Amber Road Cafe
There are lots of things Kristina Mikelenas loves.
She loves to cook.
She loves her family.
She loves her customers.
She loves love.
And she most definitely loves her restaurant… Amber Road Cafe.
Kristina Mikelenas – Owner, Amber Road Cafe: “I found my passion, I follow my passion, and I’m so lucky. I’m just so lucky.”
Located in Canton Massachusetts, Amber Road Cafe is a cute, cozy, breakfast and lunch spot that really does feel like home.
Kristina Mikelenas – Owner, Amber Road Cafe: “It’s very small, house feeling. Like you come to the Mama’s house.”
After emigrating to the US from Lithuania, Kristina opened the restaurant about a decade ago, and along with her daughter Ruta, they’ve turned this place into one of the best brunch spots south of the city. Where the pancakes, benedicts, sandwiches, and salads all taste even better than they look. And boy do they look good.
Kristina Mikelenas – Owner, Amber Road Cafe: “It’s gorgeous. Of course it’s gorgeous. I know it’s gorgeous.”
And as much as Kristina loves her food, her customers love every single item on the menu even more.
Kristina Mikelenas – Owner, Amber Road Cafe: “My menu it’s kind of too big. And for the last couple years I’m trying to cut the food. And I go to the customers and say what do you think I should take off the menu, maybe Rueben, maybe Cuban, maybe Eggplant Benedict, maybe Lobster Benedict, maybe something, and people love the food.”
Breakfast at Amber Road Cafe can best be described in one word: indulgent. Especially if you order the insanely delicious Caramelized Banana Pancakes.
Ruta Mikelenas – Amber Road Cafe: “They’re so good. We sauté butter and brandy and sugar, and slice up the bananas and sauté it in the sauce until they’re very fluffy. And then we pour on top of the pancakes. And it’s all drizzling down the sauce and it’s very good.”
Kristina Mikelenas – Owner, Amber Road Cafe: “So we decide to do huge pancake stack topped with the bananas. But how to give that little zest to the banana? Guess what, sugar and brandy, perfect.”
There’s gourmet French Toast stuffed with brie, and topped with apple-cranberry-walnut chutney, a beautiful Fruit, Granola, and Yogurt Parfait, and a luxurious Lobster Benedict.
Kristina Mikelenas – Owner, Amber Road Cafe: “We live in New England, of course we have to have lobster. So we do the English Muffin, then we toss in the butter sautéed lobster, then we put the poached eggs on the top, then the homemade hollandaise sauce on the top, and then we add, present with the beautiful grilled asparagus. And of course every single breakfast has the little house roasted potatoes with a dash of garlic.”
The hash here is some of the best you will ever eat, made from scratch with extra lean corned beef.
Ruta Mikelenas – Amber Road Cafe: “We roast the corned beef in house. We caramelized the onions in house, roast the potatoes, dice everything up very small. Mix it all up and put it on the grill until it’s very crispy, very good.”
Of course there are always some specials to choose from, like the extra spicy Hot Kiss Omelet.
Kristina Mikelenas – Owner, Amber Road Cafe: “Hot Kiss Omelet. We put the chorizo, pepper, onion, jalapeno, that makes the hot kiss. Then we make the homemade salsa and homemade guacamole on the top. I’m very proud of that omelet, look at that, it’s so gorgeous, it’s just gorgeous.”
Lunch at Amber Road Cafe is all about gourmet sandwiches. There’s a Lobster BLT, stuffed with sweet meat, a gooey Grilled Chicken Panini with pepperjack cheese and avocado, and a Rueben that gets rave reviews.
Ruta Mikelenas – Amber Road Cafe: “A lot of people say that it’s the best Reuben they’ve ever had. The rye bread is handmade, thick slices, toasted. Our fresh roasted corned beef, sliced, and sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and Thousand Island dressing.”
Whether you stop in for lunch or breakfast, chances are Amber Road is going to be busy. In fact, it’s become so successful, that a couple years ago Ruta opened a juice bar right next door, offering customers faster and lighter options, like smoothies, rice bowls, and crepes.
Ruta Mikelenas – Amber Road Cafe: “Over here is more for people who want to be even healthier, to eat even lighter, and to get it even faster. So over here we have smaller portions and it’s less of the bad stuff.”
Of course being bad never tasted as good as it does at Amber Road Cafe. Because according to Kristina, every day should be a great day.
Kristina Mikelenas – Owner, Amber Road Cafe: “You have to enjoy every single day. You just have to wake up in the morning and say, ‘I’m so lucky. I live here, I’m alive, and let’s make this day fabulous.’ That’s all. Because we don’t know tomorrow, of course there’s always tomorrow, but we don’t know if it’s going to be rainy or snowy, so let’s enjoy it now.”