I grew up in Newton, Massachusetts, a town just outside of Boston . As a junior in high school, I started working in a local, much-loved pizzeria called Sweet Tomatoes. It had a simple menu of pizza, sandwiches and salads, that were all delicious. Unfortunately for me – no PASTA! It just wasn’t something they wanted to get into. This forced me to look for other places for a great bowl of pasta, near me.
One day, my best friend Emily and I were window shopping on Newbury Street (a well-known street in Boston lined with stores, boutiques, cafes and restaurants). Once we had checked out all the inventory at Zara, H&M, and other stores, we were hungry.
Continuing our walk, we noticed a restaurant with big windows and lots of people (busy usually means good food.) It was called Joe’s American Bar & Grill. We wandered inside grabbing a seat at one of the many round tables, and quickly started scanning the menu.
Not surprisingly judging by the name, there were a lot of American-style foods, such as burgers, wings and nachos featured, but my eyes immediately went to the one and only pasta dish on the menu – Chicken Broccoli Ziti. Of course I ordered it, minus the roasted red peppers it originally comes with.
When the dish arrived, the first thing I noticed was the scent of garlic- this might actually be good pasta, I thought. The chicken was cooked to perfection, a golden brown on the outside and super tender, not dry on the inside. The broccoli was just the right texture soft and juicy. The sauce was white, buttery/garlicky and yummy. The mix of the three combined with an awesome sauce, worked incredibly well together. Plus, the server was happy to douse it with as much or as little fresh grated parmesan cheese as I wanted.
Compared to other chicken broccoli ziti dishes I have tried, in various restaurants around Boston, this by far the best. Although Joe’s is not your classic Italian restaurant, they sure know how to perfect this pasta dish! I’ve had it a few times and it’s always good. For sure, my go-to-pasta place on Newbury Street.
Boston has an entire neighbourhood of amazing Italian restaurants called the North End. It’s Boston’s “Little Italy”. But if you happen to be in the Back Bay area where Newbury Street, Boston Common and The Public Garden are located, head to Joe’s American Bar and Grill, 181 Newbury Street, Boston MA, for the Chicken Broccoli Ziti. It’s Grace approved.
More details and the full menu here:
Photo credits to