ROCKLAND—The interior of the newly opened Ferryside Lunch in Rockland’s North End (497 Main Street) may small inside, but the homemade paninis and soup are going to be the biggest draw.
Re-opened just last week, Ferryside Lunch originally opened last winter, but had to close through the spring and summer to get renovations done to the 200-square-foot shop. Owner Jessica Arena runs the sandwich and soup shop, alongside with her son, Dylan Whitamore, 16, and her daughter, Adrianna, 14.
Originally from downtown Boston, Arena moved to the Midcoast nearly 20 years ago.
“When I was growing up and I went to a sub shop, I could ask for an ‘Italian with everything’ and I’d get exactly what I wanted,” she said. “When I moved here, I couldn’t find an authentic Boston Italian sub, so I decided to make my own panini style.”
Rockland’s ‘Little Italy’
The Boston Italian panini so far has been the biggest hit, made with salami provolone tomato onion, pepperoncini oil and spices on fresh sourdough or multigrain bread. With soups she she uses both family recipes and experiments at home with her own flavors, such as Roasted Tomato Bisque and Balsamic Chicken and White Bean. All of the items are affordably priced with soups starting at $6 and paninis averaging around $8.
As the lunch spot begins to get some recognition in the neighborhood, the Boston-inspired food is also a conversational starter.
“I had one woman in the other day from Cambridge and we were talking about some of our favorite restaurants there,” said Arena. “She happened to mention one place I knew that makes this amazing super spicy won ton soup that I’ve been trying to recreate for the past few years, and I almost have it.”
The shop has enough room for one table and a place at the counter. The space was formerly shared by Gelato Rose and Whitamore’s shaved ice micro business called Ice Blossoms.
Now, Ice Blossoms has absorbed into Ferryside Lunch’s menu. The most requested shaved ice flavor is Tiger’s Blood, a fruit punch with a hint of coconut. All of their flavors are imported from New Orleans. Arena said the concept of shaved ice is really popular in the south, but not something northeners see very much. “We’ll also have a couple of sample flavors to try every day,” said Whitamore, “but if anyone wants to just try a flavor, we’ll do that for them.”
Good news for the locals: They plan on being open year round.
Ferryside Lunch is a great grab-and-go spot open from 11:30 to 4 p.m. The establishment only takes cash for now. For more information visit: Ferryside Lunch