The Painted Burro: Somerville, Massachusetts

Somerville, Massachusetts

After a much too long hiatus from my favorite blogging group, the Boston Brunchers, a last minute invite got me a spot at this month's eating extravaganza. Once or twice a month, a group of Boston bloggers get together over brunch (or other food-related activity), to experience different menus, enjoy each other's company and spread the word. This past Sunday, the meeting place was in Somerville at The Painted Burro. I had already been here for dinner earlier on in the year, but their brunch was a first for me and I can tell you, it will not be the last.

Along with a group of 9 others, we were seated at a lovely wooden table in the middle-right section of the restaurant and shortly thereafter, an order of their specialty Iced Coffee Horchata was placed in front of us. This delicious refreshment was light and sweet, with an orange-infused sugar rim. It was huge, but I somehow had no trouble finishing it off.

To get our palettes warmed up, we ordered a few of their goat empanadas which came two to an order, perfectly fried and filled with delicious, tender local goat meat and covered in a red pepper and tomato-chipotle salsa.

Guacamole was a must, however, there was a brief discussion about which of the three kinds we should get. After a slight nudge on my part, guacamole with pork belly and roasted tomatoes was the winner. There is always the question of whether adding pork belly to something as classic as guacamole is necessary, and although the guacamole itself would have been just fine, pork belly on anything is usually my preference.

For the entrees, we could not resist their Yucatan Meatloaf - a monstrous portion of spicy sirloin, ground with chorizo, ham, chicharron, green olives and almonds (which made for an amazing crunch every other bite). The whole thing was topped with two beautifully fried, sunny-side up eggs and placed on a thick cut piece of toast. Oh - and the best part? Their red molé sauce. The meatloaf itself was so delicious that I could have done without the bread – just serve me up the meat and the sauce and I would be perfectly happy.

Our second dish was 'El Montanero' - a lovely mess of burro rice, beans, chicharron, chorizo and best of all, fried plantains. Again, two eggs topped off the dish and turned the whole thing into a fantastic concoction of textures reinforced with a crispy crunch from an underlying corn tortilla.

To finish, I figured it would be a good idea to order a taste of their homemade ice creams. One for the morning was a chipotle chocolate which I found to be an excellent digestif, and a coconut-avocado ice cream, which to me, was a refreshing palette cleanser. These ice creams were fabulous, with real, honest flavors.

By the end of the meal, all of us bloggers were ready for a nice nap, one last surprise woke us all up however and that was their corn popsicle. It was basically like eating a cold corn on the cob, which may sound crazy...but – well, it is crazy actually. Crazy good.

If you are looking for something different, interesting and tasty to change your brunch (or dinner) pace, The Painted Burro is a definite 'go'.