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Frustration in Melrose

My husband and I have lived in Melrose for seven years. We have noticed the vacuum of quality dining experiences as noted on another board, having lived in Boston, Cambridge and Somerville previously. We recently tried the new Stearns and Hill Bistro. The renovations are lovely but the food and service were mediocre at best. Clamcakes were previously frozen, over-fried and cold! Onion soup was bland and pizza - potato, artichoke, carmelized onion - was greasy and onions were days away from being carmelized. Our server disappeared on us once the order was taken. I understand that many people in the area are fond of this establishment but I was sorely disappointed.

We usually enjoy Turner's but when it's the only game in town it gets old fast. We like the Duck Walk in Wakefield for Thai and have recently discovered Rang in Stoneham for great Indian. We loved the food although the take-out timing was a little off. They quoted me 35 minutes early on a Friday night and it was closer to an hour,and I had my kids in the car!. They were very gracious and apologetic and the restaurant seemed nice inside. We are going to try this for eat in on a night when we have a baby sitter! I also recommend Sushi Corner. I recently had great take-out lunch from there. I have been a sushi fan in Boston, Cambridge and Brookline for almost 20 years.

We are eager to try the Cedar Perk "Absolutely Fabulous" week-end dining on
West Emerson which features a visiting chef from a catering company. I have heard great things about this BYOB dining experience. Any comments?

Any other local suggestions??? We are willing to travel, although we already know the Boston/Cambridge circuit. We are also interested in delivery suggestions. We have yet to find our favorite pizza delivery place, although we do like Tony C's in Wakefield.

Frustration in dinner options aside, I cannot say enough wonderful things about the almost one-year old Bohemian Coffeehouse, at the corner of Tremont and West Emerson right next to the Cedar Park commuter stop. They serve up incredible fair trade coffee, hot or iced, Christina's Ice Cream, unbelievably delicious muffins, scones, shortbread and cookie, all homemade. During a recent self-imposed coffee-fast I even enjoyed their fruit smoothies. The owner is local, vivacious, friendly and her family is often pitching in or visiting which gives the place a really nice vibe. I hate that they are closed on Mondays but I still recommend them place wholeheartedly!!! Worth a special trip.

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  1. Did I say clamcakes? I meant CRABcakes!

    8 Replies
    1. re: justjean

      I assume you've been to Mexico Lindo in melrose? I've been to the Methuen version and found the incredients very fresh. the Melrose outpost is their original, and well reviewed here.
      Sushi Island in Wakefield has gotten good CH reviews as well.
      For Chinese, you're not far from Chili Garden in Medford.
      For more upscale, I (and many others) can recommend Catch in Winchester.

      -----
      Mexico Lindo
      449 Main St, Melrose, MA 02176

      Chilli Garden
      41 Riverside Ave, Medford, MA 02155

      Sushi Island
      397 Main St, Wakefield, MA 01880

      Catch Restaurant
      34 Church St., Winchester, MA 01890

      1. re: raddoc

        I am always surprised to see Mexico Lindo recommended - I have been extremely disappointed with their food. For Mexican in the area, I love 3 Amigos in Stoneham - it's a little storefront in a shopping plaza, hidden beside Redstone Shopping Center (just past it as you head into Stoneham). Excellent food, mediocre atmosphere to eat in but ideal for takeout.

        Catch is wonderful. Excellent food, always, and lovely, personable service. The couple who own it are sweethearts and quite talented.

        Speaking of Winchester, Swanton St Diner is not bad for breakfast. Owned by the Stearns & Hill folks; I agree with you about S&H and would say Swanton St is similar for dinner, but fine for breakfast.

        1. re: ReluctantOperaChick

          While I do like Mexico Lindo- I agree that 3 Amigos is better (no liquor license though). I especially like anything with their homemade corn tortillas.

          1. re: Chris VR

            I stand by Mexico Lindo, but steadfastly avoid anything that might be considered TexMex. Don't go for the combo plates with refried beans and rice smothered in tepid cheese. Do go for the Albondigas soup and Campecha and other regional specialties.

            1. re: almansa

              Have you tried Three Amigos, almansa? Foodwise, I'd give them the edge over Mexico Lindo, but I'm happy to have both options close by.

              1. re: Chris VR

                Alright, I'll go tomorrow or Monday and report.

