Amuse-Bouche: Amy’s Place
Wickenden is littered with restaurants to satisfy just about any craving. For every Ethiopian/Cambodian/similarly exotic spot is a casual, good ol’ American joint. Z Bar, Café Zog, and Amy’s Place rub elbows within a one-block radius, so it can be hard to decide where to go when you’re stricken with a sandwich or snack craving. Amy’s sets itself apart from the others with its peachy quaintness, which calls to mind an image of Amy herself as, perhaps, your kooky aunt.
Amy’s is the kind of place that you can envision yourself frequenting on the weekends. Its super casual atmosphere with equally casual food is suitable for both brunching with family and nursing a hangover. Breakfast is served all day, and you know the drill: eggs any style; omelets; bacon and sausage; French toast and pancakes. You can do better than an omelet–eggs aren’t quite fluffy enough, veggies inside aren’t quite resplendent enough–but they’ve also got bagels and housemade muffins that can be tossed on the grill, à la Loui’s. The home fries, with their ethereal, crispy little bits, do not disappoint, nor does the big bowl of yogurt with golden granola and “kiwi, mango, granola, and whatever other fruit we have that day.” Nothing you haven’t seen before, but a nice start to your day all the same.
The lunch menu offers similarly standard fare: if you’re into chicken Caesar wraps, house-made tuna salads, or anything with hummus and sprouts, they’ve got you covered. And then there are the smoothies. Breakfast or lunch, it doesn’t matter how you swing; these are good any time of day. No ice means more fruit, less meltiness. There’s a good diversity of flavors, from peanut butter/chocolate/banana to berries and pineapple with coconut milk and guava juice.
Checkered floors, mismatched chairs, miscellaneous art, and a tiny kitchen that doubles as an order counter further the feeling that you’re at kooky Aunt Amy’s house. So much the better if you get a table on the secret back patio (complete with trellis and kitschy sunflower decorations). The atmosphere is definitely a big part of the charm, so don’t bother with takeout. An order for a veggie burger was met with a dubious wrap of what looks like sad falafel and wilted vegetables. Don’t let this happen to you or your loved ones. Instead, bypass that heinous, perpetually long line at Brickway and bounce next door for a dine-in, perfectly lovely brunch.
High: Amy’s is so freaking charming. Eclectic decoration, friendly staff, and a menu that contains no surprises make it a nice little hideaway.
Low: Don’t expect to be wowed–this is not eye-opening food, nor is it food that’d be hard to reproduce at home. For some, that in itself isn’t worth the money.
Bottom line: Amy’s won’t knock your socks off, but it feels like a little slice of home, and sometimes that’s more important than a flawless omelet.