T.J. Scallywaggles

Boston, Massachusetts


Big Challenges and Changes at TJ's

As founder of T.J. Scallywaggle's, I felt a certain contentment in early 2008 as managerial power evolved out of my hands and into those of a young and enthusiastic collective led by four core team members. Over the past year, though, I've become disappointed that the shop has not maintained the high standards of cleanliness, service, and consistent food quality that our customers have come to expect. In this regard, I offer apologies to those customers who have also been disappointed.

T.J. Scallywaggle's Vegan House of Pizza & Subs was founded in 2006 as a bold experiment grounded in the ideals of veganism, activism, and collectivism. For us 2007 was a banner year (Best of Boston 2007, awarded by Boston Magazine), but this past year, 2008, was very uneven. After much soul-searching, it has been decided that dramatic changes are in order. We have devised a threefold plan: by summer 2009, we will effect either a Change of Ownership, a Change of Style, or a Change of Staff.

(1) Change of Ownership: We are now open to offers to buy T.J. Scallywaggle's. We will consider selling to an individual or group with noble vision, keen business skills, and a strong sense of managerial discipline. Please contact veganearth@verizon.net.

(2) Change of Style: Concurrently with the sale option, we're conducting a four-month retraining program of our current team under the guidance of the pre-2006 shop owner. Recognizing the present collective's strengths (egalitarianism & workplace democracy), we hope to foster a new sense of professionalism (accountability & personal discipline). Our goal here is to clean up our act, and to revitalize TJ's original mission to faithfully serve the broad vegetarian and social-activist communities.

(3) Change of Staff: If neither of the above measures produce sufficient results by the summer of 2009, then we will effect a radical change in the staffing of the store.

We ask your help. Please give us a few weeks, then scrutinize us. Are we making progress? Is the shop cleaner? more customer-friendly? Is our food more consistently high-quality? Your comments from now to summer 2009 will help determine the future of T.J. Scallywaggle's. Thank you. Sincerely, Steve Karian, founder.

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My experience with T.J. Scallywaggles was mixed. I really loved the garlic bread and the chocolate peanut butter cup. The garlic bread was perfectly toasted, coated in melted soy margarine and chopped garlic, served with a bowl of marinara sauce. The chocolate peanut butter cup consisted of rich dark chocolate with a gooey peanut butter interior - yum!

I would have liked the chicken parmesan sub if the "chicken" didn't have a cardboard aftertaste and a mushy texture. T.J. Scallywaggles uses Chicago Soydairy's Teese on the chicken parmesan sub, which is one of the most convincing mozzarella substitutes out there. Unfortunately, even delicious soy cheese couldn't mask the weird flavor of the "chicken."

The buffalo chicken sub suffered for the same reasons, minus the soy cheese. I ended up picking most of the fake chicken out of my sandwich, it was so terrible.

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Awful!!! It’s hard to imagine actually making a pizza, or anything for that matter, this bad. In a pinch I’ve taken a bagel, put on some sauce and soy cheese on it and threw that in the toaster oven and that was 100 times better than the pizza here. My girl friend is a gourmet vegan/vegetarian chef and she couldn’t make something this bad if she was blindfolded and was hit on the side of the head with a cast iron skillet.

The reason I went to this “restaurant” is because of all the glowing reviews that I read here. When you first walk in I was somewhat shocked on how dumpy the place was, but I let it go thinking well maybe the place looks bad, but the food must be good. I ordered a plain pizza and thought I’d get a soda that was on the menu. It turns out there were no sodas and there were like only 5 drinks in the entire refrigerated cooler. I settled for a bottle of lemonade.

The “pizza” came out in a few minutes and it certainly didn’t look very appetizing. It was a rather plain crust with some watery sauce and what looked like melted pieces of plastic. I thought – well the place is a dump, the pizza looks like crap, but maybe … just maybe it tastes great. Wrong!!! As I picked up a piece the watery goop (which was supposed to be sauce and cheese) slid off the pizza onto the plate. That certainly didn’t look good. Then I went for a bite. Oh my – it was … well … just the worst tasting stuff you could imagine. I have no idea what kind of “cheese” was on this thing but I never tasted anything like it.

