscan Table serves brunch only on the weekends. Their menu is rather small but you can also get items from their lunch menu. My first brunch entree at Tuscan Table was their steak & eggs benedict (pictured, top left) – perfectly seasoned steak tips & eggs with homemade hollandaise served on top of fresh cheddar bay biscuits…now doesn’t that sound mouthwatering to you? It also came with a side salad, which by the way, was one of the best side salads I have ever had. The second time I went to brunch, I had recommended the steak & eggs benedict to my friend Michelle. She also agreed that the side salad was one of the best parts of the meal. My other friend, Hannah, got the short rib hash (pictured, top right) which might be the item I try next time. She absolutely loved it. I, of course, got the pancake board. The menu advertised the pancake board as a sharable item for 2….but I scarfed that baby down like it was no issue. The pancake board consists of ten silver dollar pancakes, four slices of bacon, and fruit, jam, butter, syrup…all the fixings. I never knew I needed a pancake board in my life until that moment.

3. BATSON RIVER BREWING & DISTILLING – PORTLAND, ME

Batson River’s new Portland location is a MUST if you are visiting the area. Located right in Bayside, Batson River’s cozy atmosphere, craft cocktails, and impressive menu really makes it a unique, Maine dining experience. I had previously checked out Batson River for dinner with friends one night but have yet to do brunch. I was invited to do a media tasting at Batson River with two other New England influencers, Keela (@eatswithspoon) and Anna (@allmyteetharesweet) and it was an amazing time!

Their brunch menu was the most unique out of all the places I’ve been to – I had the duckfat fried cornbread and some french toast with whipped mascarpone topping. Holy moly that was good. Keela got the breakfast pizza and caramel apple bread pudding and Anna got the grilled cheese/tomato soup and home fries. I had a couple drinks while I was there as well – a basic mimosa and a specialty cocktail.

For my cocktail, I got the Pretty Bird – a rum based drink (with Batson River rum) with campari, pineapple, lime, aleppo and agave. The Pretty Bird was a fruity cocktail with a kick – absolutely delish! Batson River’s flagship location is located in Kennebunk, ME, about 30 minutes south of Portland and they’re in the process of building their new Biddeford location, which is right in my neck of the woods! Something tells me I’ll be at the Biddeford one quite often once completed.

A big special thanks to Batson River as well as Keela and Anna for the wonderful brunch experience!

Will you be hitting up your favorite brunch hot spots after you get vaccinated? Will you be checking out new places to have brunch as well? Let me know in the comments below!

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