I Ate This: Round Two Brunch at Lolita
My curiosity about Lolita was first piqued when I read Amy Traverso’s review back in March. So when I heard that the place had begun serving a “Round Two” brunch, targeted at party folks who wanted to keep the Friday night fiesta going, I saw the perfect opportunity to practice one of my favorite hobbies: day drinking.
Thanks to a press release’s promise of a “debaucherous Saturday brunch” I’d expected tables crammed with twentysomethings forcing down tequila shots as techno bumped over the speakers. Instead, when we arrived at noon the place was entirely empty. That didn’t dissuade us from getting the party started with some specialty cocktails. The cucumber watermelon mojito was all things refreshing and delicious. For those with expensive tastes, there’s what must be the priciest margarita in town: the $100 Liquid Gold with Don Julio 1942 (though why anyone would put aged sipping tequila into a mixed drink is beyond us). A word to the wise: The “Bloody Maria” comes with a bacon garnish, which isn’t listed on the menu and came as a shock to my vegetarian friend who ordered it. A request for a tequila sunrise (not on the menu) prompted a display of the encyclopedic tequila menu, which is organized by flavor notes and fully three times as long as the food menu.
The food itself is mostly standard brunch fare with a slight twist. Instead of pancakes, it’s “¡Red Velvet Pancakes Gigante!” Rather than regular French toast, you can order a giant cinnamon bun soaked in custard, served with an ominous-sounding “bun drizzle.” Hint: Order anything that comes with the red chili home fries, and ask for a side of the house hot sauce — a mango-habanero concoction served in a cork-stoppered red glass bottle. Fresh fruit ceviche (basically fruit salad) was served in a hollowed-out pineapple half, though pineapple was mysteriously missing from the mix. We solved that mystery when my “Naughty Pineapple” cocktail arrived at the table. Crammed with chunks of fresh fruit and packing heat from serrano chilies, it was easily the best part of my brunch — I’d go back for that alone.
It seems, overall, that cocktails are what Lolita does best. And about halfway through our second round of testing that theory, another party showed up — with a toddler in tow. He chattered and cooed as we stared uncomfortably into our icy drinks. Debaucherous brunch? Maybe we’ll plan our next visit during nap time.
Round Two Brunch is served Saturdays, 10 am-4 pm; Lolita, 271 Dartmouth St., Boston, 617-369-5609, lolitaboston.com.