I’m always a fan of a midday work start time; especially when it’s a Sunday and I can wake up early enough to hit a local diner and eat my fill of LOBSTER Benedict.
This week my friend Jana and I decided to take a trip to the South street diner at 178 Kneeland street in Boston Massachusetts.
The diner, which was formally called ‘Blue diner’ was first built in 1943. It was built right slap bang in the middle of the leather factory district, and was a place where factory workers could get cheap home cooked food whatever the season and whatever the hour.
As time went on, and a few factories closed down, the diner remained and quickly became a local hangout for workers, local residents, students, families, clubbers who took advantage of its 24/7 operational hours, and basically just about anyone who was on the lookout for some homemade grub that wouldn’t leave you broke and disappointed, but elated and satisfied beyond belief.
The diner prides itself on saying that a trip to Boston is not complete without a trip to the South Street diner and I am here to tell you that THAT is 100% true, and I’m so glad I got my hands on my very own lobster Benedict before I left and headed onwards to Pittsburgh, PA.
Jana and I planned the whole morning down to the T, literally – ha, and headed out to find our Sunday brunch fill.
The first look at the outside world was a grim one; the rain was pouring from the skies and I knew that the walk to South Street diner was going to be beyond wet and I wasn’t feeling particularly well that day, but I also knew that our hardships would prevail and out we trudged onto the cold wet streets with hope in our hearts.
After around 10 minutes of walking we got our first glimpse at the little diner which took a step back in time, on this modern looking street.
The buildings around the diner had since been built up, and it seemed to almost hide away under their protection as a historical treasure welcoming hungry patrons at every minute of every single day with open doors 24/7.
The big coffee cup resting upon the roof of the diner was calling to me, as my cold hands snapped the picture above, and without hesitation we hurried across the street and entered South Street like wet, wide eyed, puppies coming in from the rain and in need of love.
Even at this early hour of 7.45am the diner was in full swing, and almost full of hungry patrons; I couldn’t believe it.
I knew that I wanted to sit at the counter so that we could be involved in all of the excitement of watching the cooking, and luckily just as I told the server of my kitchen side counter dreams, a couple stood up to leave and we smoothly maneuvered around in the small walkway to take their place.
My jeans where so wet from the rain that it looked as though I’d been dipped from the thighs down into a swimming pool, and as my coat began to dry on a rack, I welcomed the fresh coffee that landed in front of me within seconds of requesting it.
After a first sip of my deliciously good coffee I suddenly realized that I was smelling the most delicious smells of bacon, eggs, potatoes, the fryer, and pancakes wafting around the small diner, and my stomach began to rumble audibly.
It was a cute hangout; small and cosy like a good diner should be, and I loved that the metals on the interior made me feel as though I was possibly inside of an old airstream trailer, although I knew I wasn’t.
It wasn’t exceptionally bright inside, and the blue neon lights running along the whole inside wall of the diner made it seem warm even though the outside world shuddered in icy rain, and once again I fell in love with that typical ‘open kitchen’ layout that diners rocked so well.
I would be lying if I told you that I didn’t know exactly what I wanted days before visiting the diner, but I must say that when I saw the menu I did – for a second – get stuck between a couple of dishes that almost changed my original plan.
Luckily Jana was there to help me, and after a lot of debate we decided that the Lobster Benedict was the dish of the day, and I found myself feeling so excited that I kept looking all around the kitchen to catch glimpses of cooking lobster.
Have a look at the menu for yourself and pick out your favorite Sunday morning dish at South Street diner, and did I mention already that this diner offers craft beers, cocktails, and wines?! No? Well, it does and our lives are better for it. If I didn’t have to work in the afternoon, and I wasn’t feeling so under the weather, I would have ordered a mimosa right there and then.
As we sat waiting for our food to arrive I noticed that a small line had began to form at the door of the diner, where people waited patiently for their diner fill.
I also noticed that customers did not have to wait long; the service was fast, and the little diner became almost a rotating door of customers that sat down, ate, and left happy in a quick pitstop visit.
I was impressed at the functioning of the little diner, and the speed in which great dishes where being produced in the kitchen right in front of us, and we even got to watch the whole process of our meal being created before it arrived right in front of us ready to eat.
I loved the whole experience; here we where in a diner dating back to the 1940s, in rainy Boston, watching our food being cooked right in front of us. We could see every single ingredient, every single cooking method, and it really did prove that South Street diner was a simple, good quality, home cooking joint that had no hidden additions and no mysteries to their food; but honest, delicious, up front dishes that could warm even the coldest of hearts.
