Chelsea and Revere MA, assorted

was out today to do the week’s shopping at Market Basket in Chelsea, and decided we’d explore a little out that way while we were there. Had a few stops on the itinerary, so I thought I’d throw out some notes for reference’s sake.

Katz Bagel Bakery
, 139 Park St., Chelsea, MA

Major points for having been in this classic location for 70 years and for claiming to have invented the pizza bagel. Maybe this is true. In any case, I ordered one and the great counter guy went in back and came out handing me one that was blazing hot. Tasted good, browned cheese on top, passable tomato sauce on top a fresh bagel. Bagel seemed OK, maybe good not great. Bought a half dozen to explore further. They make everything themselves on site, we bought a whoopie pie too that we ate later & it was good quality and not over sweet.

New Deal Fruit 920 Broadway, Revere, MA

Brooked the hideous strip mall drive out to New Deal to visit this great old school classic. If you’ve never been, it’s an Italian market close-ish to Revere Beach that has produce + Italian specialties + amazing subs. We bought some fruit, a little imported Italian mortadella, a few breadsticks and the Roma sub that’s composed of chicken cutlets, mozzarella and red peppers. Plenty of other house subs available, and I think they maybe use the Piantedosi sub rolls from Malden. A lot of the deli meats are Boar’s Head, but if you shop around there are some Italian imports as well.

Sabor Especial, 83 Williams St, Chelsea, MA

Situated right near to Dillon Russian Baths aka the oldest steam bath in the U.S.A., this El Salvadoran gem in Chelsea is undoubtedly the single best place to eat a homemade pupusa in the shadow of the Tobin Bridge in Boston. Bought a couple cheese pupusas that came with the usual curtido and some sauce, The curtido is fairly rustic, with big chunks of carrot and jalapeno. Took 'em outside to eat in the sun, traffic roaring overhead + at the traffic light, and they were fantastic. Came out hot, cooked just right. Probably should have tried the frijol version too. There’s other stuff on the menu, tacos de lengua and platos montanero, some soups and etc. It’s nice inside and the tables outside were fine, even if it’s maybe not the most scenic location. Worth another look.

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“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold