Finding our Groove at Brunch- A Reunion Worth Documenting

26 04 2010

The Jazz Corner….brought to you by today’s brunch !

The Beehive- South End, Boston

My high school college advisor is in town! As I am about to culminate my undergraduate college journey, there is no other way to come full circle than to reminisce with her my high school years in the sunshine state of Florida.

Actually, it was because of her that when senior year came around, I applied to out-of-state universities, and, thanks to her guidance and to the many scholarships that she helped me find, I was able to have an amazing ride outside of my comfort zone in a different state. For that, I will always be thankful , Mrs. H!

One of the most beautiful neighborhoods in Boston: South End Boston (Back Bay area)

I became ecstatic when she told me this past Monday that she would arrive today, Sunday, to join me for brunch, and, immediately, I made a reservation at The Beehive, a trendy venue with musical tunes that enrich the dining experience around the Tremont neighborhood.

My initial experiences with Beehive involve the night scene where this restaurant does not only focus on serving delicious Middle Eastern and Mediterranean dishes but also on delivering live entertainment from Jazz to Blues, Reggae, Latin, Country and R&B (to name a few) at their lower level sitting area. You do not have to try hard to convince me to go to a place where live entertainment is offered…especially if it is for free! I am, particularly, obsessed with live music shows, which allow me to tune out the rest of the world and tune in to embrace the beauty of what it is to live in the present.

Enjoy live music while having brunch at The Beehive!

I have introduced a couple of my friends to the Beehive night vibe, and recently, one of them told me that being there made her feel as if she was transported to a Moroccan city—the detailed and colorful Arab drapes, the seductive low-lighting, the smell of Mediterranean plates with couscous and hummus platters, some hippy-cool servers with eclectic personalities, and an array of rustic, attractive art and décor. The crowd at night is also very diverse and multicultural, so, do not be surprised if you hear foreign languages as you make your way to the bar bypassing the large crowds.

At around 12:45pm, we gathered at the entrance of The Beehive for a unique brunch experience at one of the “Top 100 Jazz Clubs in the World” according to Downbeat Magazine. When you first walk in, you notice that there are two levels to the restaurant. Make your way to the basement level where you will find the live entertainment that you are looking for. A stage (with lots of seating space around it) is the focal point that creates an intimate and relaxing dining experience. For my reservation, I asked the hostess to try to get us as close to the stage as possible, which you should definitely keep in mind if you want to fully embrace the Sunday jazz brunch ambiance.

Now, do not forget to also check out the first floor (ground-level) where you will find a bar area with tables set up for dining and a screen projector that shows you what is happening on the performance stage found in the level below (a great way not to miss the show and to have the best of both worlds if you cannot find seating downstairs!).

We were seated in a section to the right of the stage rather than in the center area, which actually turned out to be perfect since, although the music was not overbearing, Mrs. H and I did have a lot of talking to do as we remembered the good old high school days. The last time that I saw her was two-and-half years ago when I visited her at the high school where she currently works. Yet, although the schools have changed, the colorful reading glasses placed on top of her short, blonde hair still remain the same, adding a cool aspect to her warm personality (although she claims that this is the most un-cool side of her, which I beg to differ).

In between laughs and flashbacks, we managed to make it through the delicious brunch menu, which offers a diverse list of plates ranging from salads and sandwiches to eggs and smoked salmon options. A “Little Bee’s” corner is also part of the menu with popular kid options, such as the Kiddie French Toast and Mini Grilled Cheese & Frites. Our very patient waiter also listed some of the specials of the day, which sounded mouth-watering with every dish he described.

Mrs. H decided to take on the special Quiche Du Jour served with a Healthy Salad and Homemade Frites while I opted for the Orange, Walnut, Arugula Green Leaf Salad served with Grilled Chicken. Keep in mind that the dressing for this salad is blue cheese dressing. If you are allergic to dairy or if you simply do not like blue cheese or any type of melted cheese in your food, for the matter (yes, we are talking about me here), make sure that you double check with your waiter before ordering since this little fact is not listed as part of the description for this dish.

The Beehive’s bar is also open during brunch hours for those mimosa and cocktail aficionados. Make sure to take a look at the exotic drinks’ menu featuring some interesting cocktails with very creative names, such as the Beehive Julep, the Honeycomb, and, my personal favorite, the Valentino Martini (Vodka, Blood Orange, and Passion Fruit). The extensive wine list also includes some selective wine options from a variety of popular wine-country areas.

We were amazed by the serving portions, which are quite large, so come prepared to eat well and to go for run afterward around the serene South End neighborhoods.  Mrs. H’s quiche special featured ham and asparagus, an original combination that made this dish a success. The tenderness of the quiche along with its homemade crust made her also mention that this was one of the best of its kind that she had tried in a long time.

A special quiche made with ham and asparagus. Try it and experience these new, exciting flavors!

Who says you can't eat salads for brunch? Give this Orange, Walnut, and Grilled Chiquen salad a chance.

My salad was also a delicious treat that I could not finish completely because of the large size of the portion. The citrus touch from the orange slices combined with the crunch factor from the toasted walnuts added an original flavor to this healthy option. The tasty grilled chicken was cooked well, and my waiter decided to substitute the blue cheese dressing with a side of olive oil dressing along with a couple of lemon wedges, which is what I probably would have used as a dressing if I was making this salad at home. With graduation and Senior year pictures around the corner, this tasteful Beehive salad fulfilled my healthy weekend craving without making me work hard at the treadmill to work it off.

Throughout the entire brunch experience, the sound of jazz music playing  in the background enriched the setting by allowing us to escape for a bit the reality of what was happening outside of the restaurant. For a second, we almost forgot that we both live in completely different states, as if this was our traditional weekend gathering spot where music, great food, and positive personalities awaited our arrival.  The Beehive has that magical effect on you, and it is up to you to find and to follow your groove.

Thank you for visiting and for joining us for brunch today, Mrs. H!

Until a future reunion at the sunshine state,

Signing out, one brunch at a time.

The Beehive                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      541 Tremont St
(between Hanson St & Milford St)
Boston, MA 02116
Neighborhood: South En