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“Wonderful Breakfast” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Thornton's Restaurant

Thornton's Restaurant
150 Huntington Ave., Boston, MA 02115-4808 (Back Bay)
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Ranked #148 of 2,831 Restaurants in Boston
Price range: $0 - $20
Cuisines: American, Bakery
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Dining on a budget
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch
Neighborhood: Back Bay
Catonsville, Maryland
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
“Wonderful Breakfast”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2013

Fantastic variety of breakfast dishes at great prices. Wonderful, friendly staff. We found it to be a perfect place to have breakfast, be it early or late morning. And they also have lunches; the one I tried was excellent.

Visited July 2013
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248 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Boston, Massachusetts
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
62 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
“Breakfast and lunch for a song”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2013

Thornton's Cafe fronts on Huntington Ave. Because it's behind the Prudential Mall and within hailing distance of the Hilton, Sheraton, Colonnade, Lenox, Fairmont, Marriott Courtyard, Midtown, Westin, Marriott Copley and the Park Plaza Hotels, they're known beyond the South End. If you're in Back Bay, stop in: breakfast and lunch come without a $20 price tag.

Kim has an omelet with tomatoes but you can add mushrooms, peppers, onions and bacon to yours. Dom orders the eggs gusto that are poached with potatoes, spinach, mushrooms, bacon, provolone and pesto Parmesan sauce. It looks like eggs Benedict but the cheese makes it intense. Along with eggs any way, have pancakes, crepes, oatmeal, waffles, French toast, bagels, fruit and bacon.

Lunch is all the usual suspects on a sandwich or in a wrap. Fries, crispy, hot and salty, blow us away. Eighteen salads keep it light. We're here Sunday morning and sitting outside makes all the difference. It's shady, breezy and although everyone's here, we're served promptly. They close at 4.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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Hugo, Minnesota
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Thornton's Boston”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2013

Anytime you see a line you know it's a good place. The entire menu is under $10 and everything our group of 6 ate was good. Boston can pricey and this place is an excellent bargain. The guy who owns the place is really funny. He will seat you, tell you a few jokes, and for sure remember you.

Visited July 2013
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3 reviews 3 reviews
“Great breakfast for great value. Two eggs, two pieces of toast and new potatoes plate for breakfast is only $5!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2013 via mobile

Great breakfast for great value. Two eggs, two pieces of toast and new potatoes plate for breakfast is only $5!

  • Visited July 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Miami Beach, Florida
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
130 helpful votes 130 helpful votes
“Poor food, terrible service”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2013

During a recent trip to Boston I ate breakfast at Thornton's based on tripadvisor reviews and proximity to my hotel, the Colonnade, on the adjacent block. On Friday at about 9:30 I was seated rapidly and service was prompt and attentive. I ordered oatmeal with fruit. The oatmeal was delivered within fifteen minutes but was runny. I was hungry and didn't want to wait for a second try by the chef so I ate it.

Basic oatmeal is in my book a simple test for a breakfast restaurant. If they can't get that right I usually don't return. However, in this case I noticed some appealing-looking dishes being served at adjacent tables so the next morning, Saturday, when the line at the Paramount, my usual breakfast place on Beacon Hill in Boston, was way far out the door I suggested to my guest that we walk back over to the Prudential area for breakfast at Thornton's. We were going to the Museum of Fine Arts, also on Huntington Avenue, so Thornton's was on our way. That was a mistake (Thornton's, not the MFA, which is spectacular).

We arrived at Thornton's at about 10:30, a party of two. There is a sign about waiting to be seated by the outdoor tables (this was summer) with no attendant by the sign, so we walked inside to the station where I had been met the day before. A woman working at the cash register near that station yelled (literally) at us and another couple to wait by the outer sign, "don't you see that sign?" As unpleasant as that was we decided she was just having a bad day and patiently waited to be seated inside.

It took about fifteen minutes to get our menus and another five minutes for coffee and then the waitress took our orders after about ten minutes, but only when I got up and went to the cashier and said that we wanted to order or leave. We should have left. I ordered an eggs Benedict dish with turkey and seasonal fruits instead of home fries. My guest ordered the same, and we also ordered a pancake to split. My guest ordered tea while I stuck to coffee and also ordered a glass of lowfat milk.

It took over an hour for breakfast to arrive. Throughout that time a waiter or waitress would appear every fifteen minutes or so to assure us our meals would be right out. At the forty minute mark they brought out a basket of bread croutons for us to munch on. That was an odd choice for breakfast but we were so hungry we tried them. Occasionally, coffee would be refilled, a thin, weak coffee that any self-respecting breakfast place would never serve.

When breakfast did arrive the "turkey" was a single slice of thin deli style turkey cold cut, the English muffin halves at the base of the eggs Benedict were not properly toasted and the hollandaise sauce was thin, runny, flavorless and barely covered the centers of the eggs. A thick, rich, flavorful hollandaise in which one dips the bits of muffin and other fixings it was not. My guest had similar, but without the turkey, and in her case the muffins were underdone and the sauce both miserable and miserly as well. I've attached a photo.

The buttermilk pancake likewise was awful, a flat, heavy, thin pancake that seems to have been left on a warmer tray for the entire hour plus we were waiting, except that it was served cold, too cold to melt even a little bit or even soften a small pat of butter applied.

Ah, and last but not least they completely forgot to bring milk until I once more got up and went to the cashier and told them that I had ordered the milk and expected that as part of my meal, not well after finishing the meal.

This is not remotely the best breakfast in Boston. To paraphrase the old joke, it's not even the worst breakfast in Boston - I'd say it comes in second worst since these folks appear to be so incompetent they couldn't even manage to make it to the most worst.

I don't think this has anything to do with a Saturday morning rush since about twenty percent of the tables were empty and the waitstaff at a place like Denny's can clearly handle far more traffic. That's not really an excuse for a restaurant in any event since part of the business is staffing the business properly to handle the customers you get when you open your doors.

I think it is just a basic question of poor kitchen skills and overall ineptitude. I gave it two tries and the ability to make acceptable coffee, non-runny oatmeal, pancakes that are at least semi-fluffy and at least warm, and eggs Benedict that at least match the sauce one gets out of an industrial food service can are core kitchen disciplines for a breakfast place. If this place ever was good I think the locals have wised up, hence the line at other places and plenty of available tables at Thornton's on a Saturday morning. Next time I'll wait in line at the Paramount.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
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