I have received some wonderful advice here on all kinds of food and dining. So, I am moving from the dining wasteland that is South Boston (yes, except for Cafe Polonia I always leave the 'hood for food) to Belmont and would love your input.
Does anyone have recommendations for nearby dining delights in Belmont, Watertown and Waltham, please?
Many thanks in advance.
If you're looking for a great but casual breakfast and lunch place, definitely visit Uncommon Grounds in Watertown. This place is hopping and fun on weekends and the food is quite extraordinary. Their eggs benedict is scrumptious (but only served on weekends) and their pancakes are the best around. My fussy kids love most things on the menu. They serve the best burritos around, all fresh ingredients, and great sandwiches (try the reubens or pastrami and swiss)and homemade soups. There is something for everyone.
In my opinion (and I live in Watertown, so I'm biased) -
Really good places in Watertown:
Casa de Pedro (Argentinian)
Strip-T's (American, casual)
Matilda's (sandwiches, breakfast/lunch only, slightly overpriced but good)
Uncommon Grounds (breakfast/lunch)
Demos (Greek, casual diner)
In Belmont: Shangri-La (Chinese), Andros Diner (Greek, casual)
Good places in Belmont:
Stone Hearth Pizza
Good places in Watertown, roughly in order:
Sushi "21" (happy hour specials are a good deal)
Verona (red sauce Italian - only good if you get the homemade pasta!)
Not Your Average Joe's
Deluxe Town Diner (overpriced, but fun)
Porcini's (expensive, Italian)
Shangri-La is a local favorite for me (and there are lots of posts here with recommendations for dishes to try), and I also like Kashish, the Indian place in Belmont center. Nice ambiance, and good South Indian specialties. I like the dosas and Peshawari Naan. Patou Thai is decent, and the pan-asian place (Asai?) does a tasty bibimbop and pork bulgogi, although it's not much to look at decor-wise.
The "Armenian strip" on Mt. Auburn in Watertown (which includes Jasmine, Persian, haven't made it beyond the excellent stew-of-the-week). Shangri-la of course and I keep forgetting to try Peking Cuisine, they have some interesting things on the "special" menu. Iggy's main bakery is on Fawcett off Concord Ave. Danish Pastry House. Fresh Pond Seafood for fish and there's a farmer's market Thursday afternoons in Belmont Center this year. Sergi's farm for produce (corn should finally be in). Greek shopping at Sophia's on Belmont. Then you're fairly near North Cambridge for Bengal Cafe, Qingdao, Greek Corner. Many posts on Waltham fairly recently, I'd do a search.
I sooooo want to hate Stone Hearth Pizza, but I just can't quite bring myself to do so.
It's an unabashed "business concept" (Finale anyone?), but this totally insincere approach to restauranting has somehow managed to generate some pretty good Neapolitan pizzas and salads made with high quality organic ingredients.
Am I going to go out of my way to get pizza from here? Not a chance. But if you can manage to push your way through the imaginary "die yuppie scum" picket line out front, you could do a lot worse for an upscale neighborhood pizza joint.
Funny but true. I saw the two owners of this place on the Phantom (no Flaming, please), and when asked why they decided to ditch their hi-tech careers for pizza, guess what their answer was? It wasn't, "we're passionate about pizza," or "we live for pizza," or anything like that. They basically rattled off some Harvard Business School rant about the rapid growth of pizza sales.
Still, the pies look damn good. :)
I too swore I'd never go...but I have to tell you "The Bean" (white bean spread, mozz, etc) was the most delicious standout. Service was indifferent, families packed the place, but it was cool to watch the efficient kitchen bustle. I think I'll make my own version at home before heading out there again. Za in Arlington is just that much better for foo-foo pizza.
This is funny. My husband had the reaction described above. We stopped in one day when we had a Zipcar and were in the area.
I wanted to go back because the pizza and the salad we had were wonderful. Our female server was warm, welcoming and informative.
Husband was put off by something he just couldn't quite explain.
He admitted it was a good pizza but has no desire to return. Unless they come into Boston, it is very unlikely I'll find a reason to be near there but I wouldn't mind one within walking distance.