And there it was… Lobster Benedict.
You’re lying if you say that this dish isn’t a sight so beautiful that it’s making you green with envy at the sheer fact you can’t jump through the screen and take a bite yourself.
I guess that means YOU, my lovely reader, will have to take a trip for yourself in order to get your hands on a plate of foodie gold like this.
I had watched with wide eager eyes as the Hollandaise had been ladled on top of this lobsters egg mountain, and now that it was in front of me I had absolutely no idea where to start.
I looked at Jana, both of us smiling at just how amazing this dish looked, and I did what any sane person would do… worked myself to the middle from the outside in.
The colors exploded from the plate; the beautiful bright red color of the lobster was bursting with freshness, the gloriously creamy yellow of the Hollandaise looked almost like royalty as it draped itself over the top like a satin blanket, the pure white of the egg and English muffin almost seemed innocent within the mix, the wobbly yolks peered through the Hollandaise as though you really where seeing through to the other side of a beautiful satin – vague and mysterious – and the crisped potatoes caught your attention to let you know that they where there, and they where just as ready as you to get the party started.
No matter which way I turned and twisted the plate, this dish was almost too beautiful to eat, but eat I must and eat I did!
The first ingredient to touch my tastebuds was a juicy piece of lobster that was exposed and bright red at the side of a muffin.
The tell-tale buttery flavors of lobster flooded my mouth, and as I began to chew I noted it’s slightly chewy lobster texture that wasn’t too much nor too mushy, and the mild seafood taste that lobster can bring to the table – and sometimes confuses feasters into comparing it to crab – was present and delicious.
It was fresh, and good in the most ridiculous way that I can honestly say I would never expect at a small diner in Boston.
Now that I’d had a taste of heaven I began to really dig my way into the dish; with a slice of my knife I popped my first yolk and felt my heart flutter with love and happiness.
The yolk was liquid gold as I watched it cascade down the side of the muffin and into the river of Hollandaise pooling on the plate.
My fork was filled with a piece of English muffin, delicious yolky egg, a chunk of lobster and a piece of potato.
Opening my mouth wide, I pushed the whole heap inside, and it was beyond any expectations I’d held prior.
The English muffin had absorbed the pooling Hollandaise into its depths but had kept its firm texture well and had no signs of being soggy.
The explosion of creamy Hollandaise that seeped from the muffin with every bite was balanced out with the richness of the egg yolk and the buttery lobsters distinct taste, and I knew right there and then that this was a new favorite benedict that i’d never known I was missing in my life until this very moment; I felt as though I had yet to live and I had just filled a void I was unaware of.
It didn’t take long to destroy a whole tower of Benedict, and although my appetite wasn’t as strong as usual due to being under the weather, I still couldn’t stop myself from slicing into that second tower with the excitement of a young child in a toy store.
I was very surprised at just how much lobster was included in the dish, and I felt as though I was definitely getting a bang for my buck with every bite.
I watched, chewing happily, as other dishes left the kitchen for hungry patrons, and I noticed that every single plate was stacked high; South Street diner was not about skimping meals or handing out small plates, this was a diner, and you would either go big or go home.
Jana agreed with my overpowering love for the dish, and we continued chowing down at the little counter as though we hadn’t eaten for a week.
As the dish began to empty and my last piece of lobster mountain left the plate, I savored every second knowing that I may not get another lobster Benedict this fabulous again for quite some time.
The end came as I swallowed the last mouthful of lobster, with quarter of my potatoes left on the plate, and I began to wave my white flag and surrender to the benedict, unable to fit another bite inside.
My new favorite before work activity on any available Sunday morning I have free, is to find a great diner that serves delicious food in a welcoming environment, and I can honestly say that South Street diner ticked every single box and passed with flying colors.
With our bills paid, our stomachs full, and our damp coats dry enough to wear, we thanked the staff and stepped back out into the awful rainy day with a new glimmer of happiness in our eyes.
Thank you to South Street diner and all its staff for a memorable morning that has opened my eyes to the beauty that is LOBSTER Benedict.
Please, never change!
There’s a reason this diner has withstood the test of time, and still stands today serving delicious food to the people of Boston, and I feel happier about my life knowing that little goldmines like that exist across the country and I’m so happy that I found South Street diner right here in a city I love so much.
I will be back!
I don’t know when, but I can promise that I’ll be making another trip in the future.
Until next time,
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