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Feb 18, 2008 03:08 PM

Non-chain chow in Danvers/Peabody area

I will be staying in Peabody for 4 nights. Most restaurant searches have me coming up with Bertuccis, get the picture. I am not anti-chain restaurant, just anti-mediocre food. I'll be staying at a hotel on Rt. 1 in Peabody commuting to Danvers every day and am looking for any good chow in the area for a single diner (e.g. no top notch romantic places I'd feel uncomfortable dining at alone).

I'm game for anything from burgers to sushi, so long as it isn't too far a drive as I'll be working lengthy hours. Can anyone steer me in the right direction?

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  1. You're kind of stuck there, pal. Peabody & Danvers are not known as dining destinations. Salem & Beverly are both close...within 5 miles. Lot's more choices for good 'ole meat & potatoes and a wide variety of ethnic food...sushi incuded! Check out The Old Spot in Salem or Wildhorse Cafe in Beverly. Both are owned by the same chef. Asahi or Bangkok Paradise, both in Salem, do sushi. Lot's of places have nice bars where you can eat & have a cocktail & chat it up with the locals...we're friendly here! :)

    4 Replies
    1. re: adrienne69

      For sushi, Sake on rt1 North just down the road a piece from where you are has excellent sushi, In Peabody Angela's coal fired pizza is a must, Hardcover in Danvers has a nice bar to sit at and eat, Orzo on rt 1 is OK for Italian, better would be Donatello's also on rt 1. Stay away from Hilltop, Polcaris, or anything that has a seedy neon sign.

      1. re: treb

        Angela's is actually in Saugus. And I'll disagree, I've actually had pretty good pizza at Polcari's. I'd avoid Orzo (also in Saugus), which may not be a chain but it feels like one- the food I've had there just lacks soul. I've heard good things about North End Cafe in that same Plaza (next to Our Glass Wine Co.) It is open for lunch and dinner, although I don't think they get much traffic at dinnertime- last Firday night it was pretty empty even though the parking lot was packed with people going to Orzo and Jimmy's Steak House.

        If you are a meat eater, you might enjoy Midwest Grill in Saugus- Brazilian churrascaria, AYCE to a meat coma for $24 or so.

        Brothers Kouzina is in Danvers and it's not bad for diner-ish food with a Greek influence. (Also on the Greek side of the spectrum is Restaurant Mediterraneo, which I haven't been to for dinner yet. Lunch left me intrigued but cautious- some things were very good, others were "eh". So I wouldn't recommend it for a visit to our area unless you're jonesing for Greek food.)

        Sea Witch used to be a favorite but evidently they've changed owners and the word on the street (Chowhound) is that the quality has gone downhill. I haven't tried it though. If you're really in the mood for seafood, it might be worth a gamble.

        Kelly's Roast Beef in Saugus is not bad- this area is known for good roast beef sandwiches and while there are better to be found around here, that's the easiest for a visitor who is staying on Rte. 1 to find. Also a good place to try out fried clams (with bellies) or other fried seafood. Yes, it's not as good as a clam shack in Essex but OTOH you don't have to go to Essex.

        (all of the above places are on Rte 1.)

        On Rte 114 you've got Tennessee's, which is a local chain but I think they have decent BBQ. And, not for a meal, but if you're in the area anyway, Richardson's ice cream in Middleton on 114 is considered by many (myself included!) to be some of the best ice cream around.

        For lunch or breakfast, you can't go wrong at Martha's Bread Basket in Danvers. There are just a few tables as it's primarily a takeout place.

        I haven't made it to Trackside yet (which galleygirl recommends below) but I really liked the owners' previous place so I think you can't go wrong with that recommendation.

        Polcari's North End Restaurant
        400 Broadway, Saugus, MA 01906

        Kelly's Roast Beef
        595 Broadway, Saugus, MA 01906

        Brothers Kouzina
        25 Newbury St, Peabody, MA 01960

        North End Cafe
        124 Broadway Ste B, Saugus, MA 01906

        Angela's Coal Fired Pizza
        880 Broadway, Saugus, MA 01906

        Midwest Grill
        910 Broadway Rte 1, Saugus, MA

        Seawitch Restaurant
        203 Newbury St, Peabody, MA 01960

        Tennessee's Real BBQ
        260 Andover St, Peabody, MA 01960

        Richardson's Ice Cream
        156 S Main St, Middleton, MA 01949

        Martha's Bread Basket
        16 Maple St, Danvers, MA 01923

        Trackside Bar & Grill
        30 Warren St, Peabody, MA 01960

        1. re: Chris VR

          I think Mediterraneo is closed for renovations...I still worry about the Seawitch, tried it twice with the new owners, and gave up...Only go for raw bar, steamers, and cheap drinks...

          Originally got the lowdown on Trackside from striperguy...Love it!

          1. re: galleygirl

            I think that was a while back that they changed hands though, and I'm hoping they figured things out and got better, but just haven't gotten over there yet. With Turner's so close to me in Melrose, that's usually where I go when I want good seafood, so it's hard for me to get motivated to go somewhere else (although I wouldn't recommend it to mels unless you have a GPS system- people seem to have a hard time finding Melrose!) But hey, if the Seawitch's raw bar is good, that's still worth a visit if you're in the area!

    2. A truly chowish, and friendly place, is .....
      Trackside Bar and Grill
      30 Warren Street
      Peabody, MA978-531-1047

      Really looks like a hole by the side of the road, just outside Peabody Square. You can eat at the bar, and chat with the regulars, or sit at a table, and have the same, hearty, homestyle Portuguese menu...Great prices on a decent wine list, everything from steaks to octopus...
      I always try to go when I visit my mother...
      You can eat well at Su Chang, on Lowell Street, midway between Rt.1 and Peabody Square....Darn good for suburban Chinese; just avoid the scallion pancakes. Surprisingly excellent clams in black beansauce...go for the specials.

      1 Reply
      1. re: galleygirl

        Galleygirl, I want to thank you for your suggestion of the Trackside Bar and Grill. My 24 yr old son drove down to a cheap motel in Danvers on Sat. to put him on a plane to Thailand early Sun for his first job. We had planed to drive down to Providence to eat at the Bolivian Restaurant, (We lived in bolivia for several years) but the bad weather changed our plans. We didn't know where to go and searched the Boston board and came upon this rec. Where my mom lives there are 5 Port. restaurants within 2 miles. We love Portuguese food. We had a great time at the Trackside Bar and Grill (2 pitchers of great sangria) and your rec. was spot on. Much better than the places near mom's and cheaper too.
        Thanks for a great "last supper" w/ my son,

      2. I cannot say enough good things about Beverly! You will find an array of family owned restaurants on Cabot Street: Organic Garden Cafe, Mandrake, SoMa, Tryst, etc. Just go to Cabot Street and you'll have the best night.

        1. This is a question others may be able to answer- how is Toscana's in WEst Peabody? I have never been, but a friend recently recommended it to me. Anybody been?

          1. Just had dinner at the Danversport Yacht Club and it was fabulous...Exit 22E off 128N

            1 Reply
            1. re: MeffaBabe

              Second Daversport Yacht Club. I dragged a bunch of reluctant friends there when we stayed over for a confernece this past Fall. Friends expected the Danversport Yacht club they used to know of--not its currnet incarnation-which I learned about here from kind CHers. Go-you will enjoy!