I think that vegans (and I am one) have a tendency to approve of anything giving high marks to anything that proclaims itself as vegan. That’s the only way I can possibly explain the high praise this place has gotten. If I was trying to go vegan and had happened to come to this place the first time I would have run out of there thinking all vegans must be insane for eating this way and stick to eating McDonalds.

To sum it up – the place is a dump and the food is awful. I’d give the place negative 5 stars if I could but I’m forced to give it 1 star. Bottom line – save your time and money and stay away! Oh, there is one good thing about the place actually – the exit.

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Either everyone that left an excellent or great review before me were hallucinating on mushrooms or their taste buds have been greatly compromised. To put it mildly, this place was a dump and their vegan pizza I can only describe as slop on a cracker. My boyfriend's kids ordered a large plain "cheese" pizza and we ordered the small spinach/tomato/cheese and I can't recall what other slop was on there. Our waiter/cook/and only person in there behind the counter was nice enough to bring us garlic bread,,,THANK GOODNESS, I needed that to get the taste of that drippy, bird regurgitation like pizza taste out of my mouth. The place could use a good cleaning as well, and folks, if you need to us the restroom and wash your hands before you eat their "yummy" pizza, FORGET IT,,!no bathroom. So, to all the vegans out there that think this place is fabulous,,,,I commend you and your caste iron stomachs. I give this Scallywaggles a negative 10 on taste and cleanliness, for they are lacking in both.

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This place was awesome! I went with a large group and we shared a whole bunch of things. The pizza was the best, especially the spinocali with chicken. The subs were still awesome but they didn't measure up to the pizzas heaping with toppings. Everyone in the place was really nice and I ended up talking to one of the staff and joking around with her for a while. While the pizza was great, the desserts were the best. No one could decide on what was best, I though the chocolate cupcakes, while the lemon squares and cheesecake were a toss up for second, but among us there were staunch supporters of the vegan peanut butter cups with marshmallow. I am planning on getting another group together and trying even more of their food.

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My boyfriend and I went here twice on our trip to Boston. The first night we shared a pizza and a milkshake and both were fantastic, with the shake being thinner than expected but good. The service the first night was great, with the worker being very friendly and helpful.

The second night I had a chicken salad wrap and he had a buffalo chicken sandwich. Neither was spectacular and both were quite dry and bland. The sweet potato fries were undercooked. Worst of all that second night, the workers were extremely unfriendly and acted like we were harshing their mellow or something. We were told the place was a worker owned cooperative, so I thought they should have been much friendlier. Also, they didn't seem to be particularly hygenic (dirty clothes, no hairnets or hats), which is bothersome in a restaurant, even a casual one like this.

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Wow! The vegan chicken parm sub is WOW! They also had a great chocolate milkshake and yummy sweet potato fries. A must visit for vegan foodies.

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We really enjoyed a couple of excellent veg Parmesan subs and sweet potato fries.

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Good food, but the place doesn't seem very professional. Last time I went in it was packed with people who didn't appear to be eating anything, and I had to fight my way to the front just to order a pizza. A staff member also scolded me because I didn't ask before using the bathroom (apparently it's no longer open to public... but how was I supposed to know?)

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This place was amazing. I told them I only had one night in town and wanted to try everything delicious they had so they made me a "gnarly sampler platter", which doesn't exist on the menu. They just charged me for a large appetizer and gave me a little of everything--chicken nuggets, chicken fingers, meatballs, etc. The chicken fingers are the best.

I also had a small pizza and had half chicken/pineapple and half "big mac" (veggie burger, pickles, mustard, ketchup). The former was my favorite. The service was amazing.

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I was really pumped up to try this place, but was met with disappointment. Perhaps my bar was set too high?