      2. re: justjean

        Frankly, I assume most crabcakes in the BOston area are previously frozen....fishcakes, on the other ahnd, have a chance to be authentic.

        1. re: Karl S

          Why do you assume that? Even crabcakes in Maryland are generally made with southeast Asian, pasteurized crabmeat.

      3. Pizza: The best local options are Bacci's (Saugus & Wakefield), which also makes the best calzones in the area, and Two Paisans (Malden Center). Both deliver to Melrose, but Two Paisans only in the southern half.

        Chinese: Fuloon, in Malden Center. The best stuff is the more authentic Chinese stuff on the menu. They deliver to Melrose.

        Italian: La Vita Mia in Saugus (next to J Pace & Sons, across from Bacci's) is the best Italian-American place in the immediate area. Angelo's in Stoneham and Abbondanza in Everett are the champs further out. I have a soft spot in my heart for Ristorante Molise in Wakefield (the owner is a delight), but it can be uneven. Portobello in the Greenwood section of Wakefield is at heart a Portuguese restaurant that offers Italian food to help sustain its business; many hounds love that place (get the pork and clams alentajo).

        Salemwood Cafe in Malden (Maplewood Square) is well regarded for steak tips if you ever hanker for that.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Karl S

          Bacci's is just in Saugus now. They sold the Wakefield store and now it's a "House of PIzza". The phone number is the same and they won't tell you about the change. I found out the hard way when I was delivered a pizza.

          I agree with all the Karl says, although I haven't been to Salemwood.

          I also tried out Stearns and Hill a few weeks ago and won't be in a hurry to get back. The menu is a bit schizophrenic - they can't seem to decide if they want to be a neighborhood joint, a high end restaurant or a seafood restaurant, but the prices are too high for a neighborhood joint, the food isn't good enough for an upscale restaurant (my pasta Romano came with a thoroughly unappetizing slice of provolone? barely melted across the top) and they aren't good enough to be a seafood restaurant (my oysters were inexpertly shucked, with lots of shards of shell.)

        2. As a resident of Winchester I strongly recommend Catch Restaurant for upscale dining. There are many very positive posts about Catch on this board. Sushi Island, right next door to Duck Walk in Wakefield is also excellent. If you are a sushi fan I don't think you will be disappointed. Of course Sushi Island also has all the other types of Japanese food too if you are not into sushi. For Mexican I like Tres Amigos on Rte 28 in Stoneham. It is a small, family run place in small strip mall near the Redstone Plaza. They serve very good Mexican food at very reasonable prices. They do not serve alcohol but I have seen people bring their own wine or beer a few times. It is also a great place for take out. Another spot in Stoneham that I enjoy is Feliccia's which is on Main St (Rte 28) in the center of town. They do very good traditional Italian American food.

          7 Replies
          1. re: RoyRon

            Good additions. Don't know Felicia's, but RR's other choices make me suspect it's good.

            -----
            Felicia's of the North End
            423 Main St, Stoneham, MA 02180

            FuLoon
            375 Main St, Malden, MA 02148

            Three Amigos
            125 Main St Ste 4, Stoneham, MA 02180

            1. re: raddoc

              I can't believe Felicia's has been reincarnated in Stoneham! Back in the day, Felicia's was The go to Italian restaurant in the North End. Everyone who was anyone ended up there for Felicia Solemine's cooking. Hollywood stars and other celebrities made her restaurant a regular stop when they were in town.

              For years my father and his friends had dinner there every two weeks. In college I had an Art History professor who planned dinners at noted Boston restaurants every month or so. That's when I first went to Felicia's. A memorable evening indeed. The professor knew Felicia who left the kitchen, something she rarely did, to chat with us.

              Can't wait to visit the Stoneham location. Thanks for recommending it. I never would have known!

              1. re: Gio

                Hi Gio

                I grew up in small town in CT and now Feliccia's really reminds of the Italian places I used to go to when I was kid. It rather dark inside the atmosphere leaves a lot to be desired but if you like very traditional Italian/American food they do it very well. Some of my favorites are Zuppa di Vongole (Fresh Littleneck Clams steamed in either a red or white sauce. Delicious and one order is enough for two people to split. Their version of eggplant Rollatini is very good too. This past Sunday they offered a special that was Osso Buco. This has always been a favorite dish of mine and Feliccia's version couldn't have been better. A very nice veal shank braised in tomato, wine, carrots, onions and other herbs. It was served over a risotto that was ok but nothing memorable. The excellent veal more than made up for the rissoto though. I have also had their grilled sirloin steak with roasted potatoes and although I wouldn't say that is up to the quality of one of high-end steak houses it is a very good steak and about half the price you would pay anywhere else.

