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St. Alphonzo's Kitchen (CLOSED)

87 A Street, South Boston, MA, 02127
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Photo of St. Alphonzo's Kitchen, South Boston, MA What's in a name? Well, in the case of St. Alphonzo's Kitchen in South Boston, quite a lot. When this restaurant first started out, it went under the name Potbellies Kitchen, which was a bit of a strange name in itself. The owners eventually changed the name, however, and borrowed (and slightly altered) a song title from a Frank Zappa album of all things, to come up with their new name. And from that point on, the restaurant became known as (drumroll, please) St. Alphonzo's Kitchen.

You would think that a restaurant with a name like St. Alphonzo's Kitchen would either be totally pretentious or totally offbeat. If you guessed the latter, you are correct, as this tiny dining spot is quite unlike any other restaurant in the Boston area. From its location in a rather rough-and-tumble South Boston neighborhood to its dark, somewhat gloomy industrial feel inside to its penchant for playing obscure (and at times bizarre) music to its limited but quirky menu, St. Alphonzo's Kitchen is truly unique.

The food at St. Alphonzo's Kitchen is at times outstanding, with such mouthwatering dishes as a Caesar salad (with huge homemade croutons and a pleasantly nutty taste), chili con carne (everything but the kitchen sink is added to it), a Cuban sandwich (grilled on toast rather than Cuban bread, but with delicious roasted pork and ham), a chicken cutlet plate (complete with a nicely seasoned coating), a reuben sandwich (good quality corned beef within perfectly grilled bread), a baked scrod (flaky, tender, and mild), and a sandwich known as the Godfather (mortadella, capacola, provolone, lettuce, oil, and vinegar). And while the everyday lunch and dinner menus (they also have a Sunday brunch) each only have a handful of items, the specials are well worth checking out, including three terrific soups: a wonderful watercress soup, a chicken soup that tastes as good as (or better than) the kind grandma used to make, and an Asian soup that has a bit of spicy heat to it. Wine and beer are offered at St. Alphonzo's Kitchen, though choices are a bit limited.

Much like Frank Zappa himself, St. Alphonzo's Kitchen is a bit eclectic and unique in a number of ways. And while this restaurant might not be a true destination spot, it is one really nice little eating place with good food and decent prices. Add to this the fact that parking is free and relatively easy, and crowds are generally light because of its slightly out-of-the-way location, and you have yourself a true gem in the heart of Southie.