Where to Johnny’s Takeaway, a West Roxbury spot selling lunch cooked to order and prepared meals for dinner.
What for Chef Johnny Burke — who has worked locally at places like the Butcher Shop, T.W. Food, and Belly Wine Bar — now wants to cook for your family. Advance planners can order ahead online (the week’s menu is posted each Sunday), which helps Burke avoid food waste. Impulse buyers can stop in to grab something from the case.
The scene It’s a lunchtime free-for-all in the cute little shop, with dark-blue wainscoting, white pressed tin-type walls, and a logo written in Red Sox font. Burke is behind the counter and at the stove in the open kitchen, taking orders, exchanging jovial banter with customers, and cooking turkey burgers and falafel. Locals debate what to order, weighing the merits of brownies vs. chocolate chip cookies. The camps appear to be evenly divided.
What you’re eating At lunch you might find turkey and zucchini burgers, lobster rolls, and pulled pork sandwiches. In the case are assorted salads, shrimp and soba noodles with ginger-scallion sauce, and more. Dinner could be sweet potato shepherd’s pie, rib-eye steaks and broccoli with chimichurri sauce, or salmon with farro. Don’t forget about Taco Tuesdays and Fried Chicken Fridays — you don’t want to show up to find the “Sorry, Completely Sold Out” sign on the door.
Care for a drink? Quench your thirst with Pellegrino sodas, iced green tea, or Mexican Coke in glass bottles.
Overheard Talk of road work, dessert, and the need for caffeine. “We’re getting married,” a young couple tells Burke. “We’re taking the day off to look at wedding venues.” “Where are you looking?” he asks, then tells them about his own nuptials. “Should I get the lobster roll?,” a woman wonders. “The pulled pork is really good,” someone tells her. “Definitely the lobster roll,” she says. “My kitchen is being renovated,” another customer says. “You’re a lifesaver.” “Do you have iced coffee?,” a customer asks, placing her order. “You are not the first person to ask that,” Burke says, shaking his head. “But there’s a Dunkin’ right over there.”
168 Spring St., West Roxbury, 617-942-8243, www.johnnystakeaway.comDevra First can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @devrafirst.