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quick bite

Matzoh ball soup in a former church site

Centre Street Sanctuary restaurant. Yoon S. Byun/Globe Staff

Where to Centre Street Sanctuary, a Jamaica Plain restaurant that recently opened on the campus of the former Blessed Sacrament Church.

What for To order from a menu with categories that include “In the Beginning,” “Selections,” and “Creations,” while sitting at a bar made from recycled church materials and looking at stained glass windows inscribed with the names of reverends.

The scene “All Are Welcome,” says the website, and all are here. Centre Street Sanctuary is busy with the diverse residents of Hyde Square — young lesbians on a double date, a group of Latina friends with one guy pal, skaters wearing T-shirts celebrating metal bands, hipsters, an older husband and wife. People sit on a pew waiting for a table. The dining room walls are hung with paintings of classic JP triple-deckers.


The sliders. Yoon S. Byun/Globe Staff

What you’re eating You’ve got options. The menu includes chicken wings, lamb satay, duck spring rolls, matzoh ball soup, poutine, fancy-sounding steaks, and seafood etouffee. But sometimes simple is best, as with an order of bacon-cheeseburger sliders. There are three per plate, just right for sharing.

Care for a drink? The Hyde Square Shandy is a sweet but summery mix of Sam’s Summer Ale, lemonade, pomegranate juice, St. Germaine, and grapefruit bitters. The Sanctuary Sangria is sweeter still, and not entirely unreminiscent of Robitussin. For something more straightforward, there is a long list of beer, from Evil Twin Hipster Ale to Full Sail Bourbon Stout.

Overheard General, full-scale din: This place is loud. A woman tasting her food: “That’s so good! Can I have, like, some Parmesan or something?” People discussing their Sunday plans (they don’t involve church). A bartender inventing a drink on the spot for a thirsty customer. “What are you in the mood for? Do you like strawberry? Do you like St. Germaine? It’s going to be good! Yeah, that’s egg. Are you scared?”


365 Centre St., Jamaica Plain. 617-942-8951.

Devra First can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @devrafirst.