Thursday, March 24, 2011

Loving the Greek-Style Pizza at Jimmy's Pizzeria in Walpole, Mass.

Jimmy's Pizzeria, East Walpole, Mass (photo by Eric)
When I crave a Greek-style pizza, I opt for Jimmy's Pizzeria in East Walpole, Mass. Owners Themis and Athena Kalemkeridis and their staff produce a full-bodied pizza that's not too greasy (so often, Greek pizza is too greasy!) and rich in homemade tomato sauce and a tangy cheese.  Jimmy's doesn't skimp on toppings, either, as add-ons like pepperoni and meatball significantly block the view of the tomato and cheese.

Jimmy's atmosphere goes way beyond the basic house of pizza decor and ambiance with a good-sized, well-lit spotless semi-circular dining room surrounded by several windows overlooking the attractive St. Mary's Church in the quaint industrial village look of East Walpole. I also enjoy other delicious meals at Jimmy's like the gyros dinner, broccoli and chicken calzone, oversized salads, subs, chicken cacciatore and pasta dinners which all rival those found at the glitzier higher-priced restaurants in the area.  We love the "Themis Special," too, a white pizza with feta cheese, sliced tomato, peppers, hamburg, pepperoni, sausage and oregano. Wow!

Jimmy's also serve beer and wine, and has a large selection of soft drinks -- and even Yoo-Hoo chocolate milk!

Perhaps Jimmy's greatest attribute is Themis' and Athena's sense of community by reaching out to local public schools with fundraisers and knowing so many locals by first name. Often, you'll see older family and friends of the Kalemkeridis family at one table conversing away.

Themis and Athena run about the tightest ship I have ever witnessed in a pizza restaurant (Prince Pizzeria in Saugus, Mass., is another shining example), working with focused culinary precision and skill, treating employees well, and offering a dependable, consistent, friendly dining experience to the customer. All this would be to no avail if the food was sub par. Happily, the fantastic Greek pizzas and other dishes make Jimmy's the place to be if you're in the Walpole area.

Jimmy's Pizzeria
4 East St.
Walpole MA
Tel. (508) 660-6700

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A Fun St. Patrick's Day Morning at The Raven's Nest, Walpole, Mass.

What a great St. Patrick's Day morning it has been at The Raven's Nest in Walpole, Mass. This authentic-looking Irish pub and restaurant opened this morning at 5 a.m., serving traditional Irish breakfasts (and delicious scones) and offering live Irish music as well as step dancing and tap dancing from members and staff of the world-class caliber Harney Academy of Irish Dance in Walpole. Reporter David Robichaud from WBZ-TV Channel 4 was there to cover the event and seemed to have a ball, talking it up and joking with many of the locals. The place was packed and the first pouring of the pint occurred at 8 a.m.  Throughout the day, Irish music will be played and live entertainment will return tonight.

I can't say enough good things about The Raven's Nest.  Husband and wife owners Mark and Maura McAuliffe have brought a true gathering place, of sorts, to the heart of downtown Walpole -- and with a dedication to what an Irish pub looks like from Mark's native land. The food is phenomenal!

Here are some of the specials on today's St. Patrick's Day menu at The Raven's Nest:

Full Irish Breakfast
(served St. Patrick's Day until noon and all weekend)

Guinness Beef Stew

Corned Beef and Cabbage

Sheppard’s Pie

Fish and Chips

Bangers and Mash

Corned Beef Reuben Sandwich

Happy St. Patrick's Day and enjoy the video of Irish music and dance above!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

St. Patrick's Day Activities, Events and Dining Around Boston, Massachusetts

Photo Credit: Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau
With a strong Irish foundation, Massachusetts is traditionally filled with wonderful St. Patrick's Day activities.  Boston will be once again be celebrating St. Patrick’s Weekend, March 17-20, in grand style with great performances, tours and the famous Sunday St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Log onto The Thrifty New England Traveler for some of the St. Patrick's Day events and attractions in Massachusetts. We strongly encourage you to visit the Boston Irish Tourism Association Web Site for  comprehensive information on events, attractions and Irish cultural venues.

