Finally Food

I promised that one thing this blog would be about is food. Here are two important food-related updates.

This week I had a stupendous eating experience when I happened to stop into John’s Bakery (31 Poplar Street) in Roslindale Square during lunchtime. I didn’t provide a link because they don’t have a website, which is part of its charm. John’s is well-known locally for its fresh Italian bread, both scali and regular. It also offers a small collection of Italian pastries and cookies.  That stuff is all good, but the pizza is amazing. Over the course of a month, I never seemed to be able to hit the place at the right time. Finally, this week I spotted a white-haired lady with a hairnet eating a piece of pizza and decided to try one myself.

I was astonished. Even though some local old-timers, such as police I knew in City Hall who had grown up in Roslindale, recounted their daily ritual of buying a slice after school in the 1960s, I discounted this information. I shouldn’t have. With the exception of the original Pizzeria Regina and Santarpios in East Boston, the pizza rivalled the best I have ever eaten. A super-thin crust constructed from fresh dough, tangy sauce, flavorable cheese, the slice transcended the ordinary. John’s is not open after 5 p.m.

Last Saturday, my wife and I met a couple who live way up on the North Shore. We needed a halfway point. On a lark, I suggested the famous Kowloon Restaurant on Route 1 in Saugus. Although I grew up on the South Shore, I am fairly familiar with this strip of Route 1. The restaurant was much changed from my last visit in 1992. Back then, with Szechuan cuisine having generally supplanted the American-Cantonese cuisine of my childhood, Kowloon was tired and past its prime. If what I experienced on Saturday night, the restaurant is back in a big way. A huge crowd filled the waiting area. We were given a number in the manner of the system of the fading giant across the highway, The Hilltop Steakhouse.

The meal, limited to the traditional menu by my urging, was o.k. The flaming pu-pu platter – the best item really — offered meaty pork-strips and fat chicken wings. General Gau’s chicken, pork fried rice, shrimp and brocolli were all fresh and well-made. None of us were unsatisfied with the meal. Quality was better than I hoped for. We were all taken with the incredible spectacle, which included a live lounge band playing “Time of My Life” from Dirty Dancing.

–edit: For years, the Kowloon benefited from the ceaseless efforts of Eddie Andelman, the patriarch of the food-loving and business savvy Andelman family (creators of the Phantom Gourmet t.v. show. Eddie always referred to his wife Judy as “the Fabulous Judy”.) It is in honor of Eddie and Judy that I give credit where credit is due. It was my wife, the Fabulous Dana, who suggested we dine at Kowloon, not me.

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6 Responses to “Finally Food”

  1. Leanne Says:

    I enjoyed today’s blog and am now anxious to try the pizza at John’s Bakery. With regard to Kowloon’s. There is another big Chinese spot near there (can’t remember the name) but I understand that Diane Warwick sang there last weekend to a sold-out crowd! Keep up the blogs – they are very interesting.

  2. Wendy Says:

    The fabulous Dana is so great..isn’t she? Great blog!

  3. Cagey Lefty Says:

    Pizza! Chinese! (Pork Strips?, must be tofu strips …)

    If your old boss were reading this ……

    We need to get you down to the Boston Public Market at Dewey Square for some fresh, local and yes, healthy foods! 🙂

    or at the least to Putterham Circle ….

    Best wishes from JP!

    H.

  4. Patrick’s Budget « Dispatches from Seth Gitell Says:

    […] QUESTION: A free pizza from John’s Bakery in Roslindale Square goes to the Gitell.com who can guess who gave Walker the following quote from […]

  5. Quote Gate « Dispatches from Seth Gitell Says:

    […] The Fabulous Dana, “Hilarious. Correct the word ’supposed’ ” Since corrected. […]

  6. Santoro’s: A New Trattoria in Dedham « Dispatches from Seth Gitell Says:

    […] me how years ago she formerly owned a bakery in Roslindale Square at which the original John, of John’s Bakery, learned his trade. I didn’t quite catch the name of this Ur-neighborhood bakery, but I think […]

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