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Waltham/Watertown - mid-level

I've read the old threads, but still having a hard time finding a mid-level place. Can't afford the fancy places, but I'm not looking for pizza or counter service. I'm looking for a sit-down place for a group, with a liquor license and entrees in the 10-17 dollar range. Thoughts?

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  1. Casa de Pedro in Watertown has gotten good and not so great reviews, but it's a great space. Watch City Brewery in Waltham. Do they have a full liquor license?

    5 Replies
    1. re: Joanie

      Only beer, wine, cider, and maybe a malternative are served at WC.

      1. re: Joanie

        Watch City's food is godawful and their brews aren't much better.
        Elephant Walk & Solea are both very good and will fit in "mid-range" if one orders carefully.

        1. re: Harp00n

          Now, now, its not that bad - take it from someone who has been eating/drinking here about once a month since 1998. Food can be hit or miss depending on who's cooking or what you pick. Stick to the burgers and sandwiches and you'll be fine - sometimes the entrees can be good, sometimes not. Beers have been spotty over the years, but Aaron has done a real good job with the regulars - they definitely have come a long way since 98 - Titan is always delicious, Hops Explosion is very good most of the time - just ok sometimes, never had a bad stout or porter there. Some seasonals are good too - like baltic porter, pilsner, clockwork orange, maibock etc, but some are experimental style splitters that seem odd sometimes. Still miles ahead of Rock Bottom and John Harvard's chains in the area in both beer and food imo.

          Maybe you just picked the wrong things during your visit(s).

          1. re: LStaff

            Okay, okay, I feel your vehemence. I'll go, I'll try again. Admittedly, it's been a couple of years since last I was there. At that time, after several widely scattered sessions, none of the brews I tried were either really outstanding nor really bad. They were workmanlike. Cambridge Brewing, IMO, is probably the best of the brewpub bunch at the moment along with The Tap in Haverhill. I just love The Tap's Leatherlips.

            John Harvard, and I can only speak of Framingham, does a couple of very nice brews. Namely: the Irish Dry Stout and the CurlyQ IPA. They don't call it a double IPA, but it is. Some of their "comfort food" dishes are pretty damn passable, regardless of received knowledge. It's not My Local, Stone's Public House in Ashland & The Horseshoe in Hudson would fall in that category. But it's close-by and more than okay, if you know what to order liquid and otherwise.

            Okay, I've gotten way off-topic, your personal recs are noted and I will act on them, so thanks LStaff.

            All the best, Harp00n

          2. re: Harp00n

            I agree with you, there food has never been much to write home about and their brews are very hit or miss.

            I will admit it has been 3-4 years since I have been there because I just plain gave up on the place.

        2. Moody St has tons of mediocre places that fit that bill. Jakes BBQ, Watch citry Brewery, Margaritas, Bison county, Iguanas etc etc

          did plenty of work lunchs/dinners at Jakes, good variety and decent Q, full bar and has a sort of seperated back room area good for groups

          3 Replies
          1. re: Bighead

            I agree that Moody St is a good place for mid-range food. I had a bad experience at Jakes....bland, dry food and the worst service I can remember experiencing in the past two years. I actually complained to the manager twice and refused to leave a tip (something I try never to do).

            Margaritas is pretty good, but I do prefer Iguana Cantina...I've been there at least twice, and was pleased each time. The margaritas are good (i.e., they actually compare to what I make at home!) and the place tends to be less busy than Margaritas (once we were looking at an hour wait at Margaritas, but were seated instantly at Iguana).

            1. re: Bighead

              Mediocre? I don't mean to sound ungrateful for the suggestions, but I was hoping for something better than mediocre - not necessarily blow-your-mind fantastic, but good. I've noticed that this price point seems to be a hard one to get recommendations for, and I don't know if it's a Chowhound thing or an actual dearth of good places in that range. I find lots of recommendations in general for what I would consider expensive, special-occasion restaurants (entrees starting in the high teens or twenties), and lots of recommendations for take-out, pizza, etc. But very few recommendations for something in the middle. Odd - I would think there would be a big call for that, for the post-work dinner outing and so on. Maybe people just make way more money than I realize.
              Or is this the range in which the chains have the strongest effect?

              1. re: curiousbaker

                Well, I think mediocre might be understating some of these spots. Iguana Cantina is far better than mediocre in my book, and see my recs below...I consider them all to be great food for the money.

            2. Elephant Walk on Main Street (at the intersection with Moody) might work. The entrees on the dinner menu kind of push your budget a little - they're mostly in the 15-20 dollar range, but there are a few cheaper selections, and I think they do have a full bar. Nice atmosphere as well.

              1. The original comment has been removed
                1. Not your Average Joe's in Watertown Square is part of a small chain. Drinks are pretty crummy, but some of the food isn't bad. I actually really like the chicken cutlet and meatloaf there. Burgers aren't bad either, and the bread and garlic/cheese oil they give you is addictive. Stick with wine or beer. It fits the bill when some of our non-adventurous family members come to visit.

                  Halfway cafe farther down Main towards Waltham is good for steamers, burgers and sandwiches and has a big beer selection.