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Jun 18, 2009 08:20 AM

Let's talk JP

As a spin off of the Cambridge thread.
I hardly ever been to JP. The only place I've been to is Ten Tables.
I want to know the neighborhood (just for the heck of it!)
So, what are the must try places in/around JP?

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  1. Alex's Chimis - Dominican Rotisserie Chicken
    Miami Cafe - great pollo guisada/chicken stew
    Ula Cafe - cafe with tasty sandwiches in Sam Adams complex
    La Pupusa Guanaca - pupusas

    Further down in Roslindale
    Pleasant Cafe - Some of the best pizza in town

    _and then head to the arboretum.

    Alex's Chimis
    358 Centre St, Boston, MA 02130

    Miami Restaurant
    381 Centre St, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

    La Pupusa & Guanaca
    378 Centre St, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

    Ula Cafe
    284 Amory St, Jamaica Plain, MA 02130

    Pleasant Cafe & Restaurant
    4515 Washington St, Roslindale, MA 02131

    4 Replies
    1. re: hoolese

      Nice list. Thank you!
      I am going to the Arboretum. I've lived in Boston for years, but have only been there a couple of times.

      1. re: hoolese

        is that "the pupusa place in JP"? My friend mentioned last night someplace that apparently is the alpha and omega of pupusas in that area. I think he was purposely vague on the name and location.

        1. re: djd

          i assume that's what he had in mind. super friendly spot.

          1. re: djd

            yeah, its great. The pupusas are awesome, the people are uber nice and they have these Quesadilla Salvadorena's that are a tasty dessert (I don't know why they are called quesadillas but its a dessert).

            They are right near the Brendan Beehan.

        2. must try? ten tables, canto 6, ula cafe for baked goods (but stay away from the coffee), zon's for their burgers (have heard some negative reviews recently, but can't confirm), vee vee, centre street for weekend brunch. pupusas at guanaca are pretty good. a few other decent options, but i wouldn't really go out of my way for anything else down there.

          in my view, taking into account its size, proximity and aggregate affluence, jp is a real under-performer. better neighborhoods to explore, food wise, include allston, cambridge, somerville, probably eastie and others.

          that said, canto 6 is my favorite bakery in town.

          9 Replies
          1. re: autopi

            Mostly agree especially the bit about underperformer. I would add Bon Savor of Autopi's list. I was there for the first time based on Chowhound recs and it was good, interesting and mid-priced. A nice alternative to Ten Tables and Vee Vee (which are both very good) at a slightly lower price point., Veggie items are especially strong. For cheap eats,Yely's coffee shop for chicken or chicharonnes.

            1. re: gourmaniac

              In case you missed it, Bon Savor has hired Marco Suarez, former exec chef at ESK. Sounds promising; I've never tried this place. It always looked like a bakery/cafe to me. Doesn't help that Ten Tables, one of my JP faves, is on the same block. Will have to give it a spin.


              1. re: MC Slim JB

                Thanks for the info. I used to really like Eastern Standard and feel they have markedly dropped off in the last year or so. This would explain the deliciousness now available at Bon Savor (in my neighborhood...yipee).

                1. re: gourmaniac

                  We were at Lineage last night and learned that chef/owner Jeremy Sewall has taken over Eastern Standard. He also mentioned that he is working on a new place.....Back to JP - I highly recommend Bon Savor. We continue to go regularly, and it just gets better. And some of the friendliest service around. I also recommend Ghazal for better than decent Indian food.

            2. re: autopi

              I guess I was right for thinking that I haven't had anything memorable from JP for a reason.
              I know a lot of good places to eat around Cambridge, Somerville, Brookline, Watertown, Allston, Brighton, all over Boston...

              Which one is better, Canto 6 or Ula Cafe?

              1. re: 02139

                I got to Canto 6 and Ula for different reasons. Canto 6 has the best pastries EVER - I've only had amazing things there. Ula is less pastry focused, and more sandwich-y - their egg salad sandwich is amazing (with dill and peas). They do have good cookies, but overall, in my opinion, Canto 6 has better baked goods -but they are both great.

                1. re: 02139

                  Well if you've only been there 2 times...

                  1. re: 02139

                    canto 6 is a full service bakery, with baguettes, ciabatta and i think a 7 grain from clear flour. their croissant, and croissant-based pastries are superb. they do great tfuffles, cookies, canneles, scones, a ham & blue cheese biscuit that is out of this world. they also have sandwiches, which i seem to recall being pretty good but i go for the pastries. they also have coffee & tea, but very little seating. it's cramped, and on the weekends, there's often a line out the door. their palmiers are unbelievable.

                    ula is a cafe, with a lot of seating. they do great sandwiches, popovers, good cookies and scones, biscuits, that sort of thing. but they don't really do pastry, at least in the french style. it's a nice space, though often crowded and loud, though that is occasionally the result of the extremely poor taste in music of some of their staff. i personally can't stand their coffee, and the quality of the espresso really varies depending on who's pulling the shots. oh, and they carry some hi-rise loaves.

                    so basically if you want top-tier pastry & breads to take with you, go to canto 6. if you want to linger and chat and people-watch, go to ula. they're both great, and i wish both of them would open up branches closer to me.

                  2. re: autopi

                    Somerville?!? Really?

                    I live in Cambridge but am a big fan of many of the JP restaurants already mentioned. In general (despite transportation issues), I would much rather eat and drink in JP than Somerville--though Union Sq. makes it close.

                  3. Oriental de cuba is awesome. the spicy shrimp with mofungo is probably one of my favorites.

                    1. El Oriental has to be on any list

                      I'd add JP Seafood, too.

                      Bella Luna

                      Doyles for the beer and ambiance not for the food

                      1. A couple of weeks ago Mrs and I were in JP and wanted something different than El Orientale, so we got an outside table at Alchemist. I had a lamburger and sweet potato fries that both were very tasty. Mrs had the lobster mac 'n cheese and ate every bite. Service was prompt and friendly. I know this place doesn't get a lot of accolades but our first trip was just fine.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: powerfulpierre

                          I always forget about that place, even though I lived across the street from it for many years when it was DDD's

                          1. re: powerfulpierre

                            Went to the Alchemist Monday night with 2 other couples (party of 6). The service was great. Waitstaff was knowledgeable and recommended drinks etc. One of us got the bolognese. It was a huge bowl of pasta. The lobster mac n cheese was not too cheesy, good size chunks of lobster, just right. There were no complaints and we are a tough crowd to please.

                            1. re: powerfulpierre

                              The Alchemist is my local. Great bartenders and good food. Try the steak salad or half-chicken.

                              1. re: wrenhunter

                                The Alchemist is not bad. Great energy and atmosphere, good beers on tap, food can be hit or miss though.