Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >
Apr 2, 2007 06:36 PM

Lunch Near Karl's Sausage Saugus

Some friends visiting this Saturday want to go to Karls and I was wondering if there's any place good for lunch on rt 1 or close by - not expensive, good salad a plus for one dieter, all cuisines considered.

(A thought just came to me - Is Saturday before Easter a crazy time to go to Karls ?)

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Saturdays are definitely busy in general at Karl's and yes, I think you can expect a wait. But it's worth it.

    A few options for lunch in that immediate vicinity.

    On Rte 1 North:

    Orzo I had lunch there once and it was fine, nothing that blew me out of the water but fine.

    Jimmy's Steer House: I've actually had some decent meals there although I know it has it's detractors on this board. No, it's no Peter Luger and the food feels a bit corporate/soulless, but the steak is fine.

    IHOP- hey, what I can I say, sometimes I need a fix of Boysenberry syrup.

    Just past that shopping center is Polcari's, which is pretty good and probably would be my choice:

    (If you're in that shopping center, you might want to check out Truly Jorg's and there's a new wine store "Our Glass" that I haven't been to yet.


    If you keep going a bit further, you've got Naked Fish just before the turn-around.

    If you take the turn-around and head South, there's Restaurant Mediterranean next to Christmas Tree Shops. I thought the grape leaves vere very good, gyro not as much. It's worth a stop but my feeling from my one visit there is that I probably wouldn't do a sandwich again.

    If you keep heading South you'll get to Kelly's Roast Beef if you want something fast. I've actually had some realy good roast beef sandwiches there recently. If you need Easter candy, head West on Lynn Fells Parkway and stop at Russo's in the shopping center where J Pace & Sons is.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Chris VR

      That wine store "Our Glass" is awesome ... really very nice selection, friendly people, and they do tastings and wine dinners too. You should definitely check it out.

        1. re: Chris VR

          Hmm, cheese too? OK, now I really have to check this place out!

          1. re: Chris VR

            I've not been to one yet, but I'm planning on it. A North shore wine friend has been and speaks very highly. Brian's just a nice guy too, which makes the shopping experience more fun.

            1. re: yumyum

              I signed up for their list and I plan to check out the wine club too. Thanks for the info!

      1. One thing about Saturdays at Karl's is that they run out of things, so best to get there as early as you can, or if you know what you want, call ahead (preferably on Friday) and ask them to hold it.

        1 Reply
        1. re: GretchenS

          And that's triply true on Holy Saturday. Even if it's not quite like going to an Italian-American pork store on Christmas Eve....

        2. A few places I like on Rte. 1
          Heading north, Out Of Asia (Asian cusine,) and Sake (Japanese cusine), Orzo (Italian).
          Heading south, Prince Pizzeria and Kelly's Roast Beef.

          5 Replies
          1. re: Infomaniac

            Lendy's Deli in the Marshall's strip mall behind/next to Kelly's is really good too.

            1. re: catsmeow

              Thanks, I've always wondered about Lendy's. I'll have to check it out.

              1. re: catsmeow

                Oh yes, forgot about Lendy's. It's not all I want a deli restaurant to be but it's a pretty good facsimile.

                1. re: Chris VR

                  We just had breakfast at Lendy's - on our way to J. Pace for pizza chena supplies! It's a comfy non-corporate place, smiling owner and waitresses. For the family/comfort touch, we always choose it over Panera, even though I live for caffeine and espresso!!

                  1. re: pastrytroll

                    Just talking about pizza chena on another thread. My SIL makes it every Easter, and I love it. Can you post a recipe on the cooking board? I bet it is labor intensive, but maybe something I would like to try later in the year. Thanks

            2. I would second the Out of Asia and the Jimmy's recommendations. Out of Asia is south of Karl's so you will have to make abig loop. I have had good luck at Jimmy's with their steak and the crabmeat pie. Their rice is good, too- lots of butter and spinach.
              There is a little Italis restaurant on Main Street in Saugus, at the intersectin of Main and the Fellsway ( in the Pace plaza). But I am not sure if they are open for lunch. La Vita Mia is the name of the restaurant.

              7 Replies
              1. re: macca

                And J Pace's is well worth visiting, of course. It will be something of a madhouse, too, especially at the meat counters.

                1. re: macca

                  La Vita Mia as far as I know is closed at lunchtime.

                  One cool little spot that hasn't been mentioned is Caffe di calabria in the same shopping plaza as Tabu. Its more of an espresso and dessert place, but they do have panini. I prefer to see whatever snacks they have and the older women who was there several saturdays makes an excellent arancini. It was unfortunately nuked, which took a bit away, but very tasty and she makes a good marinara too. Gelato for the kids. One time I was there the owner of the salon product store next door came in and ordered lunch, when it was ready she picked up a broom and knocked on the adjoining wall :-) Also after the pre-easter crowds at J Pace and Karls you may need a nip of something and the have apertifs/aperos, beer and wine (I believe a full bar as I recall mentions of margaritas).

