Yesterday I had the most wonderful afternoon bopping around Centre Street in Jamaica Plain with my mom and my aunt. The sun was shining, there was a light spring breeze and we had our wallets at the ready for shopping.
We started at our favorite gift store, On Centre. There was a rack out front marked "All items 50% off." On the rack I found a fantastic, black party dress. I also left the store about twenty minutes later with birthday gifts for three friends.
Our next stop was the magnificent hat shop, Salmagundi. I was so enamored with this place that I asked the owner if I could come back and do an entire blog post about them. Stay tuned!
We also popped into Kitchen Witch (the most adorable, fun housewares store) and Boomerangs, where my mother purchased two bud vases for her fresh flower obsession.
After a healthy dose of bopping we needed to refuel. We decided to have lunch at the Real Deal.
I've walked by the Real Deal countless times but I haven't had a chance to taste their food yet.
While I was outside snapping pictures, my mom and aunt headed in to start perusing the menus.
When you enter the Real Deal the first thing you notice is the counter. Naturally, they put the baked goods within steps of the front door!
Before I even had a chance to think about lunch, I was already planning on dessert!
I walked a bit further down the counter to grab a paper menu and notice four racks of amazing looking pizza.
Menu in hand I turned to find my ladies and saw they had taken a seat in the middle of the restaurant. The walls at the Real Deal are covered in cartoons.
My mother and aunt decided to pop a squat beneath King Kong.
All three of us were really impressed with menu.
The Real Deal made it easy for me by marking every vegetarian option with a green olive symbol.
After a sold ten minutes of debate, we settled on our order. You place your order at the counter and they call you up when your food is ready.
We each ordered the housemade iced tea. My mother and aunt complained that it had no flavor, but I found it nice and refreshing.
Both my mom and my aunt ordered a panini called the Carmella Soprano. I loved it already just from the name!
The sandwich arrived oozing with melted cheese and included breaded eggplant, provolone, roasted red peppers, spinach and pesto mayo.
My aunt asked for hers without spinach, but with tomato and my mother asked for hers without cheese and the staff was very accomodating. Not even one eye roll.
Both ladies raved about their sandwiches. They said the bread was thin, but deliciously seasoned. The eggplant was fresh and not overly breaded or fried and all of the veggies were divine. They also both sang the praises of the pesto mayo.
I decided on the portabella panini which included marinated portabella mushrooms, mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, red onion, spinach and pesto mayo. Check out those marks from the panini press!
The sandwich was perfect in every way.
The one thing I will say is, though these sandwiches are packed with goodies, they are messy to eat. We went through about ten paper napkins each! I wouldn't come here on a first (or second or third) date with someone you really like. Holy unflattering!
To accompany our sandwiches we ordered a side of french fries which came in a brown paper bag.
Carrying the bag to our table I noticed all the grease! I thought this would be a sign of deliciousness, but in fact, the french fries tasted undercooked.
We were all hoping they would be crispier. We abandoned the bag about 1/3 of the way through.
Our sandwiches at the Real Deal were sublime. The bread was incredible, the ingredients were fresh and every bite was packed with Italian flavor.
The Real Deal is perfect for lunch because the food is great and the place is no fuss. The next time you're in JP, come hang with Carmella.
Visit the Real Deal at either of their two locations: 736 Centre Street in Jamaica Plain or 1882 Centre Street in West Roxbury.