Sorella’s celebrates 30 years in Hyde Sq.

June 21, 2013
By

HYDE SQ.— Known for their expansive and unusual menu ingredients and long brunch lines, Jamaica Plain landmark Sorella’s is celebrating 30 years of serving up omelets and pancakes to hungry neighbors.

Ellie and Antoinette “Toni” Elias, sisters and owners of Sorella’s restaurant at 388 Centre St., opened their doors in 1983. Sorella’s, Italian for “Sister’s,” has been serving affordable breakfasts and lunches since.

Their current six-page menu features crepes, sandwiches, burritos, French toast dishes, and over 50 omelets that include pistachios, seaweed, cranberries, salami and other less-common ingredients. Every item on the menu—including 10-ingredient omelets served with home fries and toast—is under $10.

“The regulars have been wonderful to us,” Ellie Elias told the Gazette.

The owners did not throw a party or make any special preparations for their anniversary day, June 11. It was a working day like any other.

“We had some balloons outside, but we haven’t done anything special,” Ellie Elias said.

Ellie Elias said she has seen many changes during Sorella’s 30 years in Hyde Square. When it opened, Hyde Square was riddled with problems like violence and drug abuse, both of which Ellie Elias said have improved significantly.

“It used to be drug city. Not anymore,” she said. “We lived in the neighborhood and saw a lot of potential in JP.”

Both sisters still live in JP, though Toni has opened up a new place in Dedham with her husband.

“She’s still involved,” but not as much as she used to be, Ellie Elias said. “But if I need anything, she’s here for me.”

In addition to regular residents, some politicians have also made their liking for Sorella’s known. Mayor Thomas Menino told the Gazette of his fondness for their cornbread French Toast in 2009, and according to Ellie Elias, City Councilor and mayoral candidate John Connolly and City Councilor Matt O’Malley are fans.

“We are very blessed to have terrific breakfast joints in the neighborhood, but Sorella’s is my favorite. You walk in there and it’s really the best of JP,” O’Malley told the Gazette last week.

O’Malley told the Gazette how he was introduced to Sorella’s as a small child by his mother, who used to teach nearby. He still visits the restaurant regularly, notably on Election Day.

“It’s a tradition with me. I get a blueberry muffin there before voting at the Curley [School],” he said.

As for Sorella’s future, Ellie Elias said she hopes to retire from the restaurant in the next decade after passing it on to relatives. She is a cancer survivor and was “sick for a few years,” she said, but is doing well these days.

“I’m making a comeback,” she said. “But I can’t do this forever.”

Sorella’s can be reached at 617-524-2016. They do not have a website.

Best of JP 2014