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Bobalicious - Newton

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Yesterday's TAB had an article about the opening of a new boba shop in the Nonantum section of Newton, Bobalicious. Says there is boba plus "Vietnamese sandwiches" and Asian pastries.

Has anyone been there yet? I'm hoping to try it later today or tomorrow.

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Bobalicious
308 Watertown St, Newton, MA 02458

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  1. Just made it to Bobalicious in Nonantum for the first time this afternoon. They occupy the old Crosswalks space on Watertown Street. Very nice, clean, brightly lit space. Two small tables with a pretty tiled surface, and about six or eight seats along two counters with the small, futuristic stools that seem to be favored by bubble tea places today.

    The bubble tea itself was quite good and comes in a wide variety from the usual (e.g. green tea, taro, etc.) to the fairly unusual (e.g. oranges & cream, avocado, and "blue hawaii"). The bubble tea is made from a powdered mix, but is mixed with a simple syrup of cane sugar, not corn syrup, and so can be made to taste. Apparently lactose free and soy bases are available as well. The boba (tapioca pearls) were very good --- soft, chewy, and flavorful, although a little sparse.

    In addition to bubble tea, we had BBQ beef banh-mi which were really excellent --- some of the best I've had in Boston. In particular, the bread was terrific --- crusty, toasted, and just the right kind of plesant staleness that makes for an excellent banh-mi. The beef was well textured, the sauce had a significant kick, and the vegetables were very crisp. The cilantro was especially fresh.

    We also tried the tuna fish sandwich, which is a tuna salad sandwich on whole-wheat bread with the same Vietnamese vegetables as in the banh-mi. This was an excellent twist on a typical tuna salad sandwich! The only improvement could have been toasted bread, which was otherwise of high quality.

    In addition, they sell a variety of Asian pastries, although they appear to be baked off-site. There were also fresh summer rolls, various salads, and some fruity-desserts available although we didn't try any of them. They also had a special of beef pho noddle soup --- while not guarenteed to be available, I get the impression that it will often be available. Didn't have time to try it --- but good incentive to return. They also have a few other drinks --- hot coffee, thai iced tea, and Vietnamese iced coffee.

    The proprietors are very, very friendly, and are happy to chat. Didn't see too many other people in there at lunch time, so I hope the word gets out. If you want banh-mi or bubble tea in Newton, this is the place. If you want to tour the best banh-mi in the Boston area, I would add this as a stop on your trip, along with Pho Viet's in Super 88 and Le's Sandwich Shop in Chinatown.

    1. Hi,

      I stopped by today and picked up a grilled chicken bahn mi and summer rolls (which they list as spring rolls). Both were very good. The bahn mi ingredients were very fresh and tasty, with an excellent sauce and the heat of the hot peppers was perfect. The summer rolls had just been prepared when I arrived. Yum. The peanut dipping sauce was excellent. I will defintely be returning regularly, especially since it's about a mile from my house. Thanks for the tip.

      Joanne.

      1. I just went to Bobalicious yesterday and had a TERRIFIC "combo-meat" banh mi. I'd venture to say it's at least as good or better than the best of Field's Corner. The bread tasted very fresh, and the pate spread was generous. Make sure you get it with everything - the carrots and hot peppers. Echoing other comments, the owner is extremely friendly. Kinda tempted to go back and grab another one after work today (I work in upper falls).

        1. I finally got there too. We've had a few bubble teas now, a couple of salads, a banh mi (bbq chicken) and a soft spring roll.

          The banh mi was an addictive combination of fresh bread, seasoned chicken, creamy, spicy sauce, and tangy marinated vegetables. I could eat one every day. The two salads I've had have been very pleasant, crisp and fresh. The spring roll (nim chow style) is very fresh but a bit heavy on the rice noodles and only a tiny bit of shrimp. Still, it worked and I enjoyed it. Peanut sauce was very good.

          The boba were good. The pearls come from a packet, but they were the right level of chew and not hard or mushy. We've sampled several kinds and enjoyed some unusual flavors like orange cream (like a creamsicle-- I'll be having another one of those come summertime).

          The owners were very helpful and friendly. Prices seem very reasonable.

          I'm going to have to get back there soon, especially since the shop packs a lot of good-food value into a small area: sausages (De Pasquale's), great pastries (Antoine's Bakery) and now Bobalicious all within 100 yards of each other. A lot of happy eating there.

