Late 2016/early 2017 odds and ends...

Recently I’ve spent some weekends in the Medford, MA region and have some random thoughts about some assorted places I have been to. Please chime in with anywhere you have been to recently in the area, I’m always curious about where people have been lately, old or new!

Arax & Sevan, Watertown–bought all kinds of food here for Xmas Eve and Xmas Day. These markets are a couple of the real food gems of the Boston area. Period. End of sentence.

Tenoch–this Medford Square joint has solid sandwiches. It’s not spectacular, but the tortas are good quality. Want to try more after initial encounter.

Chili Garden–another Medford Sq. place that serves a niche. Only eaten here once, but seems better’n average. King Oyster Mushroom with Garlic was really good. So was Crispy Chicken with Basil. Homemade Sichuan Sausage was OK but a little tame.

Ebisuya–nice Japanese market. good looking produce, frozen stuff and assorted Japanese foodstuffs.

Bob’s Italian Foods, Medford–a classic. Good arancini, the couple that I bought lasted me 4 meals. Will go back for a sandwich here soon.

Italo Bakery, Medford–real old school place. bread looked great, but was sort of overdone and lacked salt. Sigh. But Sicilian slice was pretty tasty, if a little greasy. Would happily eat this for breakfast on a regular basis if I lived on the block.

La Cascia, Medford—ok bread, ok cookies. Not super exciting, but I’m glad that it still has a place to be.

Snappy Patty’s, Medford–this locale seems promising. Good vibe, nice beers, some seemingly ok cocktails within the odd Medford liquor rules. Unfortunately, they murdered the burger that I asked to be medium rare. Will try again.

Donuts with a Difference, Medford–want a bakery that doesn’t charge you three bucks for a donut? this is your Medford Sq. spot. the old fashioned is aces. blueberry a bit sweet for me, but not bad. Have always been a Demet’s fan for this sort of thing, but need to compare.

Saloniki, Boston–my first encounter with Jody Adams’ fast Greek casual seemed fine. Nothing out of the ordinary, but The George was a good 9 $ lamb sandwich. A little dry, but no real complaints.

Tasty Burger, Boston–generally, i don’t eat a lot of meat. But when i was in Fenway and was ordering at Saloniki, i couldn’t dodge also getting a cheeseburger here a couple blocks over. Not bad at all, Cooked way better’n my Snappy Patty burger.

Pisa Pizza, Malden–good lunch spot right near the 88. Pizza not transporting, but fine and atmosphere above average. Next door neighbors playing bocce in December, never a bad sign.

Dom’s–another good place right on top the 88, Great house made sausage (try the un pc named Oriental, it’s great). Delicious bread here too, even though the cashier lady had no idea who made it.

anyway, that’s where I’ve been lately.

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Thanks for that nice report. Will be trying some of these places over the next few months. Information good to have.
Enjoy,
CocoDan

Nice report. I’ll second the recommendation for Donuts with a Difference. Simple, clean-tasting old-school donuts in a setting that probably hasn’t changed since the 60’s-70’s.

I’ll also throw out the Medford location of Modern Pastry for your tiramisu/cannoli/torrone fix.

My husband says that Real Gusto just might be his favorite Italian restaurant anywhere. Excellent pastas, Neapolitan pizza etc. in a lovely setting. I still need to get there to buy some of their silky fresh pasta to cook at home.

And yes, Snappy Patty’s is a comfortable, affordable neighborhood place with very solid food.

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Chili Garden is really great. If you go back, I highly recommend the double cooked pork belly, ma po tofu, the cilantro and pepper salad, and spicy pork tripe.

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My kids love Tasty Burger so we are there quite a bit. It has a lot to recommend it. Great burgers (which they claim are grass fed) and hot dogs, some of the best onion strings in the area, alcohol and free pool. All for about half the price of competing options (e.g. Shake Shack in HSQ or Whalburgers in Fenway).

Doms is my go to for tailgating supplies. Their steak and turkey tips are excellent as well.

One new place I have been to is Ciao Pizza in Chelsea. Wowzas, this place is the real deal. Best neopolitan pizza in the area IMO. Friends asked us to meet there after some brewery visits. We were dubious but damn this place is a find.

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The Fenway tasty Burger also shows The Food Network on TV!

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Favorites at Chilli Garden: ma po tofu (best anywhere imo, there was a long thread on this topic over on Chowhound a couple of years ago), Sichuan Style apps: bamboo shoots with chili oil, wontons with chili oil, dry bean curd with celery salad, tender tofu with Sichuan pickle.

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resurrecting this old thread just to mention that I went to Dom’s in Malden a couple weeks back and since there was an older lady working the register there that I had never seen before, I asked again who made the amazingly good and huge 5$ loaves of bread they sell–something I think is one of the better deals around. “We get it from our distributor” she said, “but they won’t tell us where they get it”.

So this distributor has a secret pipeline to a bakery that makes good, delicious, huge five buck loaves of bread and they won’t even clue the market they sell it to as to the source. That’s fine by me–I don’t want to know any more. If they won’t tell Dom’s, then I’m OK with not having the word get out. I’ll just buy it.

But they’re really good. I’m saying it here, but keep mum about it.

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

― Jonathan Gold