Champion of breakfasts
On the Cheap by Rob McKeown
With a ramshackle exterior, wood-framed windows, and wicker-encased
lamps, Renée's Café is every bit a roadside diner -- except for
the fact that it's in Somerville. Even the mistakes are dead-on, like the table
in the center of the room that has different coloring from everything in sight.
But the real attractions here are refreshing renditions of morning classics.
Boring old French toast is flavorful again when made from a baguette, enlivened
with a vanilla-laced batter, and piled high with grilled bananas ($5.25). Same
goes for a Mexican omelet ($5.50), which is served open-faced, with the peppers
and homemade chili dolloped on top of the eggs instead of wrapped inside. If
only the eggs Benedict ($5.75) came with some simple, buttered toast to soak up
the Hollandaise sauce; instead, you get home fries with a month's worth of
paprika on top. Does the cook have a fetish? It doesn't really matter in an
atmosphere like this one. At least not to the bacon-and-eggs set -- mostly
khaki-clad Tufts students and Globe-in-hand locals -- that frequents
this place on weekends.
Renée's Café, located at 198 Holland Street, in Somerville,
is open Wednesday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and on Saturday and
Sunday from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Closed Monday and Tuesday. Call (617)
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