Serious Eats: Drinks
Hangover Helper: Jalapeno Chicken Sausage, Black Bean, and Egg Flatbread at Tory Row in Cambridge, MA
Tory Row in Harvard Square is named after its Brattle Street location. In the late 18th-century, Brattle Street was called Tory Row because it was a Loyalist enclave of rich people in big, new houses. Now Brattle Street is an unaffiliated enclave of rich people in big, old houses, and Tory Row is where I eat eggs.
There are several nice egg options, but my current favorite when I've got some cobwebs to clear is the jalapeño chicken sausage, black bean, and scrambled egg flatbread with Vermont cheddar and pico de gallo ($9). Doesn't that sound at once filling, fog-cutting, and borderline healthyish? It certainly feels like all of those things early on a Sunday afternoon.
The crust is thin and crisp and a little bit salty; it is very good. The scant layer of unseasoned half-smashed black beans doesn't add much flavor but, hey, brunch protein without cholesterol! I'll take it. The beans are covered by the most important element (and the easiest to screw up): Tory Row gets the eggs right by providing a generous, well seasoned blanket that is set well enough to support the sausage atop without becoming rubbery or overcooked.
The sausage itself if nicely browned and flavorful, if a little milder than my inattentive next-morning tongue requires. No problem, as Tory Row thoughtfully provides both Cholula and Green Tabasco no questions asked, and there's some Texas Pete's behind the bar if you care to inquire.
This is good, basic brunch food that tries just hard enough. The most revolutionary thing about Tory Row these days is their bold move of running a brunch sans Bloody Marys (ridiculous Massachusetts liquor laws strike again: Tory Row's not licensed to sell the hard stuff). This is cool with me, because they have a good selection of beer and wine, and if a Gritty McDuff's Black Fly Stout and two cups of coffee can't solve your liquid problems, you might have already lost that day's war.