Sophia’s Greek Pantry [Belmont and Lowell, MA]


(Denise) #1

We have stopped in at Sophia’s Greek Pantry North three times in recent weeks, with happy results so far. This location is a sister shop to the original in Belmont. Sophia’s housemade creamy and tangy yogurt, made from sheep’s and goat’s milk, is what originally drew me in.

While I was writing this, I found a helpful post on Serious Eats about what makes Sophia’s yogurt so good: https://www.seriouseats.com/2011/09/sophias-awesome-greek-yogurt-belmont-ma.html

Yet there is so much more on offer in this sparkling neighborhood gem. This shop is packed to the ceiling with Greek foods—both freshly prepared and packaged staples—of all kinds.

Saturday’s haul included a pound of that sensational yogurt, imported feta, lamb and beef meatballs, stuffed cabbage, red pepper hummus, grape leaves, pita chips, a bottle of Greek wine, a chocolate mousse dessert (yay), and a praline cream dessert (meh).

On a previous outing we purchased a bottle of olive oil made from the family’s olives back in Greece. You can ask to taste before you buy.

Lots still left to explore on future visits. To name a few things: We haven’t yet gotten around to trying their fresh loukaniko sausage, olives from the olive bar, or the good-looking savory pies in the warming cabinet at the front of the shop.


#2

Thanks for the tip, we will try it when we hit up the
Mill City Cheesemongers, which I highly recommend.


#3

Their octopus salad is pricey but very good. They also have great calamari in tins which is a great snack


(Denise) #4

Hi there! I am also a fan of Mill City Cheesemongers. I’ll guess you will be totally into Sophia’s as well: a small shop with a well-curated selection and personal service.

If the owner, who is Sophia’s daughter, is not on hand the staff will even phone her if they can’t answer your question.

Oh, I forgot to mention that they will gladly let you sample the yogurt, as they do have flavored varieties as well.

Would love to hear your impression if you go.


(Denise) #5

Even more to try, excellent. We were already eyeing their big tin of salted anchovies…


#6

Thanks for the report! I was at the Belmont location yesterday for that yogurt and some tzatziki. Dying to hear about both the meatballs and the stuffed cabbage, please report once you’ve tried them!


#7

Sophia’s looks great. We usually stop at Georges in Methuen but I’m happy to add to the mix. Most definetly will report back. Probably be a couple of weeks tho.
Enjoy your treats.


#8

Sophia’s has really good pitted Kalamata olives, which are quite convenient when making pasta dishes. We like them even more than the olives at the Armenian markets nearby, which is saying something. The baklava is also quite good. And I’m a real hero when I snag some of that yogurt for my wonderful daughter-in-law. Sadly, my sons and husband are not goat’s milk fans, so I don’t buy it for the house. The frozen pinwheels of spanakopita are really good. Maybe house-made? I suspect that they have goat’s milk in the filling, but my son doesn’t seem to notice so I won’t say anything!


(Denise) #9

Pinwheel of spanokopita has now been added to the shopping list. Thanks for sharing your finds @bear!


#10


So here is what I did with my Sophia’s 2% yogurt (which is as thick as labneh). Straight up stole this idea from Our Father’s Deli, where I had it a couple of times last summer.

Spread yogurt in bottom of shallow bowl, lightly sprinkle with sumac, spread Trader Joe’s zhoug on top, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with za’atar. Serve with radishes and multigrain pita crisps (TJ’s). A big hit at the Super Bowl party where late in the game it was slathered on chicken wings by several.


(Denise) #11

What a beautiful dish, @GretchenS! This yogurt puts such stars in my eyes that I forget it’s not unlike the gorgeousness that is labneh.

I will be copycatting you on this preparation, I am sure.


#12

I agree that the yogurt is fantastic. It is important (to me at least ) to note that there is no way this is 2% or low fat. It is a bit of a head scratcher as to why Sophia’s persists in presenting it as such.


#13

Oh agree, it is for sure more than 2% and I think someone (on Chowhound maybe?) actually sent it out to a lab to be tested to confirm that. Anyone else remember that?


(Denise) #14

I dug out that link on Chowhound: https://www.chowhound.com/post/sophas-greek-pantry-saturdays-wall-street-journal-785938

It looks like the fat content was found to be approximately 20% in a sample analyzed at a local lab. So I guess it makes sense that I want to use the Sophia’s product more like cheese and less like yogurt.


#15

Thanks for that link, a trip down memory lane and some much missed voices…


#16

that makes sense. my wife patted me on the head when I told her it was low fat.


#17

yes, the discussion of how and whether Sophia’s 2% yogurt is so obviously not was quite the topic on that other board a few years ago. It’s not. It is fantastic, one of the best things I’ve ever eaten, but it is not low fat. Not even close. Oops, I see that other thread was already linked.


#18

We made it over to Sophia’s in Lowell today. What a nice shop. We bought wine, tabbouleh, spinach & feta pies, cookies, Greek coffee and kataife pastry (I think I spelled that correctly).
We will get some of the frozen dinner pies and grape leaves on the next trip.
We also hit Mill City Cheese Mongers. Can’t recommend them enough. A great selection, Iggys baguettes and bread stick, nice wine selection.
Worth the trip.


(Denise) #19

Oooh, Iggy’s baguettes at Mill City Cheesemongers! New since the last time we visited. Thanks for the fresh intel.

Back to the original topic, I am glad to hear about your first impression of Sophia’s North. We’re happy customers so far.