Jack's Abby Restaurant [Framingham, MA]

I went to the grand opening at Jack’s Abby Beer Hall and absolutely loved it. The wide open space offers a roster of 24 lagers on tap and a comfort food and pizza menu to die for.
I enjoyed a House Lager, Numb Swagger (smoke and dagger aged with peppercorns, Hoponius Unions’ with a couple different dry hops, nectarine sour and barrel aged Cocoa Nut Framinghammer and I washed it all down with a braised pork shank with kale mashed, baby carrots topped with gremolata. The charcuterie, mussels, scallops and pizza all looked deelish.

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How busy is it? Noise level?

It was busy but high ceilings and large so the noise diffused. No music or tv volume. Tv’s only football.

This might be the busiest restaurant in the metro-west area and it’s well deserved. The food and beer top notch and there is no other place within 15 miles that comes close.

My two sons and I went to Jack’s Abby a couple of weeks ago and really enjoyed it. As noted, it’s a large, high-ceilinged place with communal tables and lots of noise. You check in at the bar and give your name, order drinks, and then head out to find seats. The beer, of course, was terrific and the food was really good. The wood-fired oven is truly gorgeous. We started with a Margherita pizza, which was lovely even if the crust got a little soggy in the middle. My vegetarian son had polenta with roasted veggies and some kind of mozzarella gravy. He said it was delicious, especially the gravy, but that the veggies were pretty bland. My omnivorous son had the pork shanks and, again, thought the dish was terrific but that the veggies were under seasoned. I couldn’t resist the beer-brined wood-fired chicken after someone next to us ordered it. It was terrific, really flavorful and moist with a delicious sausage stuffing and gravy. I would happily order this again…so much more interesting than the usual chicken dish.

This is not a quiet date-night place. It’s busy and noisy, but fun and delicious. All three of us agreed we were glad we had headed there and will happily return.

Anyone know if kids would be welcome/comfortable at this place?

Thanks

Yes, it’s essentially a baby stroller park on the weekends.

We had a fun, but disappointing experience food-wise at Jack’s Abby, on our way home from CT the Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend. We felt very comfortable there with our spring onion in tow since it’s a lively and pleasantly raucous place. Servers are friendly and accommodating. Beer was fresh. Unfortunately, our pizza was very soggy in the middle (a pet peeve of mine…B doesn’t mind so much). I hate tip sag/droop. I don’t know what I was thinking, but I ordered a veggie roasted squash dish (I normally can’t stand that kind of dish). I thought with that big wood-fired oven, it’s gotta be good…but it wasn’t. Bland and mushy. I can’t remember the last time I didn’t finish a dish at any restaurant but I left a good part of it behind (actually we packed it up to go and it went uneaten). Fine place for a modest pie and fresh good beer, though, and we would go back if in the area.

Bummer, digga. If you end up giving it another try, maybe go for the scallops or mussels. They looked really good going by and someone near us said the scallops were delicious. The mac and cheese looks worth trying as well. (If I recall, you aren’t a meat eater, correct)?

We did find the veggies in all the dishes to be underseasoned, but the chicken is one of the tastiest restaurant chicken preps that I’ve had in a while, and my son said his pork shank was excellent.

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I agree the proteins are better than veggies which is a bit disappointing. The pizza was semi-Neapolitan and it was fair. I feel that the oven is too big and too harsh after looking at a lot of ovens. For instance, Quattro in North End has a tiny one pizza at a time gas fired oven but the pizza is nice and moist. It seems that the bigger you go the more risky it is to control.

The three of us enjoyed the pizza but found the burned semolina on the bottom to be excessive and really distracted from the slice. Brushing it off helped, but they really need to sweep the oven more.

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