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Aug 16, 2002 08:27 AM

Chow in Fall River Mass.?

  • s

I'll be spending at least half a day (Saturday) amusing myself in Fall River while all of the boys and my husband make their annual pilgrimage to Battleship Cove. Where should I go? Are there any bakeries, Portuguese markets, or eating places I should try to find? I've stumbled upon a market or two in the past, but I hope someone has additional ideas. I saw that someone posted a query here a couple of weeks ago, but got no response. Any ideas? Thanks.

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  1. Ask Emeril - since he is from there. Just kidding! I envy you your day there and your quest. Thanks for listening.

    1. We have liked a restaurant called Alves which is up on the main north-south commercial drag of the town (is it Main Street or High Street? but several blocks south of the main business district. I believe it is a rather steep uphill drive from where Battleship Cove is; on the way uphill we have seen some portuguese businesses, there are a number of portuguese bakeries ad other establishments up on the same street as Alves. We have liked codfish dishes, grilled octopus and my son really likes the hamburger with linguica sausage served at Alves.

      Having said that, I think there have been other Fall River reccs in recent months (other than Alves) I havent seen a good meat market in our visits, and most of the stores had gaudy manufactured stuff rather than the more simple artisanal stuff I prefer (probably unreasonable to expect this) but we have looked mainly along that one street and as I say, I think they may have been more stores farther down the hill. If you continue north on that same street you will eventually go through some residential neighborhoods with huge and interesting homes. Hope you find something of interest to post back about.

      6 Replies
      1. re: jen kalb

        Well, Fall River was pretty much a bust, chow-wise. I couldn't find Alves (the restaurant) on Main Street, north or south. I did find the Alves Insurance agency, and the Alves Driving School, but neither one was open or I would have gone in and asked about the restaurant. I did do some shopping at the Chaves Market (down fairly near Battleship Cove). It is decent and large, and has a pretty good selection of Portugese baked goods and meats. We ate at the Waterfront Cafe, where we've eaten before, but it wasn't very interesting. Mostly Fall River was insanely hot, pretty run down, and many places were closed or defunct. I think I'll skip it next time.

        1. re: sushimom
          tim ferreira-bedard

          Don't give up on Fall River Jen.

          Next time try Sagres, just up Columbia street from Chaves Market. Great place, try the several salted cod dishes or the filet mignon. If you can go in the evening they have live entertainment, Fado singers, sort of the Portuguese blues but with flamenco guitars. Also in Fall River, Sam's Lebanese Bakery - it's across town in the Flint section, off of Pleasant Street on Flint street. They bake fresh lebanese spinich and meat pies til about 12:30pm. They have chourico, leban(ground beef with yogurt)meniche(pita bread baked with spices) and several other goodies.

          A few mile out of towm are 2 places not to be missed
          Gray's ice cream - 16 East road tiverton - top 10 gourmet's ice cream of USA -they are right on the corner of East and Main roads -about 25 minutes out of Fall River

          Also, donuts - Butler's Colonial Donuts - the best donuts ever - if you are in the area after Labor day they make cream filled donuts - real cream - amazing.
          They are in Westport on Sanford road. Gourmet rated their donuts the second best in New England - some place in CT was best, haven't tried them yet

          1. re: tim ferreira-bedard

            Oh goodness, consider this a second for Sagres!!! Delicious Portuguese food.

            1. re: tim ferreira-bedard

              It saddens me that now Butlers is owned by someone else.
              It is not the same.

              1. re: tim ferreira-bedard

                The CT donut place that you're referring to is Phillip's in Woodbury. Their donuts have been nationally recognized for years. The place was sold about two years ago, to a townie, who would not close the deal unless Bud (the original owner) included the recipe for the donuts. Now called Dottie's Diner at Phillips.

                1. re: tim ferreira-bedard

                  We just discovered Butler's about 6 months ago and they really do have the BEST cream donuts. I can't make comparisons to previous owners since I've only tried them with the "new" owners. They really are Great donuts! First my daughter was after me to make the trip over to Somerset and then my wife, so we headed out from Aquidneck Island for our 20 to 25 minute drive to get the donuts and saw a For Rent sign on the Somerset Butler's donut shop. The Westport location has been closed for awhile. This was a real disappointment. I'm hoping that they aren't casualties of buying over-priced property at the real-estate peak a few years ago and can't keep up with the mortgage and can't unload the property. Does anyone know if they have any plans of reopening (possilby Westport???) or of selling the recipe?

            2. w
              Where the heck is the food!!!!!!!!

              9 of us are going to Fall River to the haunted houses. After spending about an hour on the net I've concluded in order to eat in Fall River you have to pack a lunch.

