Why? Because hot dogs should be messy. It's not a proper hot dog if half of the toppings don't end up on your shirt before you're done eating it. That may be more of a problem if you're heading out of the office for a quick lunch at Griddler's than if you're outside at a barbecue, but you should probably have a change of shirt on hand at all times at work anyway. The newish Government Center fast casual lunch and late night fuel-up stop has griddled dogs piled high with just such mess-inducing ingredients. The Tijuana Dog is a good example with pico de gallo, bacon, sour cream, and black bean puree and the Engine #4 Dog, with cherry peppers, banana peppers, hot sauce, blue cheese, and lettuce. Wash one or two, (OK fine, three if we're being honest), down with a milk shake (one of the most woefully overlooked food groups on the nutrition pyramid). Try the one with Fruit Loop infused milk, Fruit Loop topping and strawberry ice cream and you can count that as a healthy breakfast.
Why? Best meal of the day gets a sporty backdrop. Parlor Sports, the sporty little brother offshoot of Trina's Starlite Lounge, already known for their Monday industry brunches (sadly only helpful to those of us in the restaurant world/food writers who don't really have actual jobs anyway), is now getting in on the brunch game for themselves. That means you can couple your sports-watching with your egg-eating, which is all a man really wants out of life, right? The sports-themed dishes are all pretty standard brunch fare, although the Mike Tyson is a Vegan option (presumably for the lady friend who you dragged along to the sports bar) and throws a surprise left hook with tofu, roasted veggies and vegan sausage. Like Trina's, the real treats here are the home-style, wake-you-up and put you back to sleep sides, like a basket of biscuits, plump, greasy homefries and sausages. It's a veritable sausage-fest, but, you know, in the good way.
Why? We could use a little taste of Venezuela this winter. The popular Venezuelan mini-chain, which you'll remember from their South End and Brookline outposts, just got one step closer to world domination. But if their evil plans entail enslaving us all into a lifetime of eating polvorosa de pollo, criollo chicken guiso in polvorosa dough crust with mango chutney, or adobo-rubbed yellow fin tuna with toasted pepitas, then sign us up. Taking over the small, cute, but traditionally under-trafficked small plates spot in Harvard Square, Orinoco will be even more appealing when their outdoor garden opens for service in the spring.
The bro-heavy enclave of Allston is well known for its share of drunken shenanigans by night. But man cannot live on beer alone, and a good night out warrants a soul-repairing breakfast the next morning (or afternoon). The new Allston Diner has you covered, with a full brunch menu that goes til 5 p.m., barbecue brisket on Texas toast with two eggs, cheddar, home fries and hashbrowns or corn bread waffles and fried chicken, gravy, and buffalo sauce almost sound worth working up a good hangover just to appreciate them best.