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Good Eats near Brandeis U?

  • d

Well, daughter was just accepted to Brandeis for Fall 2006. Will be making a trip or two prior to fall, then Parent's Weekend, etc. Should we stay in Waltham or on outskirts of Boston? Any good eats in this area? We like ethnic, family owned places, not into chains (that could be miscontrued!), love Italian, seafood. More than likely will have limited transportation as we will have to fly. Any advice, thanks!

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  1. Kabab & Tandoor, 33 Lexington Street Waltham, just off of Main Street. Search the old posts on this board... I've gushed about it a few times. Get the lunch buffet (11:30-1:30 or so).

    Carl's makes a good steak sandwich. If you'd ever eat at a chain, the Wendy's on Main Street is an excellent one. Onion rings and beer at Watch City on Moody St. are very good, but most of the food is just poor-to-OK. If you want to drop $$$, Waltham has two excellent Italian places, Il Capriccio and Campania.

    If you want to go out to eat, rent a car. You could get by using a cab to get from the hotel to Brandeis, but there isn't much within walking distance.

    7 Replies
    1. re: rxrfrx

      Oh yeah, and pretty much everything on Moody Street is overrated and not worth a special trip.

      1. re: rxrfrx

        Really? I thought the Indian places on Moody were decent.. New Mother India or whatever it's called.

        1. re: Prav

          Yeah, decent... but I'm not so excited by things that are merely decent. I mean, it's your typical boring "fine dining" Indian stuff. If you're into it, yeah, go to New Mother India.

          1. re: rxrfrx

            Haha, you're absolutely right. We're Chowhounders - we're not looking for just decent.

        2. re: rxrfrx
          c
          catspercapita

          I disagree that Moody st. is over rated. It may not be the culinary capital of the world but it has diversity and is better than standard fare, and some of the retaurants are considered excellent. It has the convenience of being near by to Brandies and Regis and LaSalle colleges and the western burbs, and close to a commuter rail station. It also has a very fine movie house, interesting shops and ethnic grocers, plus some fun bars and a scenic walk along the river and a boat ride in nice weather. For a little stretch of side walk it has a lot to offer.

          1. re: catspercapita

            The largest Indian grocery on moody (I forget the name) is my favorite one in the Boston area... it's great.

            The movie place is very good.

            The African grocery store/miscellany shop was really unhelpful when I wanted to buy some North African food items.

            I was referring to the restaurants when I said it was overrated.

        3. re: rxrfrx

          Actually three-- Casa Mia on Newton St is quite good.
          Franca's pizza, wood fired, is usually excellent, and Franco's (unrelated) on the upper end of Moody St makes a very fine NY style pizza.
          Jake's Dixie Roadhouse is a good BBQ choice, and the Mexcican places mentioned already are very good, as is Honduran/Guatemalan at Mi Terra.

          Assuming you are taking a cab from your hotel, you can just take a cab rom Brandeis into Waltham, then back to you hotel after dinner. Car rental is an option, but not really necessary. There is also a shuttle bus from Brandeis into Waltham, and an MBTA bus which goes through Waltham and by Brandeis.

        4. Well, Waltham is the outskirts of Boston. There's a Westin hotel on Rt 128 that my sister likes to stay at when she comes to visit. And incidentally, they have a very nice Sunday brunch there, with made to order omelettes, belgian waffles, etc.

          If you want a authentic waltham experience- go to the Chateau restaurant, just off Main St. It's a large place, with parking lots that gets big crowds for it's Italian-American food. Their 'toasted ravioli' are a specialty. They are breaded and fried and served with a tasty red sauce. It's better at the basic stuff - parmagianos, lasagna and the like. But it's been there forever and very townie fun. And cheap.

          Tempo on Moody St is pretty good and relatively new to Waltham. But it's the sort of good food you can get in CA.

          I think Ritchie's seafood kitchen on Moody has closed. There's another fish place on Main St called the Wright Catch, but I haven't been there.

          Some people like, some people hate Naked Fish, which is a small chain restaurant. I've enjoyed their tuna steaks and cocktails. It's close to the Weston. Fun atmosphere, not too expensive.

          A fun, very New England place to go is the Wayside inn, in Sudbury, just keep driving west on Rt 20 (main st in waltham)and watch for the signs on the right after you get to Sudbury. It's about a 20 min drive through the country. I don't recommend eating there, but it's a great place to walk around and have a drink in the tavern, especially if there is a fire going in the big fireplace.

          Carl's steaks are huge and good. No seats except an outdoor picnic table. People like the sandwiches at Dominics on Rt 117, just west of the split with Rt 20.

          Campania, il Capriccio are expensive and well regarded.

          1 Reply
          1. re: suzyb

            Oh yeah, I forgot Dominic's. That's another great lunch option.

          2. Others have mentioned Carls. Right next to that place is a nice Thai restaurant. Both are within walking distance. The pizza place immediately adjacent to Brandeis is very basic and only so-so.

            1 Reply
            1. re: FastEddie

              The pizza place adjacent to Brandeis (Cappy's, a/k/a Crappy's) is AWFUL. Not just Greek pizza, really terrible Greek pizza.

              For pizza, Franca's (Felton St. Just off of Moody St.) is inconsistent, ranging from mis-spiced and under-done to actually really tasty. Same goes for Anna's on Main St.

            2. c
              Catspercapita

              Go to Moody st. It has some very nice places and is close by to Brandies. Some of my faves :
              Taqueria Mexicana- off Moody - quaint atmosphere and good food reasonable prices.
              Franca's - off Moody - good pizza -cold draft beer.
              Watch city Brewery -on Moody- great brews - good bar grub
              Masao's Kitchen -on Moody- health food restaurant, very good
              Any of the Indian restaurants on Moody are good - New Mother India, Bombay Mahal
              Lizzy's Ice cream - on Moody - Yummmm

              1. Congrats. I won't tell you when I was accepted, but when I showed up the main campus activity was the student strike (Cambodia - No!) - national HQ was at Brandeis, talk about a distraction.

                Disagree with others about Moody St. - some of the newer hoity-toity places are off the wall, but the places that have been there for a long time are there because of a loyal following. In any case, it's worth the cab ride from Brandeis (although I would second renting a car - not much to do without one). Taqueria Mexico (small family owned mexican) on Charles St. off of Moody is very good (and ethnic), as are the 2-3 Indian places on Moody (Bombay Mahal, Little India, New Mother India). Erewon of Siam is one of the oldest Thai places in the area - Americanized Thai, for sure, but decent food. Bison County and Jack & Earl's both offer edible que... not the best, but good places for beer, sweet potato fries and gnawing on a bone (certainly a cut above the chains that are popping up all over, like Stickybones).

                To me Chateau was red sauce/checkered tablecloth hell when it was at its best 30 years ago... La Campania and Il Capriccio - both on Main St. are better.

                Places to avoid (other than Chateau) include Margarita's (chain) and Iguana Cantina (chain).

                2 Replies
                1. re: applehome

                  I think the Chateau is fun and has real local color. I can't afford Campania every night. Sometimes you want authentic Italian, sometimes you want red sauce, checkered-tablecloth Italian-American. You won't likely get al dente pasta there, but if you order carefully, you can have a perfectly good meal for the $$.

                  1. re: suzyb

                    The pizza at Campania is inexpensive and some of the best I've had in the area; have it at the casual bar area.