Eat At ’Noch's Every Day!

Thea S. Morton

The Queen of ’Noch's with her loyal cadre of chefs.

In 1983, Pinocchio’s Pizza opened on Winthrop street and changed Doris Jones’ life forever. Since it opened, Jones has eaten lunch (and sometimes dinner) there every day, Monday through Friday. That’s more than 7,280 delicious Italian dining experiences.

Jones, who says she’s “too old to be talking about how old I am” has worked at the Harvard Shop on JFK Street for the past 20 years. Pinocchio’s made it to the top of her lunchtime list because, she says, it offers the whole package—“the price, the people and the food.” She likes to mix up her food selection every day and refuses to play favorites. Jones samples a wide variety of ’Noch’s offerings, including tomato-basil pizza, some of the subs and the chicken parmigiana. She’s been overwhelmingly satisfied with everything. “They don’t have bad food,” she says. “They’re very good at keeping everything fresh.”

Rico DiCenso, the owner of Pinocchio’s, described Jones as “part of the family.” “We treat her like a queen,” he says. He’s not kidding—the folks at ’Noch’s chop her pizza slices into bite-sized squares, and always slice her tomatoes in circles (she doesn’t like them diced). DiCenso is highly attuned to Jones’ eating idiosyncrasies. “In some ways she’s delicate, sensitive,” he says. And, he adds, “God forbid there be a piece of onion in any of her food, but sometimes we sneak one in there just for fun.”  

Each day, Jones sits at the table in front of the counter, in the chair on the right side (nearest the kitchen, so she can talk to the guys and eat at the same time). “We tease her, play with her a little,” DiCenso says. Still, he jokes, “the guys at Pinnochio’s are sick and tired of hearing about [her] bowling average!” Jones is “a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful person,” he concludes. “We really love her.”

Jones and Pinocchio’s have been together for 20 years. She plans on eating there until she retires.