The Franklin Cafe, How’s The Food There?

The Franklin Café is hugely popular in the Boston area. I’ve heard tons of hype about the food at this place, but I’m sad to say that the dishes I tasted were good, but they definitely fell short of my expectations from what people were saying about it. It’s tasty, but it really just is a neighborhood restaurant.  The service is great, and the staff is friendly. I’d go there to grab a beer with my friends and if we just wanted to relax, but just like a place like Casimir in New York City, it’s a neighborhood spot that people are familiar with, and in my opinion, probably why they like it so much. It’s not a place that made me excited about the food when I tasted it. Though, on the menu, it does sound quite fancy and unique. Do I need to go back? Nope. Will I probably go back to just chill? Mr. Juice will probably make me, so, yes.

Tuna tartare: The tuna was fresh and clean. Nothing exciting. I loved the idea of serving it with pita chips, but they were burned , as you can see from the picture, and therefore,  could not be eaten with the tuna since it would then overpower it.

Gnocchi (First picture above):  I can honestly say that I don’t remember much about this dish. It was a combination of sweet and salty, but very forgettable. And looking at the picture of it again now, there is a lot going on on that plate, you’d figure that I would have a clearer memory of all of those flavors.

Fried pea shoots: Again, this sounded incredibly interesting on the menu, and combine that with my love for pea shoots, I was hoping that this would be a winner. It wasn’t. The end result was oil pea shoot sprouts that had no crisp whatsoever, and seemed to be cooked unevenly. If you didn’t tell me that they were fried, I would have assumed that they were poorly sautéed in too much oil.

Corned beef and cabbage: You guys know how I can handle a heart stopping dish. Bone marrow, pork belly, bring it on. This classic dish however, was way too heavy. It just tasted as if everything was seeped and cooked in so much fat and oil, and there was nothing there to balance out the heaviness. It made me sad because I love corned beef and was really looking forward to this entrée. Bummer.

So I guess in the end, this place was just a lot of talk and hype, and not much execution. If you are looking for a tasty bite to eat in Boston, head to Toro instead.

6 out of 10

They have 3 locations, I went to the Shawmut Ave. one.

Franklin Café

278 Shawmut Avenue

Boston, MA 02118-2125

(617) 350-0010

-Joyce Huang
Franklin Cafe on Urbanspoon

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