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O'Fado is Dead, Long Live Trackside Bar and Grill

Had a meeting in Burlington yesterday and decided to check out Peabody afterward in the hope that O'Fado's successor was decent. It was almost empty and noone was eating, did not have a food vibe so I beat it.

On the way down Walnut street I stopped in a little bakery and picked up some pasteis de nata, sweetbread, and other stuff. Said to the lady I was sad that O'Fado had closed.

She told be about a "better" place that had some of the O'Fado Staff.

Trackside Bar and Grill
30 Warren Street
Peabody, MA 978-531-1047

The bartender was the guy from O'Fado, and by the taste so was the chef. Though I was warned by a guy at the bar that the chef had left and come back and that when he was gone the food suffered badly. So you might call first to make sure he is there.

On to the food. The menu was basically the same as O'fado. Free soup or salad with entree, I got a very tasty white kale soup with chorizo. For a main I got an excellent Carne (pork) O'Alentajana and a 1/2 bottle of wine.

Every bit as good as O'Fado was. Clams were fresh. Excellent hearty flavor to the sauce, lots of pork. Nicely fried potatoes. The bartender/waiter asked if I wanted a 1/2 order (nice option, but I was hungry).

The whole thing including wine was $23... amazing. Can't wait to get back and try the Caldeirada de peixe or the octopus.

O'Fado is Dead, Long Live Trackside Bar and Grill

In all fairness, props to Chowrottie who posted briefly about Trackside a few weeks ago. That post also had the address which was not googleable.

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  1. oh boy!! thanks for the good reporting; we'll be going soon.

    1. This is welcome news!!! You should have stopped at Central Bakery while you were on the street as well for some of their delicious Portugese corn bread...it is fantastic!

      2 Replies
      1. re: 4chowpups

        i think that bakery is the best portuguese bakery i've ever been to. the corn bread there is totally amazing, i agree wholeheartedly.

        1. re: 4chowpups

          Aaaah, but I did stop at Central Bakery.

          That is the lady who gave me directions, I just forgot the name.

        2. I am so psyched! I thihnk my mom had mentioned that place, but we hadn't checked it out yet....

          1. Ahh, okay I thought perhaps you went to the Brazilian Bakery that used to be the hardware store (down past O Fado). Okay, their stuff is very good too!

            1 Reply
            1. re: 4chowpups

              I've been to that bakery too; I agree, also very good. Wish I had got the corn bread (which looked so good) rather then the sweet bread, which was just the usual.

            2. The hardware store bakery has poa de quejo, but they've always run out by the time I get there...I favor the corn bread from the Central Bakery..Is there one in Cambridge, too, or is thgis where CourtHouse Seafood gets theirs?

              1. i've always thought that the corn bread that's available in east cambridge must come from a different central bakery because it never seems as good quality to me. i have no real facts to back up that contention though, beyond my general sense that the peabody stuff is superior. it could be a freshness thing, but i remain unconvinced that the peabody bakery is the same source.

                1 Reply
                1. re: passing thru

                  As far as I know the Peabody and East Cambridge Central Bakeries are completely independent.

                  In general the East Cambridge branch focuses almost on bread and I find that some of their portuguese breads have a drier crumb than others including the broa, they also do not have a wet-heavy-yeasty country bread. They do a lot of wholesale, although I wouldn't judge their breads based on buying them in other stores -- its storefront next to Royal Pastry. Previously some breads were not baked every day, although some of those have changed.

                  My favorite broa and portuguese rolls (paposecos) around Cambridge are brought up from Fall River and served in some of the restaurants and bars. I can point out the deliveryman's truck, but not tell you the name of the bakery or a good retail outlet. Courthouse definitely has sweet rolls from Fall River and I don't think the Broa is from Central, but not certain.

                  The Central in Peabody also offers sweets, which Central in East Cambridge does not make (Casal is your best local outlet for that).

                2. Or, Striperguy is god!!!!

                  Ive been meaning to post about mom's and my visit a few weeks ago. Think of this as the Portuguese Cheers, a little hole along a side street where everyone knows your name. My guess is that it was redone after the smoking bans in Mass.bars took effect, so it's tiny but pristine, yet still homey. Everyone sitting at the bar, a lunchtime crowd of Portuguese workers DID know each other's, and the bartender's, names. And the bartender remembered me from O Fado.

                  There is a luncheon buffert each day for $8.95, but the only fish was teeny fried whiting, not that that was a bad thing, but I would have felt too guilty. Mom and I ordered off the dinner menu, where I had the BEST grilled octopus of my life. That's it. You read it here, I'm not backing down. The only way I've ever had octo this tender was when it was braised, but in addition to the melt-in-your-mouth tenderness, this one had the crispiness of the grill. Amazing.

                  Mom had the caldierada, or I think they called it seafood stew, just full of too much seafood to eat in one meal. She was staying in a hotel, so I got to take the leftovers home...Nothing like boiled potatoes soaked in fish stew for breakfast.
                  And of course, we had started with pasteis de bacalhao for an app. Order these, and they'll treat you like family. Go, go, go; I love this place already!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: galleygirl

                    So glad you liked it.

                    Crazy thing is I was up there this weekend, but too lazy to hit the place. Shame on me.

                  2. I just went on Friday night. The bar was full but the restaurant was empty...it was fairly early. I did order the pasteis de bacalhao and the pork and clams, which were very good but a bit salty. I want to go back with adults (I was with my youngest pup) to sample other things...glad to hear that the octopus was so good, I was too afraid to order it for fear it wouldn't be fresh!~Kale soup with dinner was great!!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: 4chowpups

                      I thought it was all like one room; do they seperate it at night?

                    2. No, it is one room. Atmosphere is terrible, clearly there for the food. Although the portions are fantastic, I am surprised at the prices given all of the other considerations! A hole in the wall, but not hole in the wall prices!

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: 4chowpups

                        You can order 1/2 orders of almost anything. You'll still get more food then you would most other places.

                        I just don't see how you can fault them on price with the quality/quantity they server I don't see them making much more then the cost of the (excellent) ingredients.

                        Also, It ain't foofy, but I kind of like the vibe of the place. To quote Ernest Hemingway "A clean well-lighted place" not fancy certainly, but everything is new and clean.

                      2. Aw, c'mon, it's better atmosphere than the bar side of O Fado...It's much more welcoming than it seems from inside, and nice and clean. The quality of the food is fantastic; the upperteens for a seafood caldeirada PACKED with fresh, lightly cooked seafood seems emminently fair. Like i said, I'd take my mother..;)

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: galleygirl

                          OKAY! I didn't know you could order 1/2 sizes, and like I said, I would have ordered the seafood dishes but I was chicken. You cannot compare the barside of O Fado to this!! YUCK!! (Besides, I am biased as I do respect both of you with regards to food sooo...I will be back!!)

                        2. Hey, I posted twice - in July as 'Valrhona" (was going to try to drop the troll thing with the new board) and in September as pastrytroll. I told one man about the place - and he ate there three times in one weekend! Now - looks like it's time for a return trip. I like the prices, the clean, well-lit ambience (especially after working in some not-to-be-named Boston restaurants - clean is good), and the food.