                1. re: RoyRon

                  Thank you RoyRon. Now I really can't wait to go. I love Osso Buco...and hardly order it out, because the veal is never as tender as it should be. As I recall, the original Felicia's was a little lacking in decor as well, and up an extraordinarily long flight of stairs....or so it seemed.

                  It's funny, when I recall my father and his friends days after the meal they had ...speaking of each dish in hushed tones, practically worshiping each ingredient, as if there were no other restaurant in the world except Felicia's. Of course these meals were for the men only. No women allowed. I'm thinking the women wouldn't go anyway, because they always finished their meal with port and a fab cigar!

                2. re: Gio

                  I never went to the original, but my one visit to the Stoneham Felicias left me disappointed. It was over a year ago so I can't remember all the details, but not great service, and the crime of a bad-tasting red sauce will keep me away for a while.

                  1. re: Chris VR

                    Oh goodness.... perhaps I should not have my hopes too elevated. I'll probably go just to see what they do, and drill the staff about the old Felicia's..... I'm guessing they never heard about it.

                    1. re: Gio

                      To be fair, I've heard others recommend it and the friend who brought us there were big fans, but they agreed our experience that night was subpar. But you only get one chance to make a first impression on a customer, and for me, a bad red sauce is the kiss of death. I made a damn good red sauce so if I'm going to go out for it, it better knock my socks off.

            2. Try Venetian Moon in Reading Center (Italian and great martini menu) and Sato II on Rt. 28 in Stoneham (Japanese - great sushi).
              Willing to travel? Glory in Andover Center is excellent for both dinner and cocktails. Great atmosphere as well.

              3 Replies
              1. re: ashley79

                Glory is a disaster. I had terrible swordfish the one and only time I went there. Service was non-existent and the prices were a bit high.

                1. re: Frank Enbean

                  i cannot disagree more about Glory. it is my one of my fail safe spots. as you have only been once i urge you to try it again before completely writing it off. granted we mainly hang in the lounge and dine at the bar, but i cannot think there could be such a fall off in service in the dining room.

                  1. re: ScubaSteve

                    I'll also put in a positive word re Glory, though like ScubaSteve, I've only eaten at the bar. Liked the selection of appetizers I had when I went, and would go again.

              2. sushi corner in melrose is fantastic, and a great value too. While I am the first to admit it is nothing to look at, the food is really quite good - very fresh. For a while they had problems with long waits, but they have increased the staff which seems to have solved that problem. I believe they deliver as well, but not sure of the range.

                I second the recs for mexico lindo, fu loon, and chili garden. Pisa pizza in Malden is our favorite, but not sure if they deliver to melrose.

                We've been meaning to try the cedar perk deal, but have not made it yet - please report if you end up going!

                5 Replies
                1. re: lisa13

                  Pisa Pizza delivers to part of Melrose. Their cutoff is somewhere around Grove Street and Lebanon.

                  1. re: lisa13

                    we were also frustrated as new arrivals to melrose from cambridge. love the cedar perk weekends. we were very pleasantly surprised by the food and the service.

                    1. re: valatiekil

                      I've only been to Cedar Perk once, but really enjoyed it. Also like Portobellos in wakefield (greenwood section),Duck Walk in Wakefield, Pasta Market in Malden and Abondonza in Everett. Enjoy MExico Lindo in the nice weather- I prefer to sit outside as it gets really crowded inside. Don't care for the newly opened Stearns and Hill.

                      1. re: macca

                        I've been to Cedar Perk for breakfast but haven't been there yet for the weekend dinners. I agree, Stearns and Hill isn't what I want it to be.