Also, we, at, have written an article on some of the best Irish-American restaurants and pubs in the Boston suburbs. We recommend calling each restaurant to find out how they will be celebrating St. Patrick's Day.  We also know that The Raven's Nest in Walpole, Mass., will be celebrating St. Patrick's Day first thing in the morning on St. Patrick's Day with a traditional Irish breakfast starting at 5 a.m.! WBZ-TV is planning on broadcasting live from the Raven's Nest from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m., with ace reporter David Robichaud. Dancers from the world-class Harney Academy of Irish Dance of Walpole, and Irish musicians Amy Basse, Dillon Basse, and Michael Kelleher will be on hand to provide entertainment.

You can read our review of The Raven's Nest to get a feel of what this fabulous new restaurant is all about.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

A Few Thoughts While at the Gas Station and Beyond...

Gas prices haven't been that amusing lately, but I've been able to find some humor while at the pump. OK, let me explain...

Have you noticed the self-serve gas pump card prompt that reads, "Please remove card quickly"?

What if you don't? I haven't had the courage to do this, so perhaps someone that has inserted the credit card in for an extended time can shed some light on this.

Have you seen the pump message "Press 'Yes' for receipt" ?

Why even have this? There's no option to press "No," so why not just have the receipt come out automatically?

How about "Please don't leave pump while fueling"? This is disappointing.  Last summer when reading this pump message, I really wanted to go to Six Flags New England while the car was filling up on gas. So I've learned to be patient and not leave the pump while fueling.

Last summer while leaving a gas station with all these weird messages, I proceeded to a local diner. Perhaps "fueled" by these upsetting prompts, I needed to use the restroom. Above the latrine, a message stated, "Please do not places large objects in the toilet."

Gee, it's not like I carry my Bocce ball around everywhere looking for a toilet to discard the object -- so I can break my habit of playing this ancient game.

As I drove by the "Thickly Settled Means Slow" sign (actually thickly settled means "highly populated") and past the"No Outlet" posting (wow, those poor people in that neighborhood with no electricity!), I took it as a "sign" to get home "promptly!"

Editor's note: do you find any public or private signs or prompts amusing? Tell us about them by commenting below.

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Fury of the Ocean at Scituate, Mass., in March

Thought you might like to see the fury of the ocean after some stormy New England weather.  This video was taken at the Minot neighborhood in Scituate, Mass., which tends to fly under the travel radar when its comes to costal New England. It's really a beautiful spot.  Clearly, this was not an optimal day for an ocean walk, but it does illustrate the many personalities of the New England sea. Personally, we'd rather have a sunny day at the beach, but there's something to be said about experiencing crashing waves with the mist splashing right up in your face!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

"Extreme Neighborhood Makeover" in Armory District of Providence, R.I.

Rhode Island Monthly Magazine just named the Armory District in Providence, R.I., as one of "The Best Places to Live" in Rhode Island. The Magazine hit the newsstand today, and the article can be viewed online though a subscription. In the article, you'll find the lowdown on many other highly-regarded Rhode Island town and city neighborhoods.

The Armory District, located in West Providence, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and has really undergone an "extreme neighborhood makeover" with homes (including many Victorians) being restored to their former glory, and shops and restaurants opening.

Channel 10 NBC WJAR television anchor/reporter Alison Bologna, did an outstanding job, as usual, reporting on the Armory District's progress. We encourage you to take a look the Channel 10 video above. This is the way reporting should be done,  and it's nice that the Armory District is the subject matter.

We realize that areas around the Armory District are definitely a work in progress, but the strides made toward making this area of Providence special are undeniable. We look forward to more good news in the near future in regards to the Armory District. In the meantime, enjoy the Rhode Island Monthly article and/or the Channel 10 video!



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