Review: Sugar Bakery (Boston Phoenix)
The old A. Borschetto bakery sign remains inside Sugar Bakery and Restaurant in Roslindale, a joint venture by the owners of the Real Deal Deli and the Rox Diner, serving sit-down breakfast and lunch. A few feet away from the sign is a mammoth coin-operated scale. I cannot report on its performance, as you would have to pay me to weigh myself in a bakery.
What I can divulge is that Sugar serves a terrific breakfast sandwich full of frills for $6. It's gilded with the things that others use to get away with charging $12, plus a dollar for every instance of the words "local," "humane," and so on; ditto for in-house baking, as this is. This is not to suggest that anyone should get any ideas — at $12, I'm going to grade on a different scale. This sandwich is a saucer of a soft, white English muffin, split, buttered and toasted, topped with nutty melted manchego (or choose from several other cheeses) and a casually scrambled egg. "Do your worst," dares the menu, offering a long list of vegetable and meat toppings at no extra charge. As if to challenge the structural integrity of the sandwich, I request arugula, asparagus, onion, mushroom, and tomato. It arrives with zucchini instead of tomato, but no matter. Vegetables are crisp, not watery, topped with a ruffle of crackly bacon; the muffin contains it all with poise. The only casualties are a few loose arrowheads of asparagus — a triumph of engineering. A pile of home fries included on the side are crusted in paprika, buttery and light inside.
There are pillowy, malt-flecked waffles ($7), and eggy French toast caramelized by searing ($8). Sides of eggs arrive perfectly as requested, yolks oozing little golden rivers. A grilled reuben on marble rye offers corned beef shaved thinly across its jeweled grain beside hot, unadorned French fries. A conch po' boy ($9) on a split roll recalls Rhode Island–style clam cakes, drizzled with red chili mayonnaise atop a bed of jicama slaw, beside sweet, capsaicin-laced onion strings. Some menu items fall above this column's price limit; that factor alone kept me from the roast beef hash, and the poached egg nestled in risotto; Sugar has plans to continue expanding their menu into dinner, and to add a liquor license.
With the money I saved by avoiding the scale, I bought a soft, spicy hermit.
This review originally appeared in the Boston Phoenix, March 7, 2011.