The new Our Fathers Jewish deli in Allston (196 Harvard St.), from the people who brought you Tasty Burger, launched brunch last weekend. It’s closer to our house than Mamaleh’s in Kendall Square (also tasty), so my husband and I bundled off our two children and met friends, also in possession of an infant, for a feast.
It was satisfying, it was easy and nobody cried. What more could you want in a restaurant? If you’d like to follow in our footsteps, some advice:
Our Fathers offers reservations. Hooray! No standing in line for hours with hungry children, elbowing people aside for a seat, shoveling Cheerios into your baby’s mouth like the world is about to end. We were whisked to our table right away.
Park with ease
This isn’t nitty-gritty Allston. This is Allston just over the bridge from Cambridge, inside the new luxury Continuum building. There’s tons of on-street parking, plus a garage.
Ask for a high chair in advance, if you need one
Strategic error: I failed to mention when booking that two people in our party are under the age of 2. They have high chairs and booster seats, but people were using them. One kid sat on a lap. It was fine, but plan ahead.
Order a gin-based alcoholic beverage
Our Fathers has a full bar. Gin is a specialty. There is a large martini list (if you’re up for a martini first thing in the morning, I salute you), a gin and tonic list (offset by Adam Sandler’s “The Chanukah Song” lyrics) and an obscure gin cocktail list. (Grape shrub? Pistachio? Coffee syrup? Why not!) For non-imbibers, the choice is obvious: Get a chocolate egg cream.
Delight in the kids’ menu
Yes, there is a children’s menu here, complete with coloring opportunities: bagels, pickles, matzo ball soup. “Mom, what color is matzo?” my son asked. We settled on yellow. As for actual food, kids under 12 can order chicken matzo ball soup, a cheeseburger on challah (which my 15-month-old housed) and crispy chicken fingers. At $8, the portions are big.
The adult menu has two sides: brunch and lunch. If you’re feeling brunchy, choose between toasts, bagels and smoked fish (Nova lox, smoked whitefish salad) or eggs (steak and eggs, hash and eggs, shakshuka). I got smoked salmon toast with labne (strained yogurt), capers, dill and red onion, topped with a fluffy poached egg. Delicious, but small. I could’ve eaten two. Heartier appetites might go for pastrami-and-corned-beef hash and eggs, devoured by our friends. It’s laced with an orange harissa tehina, pepper-spiked tahini.
Flip the menu for sandwiches: corned beef; chicken, tuna or egg salad; Reubens and Rachels. The standout here is coriander-encrusted pastrami, gloriously soft and fatty, edged with yellow Ba-Tampte mustard. It comes with fries. The only downside? No coleslaw or potato salad sides. But the fries are thin, mealy and crispy.
Discover a surprise!
You can’t order a side of slaw, but you can order a side of Cap’n Crunch with cold milk. A nice touch for finicky children.
Other bonuses: Cheerful service, clean bathrooms and spacious booths to accommodate diaper bag and coat overflow. And if you’re unsure that your kids will sit still long enough for a semi-leisurely brunch? There’s also takeout.