The best little hash house in Allston
by Sarah Lariviere
Stretch your imagination: it's Sunday morning in Boston, and you're not waiting
in line for two hours for breakfast, not paying $7.50 for scrambled eggs, not
playing mix-and-match with exotic omelet ingredients. Instead, you're sliding
into a diner booth, and a cup of fresh coffee is landing in front of you before
you've even taken off your coat.
You can't accuse Henry's, a classic diner parked on Western Avenue in Lower
Allston, of being a slave to fashion - the "breakfast specials," written in
marker, have been hanging over the counter for at least five years. The smart
choice to make is the combination breakfast ($5.95): French toast (sufficiently
eggy and cinnamon-powdered) or pancakes (choice of fruit) with two eggs any
style, a choice of ham, sausage, or bacon, and home fries. The pancakes, served
with a smear of butter the size of a child's fist, are the true standout.
Large, moist, and made with a little vanilla, they avoid the occasional diner
snag of having meaty overtones. Corned-beef hash (we substituted for $1) is
heavy on the potatoes, but perfect when mixed with eggs over-easy. The home
fries are pleasantly inconsistent -- you can count on a generous dose of
paprika, but on some days the potatoes are soft and spicy, on others crisp and
oniony. Once they arrived not fully cooked; we mentioned this, and the waitress
said, "That's just how they are today." Some things just need to be taken on
their own terms.
Henry's Diner, located at 270 Western Avenue, in Allston, is open Monday
through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday from 8 a.m. to
6 p.m., and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Breakfast served all
day. Call (617) 783-5844.
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