If you go
Where: 4270 U.S. 41 E., East Naples
Cuisine: Pizza, pastas, flatbreads, salads, burgers and sandwiches, as well as wings
Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays-Thrusdays and Sundays, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays
Information: (239) 963-9019; bostons.com
With new restaurants cropping up one day to only be gone a short while later, the East Trail has experienced its fair share of recession-suffering restaurants. But one restaurateur has opened a 400-plus-seat, mega family-style restaurant-sports bar combination that is attracting a copious crowd.
Boston’s, the latest venture by Phil McCabe, opened in March, and features a vast menu with cleverly named entrees. The name is a franchise that comes from not from Boston, but from Canada, where Greek immigrant Gus Agiortis opened the first Boston Pizza in Edmonton, Alberta in 1964. Jim Treliving, a Boston Pizza franchisee, and his accountant George Melville, bought the chain in 1983 and are current owners of the franchise, which has restaurants from Alaska to Mexico.
Boston’s nine-page menu is certain to have something for everyone. But it is the gourmet pizza that Boston’s proclaims as its very best.
The double meat-and-peppers pizza ($9.99-23.99) came recommended, with its super-sized pieces of sausage and meatballs with fresh roasted red onions, red and green peppers and mozzarella cheese over a generous amount of Boston’s own sauce. The individual was still a hearty serving, and the ingredients were mammoth-sized compared to those on pies from national pizza chains.
Others such as, the Flying Buffalo, the Mama Meata or the Venetian ($8.49-23.99) had appealing possibilities. Each had a tempting description, but I opted for the Zesty Italiano ($8.99-23.99). It had spicy Italian sausage and sliced pepperoni layered atop pomodoro sauce with spinach, roasted garlic, banana peppers and mozzarella cheese. While the pizza was a bit dry for my liking, it lived up to its name and was indeed zesty.
Gluten-free options are available in most pizza varieties, except the Flying Buffalo.
Flatbreads also feature Boston’s signature dough; it is just rolled out flatter and baked to a crisp, but, unfortunately, without gluten-free options. There are four selections: spicy chicken pesto, four cheese, extreme mushroom and Margherita ($8.49-9.99).
My party selected the spicy chicken pesto, which was covered in chicken, basil pesto, poblano peppers and diced tomatoes with hunks of feta and shredded mozzarella cheeses. The crunchy, cracker-like crust makes it an excellent choice for a light dinner or appetizer.
Salads, burgers, sandwiches, pastas and other entrees are available for those who don’t eat pizza. The Boston Cobb ($9.79) is one possible alternative; its version has a grilled or crispy chicken breast on mixed greens with smoked bacon, tomatoes, cheddar and mozzarella cheeses, carrots, sliced eggs and chopped pecans. The lettuce was fresh and veggies were generous.
The barbecue pulled pork sandwich ($9.49) was hearty, while the Mama Meata bow tie pasta (13.99) had too much grease-producing pepperoni.
Another appeal is Boston’s extensive kids’ menu. It has mature options for bigger kids and tried-and-true ones for smaller kids, all for $3.99. And since Boston’s light wood booths are oversized, a family of four can sit comfortably. With high ceilings and a spacious main dining room, the restaurant doesn’t suffer from crowd noise even when it’s full.
After its generous dinners, dessert is probably a distant thought, but Boston’s has an answer for those who want an itty, bitty indulgence: petite treats ($1.99). The Bread Pudding Bite was nearly sinful. Boston’s has plenty of seating with a separate sports bar, an outdoor patio and a dining room filled with tables and booths with ample space between. On Friday and Saturday nights, live music is performed on the patio, with happy hour daily from 3 to 7 p.m. There are weekday lunch specials, and special parking for take-away patrons.
With all Boston’s has to offer, East Trail residents may have a new hangout.