Framingham, Natick & environs: the Metrowest thread


#1

this is probably right, and as always I’ll take your recs under advisement! I have always found the Framingham Sichuan Gourmet to be at least reasonably good. (Tho I miss Red Pepper…). and seeing as I grew up in the next town over from here, you know I’m always game for one all around at Casey’s Diner, which is only ten minutes from Brooklyn Water.

is there anything else? I thought Shaanxi sounded promising, but have always heard semi lukewarm reports. And Volturno, the Neapolitan pizza joint, gets some props for its Worcester locale but I don’t know a lot about the branch in Framingham. I also have gone to decent Brazilian places there in the past, but not for some time.

Since Sri Lakshmi in Ashland draws Indian-Americans from all over New England, I’ve always also thought that Dosa Temple in Ashland might be worth a look. There’s an outlet of Godavari in Framingham as well–and I liked the one that I went to in Burlington. Too bad old the old chowhound fave Udipi Bhavan is gone.

If there’s anything else out there in Metrowest, would like to know!


Wicked Bagel soft opening [Lexington MA]
#2

Perhaps it’ll be good to start a Metro West thread? There are so many Indian restaurants on Route 9 that I’d love some pointers for the best place(s) to go. but here are a few places I like near Route 9/Framingham/Westborough area:

  • Jack’s Abby: great seasonal beer and food; beer-hall seating is a challenge on the weekends.
  • Westborough Korean Restaurant: (yes that’s actually the name) the best banchan in the region; solid lunch boxes and interesting menu items on the wall that I’ve yet to get through.
  • China Gourmet: I’ve written about it in another post, but it’s one of the better places to get Hunanese dishes. (My Hunan-native friend thinks Sei Bar in Wakefield has the slight edge.)

As far as Shaanxi Gourmet goes, I have to echo other’s lukeware review. Granted, I’ve only been once maybe two years ago, but I remember everything being just ok and there’s nothing you can’t get at MDM or another noodle place around Boston. I’ve also been to some Brazilian buffet places in Malborough but it’s nothing special.


#3

Can you provide some recommendations for what to order at those three places? They’ve actually been on my list for a while.

Just saw the Russian restaurant in Framingham that I always meant to try is now closed… time to hasten my pace elsewhere. Agree on Shaanxi Gourmet based on my limited experience, though the one person I know who is from that part of China swears by them. The distinguishing factor seemed to me to be a bold (and probably authentic) hand with vinegar.


#4

took sunnyday’s advice and split this off into a new thread for posterity.

For reference’s sake, I’ll just mention here that it was talk about Brooklyn Water Bagels in Framingham being quite good that prompted this splintering of the conversation.


#5

Thanks @passing_thru for getting a new thread going!

I was trying not to overtake the original topic by shortening my answers, but I know exactly what you mean here, @rosulate ! I remember ordering a noodle soup at Shaanxi and the vinegary punch took me right back to what my grandpa used to make, and he’s from Shanxi Province that shares a love of black vinegar with Shaanxi. A typical lunch was almost always noodle soup, be it hand-stretched, cat ear (orecchiette) shaped, or knife shaved, with chopped greens and whatever slivers of leftover meat from last night thrown in. These days I wished I had learned more from him, but the five year old me got sick of drinking sour soup really really fast. :slight_smile:

Jack’s Abby - they have different blackboard specials each time we went, but I remember loving the bluefish pate with pickled dilly beans. We’ve also got the smoked cod parsnip chowder (comes with a biscuit on top!) and a few different pizza and enjoyed all of those.

Westborough Korean Restaurant - unfortunately my experience was mostly workday lunch, but I love the kalbi lunch box. The box comes with a miso soup, salad, and 10-12 banchans (maybe less if you are dining alone) so it’s a seriously large meal. A lot of people go for various Korean hot pots that serves 2-3; I’ve tried the goat stew and enjoyed it (but it’s quite gamey so you are warned)

China Gourmet - I’ve only gone once so I’m speaking based on what we’ve tried. I think we got the spicy pig ears, pork with spicy pepper (the best dish to test authenticity according to my Hunanese friend), and eggplant with salted egg yolks. The spicy pig ear cartilage and pork with spicy pepper are competent but could be better: pepper didn’t have the charred marks that was supposedly a signature of this dish, and pork is a bit lean (need more pork belly). However, the eggplant was excellent; it was steamed whole with stir-fried minced pork and salted egg yolks on top - the topping is super addictive! My friend and I both confessed to still thinking about the dish a week later.


#6

dang, I never even knew there was a Russian restaurant in Framingham.


#7

!!! that sure blows away the measly kimchi, bean sprouts and maybe some cucumbers and radish that you get at most Boston places. I’m always good for a gamey goat stew, too. I’d heard of this place, but had sort of forgotten about it. Thanks for putting it back on my radar.


#8

Found a crappy picture of the goat stew dinner (and failed attempt to get all the banchans in the picture). I agree that the lack of side dishes in Boston places is annoying; I was in a Korean place in Atlanta a few months ago, and the banchan includes a small fried fish (yellow croaker I think?) per person - now that I haven’t seen elsewhere!


#9

Thanks! Salted egg yolk and goat are two of my favorite things.


#10

We enjoy salted egg, but do not indulge regularly. Just so happens that we had 3 salted egg dishes in the last couple of days.

Bitter melon with salted egg was so good, we ordered again at another restaurant. Salted egg complements that slight bitterness of the melon well.

Fried squid was very tender with a nice snap. Could have easily stood on its own. Topped with chopped scallions, Thai chiles, garlic and salted egg made this a dish I want again. now.


#11

Where was the calamari dish from? That looks so good!

Not a big crawfish person normally, but I had a platter of stir-fried crawfish (shell-in) covered in salted egg york while in Shanghai and it was one of the most delicious things I’ve had.


#12

The calamari was at a restaurant on seafood row on Cijin island in Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Their name card:

A good variety of seafood, simply prepared well.