Everyone seems to “brunch” these days, and even though the term technically refers to meals eaten late in the morning as a combination of breakfast and lunch, too often you’ll find places that use the term to describe, well, breakfast. A lot of the old-fashioned neighborhood spots continue to call breakfast “breakfast,” however, though in the case of Kristin’s in Braintree, a more accurate term might be “brupper” or “brinner,” as there’s a pretty good chance that the breakfast you order at this little eatery could very well end up being your last meal of the day, especially if you get one of the particularly sugary dishes here, which may cause you to nap from late morning until well past the sun goes down.
Kristin’s is located in a community that has no shortage of breakfast and lunch spots, including such longtime faves as Ashley’s and the Olympian Diner in South Braintree Square; a relative newcomer called the Casual Cup Cafe, which is across the street from Ashley’s; and Montilio’s in Braintree’s Granite Plaza, which, while really more of a bakery and pastry shop, is a popular place to pick up breakfast treats such as croissants, muffins, and the like.
While the breakfast options indeed tend to center around South Braintree Square, the slightly quieter Braintree Square a short distance to the north is where you’ll find Kristin’s, and it often has much longer lines than the other places in town, in part because Braintree Square has little else in the way of full-service dining but also because its menu is quite a bit more unique than that of the other eateries (more on this in a bit).
The space in which Kristin’s resides is narrow but deep and is basically partitioned into two sections; the right side includes a classic breakfast/lunch counter where diners can sit and chat (or not chat) with the workers, and a handful of tables are set up alongside and beyond the counter as well. The left side is a rather cramped dining area where you’ll need to keep both your elbows and your feet tucked in unless your goal for the day is to have an entire tray of food land on your head.
Much of the menu at Kristin’s is standard breakfast fare, including such familiar items as pancakes, French toast, bacon and eggs, omelets, and the like. But if you look more deeply into the menu—and especially the items shown on the board behind the counter—you’ll soon realize that this isn’t your ordinary breakfast joint. Mixed in among the basic dishes are such decadent and delicious options as birthday cake pancakes, coffee cake French toast, Johnny cakes, banana coconut pancakes, super deluxe home fries with melted cheese and veggies, cookie dough pancakes, croissant French toast, and fluffernutter pancakes, the last of which includes marshmallow creme and peanut butter and is not something you’ll want to eat just before your annual physical. If you aren’t into ultra-sweet dishes like some of those mentioned above, Kristin’s does have some excellent options that are more savory than sweet, including a hashlet omelet that is made with house-made corned beef hash using chunks of diced meat rather than the more mushy type you get out of a can, and a stick-to-your-ribs ham and cheese scramble with home fries and toast. While Kristin’s is known mainly for its breakfast dishes, the place does serve lunch as well, with salads, sandwiches, and quesadillas making up most of the lunch menu.
There are brunch spots, there are breakfast spots, and then there are places like Kristin’s where you can go and basically have all three of your meals for the day wrapped up into one deliciously sweet package if you’re so inclined. It isn’t trendy or showy, and it’s also not a down-and-dirty greasy spoon, but this Braintree eatery is certainly one to try if you’re bored with the same old basic meals that start off your day.
KRISTIN’S. 349 WASHINGTON ST., BRAINTREE. KRISTINSBRAINTREE.COM
Marc is the founder of @hiddenboston, a textbook editor, a hike leader for @AppMtnClub, and a food and travel writer and commenter for DigBoston, NBC/NECN, WBZ, WMFO and indie617.