                        1. re: Chris VR

                          Love Cedar Perk- but have one hint if plan on making a visit in the winter months- make sure you go with at leasta party of four. Their two tops are right in the doorway and there is no foyer, so the diners sitting there will get a blast of cold air every time the door opens. And the restaurant is to small to move any tables around!! But the food is great. I had the seafood fra diablo. Lots of seafood, and nice and spicy. My DC had the beef tenderloin, and it was cooked to perfection. Great staff, and a nice leisurely pace. There were only two of us on my first visit, but we thought it would be fun to come back with four of us, and a few bottles of wine.
                          I did not even post about my Stearns and hill meal- but it was odd. We sat down, had a wobbly table and asked the server if we could move. She told us we could be seated at a high top table. I asked her if the high top tables were in the bar- she looked at me and said: This is Melrose, we dont have bars. WTF???? I looked back at her and asked if the high tops were in the room where there was a man making cocktails- with liquor bottles behind him, a large table in front of him. Give me a break. Then the food- I orderd a special- grilled swordfish picatta. The food came- the sauce was ok, lots of capers, bit the swordfish was not grilled. Looked almost poached. The server came by and asked if we were enjoying the meal. I showed her the swordfish, and she said:" the menu says it is grilled" Exactly my point- then she said: Let me know if you have any other problems. Well, I did something I rarely do. She received a minimal tip. When I reported my problem with the table, and with the meal, she did nothing to try and help, as a matter of fact, she displayed an almost elitist attitude. Come on, I have no idea who or where they think they are, but they need to get over themselves. My brother and SIL have a story of there visit with their two kids. Not a kid friendly place by ANY stretch of the imagination.When they walked in, the hostess, then the server told them they did not have a kids menu. They kept repeating they did not need special menus. Then they asked if they wanted the server to talk to the chef about " what he may be able to do for kids" again, they told her they did not need a special menu. jhe server also told her people rarely brought kids to the restaurant. My SIL said it was so funny, when they came to take the orders, my nephew ordered for himself- and orderd a ceasar salad and the haddock. His little sister piped in for her order- she wanted the shrimp scampi. Again, they said the food was ok, not great, but the staff is odd. End of rant-I feel better now!

                  2. Many good recs above. I live in Melrose, and beyond the occasional trip to Mexico Lindo, never dine there. I don't know if you would consider it local, but try l'Andana in Burlington. I haven't, but I think it's safe to assume it'll beat Stearns & Hill.

                    btw... does anybody know how casual/formal l"Andana is?

                    1. For sushi, Japanese, and Chinese, we LOVE Sato II on route 28 in Stoneham. Excellent food, always. My husband dislikes sushi, so we've had a lot of their Chinese as well as tons of sushi (we usually go there with a bunch of sushi-loving friends), and all their Chinese stuff always strikes me as the way you hope it will be at other restaurants but it never is. Sushi is outstanding. We like to tell the sushi chef how many of us will be eating sushi and encourage him to do whatever he wants - we've had some incredible meals this way.

                      1. I would like to thank everyone who responded to this thread. I will be leaving Davis Square in a few weeks and moving to Melrose... I am looking forward to a much bigger house than I can afford in the Cambridge/Somerville area, but I'm extremely worried about the culinary options -- so I really, really appreciate all of the recommendations!

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: davis_sq_pro

                          Welcome to town! Here are a few other local resources you might want to look into, both of which deliver to Melrose:

                          -----
                          Farm Direct Co-op
                          32 Smith St, Marblehead, MA

                          Houde Family Farm
                          St. Johnsbury, VT 05819, St Johnsbury, VT 05819

                          1. re: Chris VR

                            Don't be depressed, check out this website, get in your car and discover how good your surrounding area is.

                            1. re: Chris VR

                              Thanks, Chris! We were just talking about what to do for a vegetable subscription since the one we're currently doing doesn't have a pickup near Melrose. This will be perfect!

                              1. re: davis_sq_pro

                                I've been a member for 4 years- very happy with it!

                                1. re: davis_sq_pro

                                  I was a member of the farm direct coop for a couple of years and was happy with it. I didn't renew last year when my college friend, who was a big supplier of the produce, finally gave up growing organically and went the commercial route. He was not happy about it. Ipswich's Appleton Farm CSA is fantastic, however, but does require a drive. When I moved to Melrose from Inman Square I didn't know what to expect, and I wasn't too thrilled. Having lived there now for 5 years, I can report that it is a friendly, welcoming town that, while not a culinary mecca, is very centrally located and convenient to almost everything. It is a breeze to drive to Boston, Cambridge, Burlington, Arlington, Medford, Malden, Everett, Revere, the whole north shore, pretty much anywhere outside of the southwest of the city.

