When you hear the name Doyle's, what place do you think of? The spot that may come to mind is the iconic restaurant and bar in Jamaica Plain that has been around for well over 100 years and has been shown in movies such as Mystic River and The Brink's Job. But there are other spots in Eastern Massachusetts with the same name, including one in Brockton that is quite a bit different from the historic JP dining and drinking establishment, leaning more toward a classic old-school dive bar with interesting characters, good pub grub, and cheap beer. Oh, and one of the best lobster rolls within 30 miles of Boston.
Doyle's Pub and Grill is located on a rather forgettable stretch of Route 27 that's lined with chain restaurants and shops along with squat office buildings, and, well, an adult entertainment complex just south of the bar. The place itself looks almost like a sub shop or pizzeria from the outside, though it is indeed a restaurant and pub, with a large bar dominating the front room (a few booths can be found along the wall as well), a tiny nondescript dining room in the back, and a surprisingly pleasant--and secluded--outdoor patio further back, that is, as long as you don't mind folks occasionally coming out for a few minutes to smoke a cigarette or two. Speaking of the clientele, you will find an interesting mix at Doyle's, with bikers, office workers, retirees, families, and barflies populating the spot.
The menu at Doyle's pretty much looks like that of countless other dive bars and neighborhood joints in the Greater Boston area, with all kinds of pub grub and classic American dishes offered. A few highlights include meaty buffalo wings with several heat options available, potato puffs that are crunchy and with very little grease, tender steak tips with a zingy marinade, similarly good marinated turkey tips (the turkey tips aren't always available, unfortunately), nicely-battered fried clams, and juicy char-broiled burgers with a half-pound of beef. And oh yes, then there's the aforementioned lobster roll, which is overstuffed with tender lobster meat and has relatively little mayo, with this sandwich being about as good as those of the classic seafood shacks found on Cape Ann and Cape Cod. Drinks mostly include standard American and European beers and basic mixed drinks, with hard liquor being about as popular as you might expect from a local joint such as this. Service is gruff but friendly, with the servers seeming to know at least a few diners and drinkers by name here.
While not the most "pretty" watering hole south of Boston, Doyle's Pub and Grill is a decent spot made better by its tremendous lobster rolls and its comfortable outdoor deck. And unlike the bar by the same name in Jamaica Plain, this place is completely unknown, making it one of those dining and drinking establishments that feels like you are the first to discover it, though some of the locals and folks who work nearby may beg to differ.
Copyright © 2013-2016, Boston's Hidden Restaurants (www.hiddenboston.com).