There may be no better way to dispel late-winter gloom than by stopping by the South End’s Blunch at noontime. From the moment you open the door, with its whimsical spoon handles, to this tiny sandwich shop, you’re bound to feel your mood lifting.
Directly across from Boston Medical Center, Blunch not only serves hungry doctors, nurses, and hospital visitors, but offers a warm welcome to folks of all stripes: it’s an outspokenly gay-friendly establishment, offers discounts to bikers, and is happy to host dogs (with the proviso that they’re attached to owners).
An unpretentious place for diners without a lot of time, Blunch offers counter service only, but employees still treat patrons attentively. We were greeted warmly and allowed to take our time scanning the café’s creative, mouthwatering menu. As its name implies, Blunch specializes in breakfast and lunch options (it does not serve dinner), offering a scrumptious selection of pressed sandwiches, bagelwiches, eggwiches, salads, soups, and baked goods, all made with fresh ingredients.
Careful consideration resulted in ordering the Giving Tree ($7.75). A delicious combination of smoked turkey, cheddar cheese, thinly sliced green apples, honey Dijon dressing, and baby greens on multigrain bread, the sandwich was pressed to perfection (not a corner burnt). The green apples provided juiciness and the honey Dijon a subtle tang. Unable to resist the tempting baked goods in the glass case at the counter, we indulged in a melty triple chip cookie ($2).
A companion opted for one of Blunch’s popular—and very reasonable—bagelwiches. Topped with smoked salmon, Boursin cheese, and a chopped salad mixed with tomatoes, capers, red onions, and cucumbers ($7), it was a bargain. Served on an open-faced toasted plain bagel the unique mesh of flavors made for a fresh, zesty sandwich, different from bagelwiches found at other local lunch spots.
And that’s the best part about Blunch: you won’t find the same old menu options here. We couldn’t try everything, so we’ve already decided to return. Next time, we plan to order the Meltdown—a triple grilled cheese (Fontina, cheddar, and Swiss) served with tomato on thick-cut sourdough bread ($7.75). Or perhaps we’ll go for the Lower East Side (no shortage of clever names here), another pressed sandwich, made with shop-roasted beef, Swiss cheese, horseradish cream slaw, fried shallots, and dill pickles on marbled European rye ($8.25).
Blunch also features daily specials, or “whims,” written in marker on an antique mirror. A soup, sandwich, and sweet not found on the permanent menu is offered each day. For the diet-conscious, try one of the several delicious salads, among them a tomato-caper-cucumber salad with smoked salmon, baby greens, and boursin cheese ($11); another has feta cheese, cucumbers, olives, and roast peppers in a lemon oregano vinaigrette ($7.50).
We ate on wooden stools along a tiled bar stretching across the front wall. The large windows look out on the neighborhood’s beautiful brownstones. Because there is limited seating (we had to wait several minutes for a group to leave to get our window spot), you may opt to get your food to go. Blunch encourages patrons to call ahead so their order will be waiting for them. In warm weather months, diners can sit at one of the small tables outside.
What Blunch lacks in square footage, it more than makes up for in lip-smacking lunch options. So the next time your day is looking bleak, brighten it by heading over to this South End sandwich shop for a colorful and tasty meal.
Blunch is at 59 E. Springfield St., in Boston’s South End. Hours: Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The restaurant takes MasterCard and Visa ($5 credit card minimum), but does not accept American Express. By public transportation, take any MBTA Green Line trolley to Hynes Convention Center, transfer to the number one bus toward Dudley Station via Mass. Ave., and get off at Harrison Avenue. It’s a two-minute walk from there.
This is part of a weekly series featuring Boston lunch spots of interest to the BU community. If you have any suggestions for places we should feature, leave them in the comments section below. Check out our list of lunchtime tips on Foursquare.