                                  1. re: almansa

                                    Yes, there was a new supplier of produce this year and while the quality was always been good, I think it was even better this year. For example, arugula in the past has been pretty sandy and holey, which never bothered me- you want small farm organic produce, you aren't going to get supermarket "picture perfect" stuff. This year though, the arugula in particular was just lovely. And the other produce was great too. I was expecting a few bumps and disappointments but if anything I was happier with the quality than I have been in the past.

                            2. Well, Stearns and Hill doesn't sound like the place I would choose if I found myself in Melrose and hungry. I had a few excellent lunches at Mexico Lindo and would go back without hesitation. The problem for me right now is that we are supposed to be meeting people at Stearns and Hill for lunch later this week. So sometimes it's about the socialization and not so much about the food. After reading what you all have to say, I know what not to order. But is there anything good on the menu? It wouldn't hurt to have some good food to go with all that socializing.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Boatrocker

                                I wish I could say you can't go wrong with oysters but inexpert shucking will ruin that experience and that's what happened to me. I don't want to be chewing little bits of shell when I'm eating an oyster.

                                I had friends go there the other night and she liked her surf and turf (I believe, will double check that's what she had).

                              2. Stearns and Hill is not my go to either. I do know they do a good Ceasar! I'd stick with the standard stuff on the menu. I usually get the pizza, but last time (and again we only go there when we have to), it was really oily. I do know penalty of people who like it and they seem to like the pasta dishes.

                                Good luck! If you can get the party to move across the street to Turners, that would be my call.

                                1. We have been in Melrose 4 years with similar complaints -- and have had bad service at Turner's on many occasions. The solution is All Seasons Table (sushi and pan-asian) and Exchange Street Bistro in Malden. Both are great, and would fit well in the South End. We see no real reason to go anywhere else locally, though we do want to try Absolutely Fabulous...

                                  2 Replies
                                    1. re: taxi

                                      Absolutley Fabulous is dinner on Fri, Sat or Sunday at Cdar Perk in Melrose. It is on West Emerson Street, across the street from a church, and at the intersection of Tremont and W Emerson ( near Cedar Park train station). It is a breakfast/llunch spot during the day- and on the weekends, it is taken over by a chef- I think her name is Muise. Food was great when I was there, and it is BYOB, which is fun.

                                  1. We have been to Absolutely Fabulous twice and the food is great, but service is only ok, space tiny and the woman in charge struggles to organize the reservations. 4 of us got there and 2 had to stand at the table b/c she didn't have enough chairs for about 20 min! She shouldn't have large parties. I don't like Stearns or Turners. Lindo is ok. I hear great things about Exchange and All Seasons

                                    9 Replies
                                    1. re: Ellen2

                                      I have only had dinner at Absolutley Fabulous once- and our service was great- but there was only two of us, and the plave was not packed. It did get crowded before we left, so I can see how space could be an issue. I HATE stearns and hill, and I only use the fish market at Turners- though I may try the raw bar. I like Lindo- but I prefer to go in the good weather and sit outside. The inside gets a bit crazy. Have not been to Exchange or All Seasons. AM having dinner with a friend this week, and am going to see if we can go to All SEasons. Exchange has coupons on restaurant.com that would be good for a visit.

                                      1. re: macca

                                        Never understood people liking Stearns & Hill, now or before the renovation, but then again we love Turner's. Especially the raw bar. Had to eat dinner at Legal's on Friday night and as we had just been to Turner's a few nights before, I had a good opportunity to compare. Turner's selections are much fresher than Legals. I'm not a Legal's basher. It fills a need (LARGE group from Midwest wanting fresh fish and seafood which is why we were there Friday night).

                                        We also like Mexico Lindo for what it is - decent to very good Tex/Mex food. If I want true Mexican I'd go to Tu y Yo in Somerville.

                                        Now Absolutley Fabulous is my over all favorite in Melrose. I am constantly surprised at how well the food is prepared. The BYOB is also great.

                                        It ain't Paris, but there are some really good options in Melrose.

