Friday, May 24, 2024

A weekly notebook about dining options during the Covid-19 shutdown, with a focus on quality and ease of pickup and delivery.


The Deconstructed Grilled Cheese & Tomato at Source in Harvard Square. (Photo: Tom Meek)

A year ago we reported on the great salads, gourmet pasta and pizzas made from a tightly guarded secret yeast at Source in Harvard Square (in the old Cambridge, 1. storefront), which Daniel Paul Roughan and executive chef Brian Kevorkian boldly opened in the middle of pandemic uncertainty. One of the opening concepts was to offer a pescatarian, poultry and meat dish alongside a four-pronged menu completed by small-plates listings with plenty of vegetarian options: honeynut squash with feta; root cellar truffle fries; miso-braised Brussels sprouts; and burrata with chickpea crackers. (The small-plates menu also has the intriguing culinary curio of the foie gras dog – pate in a brioche bun.) Jump forward a year and there’s no chicken, beef or flounder, but there is a weekend brunch where you can get your basic eggs bene or the Hangover Pizza, a glorious meat pie with fried eggs.

The one thing that’s really righteous from the brunch menu is the Deconstructed Grilled Cheese & Tomato. It’s actually quite brilliant: What you get is a large flat, lightly breaded mozzarella patty, fried and served in a tangy, slightly spicy tomato purée and topped with a fried egg or two. You could think of it as a giant fried mozzarella stick, and that would not be wrong (and who doesn’t love the mozzarella sticks?), but the breading and frying here is so delicate and nuanced you don’t really notice it, and the mozzarella used is high-end select, not frozen and factory made. 

On the more traditional end, Source’s brunch has pancakes (blueberry soufflé, so maybe not so traditional), a yogurt parfait and a few of the regular-menu pastas and pizzas. There are pizza dough doughnuts as well. The other great thing about brunch at Source on these cold winter days are the spacious bar and dining areas, where you can spread out and drink in the Patriots’ postseason run while sipping on a bloody mary or a Ginger Drank Bourbon, the bar’s loose spin on an old-fashioned.

Also: The Italian eatery Giulia, 1682 Massachusetts Ave., Neighborhood 9, has announced it’s back to offering the takeout options we wrote about in April. The pickup options are available Mondays through Thursdays. 

Source (27 Church St., Harvard Square)

Cambridge writer Tom Meek’s reviews, essays, short stories and articles have appeared in WBUR’s The ARTery, The Boston Phoenix, The Boston Globe, The Rumpus, The Charleston City Paper and SLAB literary journal. Tom is also a member of the Boston Society of Film Critics and rides his bike everywhere.