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Dec 17, 2007 04:58 AM

A chowy afternoon in Davis?

I will have a few free hours Friday afternoon in Davis Square. I was thinking about checking out the When Pigs Fly shop and hitting Dave's Fresh Pasta to pick up some treats to take to the in-laws' for the holidays. And maybe lunch at Redbone's. Any other ideas for either a fairly inexpensive lunch or food to pick up for later? I'm sad that La Contessa is closed -- I would definitely have had that on my itinerary.

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  1. In/near Davis:

    Namaskar for excellent Indian
    Spike's for customizable hot dogs
    Qingdao Garden for good Chinese/homemade dumplings
    Greek Corner for some of the better Greek around town

    A short walk, drive, or T to Porter:

    Sugar and Spice for good (if Americanized) Thai
    Christopher's now serves lunch, miscellaneous pub fare
    Tacos Lupita for really good Mexican/Salvadoran
    Blue Fin or Asian food stalls in the Porter Exchange building

    5 Replies
    1. re: finlero

      I'll second Namaskar - BarmyFotheringayPhipps and I had a wonderful dinner there Saturday night before heading to City Hall to take the Somerville Illuminations trolley tour, which was great fun.

      Before dinner, we also hit the When Pigs Fly store - I highly recommend it. We bought two loaves, and did serious damage to both while snowed in at home on Sunday. We had the mango, pineapple, and raisin bread topped with cream cheese for breakfast (I had hoped for the roasted pistachio, orange, and cranberry, but they were out, and the mango etc. bread, topped with toasted sesame seeds, was an outstanding substitute.) For dinner, I made lentil soup with spaetzle and we had the New York rye (with loads of caraway seeds) to accompany that.

      Kickass Cupcakes is two doors down from When Pigs Fly - you might be interested in checking them out as well.

      1. re: finlero

        When I'm in Davis and hungry, I'll almost invariably head for Qingdao. Especially this time of year, their noodle soups and Fish in Fiery Sauce really hit the spot.

        I agree about Sugar & Spice, though; it is good and reasonably-priced Americanized Thai. I like their Country Style Pad Thai (even though they've stopped serving it with the thin egg omelet), the Fish Story, and just about everything I've tried on their menu.

        1. re: Kenji

          I love the country style pad thai at Sugar and Spice. NB if you get it take-out, they don't serve it in the omelet, which makes it a little less spot-hitting. I haven't eaten in their dining room in over a year, so not sure if it has been discontinued altogether.

          1. re: Kenji

            i tried the spicy boiled fish at qingdao recently on the board's recommendation. holy smokes!! a very, very fine chowhound find.

            1. re: autopi

              Isn't it fantastic? I love that dish. One spoonful and I'm reminded of why I immediately became infatuated with it. In fact I'm currently figuring out when to visit Qingdao for my next fix.

        2. Great suggestions all. Sessa's is also worth poking around, and if you have any liquor needs, Downtown Wine and Spirits is an excellent shop.

            1. re: saltyair

              I must respectfully disagree with this recommendation, unless the Rosebud has changed drastically in the past couple of years. I really wanted to like this place, given its interior (and exterior!), but the food isn't very good, and the service doesn't make up for it. A friend and I once had dinner there and ordered coffee (but no dessert) and were informed by our waitress that we "couldn't just sit there." Honestly. No one was waiting to be seated, so we politely as possible cancelled the coffee and went elsewhere.

              1. re: phoebek

                I occasionally like Rosebud for late-night pie and coffee (yes, often served with a generous side of attitude) when I'm not in the mood for Wang's dumplings, but for lunch around the Square, I think you could do better.

                1. re: finlero

                  I'll definitely second phoebek's dislike of Rosebud Diner. Last time Mrs. b and I tried it for breakfast (which was the one thing they did passably in the past), it was lousy. The vintage dining car is nice, but the food's bad and the service can be unfriendly. I say skip it.

                  No one has suggested Martsa on Elm (Tibetan, has lunch buffet) or Anna Taqueria yet, so I will. I like both very much.

                  1. re: bachslunch

                    Martsa has been closed for some time for extensive renovations (it is combining with Bhoja Cafe). I don't believe it will be ready in time for the OP's request.

                    When Sagra's pizzas turn out not-too-soggy, they make a nice light lunch or dinner, supplemented with a glass or two of red.

            2. The Burren - for great beers, atmosphere, and some good Irish/pub dishes:


              3 Replies
              1. re: steinpilz

                The Burren:

                Beers +
                Atmosphere ++ (except on weekend nights, then --)
                Music ++
                Food -

                The food's just not that good. Still, there's not much else in it's range in the Square so we do go from time to time.

                1. re: DavisSquare

                  I'd say it's more or less typical pub fare, maybe that's a "-".

                2. re: steinpilz

                  Also, the Burren does a proper Irish breakfast on the weekends. I can't remember eating lunch or dinner there though.

                  If it were summer I'd recommend walking up to Cafe Rossini's on Highland Ave. for some iced coffee as well. If you're in the mood for a salad, pizza or a Caprese sandwich, this is a great spot.

                3. Out of the Blue for lunch is very good. Only open for lunch Wed. - Fri. Prices at lunch are very reasonable for solid seafood fare.

                  Out of the Blue Restaurant
                  215 Elm St, Somerville, MA 02144

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: BBHound

                    I will also put in a plug for Martsa's, the Tibetan Restaurant. The food is delicious, and their vegetable side dishes are extremely well done, particularly their green beans if I remember correctly.

                    1. re: Vdawg

                      agreed! the staff there always has wonderful suggestions as well. from their breads to their veggies, to their meats. it's all good. sadly, what with the renovations, it's been too long to remember exactly what was so tasty. But, there was never anything that we had ordered and didnt enjoy.
                      anyone know when the renovations will be done?