It’s that time again, so here’s the post for openings et cetera and so on.
I’ve got nothing new that’s unreported, though I can say as a frequent Harvard Square lunch goer that I’m fairly excited about the duck/Chinese/tiki bar place coming in mid-November (into that cool building where Les Sablons used to be) that Eater wrote up yesterday
I took a walk at lunchtime around the neighborhood and I was looking around at the front of the yet-to-be-opened Heights Pub in Arlington. The owner (?) just happened to be walking in and asked me, “hey, do ya wanna come in?” “Hell ya,” I said. He’s just waiting for the Board of Health to come inspect but everything else is ready. SPOILER ALERT. Lol
They kept the old Balich’s sign and it’s in a prominent place inside, which I thought was a nice touch.
UHub is reporting that Haymarket Pizza is shutting down. We sure have been dropping some classic spots of late, I was always happy to grab a cheap, solidly made slice in this place when I was downtown.
Nope, just looked around the place. We’ve been to their Winchester pub - it’s basic pub grub but many people in this little corner of the world are looking for a simple neighborhood place to hang out and grab a beer and a game. This should check all of those boxes.
I must say though, there were a few too many tables in there and lots of bar stools (with backs). I’m not sure how many people will feel comfortable in those tight quarters right now.
A building permit in the window of the old Rox Diner space on Walnut Street in Newtonville mentions “Los Amigos”, presumably signaling an impending move from the current Los Amigos location across the street.
Newtonville is thriving in some respects but there remain empty storefronts, including the former CVS and pet shop. Mida recently arrived but Cook is slated to close. Takes a brave owner to open a retail venture in the time of COVID.
I’m not sure when these closed and if it’s already been reported, but walking down Mass Ave last night I noted both Shaking Crab and Bourbon Coffee have closed in the Porter Exchange area. I think I’ll head to the newish crab boil place in Teele Square (Happy Crab?) one of these days to check it out before it too closes- seems inevitable.
Saw this on the news earlier this week. I have ancient memories of my mom dragging me and the sisters to Haymarket for the crazy vegetable and fruit sellers on weekends, and grabbing a slice of pizza when we all got hungry. Out was one of the few times I ever remember either of my parents buying us pizza.
We really liked the independent, not-a-chain Happy Crab before the pandemic. We talked with the owners a while and they were knowledgeable, committed, and personable. I hope they survive. I just checked the website and they have a happy hour food special.
I walked by the space for Wusong Road recently. It looked like they were cranking along on work inside and outside of the space. I am really excited to see this space. I love Peking duck once in a while and options are very limited in our area, so I am intrigued.
I checked out the write up in eater and the concept in general sounds great. The article states “A key element of the forthcoming restaurant is that it is meant to be affordable”. If they can pull that off, this will be an even more welcome addition to the Harvard Square dining scene which offers few affordable but high quality options at this point. Checking out their Instagram and seeing all of the seemingly high end finishes (looks beautiful), and knowing that the proprietor is a Menton alum, makes me wonder how affordable it will really be. I may also be a bit jaded by the face that that it is taking over the short lived Les Sablons, which was one of the most unabashed clip joints the local dining scene has seen in awhile. Even Wusong Road if it is not affordable, if the Peking duck is as good as promised, we’ll be there a few times a year.
I’ve shopped at Patel Bros. both in Queens and in Waltham, and they are two very different stores. Both carry the basic stock of Indian spices, grains, lentils, vegetables, etc., but the Queens store is much larger than the Waltham and carries a much wider range of things. I would imagine the NH store will be large, too, and I’d just wander the aisles and have fun. There ought to be a large snack section, for example.
It’s difficult to recommend specific things, because the variety is so overwhelmingly vast. None of the snacks I have in mind are healthy (lot of fried stuff), to get that out of the way. Here are some categories:
If you like plantain/banana chips, you’ll find many choices: dusted with black pepper, dusted to varying degrees with red pepper powder (cayenne family), etc. There will also be all manner of things made from fried chickpea batter: tiny globules, sticks, spirals. The spiral ones (called chaklis in one version – they use rice flour as well for extra crunch) are a particular favorite of mine, and they, too, come in a wide range of types: small, large, studded with cumin seeds, etc. Then there are the chivdas – a mix of crunchy ingredients that, for want of a better description, are like Chex mix on steroids. For just one type see this, but there are many, many other versions. The pictures on packets are usually revealing.
Patel Bros. in Queens carries (or has carried) some cooked Gujerati foods that are steamed and healthy. I’d recommend khaman dhokla, if it’s available.