                  I haven't been to the Saugus Jimmy's, but I am overall a fan and really go for the crabmeat pie that macca mentioned (avoid the lobster substitution, it doesn't compare). If you can get the search function to work, I posted a comparison with Franks (which gets more ink here) about a year ago. When they were in Burlington it was pretty hectic during peak shopping time, so I think Saturdays could put you in for a wait.

                  There also is Jin's, where I have had really mixed luck on the buffet. But if you are really hungry, you should be able to find enough decent and fresh dishes to satisfy.

                  1. re: itaunas

                    Thanks for posting about Caffe di calabria. I've always wondering about them but only ever rememebr them when I swing by on the way to the supermarket.

                    1. re: itaunas

                      I will begin this by saying I know where Jimmy gets a good portion of their fish - which one of the reasons I know they serve quality. And I also know a few people who work there. I don't think they have the lobster on the menu any more. They put it on the menu for a while, and took offf the crabmenat pie due to the high cost of crabmeat. Not sure if they got lots of complaints, or if the price of crabment is lower, but now it is back on the menu
                      Thanks for theip on Caffe di calabria- love arrancinci. will have to give it a try.

                      1. re: macca

                        Jimmy's in Arlington and the closed one in Burlington made the lobster for crab substitution several years, I think usually in the summer, but I may have that backwards. As it was explained to me it was a cost and quality issue -- they could have gotten the crabmeat, but not maintained the quality or else the price would have been absurd. Just the lobster really didn't compare and is more common (and equally blah) at other places like the Stockyard. They do a nice job on steak tips, where its not sweet and you mentioned the rice is very tasty (fries are variable).

                        I can't guarantee that you will find the arancini and its not a place to get a heavy lunch, but hopefully di calabria will be worth the visit for you. I think it gets busier at night, but I have mostly been there saturdays and its a bit slow. They occasionally play some decent retro music (think the piazza san marco with a little less emphasis on con te partiro) and have some italian CDs I haven't seen elsewhere for sale.

                        1. re: itaunas

                          Will have to try the tips at jimmy's- though I LOVE the tips at the Salemwood grill in Malden.
                          the Caffe sounds like a fun, funky place to visit. Am always looking to try new places. Am headed to Mannes' in Revere after the holidays- just love their bread, and have heard some of the other selections are good, too. So many places to shop!!

                          1. re: macca

                            Tontino's in Saugus is not far. They have great food at reasonable prices. La Vita Mia in the plaza where J Pace & Sons is located would be my choice so I could also hit Paces (my fav grocery store).

                  2. How did you do, chowmel?

                    I ended up doing the same route- passed by Karl's (parking lot was pretty empty at 11am, I was surprised!) and checked our Our Glass. Thanks for the impetus, yumyum. It is a great store, lots of interesting wines. The cheese buyer is on vacation so they're out of some cheeses, but it's a great looking selection and I definitely want to check it out again when she is back. Then we headed over to Truly Jorg's to pick up some cute Easter cookies and I couldn't pass up the handmade chocolate rabbits (pic below).

                    We thought about trying North End Cafe for lunch but decided to go to Polcari's, which was good. I had an angelhair pasta with spinach and tomato and lots of garlic. Hubby had a sandwich wrap.

                    I'd like to check out North End Cafe sometime though.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Chris VR

                      Chocolate bunny from Truly Jorg's in Saugus:

                      1. re: Chris VR

                        We had a great time. Started at Karl's - just after 11 - empty like you say. I bought some triple smoked bacon, bacon, bratwurst and a swedish potato and pork sausage ring. Also some pretzel sticks by the Swiss Bakers.( I buy from them at the Lexington Farmers Market in the summer - some tasty things) Then onto Truly Jorg's - saw those bunnies ! Really cute, but little pricy since I already had a few sweets so I passed them by. Their pastries look nice but didn't buy any. Lunch, of all places was Daves Texas Barbecue ! Had some catfish fingers (didn't know they had 'em! ) They were cooked well and seasoned well. The pork and brisket sandwiches were well liked. Rib and wing sampler was tasty. Great Barbecue ? Maybe not but enjoyable. The grilled salmon on the Ceasar salad was very well cooked and a large and tasty piece. Then to browse at Pace - crowded but not too bad, candies at Russos and ice cream and Gelato at the end - Lil and ?. I had cantalope gelato and grapefruit sorbet. Very good. Others tried blackberry gelato, raspberry crumble type ice cream, apple pie ice cream, and a couple others. Rolled ourselves home. Everyone happy !

                        Thanks to everyone for their suggestions - there's lots more to check out after today