Hoping to revive the culture of the neighborhood butcher shop, with its personalized service, attention to detail, and artful products, restaurant-industry veterans Justin Rosberg and Jason Parent took a gamble on their first New Hampshire butcher shop in 2003. Dubbed The Meat House, their store quickly earned a foodie following, spawning additional franchise locations across the country. Today, The Meat House’s Mission Viejo location stocks fine cheeses, prepared side dishes, other gourmet grocery items, and hundreds of wines alongside the usual selection of traditional and exotic meats. Butchers also explain how to prepare each hand-carved cut of meat, sharing recipes, best slicing practices, and cooking techniques for giving pork chops the flavor of justice.
Fresh out of college, Vince Petryk took a job as a dishwasher at an ice cream shop. It was just a temporary gig…or, so he thought. As Petryk climbed through the shop’s ranks—he rose from dishwasher, to scooper, to ice-cream maker, to manager—he was awe-struck by the way ice cream seemed to make people feel happy. From that point on, he knew that he wanted to continue to share that joy with others and that the best way to do it, was to own his own ice cream shop. He perfected his from-scratch ice cream recipe before opening J.P. Licks, named for Jamaica Plain, the neighborhood where he opened his first location. The flavors were immediately a hit and continue to win loyal fans for their intensity and ingenuity––at any given time, guests might find cake batter and chocolate peanut butter ripple on the menu, alongside unusual flavors like tomato basil or beer and pretzels. Since those early days, Vince has also added from-scratch hard and soft frozen yogurts, sherberts, and sorbets. He has even been known to develop flavors to suit the tastes of the area's different ethnic groups, and dairy-free ice creams to provide relief to the area's overworked cows. Beyond serving traditional cones, Petryk and his staff also pack chilly scoops into house-made cakes and pies, blend them into shakes, and transform them into decadent sundaes topped with homemade hot fudge or butterscotch. The icy treats have proved so popular, J.P. Licks now has 10 area stores, leaving them ample wall space for awards: readers of The Phoenix voted it the city’s best ice cream parlor in 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012.
Though it may look like a humble, deli-style eatery from the outside, Brookline Spa rewards those who venture into its cozy interior. In a 2005 review in the Boston Phoenix, Liz Bomze called the eatery "much more than your basic sub shop," praising its reasonably priced pizza slices and wide selection of sandwiches, soups, and salads. The family that has owned and operated the shop since 1995 serves up breakfast, lunch, and dinner seven days a week, making its own pizza dough and bringing the generous handfuls of cheese to golden-brown fruition inside the oven. The family of foodsmiths assembles a variety of mafia-themed wraps and a "Top 25" sandwich with salami, capicola, mortadella, and prosciutto known as Old Blue Eyes—a reference to the infamously dreamy gaze of popular 18th-century crooner, President John Adams. The primarily carryout establishment also offers an assortment of domestic and imported beer.
In an effort to find a healthy alternative to fast food without sacrificing speediness, the creators of Pita Pit began assembling their signature sandwiches for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late-night snacks. At each location, thin, Lebanese-style pitas encircle lean, grilled meats and fresh veggies. Sandwich selections span the spectrum from gyro meat and falafel to turkey and prime rib. The staff empowers customers to make healthy choices by displaying nutrition information for each bread, meat, and post-meal toothpick and corralling a selection of healthy sandwiches, which dining companions can wash down with fruit smoothies.
After years of working as physical therapists in the Boston area, Joint Ventures co-owners Dan Brownridge and Dave Larson noticed one major aspect missing from in most clinics—a personal relationship between the healer and patient. The duo created Joint Ventures in an effort to bring those strong relationships to their community through advanced integrated healthcare clinics where each patient gets optimal one-on-one time with their physical therapists. At all seven locations, Dan and Dave’s more than 55 practitioners craft detailed treatment plans using the facility's four-lane pools and cardio and weight machines, including therapies ranging from acupuncture to massage, yoga, or personal training. Throughout each patient’s therapy, the team of practitioners keeps their interpersonal skills on point with regular meaningful patient-therapist conversations that end with the pair weaving BFF bracelets from each others’ hair.
Named Best Deli in Boston by Boston magazine in 2008, Rubin's Kosher Restaurant stacks the sandwiches high on its menu, New York deli-style. Indulge growling stomachs with the Madison Avenue combo sandwich ($15.99), uniting hot corned beef, hot romanian pastrami, and hot tongue on your choice of bread, or eat your way through an emotionally detached cold salami sandwich ($7.99). In addition to bread-bookended bites, Rubin's also rolls out a slate of soups and entrees. A cup of homemade sweet-and-sour cabbage soup ($3.99) is ideal for diners born with ladles for hands, and herbivoyeurs can enjoy the meat-free Middle Eastern wrap, containing hummus, tabouli, and eggplant salad ($12.99). All edibles can be washed down with a refreshing Sam Adams ($4.50) or played off by a decadently patriotic slice of apple pie ($3.99).