              5 Replies
              1. re: Where the heck is the food!!!!!!!!

                I realize this is an old thread but I came across it browsing the site and just had to reply. If anyone is still interested, you would be missing out on some great chow if you packed a lunch when visiting Fall River.
                This city is a true Chowhound delight--full of those "hole-in-the-wall" places that are all about the food. Unfortunatly, in true chowhound fashion, you have to put a bit of effort into finding them. Word of mouth is usually the mode of advertising for these establishments and decor is almost always lacking--but if it's great food you want try:
                St. John's Club (the most amazing fried seafood you will ever
                Sam's Meat Pies: (already mentioned here but worth another plug
                authentic lebanese food)
                King Phillip Lunch: (on south main street--south end--coney
                island dogs, burgers and "hot cheese
                sandwich"--can't explain it, you just have
                to try one.)
                Mee Sum: (Good Chinese food also in the south end--across from
                King Phillip Lunch)
                Academica: (awesome Albacore tuna with real french fries
                and steak sandwiches to die for.)
                Sadly, the UKE (Ukranian Club) on globe street is closed now as well as China Royal--both were local landmarks and served amazing food but there is still a lot left--you just have to look for it. I grew up in Fall River and have since moved but I make frequent trips there just for the chow and my sister travels from No. Kingstown often just to get her meat pies from Sam's.
                And I didn't even mention Marzillies and Marcucchies (sp?) for amazing italian grinders (great stop on the way to the beach) I'm sure I'm forgetting something--so next time you make it to Fall River, please, leave your lunchbox home...

                1. re: pongo61

                  These postings make me chuckle--I, too, grew up in Fall River, in my aged case in the 50's and 60's, and other than Al Mac's diner and Magonis Italian restaurant "over the river", we thought there was NOWHERE to eat. Now I realize there were probably a bunch of Chowhoundish locales that just weren't known to, or sufficiently appreciated by, my family and friends. China Royal! Wow, it must have changed a lot in its later days. My next door neighbors owned it, and even in those days we knew we weren't eating anything resembling real Chinese food--strictly chow mein, moogoo gai pan, egg foo young and the like on the menu. (What a revelation is was to move to NYC and have my first Szechuan Chinese meal!) Next time I'm passing through town on the way to the Cape, I'll have to try one of these recommended spots.
                  Thanks for the memories!

                  1. re: MommaJ

                    another FR native who relocated to NYC... spent many a high school late night sipping drinks out of hollowed out pineapples at the C. Royal and watching their wonderfully cheesy shows. Fun! Gone now, sadly, but don't miss the Lizzie Borden B and B if you are passing through, worth a tour and great gift shop too! And Al Mac's, now that brings me back, I can still picture it, driving by after buying shoes with mom at McWhirr's...

                    1. re: bklynbiker

                      I am also a FR native who relocated to NYC. I every time I come back to visit my family, I make it a point to gorge myself with sam's meat pies (the ones made with leban, to be specific), chow mein sandwiches ( I now get them from China Star or Mark Yu (sp?) now that the legendary China Royal has been replaced by a CVS), Marzillies Italian grinders (w/ mixed peppers), "Dirty" Nick's Coney Dogs, Portugese steak from St Johns or Sagres, Chourico & Chips or Peppers sandwiches from Billy's Cafe, a chourico & peppers pie from Highland Pizza, a clam boil from Buddies (Tiverton), Butlers doughnuts, Awful Awfuls and Sundaes from Newport Creamery, and lots and lots of coffee milk. I can seriously gain 5 pounds after spending Just a few days in Fall River. Can't wait to go back next month!

                  2. re: pongo61

                    Oh Marzillies and Marcucchies.
                    What amazing places!

                2. Check out New Boston Bakery. Their chocolate raspberry squares are great and blueberry muffins, on New Boston Rd Fall River.
                  A few miles down 195 E, to New Bedford check our Frestone's City Grill: fresh seafood, hand cut steaks, and home made soups. Right next to the Whaling Museum.

                  1. Here's a link to a thread on sagre's. I've been back a few times and enjoyed it.


                    4 Replies
                    1. re: 9lives

                      My favorite Fall River Asian restaurant is:

                      Apsara Restaurant
                      418 Quequechan St
                      Fall River, MA 02723

                      (508) 678-7979

                      1. re: karlssoni

                        sam's bakery is unbelievable. I live in dc now but family and then sam's is what I come home for. They have a lot of great stuff, but stick with a meat and leben pie to begin with. Eat in on the hood of your car. The Flavor(smell) will stay with you if you disregard this advice. The NYC people live in a great town and they have the best of everything, just ask them.

                        1. re: malloy

                          Was in Fall River yesterday with time for just one meal, lunch. We got to Sam's Bakery about 45 minutes before they closed at 2, and it lived up to the love it gets on this thread -- we got a huge feast of Middle Eastern goodies for about 25 bucks all told. The meat pies with leban are the star of the show -- but, for the vegetarians in the crew, the cabbage pies are almost as good. Terrific homemade hummus and a very vinegary, aggressively seasoned taboulli. And don't mix the little baklava sticks -- they don't drown them in honey as most places do so you can really taste the spices.

                          1. re: Machaca

                            I love Sam's. I have been going there about once a year as I am 2 hours away for the last 20 years. We buy several dozen pies(the meat and open cheese are our favorites) and freeze them when we get home. Heated up in the oven, they are almost as good as fresh out of their oven. And of course we eat some on the roof of our car. I have yet to find anything like that anywhere else in the country. My old boss told me about it as he grew up in Fall River. I think you would only find it by word of mouth. I think I might pull some out tonight for dinner.