1019 Great Plain Ave. Needham; (617)449-0022 At first glance, this may not seem to be a Mine hangout, and it can indeed get pricey; but this kind of gourmet quality food, in a European cafe atmosphere, can make anyone feel like glitterati without breaking the bank.
Half a dozen tables, plus an artsy ceramic-tiled counter, comprise all the seating in what is otherwise a take-out and catering operation. Ms. Boyajian began her business in her garage; now, she’s in a place that looks like a garage of the future its high ceilings and air ducts contrasting with the bright airiness of tall, vertical windows, fresh flowers on each table, and Sinatra on the speakers.
The creative menu changes daily, but all of the ten or so choices are priced between $6.95 and $8.95, making this an affordable splurge. These may include crab cakes in a remou-lade sauce, marinated tenderloin tips with barley rice pilaf, or a variety of tall sandwiches stacked on fresh-baked breads.
Plus salads, homemade soups, and quiches; delicate pastries, of course; espresso drinks, and fruit smoothies. Absolutely everything is made up fresh and on the premises (there’s a lot more space devoted to food prep than to customer seating). Service is attentive and almost formal, yet still somehow relaxed. VLB is also popular for its Sunday brunch, served from 9 a.m. to 2 pm. featuring waffles topped with whipped cream and fruit Otherwise, hours are from 8 a.m. to 7 p.M. Tuesdays through Fridays, 11 a.m. to 5 P.M. Saturdays; closed Mondays.