Tonic for the Bostonian soul in West Roxbury

Tonic for sale at Tony's in West Roxbury

Tonight's specials show that, when it comes to drinks, Tony's in West Roxbury is old school (right up there with the Pleasant Cafe in Roslindale, which also still offers tonic).



Free tagging: 


Yes, especially compared to Arlington!

Elton's in Arlington offers two cheese slices and a can of Pepsi for $3.50, including tax! If you prefer thin crust Italian style, the new Brickstone's is $2 for an awesome cheese slice.

"thin crust Italian style"

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"thin crust Italian style"

That's called pizza generally. Maybe it's different in places where transplants come from, a lot of chains out there and not as many old school places because the demographics are different.

Welcome to Boston!

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Since you're obviously new to Boston, you might not realize that a lot of pizza places around here actually sell Greek pizza, which is anything but thin crust. And there are places that sell thin-crust pizza that is even thinner than traditional Italian.

Reminds me of

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my first week as a freshman at Northeastern, when I inquired about available pizza places to a classmate.

He responded with "Which do you prefer, Greek sponge or Italian cardboard?"

Wrong, transplant. Greek

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Wrong, transplant. Greek Pizza is no thicker than the Dominos or Pizza Hut that so many transplants ate growing up. You should probably add that Greek Pizza is found mostly North and West of Boston because so many Greek immigrants went to Lowell and the Merrimack Valley.

Also, there is no locally established "even thinner" style, barring the occasional place that just happens to make a very thin pizza.

"thin crust Italian style" is similar to how someone would order bread at a fast food sandwich shop.

Welcome to Boston.

Oh, sorry, didn't realize we were dealing with a sophisticate

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You might try taking a trip into Roslindale, West Roxbury and Hyde Park sometime and count up the number of places that serve Greek pizza. Last I checked, none are west or north of "the city."

Yeah, I'm a transplant, from a city that has no end of Italian pizza. So I know the difference between basic "Italian" pizza and the thinner-crust stuff. First tried that in Framingham, probably before you were born, at a restaurant that specialized in it.


I could have sworn that "Greek" was the dominant pizza format in the area around where my husband grew up on the South Shore ...

"found mostly" implies that

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"found mostly" implies that there will be some found elsewhere, but the trend is that many will be North and West of the city, something you might not know if you don't venture outside of 128. Count as many local places as you want, that doesn't change that Lowell had a huge Greek committee.


You felt the need to delve into the intricacies of several different styles of pizza first.

"So I know the difference between basic "Italian" pizza and the thinner-crust stuff."

There is no locally established thinner-crust style, just some occasional places that happen to make it very thin.

You tried to go into the

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You tried to go into the details, don't whine when someone corrects you. Run along, then.

Roslindale had too much Greek pizza at one point

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And a Greek gal from West Roxbury admitted to me once Italian pizza is better.

For some reason, the pizza around Perkins Square in Southie was somehow Greek, too.

I'm also willing to bet that north of Boaton Italian pizza is available.

D'Agostino's in Arlington Hts

Doesn't have pizza --- but there was still a button on the register for tonic when I worked there at the turn of the century. Pretty sure we called the kids who stocked the soda "tonic boys" too.

Comellas ^

at least in W.Rox, prices have gone up - $6 still a good deal.

Elton's location

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Elton's is where the bike trail crosses Mass. Ave.

Comella's, while a good deal at their new higher price of $6, still sucks IMO. But everyone else in the world seems to love their flavorless pizza and mushy pasta with sugary sauce. Bleh.

Everybody else in the world...

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defines what is served at Comella's as "food" in the first place. I know I'm in the minority here; that chain is spreading with dunkin-donuts speed (and quality to match).


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cheese pizza is cheap but boring. Tony's is a step up.

That is good to know! I have

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That is good to know! I have only ever eaten at DeNo's, but I may try Real Deal if it's good too.

Yeah but is it better than Pizza Hut?

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...since we're comparing chain-restaurant pizza.

Why not support your local independent pizza joint! most of them aren't as expensive as the example in the o.p.!


has about a dozen locations, all within massachusetts. all of which are still owned by the family as far as i can tell. they're about as local as you can get . but thanks for the suggestion chief

are there better options? sure. but if you read what wrote, my suggesting them was based on value alone and no other consideration (although when I used to eat there, i admit proximity was a consideration. they were a very short walk from my office).

as a matter of routine i don't advise getting pizza anywhere, frankly

also comparing dunkin donuts and pizza hut to comella's with regards to size is really, really dumb. both dunks and pizza hut (owner: Yum! brands- the biggest restaurant group in the entire world) are international brands. comella's massive reach extends to one location outside of 128.

but it's okay for you to compare with Papa Ginos.....

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....which has 200 locations in five states.
OK got it.

I'm not out to change anyone's mind about the virtues of a $6 pizza. In fact I've noticed that neighboring non-chain shops have put up similar specials, so it's actually good for competition. And a lot of the standalone pizza shops frankly aren't good either. I just like them to get a chance to survive against the chains, that's all.

Elton's is at Steve's, which is now Brickstone's

Elton's Roast Beef is where Steve's used to be, and the roast beef is good there. Pizza is OK. Subs are good. The owners of Steve's opened the new Brickstone's Pizza in Broadway Plaza at the former location of Ripples hair salon. From what I've tried so far, the pizza is the best thing.


steve's used to be a client of my family's and i remember them being pretty nice folks so i'd drag my friends there after school

thought that corner looked familiar


this made me smile. i haven't heard somebody refer to soda as tonic since my grandfather passed probably.

if not for gin, i'd probably have forgotten about the word entirely

actually gin itself has made me forget a lot of things anyway


sort of o/t

I learned something from watching a TV show: The Knick often has little factoids before or after each episode, about whatever ghastly medical procedures were happening in the episode. In one episode this season, I learned that malaria was very common among Brits stationed in India back when it was one of their many colonies, and they devised the gin & tonic in order to make taking their quinine (which is very bitter) more palatable.

The more you know!

re: quinine

well, quinine is indeed very bitter, which is why i've never ordered a virgin gin & tonic

tonic on its own is barfo


We called soda tonic growing up because my father did. We used to have a case of Miscoe orange soda delivered every month; my father drank it with dinner, we had to drink milk.

Mahket Basket

Up through the 1990s, Market Basket stores had "tonic" on the aisle signs.

I understood this when I discovered Moxie. Many soft drinks started out as patent medicines, hence the local word.

I still call it tonic. My

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I still call it tonic. My generation (I'm 44 - when the heck did that happen?!) is probably the last in Boston to do so.

I can totally tell when someone isn't from here and I ask what type of tonic they have and they look at me like I have 5 heads. Even the younger folk from here know what tonic is b/c of their older relatives. It always makes me chuckle:)

We said tonic, too

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Although I now say soda, my family (and grandparents) called any type of soft drink tonic. Also, blue jeans were referred to as "dungarees". My great aunt also used to pronounce potatoes like "padaydahs". Grew up in Portsmouth, NH. It wasn't just Boston.


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I'm from the midwest. I was surprised when I was a teenager and found out other people call it soda. Calling it tonic would have sent me over the edge.