                                        1. re: kate used to be 50

                                          stearns and hill always puzzled me, too. I know one of their fish suppliers, so I know they use quality, at least in their fish. But the attitude of the staff is weird. I was there after the renovation, and they told me they could seat me in a high top table. I asked if the high top was in the bar, and she said" This is Melrose, we don't have bars." Come on- get over yourself- I wish I had said- come on- it's melrose- it ain't paris!
                                          I am looking forward to another meal at Absolutely Fabulous- but am waiting for the warmer weather. The place is so small, and the tables for two are right in front of the door. I would imagine it would not be too comfortable to sit there in the colder weather.
                                          I like Mexico Lindo, too. My SIL told me she had a good meal at La Siesta in Wintrhop. Will have to give it a try.

                                          1. re: macca

                                            Went to Absolutely Fabulous last night in Melrose, and I have to say I was quite impressed. DC had an outstanding Cod Puttanesca and I had a really tasty rib special. We got two appetizers, a delicious mushroom and beef dish and a just so-so antipasta plate (which I had read somewhere was supposed to be excellent). It is fairly pricey for the area, but since it is BYOB/W the total bill was very reasonable. Service was good, although the hostest seemed a little stressed the whole night. Wait staff was excellent and the decor does not at all suggest that it is a breakfast place by day. It looks very cool.

                                            Definitely give it a try. You will very likely need reservations. We called at 5 and the earliest they could get a party of 2 was 8:15. When we got there it was packed and it was still quite full when we left an hour and a half later.

                                            1. re: drbangha

                                              Have to get back there- last time I was there was over a year ago. You ar right- reservations are a must. I think I called in the early afternoon and was able to book a table for two at 6- have to go to her website and see if there is another number to call. She is only there beginning Friday afternoons, as it is a breakfast place before that on Fridays. I enjoyed my first meal there, but was not crazy about the dessert- it involved raspberries and chocolate. I know it may be a classic pairing, and I love both chocolate and raspberries- just not together!

                                      2. re: Ellen2

                                        We moved to Melrose from Belmont in August 2007 and we LOVE the town, but the food scene has been a challenge. Not impressed with Turner's at all and Sterns and Hill is just okay, I'd rather skip the crappy service and go over to Swanton Street Diner - same/ similar menu, better service.

                                        Need to try Absolutely Fabulous for sure. And I'll have to check out the sushi suggestions. For pizza, we go to Angelo's in Stoneham (you can get the awesome winelist in the pizza joint too) or order takeout from Primo in Malden. Chinese and Mexican usually disappoint around here because we moved from California and were spoiled :)

                                        We need a good non-fancy old fashioned breakfast place.

                                        1. re: Risottogirl

                                          I agree no good breakfast places in Melrose. Lost Leo's in Wakefield to Blue Moon. Not a bad replacement but definitely not Leo's. Peacuddy (f/k/a Sweet Tooth) opened this week and she has great pasteries and serves Rao coffee.

                                          I'm not from the West Coast, but I like Mexico Lindo. Love Turners and hate Sterns and Hill. I've noticed NO one mentions the Blues Grill! That place is horrendous and I don't understand how it stays in business.

                                          AF is my favorite dining experience in Melrose and good Asian food can be found in Reading at the traffic circle off 128 next to REI. Name escapes me but it is something Reading.

                                          1. re: kate used to be 50

                                            Kate, you're thinking of the Mandarin Reading opposite REI.

                                          2. re: Risottogirl

                                            I don't think you get any more non-fancy and old fashioned good for breakfast than Cappa's Trackside. I've been beating my drum here for their pancakes for years. People have recommended the place on Franklin- Ernie's Lunch? but I've never been there for breakfast. And some like Cedar Perk for breakfast although I have been a Cappa's loyalist for so long that I'm not generally looking for change. I also love Bread and Bits of Ireland and just noticed today they have breakfast sandwiches, but that might just be on Sundays.

                                        2. All Seasons in Malden Center on Pleasant St. Excellent Asian and Fusion food and a really pleasant place.

                                          There are very few things that I would order at Mexico Lindo, even the Margueritas are not up to snuff.

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: maxnem

                                            and if you like All Seasons, you should like Sato II in Stoneham as well: same menu.

                                            1. re: almansa

                                              Fuloon in Malden is incredible. I had yet another outstanding meal there on Saturday night.

                                              Mexico Lindo is OK. They have a very good seafood soup. The ceviche was pretty good too.

