Latest installment in the Ball Square (Somerville, MA) breakfast wars...

entertaining reading… please include [State, City, Neighborhood] in your post title above.

The funny thing is that neither place is anything special. It’s decent basic breakfast fare, but nothing I would wait in line for.

Your link is broken. I think it should be:

I agree: both are fine; neither is anything flash - definitely not enough to justify the waits and the crabbiness of the owners (which I experienced personally on one occasion).

Is there any chance that this is an elaborate long con to keep both of their restaurants busy despite the average food? Let’s get a good conspiracy theory going here.


The thought has crossed my mind. I do believe the feud started organically. However at this point both sides certainly seem to grasp the PR value pf keeping the border war going.

Myself and other locals tend to go to whichever has the shorter line; you know you’re getting the same food either way. The famous home fries are terrific, and they both do very good benedicts. During the summer, I enjoy the waffle topped with fruit: papaya, mango, strawberries, banana, blueberries, and raspberries. Yasser is a nut, but he loves his loyal customers; I’ve been hugged by him many times.

I assume you are talking about the fried mashed potato cakes they call home fries for some reason? I think they are OK, my kids like them more and they are the main reason we go to these places so well enough. I do think they do a disservice calling them home fries, people are expecting something different because of the misleading name homefries. My father in law recently asked “what the eff is this?”

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Yes, the “No Place Like Home Fries” that are mentioned frequently in the article as their most popular item. They aren’t traditional home fries, no, but I think they’re tasty.

I am 100% with you on that, Uni.
They’re also not hash browns.

YES THANK YOU. Made me very cranky the first time I found it out. Not that they weren’t yummy enough - I mean, potatoes at brekkie, hard to go wrong - but they weren’t at all what I thought I had ordered.

I agree. I’m not a fan, though I know most people like them. I do like the rest of breakfast/brunch there, especially the omelettes.

All I can say is that I just checked the Sound Bites menu, and they’re described on there as “A gridded-till-golden brick of garlicky mashed potatoes that, semantics aside, is no-bite-left-behind-good” (quote from Boston Magazine). So if folks think they’re getting shredded or diced potatoes, well…

Well…it probably means they read any breakfast category or item item on the menu other than that one specific description under Sides, most of which are plainly listed as just “Home Fries”. In fact the only place on the menu they give that special description is under the individual Home Fries listing under sides. It is one of what must be over a dozen places Home Fries are mentioned on the menu. I’d guess that most people don’t read the sides menu when they go out for a basic breakfast, particularly when the standard “All of our 3 egg omelets are served with home fries and toast or English muffin…” language is on most sections. So yeah, there’s lots of folks that are going to be expecting crispy potato wedges and not a mediocre mashed potato cake that wasn’t worth knocking in the first place.

Sounds like nobody here likes it, and that’s fine, despite it being their most popular item. I get it: it’s “mediocre” and people didn’t read the menu. It’s just a cake of garlicky potatoes. I’ll keep enjoying it despite its mediocrity.

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I am not a big potato with breakfast fan, so I always get the fruit salad [at either place.] My most recent experience was at Ball Square. I was pleased to see I could order a half Benedict. The hollandaise sauce made be homemade, but it wasn’t particularly good. It was closer to a mayonnaise than a hollandaise. Tasted like mustard in a funny way which I assume means that they add mustard as a stabilizer to keep the hollandaise “fresh” for longer. It is not a bad breakfast, but I would never wait in line to eat there [or much of anywhere.]

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold

Market stall in Lima
Credit: TXMX 2