Brunch at Cottonwood Café.

Brunch can be tricky, particularly at a restaurant that only offers breakfast foods only on the weekend.  The Cottonwood Café is open for lunch and dinner all seven days; brunch is served only on Saturdays and Sundays, offering eggs Benedict, huevos rancheros and migas underneath the dining room’s arched ceiling — which, incidentally, looks as though it is lined with crimped steel mesh.

cottonwoodThe migas ($8.25, plus $3.95 for a side of steak) appeared to be a safe bet — theoretically exotic enough to match up with Cottonwood’s Southwestern theme, but not so bold as to send the unadventurous running.  Unfortunately, what you end up eating, though, is a plate of glorified scrambled eggs beaten with scallion and tomato.  The oddly enough, the eggs were a surprise, in that they were sweet: they had the tinned sunniness of canned corn.  Even less luck was had with the accompanying spicy hash browns, a depressingly mushy spoonful with absolutely no hint of the kick usually associated with spice.

Regardless of the overwhelmingly disappointing food, Cottonwood is something of a Boston institution, having inhabited its corner of Boylston and Clarendon for over ten years.  its age certainly shows with its dated eighties nouveau modern décor — did I mention that the ceiling is crimped?  The aesthetic is either overly angular or overly curvaceous lines done in melony pink, dusky blue and glossy black.  Not only is an updated look needed, but also some general maintenance as well; countless dents, dings and scratches marked the tables in walls.  Maybe with a sleeker appearance would mask the cuisine.

Then again, maybe not.

Cottonwood Café
222 Berkeley Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02116

Cottonwood Café on Urbanspoon

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