HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >


"Suicide food" restaurant signage in Greater Boston?

The premise is a restaurant sign featuring a cartoon of an animal that the restaurant serves in some form, often in ways that suggest it is cooking and/or eating its own species, or loves the idea that it is about to become someone else's dinner. My examples so far:

Little Q Hotpot in Arlington, and sibling Q Restaurant in Chinatown. Adorable lil' cartoon lamb in a bowtie.

Xinh Xinh, Chinatown. Exterior pho sign features a cartoon cow licking its chops.

Hot Pot Buffet, Chinatown. Cartoon cow licking its chops and giving the thumbs-up sign with a white-gloved "hand".

Pollo DoreƱo, East Boston. Cartoon rooster in a Stetson and neck bandana, holding a fried chicken leg with a big bite taken out of it.

Red-Eyed Pig (BBQ), W. Roxbury. Demonic pig.

Strip-T's. Maybe doesn't quite belong, as its logo is an anthropomorphic dancing strip steak on a bun.

Sweet Cheeks Q. Also a stretch, an abstraction: the tail of the letter Q is a curly pig's tail.

I like the food at all of these (but can't speak for the Salvadoran fried chicken joint, which I have yet to try).

I expected more of our local BBQ joints to do something along these lines, but many of the usual suspects don't. Redbones has a cartoon pig (in a suit, fedora and shades), but it's not on the signage.

Anyone seen a cartoon lobster in a lobster bib? A chicken about to tuck into some eggs? Any others?


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. while I cannot recomend the food, as it's not very good, and isn't BBQ, but BBQ Town in Roslindale has a pig on it's sign if memory serves me right. They are currently closed for renovations, but as I said, the food's not really worth it

      1. re: Allstonian

        I remember Fontaine's fondly. It never quite occurred to me over the many years I drove by that sign, but it appears to be waving not at people (as I carelessly assumed), but waving people in to join it in the chicken massacre that it is overseeing in its jaunty apron. And it was pretty good chicken, too, in the broasted style, if memory serves.


      2. I dont think anyplace can beat the now defunct Fontaines.

        1. The Legal's fish is way too happy for its own good: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia...

          (do I call it Legals? Legal's? I'm new to the make-every-restaurant-possessive thing)

          2 Replies
          1. re: emannths

            That's a great one. Aside from being locally famous, it's right on the plate, a dinner knife in its face, ready to be served. (Also, the fish has eyebrows.)

            Everyone says "Legal's", as if it's owned by some guy named Sheldon Legal, but you can be a pedant like me on the apostrophe thing and call it "Legal". And the Boston Common. And the Public Garden.


            1. re: MC Slim JB

              I used to bristle at it (the possessive), but I've decided that if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. Legal's, Dunk's, and Trattoria Toscana's it is!

              ...god that last one feels like I just crashed my car into a tree or something ;-)

          2. Now that I think of it, the placemats at Summer Shack feature (or used to feature) a procession of various strutting foodstuffs such as lobster, corn, onion under a "Food Is Love" banner. There seems to be a mural of the same on a wall in the Dalton St location.

              1. Chicken Lou's, the beloved little shack of a takeout joint on Northeastern's Campus (Forsythe St), features as its logo a chicken -- drawn by someone who seems never to have seen a chicken before -- in a chef's hat, impatiently serving up a chicken sandwich:


                1. A little ouside this board, BT's Smokehouse has a bull branding a pig.

                  1. The Pollo Campero spreads his arms out joyously, just begging you to eat the hell out of him.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Prav

                      That's the new logo; in the old one, the Pollo Campero joyously held up a plate of fried chicken and fries.


                    2. pollo royal in revere
                      el chalan in east boston
                      beto's in east boston
                      mass ave chicken in central square
                      the hen house in newmarket square

                      most vietnamese restaurants that serve bo 7 mon (beef 7 ways) usually have a picture of a cow's head in the window. particularly pho 2000 and anh hong on adams street in dorchester

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: galangatron

                        Anh Hong and Pho 2000 are good ones; both have neon signs that rip off the "La vache qui rit" cheese logo.


                      2. Back in the day when Boston Chicken was 1) still called Boston Chicken and 2) had reasonably good food, their logo was a chicken that was right on the verge of being too cute to eat.

                        1. The Chicken Bone in Framingham uses a guitar playing chicken on its sign and website.

                          1. Can't leave out the plastic cows in front of The Hilltop.

                            1. Alex's Chimis has a delicious looking chicken, read to eat


                              2 Replies
                              1. re: L2k

                                That's not quite the sort of thing the thread is asking for. That's just a drawing of a cooked chicken. To be relevant, the chicken in question would've needed to be depicted as alive in some way.

                                1. re: L2k

                                  But a useful reminder to stop by Alex's again. Haven't gotten a chicken there in ages.


                                2. Do you remember the giant fish that Todd English hung at KingFish Hall? It was ordered down immediately.

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: Bellachefa

                                    A few minutes of googling and I can't even find a picture of the taking down of a very expensive sculpture/sign on the corner of Quincy Market. Anyone??? It was a huge story at the time.

                                    1. re: Bellachefa

                                      I remember it well. I couldn't believe that they were alloweed to put it up given Faneuil Hall restrictions but it was a cool jumping fish suitable for a summer camp porch. what a a shame that his restaurant empire is folding and he (todd) appears to be a sell-out.

                                      1. re: Northender

                                        I wish I could find a photo of it, as it is a vague yet clear memory.

                                          1. re: Bellachefa

                                            Big neon fish - It was only up for a few days before they were forced to take it down.

                                    2. A Facebook friend suggested Coppa and The Butcher Shop, but in my mind, those are more old-timey, traditional signs, as opposed to the cartoon-y "Eat me and my friends!" kind of sign I was going for.


                                      1. This is a good 1.5 hours north, but you've got to love the well-fed piggy that smiles, hands on belly, outside the Yankee Smokehouse in Ossipee NH.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: pinehurst

                                          Is it any good Pinehurst??? I loves me some smoked meat, and that pink feller is convincing!

                                          1. re: devilham

                                            Eh, it's just ok. If you're going to drive, it's better to just drive to Sturbridge for BT's.

                                        2. Not in Boston but in Southern Baja there's a 4 store mini chain named El Michoacano that only sells pork carnitas.

                                          The logo on the t shirts that the employees wear is 4 pigs; 1 poor guy in a pot, sweating..1 stoking the fire under the pot, 1 with a knife, and 1 pig stirring the boiling pot. Really cute.

                                          They didn't sell the t shirts but we worked out a trade..:)

                                          1. Can't resist adding Gary Larson's take on this, the third cartoon on the page: http://www.angelfire.com/fl/runfromth...