                                            2. re: maxnem

                                              We went to All Seasons a couple times in the past few weeks. I've loved it. I tried their basic sushi dinner last time. I was quite happy with how fresh everything was. The service is great and the atmosphere is fun...defnitely an urban vibe.

                                            3. I have not seen our favorite resturaunt yet -- Bistro 5 on Playstead road in Medford. The food is FANTASTIC every time but is not cheap. The Worth every penny. We love Mexico Lindo for the Ultimate Margaritas and the espresso burrito (pork) and the chicken mole. Stearns and Hill has the best steak around. I never order seafood - that is what Turner's is for. Bohemian is the best for coffee, lattes, muffins, cookies and scones!

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: Melrosegal

                                                I have to laugh - how things have changed. When I moved to Melrose 26 years ago from Cambridge the best "restaurant" in town was Caruso's Pizza! As a matter of fact Main St. Melrose was ALL Pizza joints and Hair Salons. I used to say it was a town where I could get a slice and a cut. I concur with the comments about Mexico Lindo, not all that much on menu worth remembering. I was at Sterns and Hill last Sunday for lunch with my nephew, his wife and their one year baby. The server was very engaging and engaged with the baby. That said the salad and sandwiches were fine. But then you have to go a long way to ruin salads and sandwiches. But can we talk about the bread they throw on the table, geez it's nasty. Some sorta soft italian/french white bread. Crust is soft, soft white bread center, really yucky. They seem to really love this, once complained about it and they were quite elitist about what it was and where it came from.

                                                If you're willing to drive to Burlington then why not just head in the other direction to Cambridge, Oleana is this side of Cambridge, Highland Cafe on Highland Ave is closer, good food. All Seasons in Malden is great. I still like Turner's for seafood and I Like the Corner Deli by Wyoming train station for thin crust pizza.

                                                Teena

                                              2. We moved to Melrose 40 years ago and the restaurant scene was non-existent...Caruso's was and still is the worst pizza joint in the whole world! I miss Pauli's in it's various incarnations but Mexico Lindo, although inconsistent IMO, fills a certain need. I'd rather go to Three Amigos in Stoneham though. When Turner's first opened we went frequently, but it soon got tiring. The service was a little crazy with appetizers coming after mains were served!! One of the very best restaurants in the area is La Vita Mia in the strip mall where J. Pace's is in Saugus on the Fellsway. It's a fantastic Italian restaurant. For Chinese there's no place better than FuLoon in Malden. Glad to hear Primo's mentioned upthread. We just got a flier in the mail and will try it eventually. Also, I guess it's time we visited Absolutely Fabulous after reading all the rave reviews.

                                                8 Replies
                                                  1. re: drbangha

                                                    I actually like their pizza, I'd be curious to hear why Gio hates it. Their Zazza is one that I like a lot.

                                                    1. re: Chris VR

                                                      I like hearing people try to pronounce it - I always assumed that it was 'zat's a pizza,' but I could be wrong.

                                                      1. re: almansa

                                                        Haha that never even occurred to me but now I'm going to think it every time I see it. I've always said it "Zah-Zah".

                                                      2. re: Chris VR

                                                        I haven't had one of their pizzas in a while- but used to like them- I do like their eggplant parm subs.

                                                        1. re: Chris VR

                                                          I can't believe anyone would go to Caruso's twice. The place is dirty, the people are rude, the wine is vinegar and pizza terrible. Sorry!

                                                          1. re: Ellen2

                                                            Don't be sorry! Opinions are just that- we each have one and none is right!

                                                            I agree the wine is swill!

                                                        2. re: drbangha

                                                          Why are his pizza's so bad? Chewy, doughy crust for one. Tasteless sauce and measley, underseasoned toppings. Please realize this is my opinion only. I think probably The Don's personality has something to do with my dissatisfaction, too. He just doesn't like me even tho I'm my usual sweet, gracious, wonderful, affable self....... : )

                                                          Every now and then I'm dragged to the restaurant by one friend or another for various meetings and mini-reunions. I have been served a variety of dishes... two of the most memorable have been veal cutlets which were like shoe leather and recently an antipasto platter that consisted of iceberg lettuce & cucumber and tomato slices. Period. It's really curious to me that so many people like Caruso's.