Monday, February 16, 2015

Johnny's Luncheonette, Newton Center, Newton

Warm up with this Portuguese inspired fish stew made with all locally caught seafood
There are those people out there, those companies founded, that are just good.  They do good things.  They bring good to people.  They operate in a good way.  They create good opportunities.  They make good food.  This is the story of two of these companies.

We'll start with an institution. A home away from home.  A place that has earned itself a space in the hearts of Bostonians for decades- Johnny's Luncheonette. Nestled in the heart of Newton center, Johnny's has provided a hearty meal, a welcoming smile and a neighborly feel since it opened in 1993.  Johnny's is a diner, maybe not an old boxcar diner, but a breakfast all day, blue plate special, ice cream in your milkshake diner. 
Baked local white fish, lightly breaded served with local veggies
Their food has always been big, it's been comforting and it's been carb-tastic with the heaping stacks of pancakes, piles of fries (both French and home), and mouthwatering sandwiches.  It hasn't, however, been environmentally friendly, at least not until March 2014, when the Masterson family took the helm.  Well known from their days at Nourish, their style has always been great food, locally sourced.  They have brought their skills, and their connections, to Johnny's and are now making those sandwiches on Iggy's bread, getting their ice cream from Richardson's, and their meat from a small ranch in Maine.  I hear you though maybe this isn't groundbreaking anymore. Maybe this use of the fabulous artisans around the area is come to be expected.  So what about their seafood?  This is where my second story comes into play.

You may recall an article I wrote several years ago about an incredible Boston based company finally giving those fishies who swim in our waters but aren't the mighty scrod, or a lobster or scallop a name.  I am, of course, referring to Red's Best.  This little company, based on the fish pier in oh so trendy fort point channel now, is doing, I must say not only good
Fish tacos- local fish crisp breading, loaded with flavor
work.  They are doing the best work.  They have given our small fisherman, in our harbors, the ability to hit large markets.  They have taken the stage away from just the big name fish and are showcasing true local flavor.  To wax on a bit, they are doing their part to save our fishing industry. They are doing great work.

The team at Johnny's has teamed up with the guys at Red's Best, to bring in their catch, and make it even more delicious.  So now, that fish and chips you feast on?  The lightly
What's a meal without dessert?
breaded tender white fish you so enjoy?  The fish stew that warms you up on a cold night?  That's all made with locally caught seafood, sourced by Red's Best.

Johnny's Luncheonette, though improved, is the same great spot to pull up a chair, settle in and indulge in some of the best classic comfort food.  Those improvements have only made that comfort food tastier, their carbon foot print less, and their feel more neighborly.

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