JP holiday shoppers can not only dine in the neighborhood, but on it—thanks to many restaurants with dishes named for JP icons.
“Thinking about our customer base in JP, we wanted to come up with names that feel comfortable and familiar,” said Charles Fiore, owner of Fiore’s Bakery, purveyor of the Jamaica Pond—chicken or breaded eggplant, caramelized onions, roasted red pepper provolone cheese, pesto and tomato spread.
Fiore’s, at 55 South St. also offers sandwiches called “The Greenough,” “The Footlight Club,” “The Arboretum,” and the “JPB,” a peanut butter and jelly option.
Fiore said there was no particular effort to make the sandwiches evocative of the places they represent. The Footlight Club, named after JP’s Eliot Street community theater, for example, is not a ham sandwich, it is turkey bacon, avocado, red leaf lettuce tomato and mayo.
Down the road at Costello’s Tavern at 723 Centre St., you can order a “Walk Around the Pond”—two eggs, pancakes, bacon, sausage and toast—for brunch, or the “Center Street Burger” with bacon, jalapeño peppers, American cheese mushrooms, sautéed onions and beef and bean chili.
But Costello’s also has a number of items with more obscure JP-related names. If you are eating a “BAM burger” with pepper jack and mushrooms you are honoring Costello’s regular Billy Glennon. The “Matt Man Burger” with American cheese, caramelized onion and red pepper is named after tavern owner Matthew Griffin. “Crazy Christine’s Macho Nacho’s” are named after a friend of one of the Costello’s cooks, Costello’s staffer John Ryan told the Gazette.
At Canary Square Bar & Restaurant, a number of menu items are given the first name “Canary”—the “Canary Cheese Board” and the “Canary Bloody Mary” for example—but another local restaurant also gets a nod. According to Canary Square, “The Same Old Place”—which most know as a restaurant at 662 Centre St.—is actually a brunch cocktail with organic tomato vodka, muddled rosemary, Absolut Peppar and rosemary orange-orange syrup.
The origin of some JP menu item names is obscure. Matt Virzi, owner of the Robinwood Café at 536 Centre St., said it is likely that the “Robinwood burger” is named after the diner and not the nearby street, but he can’t say for sure. “We took over the business August 1. The menu items were already there,” he said.