I had the food delivered, which I'm hoping is the only reason the food wasn't that good. Not that the food was horrible, it just wasn't everything I wanted.

None of the cheese had even been halfway melted, it was all just shredded and packaged to go, even on the garlic cheese bread. The bread used for the garlic cheese bread is just the sub sandwich bread, and it wasn't toasted or anything. I've had garlic "cheeze" bread delivered from other places at home and the cheese is at least melted and the bread crispy or shows signs of actual toasting.

The chicken parm was ok, not great, not bad. The calzone with "bufflow chicken" was ok. The crust was great.

Overall, I felt that I could cook the same food at home and it would be waaaay tastier. I love that there is an all-vegan pizzeria, I respect what they are trying to do. I'm going to try to visit their actual restaurant for a sit-down meal and hope that the food is better then.

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Ross Lichtenberg, of Ross & Ross Ind., has this to say about TJ's...
TJ's is so good that they refuse to sell Mountain Dew as a beverage. I think we all know that, considering Mountain Dew is the greatest beverage ever, the food is so ridiculously good at TJ's that if they sold Mountain Dew, there would be no reason for customers to ever leave. Sure, that could be good for business, but TJ's thrives on the ambiguity and clandestine characteristics that other Vegan restaurants of such high quality base their businesses around. Selling Mountain Dew would perhaps make this restaurant TOO good and absolutely destroy everything that this admirable and extraordinary restaurant has built its foundation upon.

Also-They don't serve food at TJ's, they serve miracles.

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I have nothing but good things to say about TJ Scallywaggles. It has a huge all-vegan menu, the food is delicious, and it's cheap. Oh yeah, and they said they don't fry anything anymore. Where can you go wrong?

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This former pizza and sub shop has gone all vegan. They now serve and deliver incredible vegan pizza, vegan meatball subs, vegan ravioli, vegan chicken, and everything a vegan food lover craves and can't have at a restaurant.

Real "fake" cheese, fake chicken, and fake beef, traditional sub-shop/pizza joint food without eating animals.

No disappointments here folks! These guys are serious about food.

They do deliver, but now have a "delivery charge" for every order - but beware, this money does not go to the driver, so don't forget to tip generously for the delicious food.

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I was in boston for a weekend and made sure i went to TJs. If you are staying in the city it is a bit out of the way, and easily passed by, we passed by it about five times, BUT is totally worth it. They have a huge vegan selection or all kinds of pizzas, calzones and anything else you could want from a pizza place. I had the bbq chicken, it was great. I'm going back to boston in sept and can't wait to go back. Also the people who own it are insanely nice, and they are open until midnight every night. Seriously, go there.

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This place is awesome. There is a huge variety of vegan foods and it's cheap. Totally rad. By the way, the vegan chicken parm sandwich is great.

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TJ's rocks. I'm addicted to this place. The vegan pizza is excellent, as are the faux-chicken sandwiches like the vegan chicken parm. The vegan cheesecake they offer in three or four different flavors is also awesome. I noticed they've recently added vegan lasagna to their menu as well, so I may have to try that. The way to go for a first-timer, though, is definitely a large vegan pizza with the works. I'd warn against the calzones -- the vegan cheese does not seem to melt inside the dough, so they can be a bit strange.

Also, kudos to TJ's for taking veal off the menu and for being very receptive to comments and suggestions of vegans on ingredients and new menu items. If all non-vegan restaurant owners were so graceful and open-minded, I think they'd make more money, the world would be a better place, and vegans would have lots more options.

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This place is a gem.

As much as I love the asian veggie restaurants in the Boston area, TJs provides a much needed change of pace. They have an entire vegan menu, not just one or two options. The pizza is OK, but don't get just plain cheese - it's a little boring. The calzones are great (try the BBQ chicken) and I can't wait to try the subs. This place has always been quiet when I've visited, and everything is made to order.

Definitely go to TJs if you want a tasty vegan meal that's not a stir fry!

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