          1. I walked right past there this afternoon with a box of zeppole from Antoine's, but I already had my mouth set for a Smokestack from Russo's, so I didn't try the banh mi. It looked encouragingly busy for 3:30 on a wet Wednesday afternoon, though, so that's good.

            1. Anyone know what hours this place keeps?

              1 Reply
              1. re: Ruprecht

                website says Monday 11-5
                Tuesday 10-6
                closed Sunday

                Cash only

                http://boba-licious.com/

              2. We went to Bobalicious today after reading about it here, and had a great experience. I will say right off that I have never had banh mi before, but I will definitely be having it again!

                We stopped in about 2 pm today and there was a woman drinking something at a table, as well as someone else who we think was the nanny of an adorable kid there who may have been the daughter of one of the owners. It was pretty quiet, which was good because I had questions. The owners were very friendly, greeted us right away and answered all of my questions.

                We had a combo banh mi (pate, deli meats, and shredded carrot, cucumber, onion, possible more things -- I crammed it into my mouth so fast that I never really saw what else was in there) and a bbq pork banh mi. DELICIOUS. A tiny bit sweet, and very fresh vegetables. I liked the bbq pork a bit more but both were quite good. Also had a shrimp/pork spring roll (not bad, but fairly standard), a honeydew boba, and green apple boba.

                The boba drinks were more slushy than I expected (and COLD for a day that was already chilly) and I think had ice cream in them. I asked one of the owners if they would be getting a red bean flavor and was deeply disappointed when they said they didn't get much call for that in these parts, and that the taro (which they do carry) was not going over well at all.

                One of the owners ran out while we were eating (to pick up a daughter?) and then all of a sudden, a slew of orders/people came in. What bad timing for there to be only one person left working! But the owner in the store didn't seem at all flustered.

                One woman ordered 3 banh mi and said she'd order the drinks when she came back and asked if she should pay now, but the owner said not to worry because she knew who she was. I noticed that most people didn't pay upfront--we weren't even asked to pay at all, and I paid after we finished eating. I was hesitating near the counter, because the owner was busy with two French women who had come in and were asking a ton of questions ("What do you have for dessert? What are the sandwiches? What's that powder lined up on the walls? What is boba?"), but almost immediately she looked up and asked if I was all set, and I paid. I wish more store owners were as thoughtful of their customers!

                Our total came to $19.15. Very reasonable, especially for how delicious it was.

                1. I've also had good experiences at Bobalicious. I've been twice. The first time I had the lemongrass chicken "sandwich", which was great. It was tangy and tasty, and hot from the peppers. Really woke up my tastebuds! They also gave me a sample of the boba drink, but without any boba. It was, as someone else said, like slush. It was a strange blue color, Hawaiian Something flavor. A bit sweet, but I'd like to try their mango one of these days.

                  The second time I had some of the spring rolls, which were a good light lunch. The peanut sauce is delicious. These are ready made, so no waiting.

                  I agree about the folks who run Bobalicious - they are very friendly, welcoming, and patient with questions. A great addition to the neighborhood!

                  1. We finally made it there today. It was a beautiful day out and the place had a steady supply of customers while we were there (btw 1:15-2pm). We had the BBQ pork bahn mi and BBQ chicken bahn mi. Both were outrageously delicious. The bread is to die for - crusty on the outside, soft on the inside. My BBQ chicken and the sauce was very tasty. The bahn mi's are only $3.95. The size is a bit small, and we probably should have ordered the spring roll too but we didn't.

                    I am normally not a "sandwich" person, but this is something I would eat every day!

                    Seems like most of the customers we saw are regulars. Like others said, the proprietors are friendly.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: y2000k

                      Just want to add on: this place is fantastic, IMO. I've been in search of great bahn mi since I got hooked a couple years ago in Seattle, and this is the best I've found in either Boston or NYC, for sure. Have been three times so far, different versions each time. Today was the pork - excellent, fresh ingredients, perfectly crusty bread, and very spicy. Look forward to many happy returns!

                      1. re: josholken

                        Great! I've got to check it out soon....Where else in Boston have you had Banh mi to compare this to?
                        Thanks!

                        1. re: galleygirl

                          Just looking at the menu, $4.50 is extremely expensive for a vietnamese sandwich with a couple thinly sliced meats. However, I'll drop by this afternoon to try it.

                          1. re: joebloe

                            Sure, it's no $1.50 Fields Corner sandwich, but it's worth it considering the Newton rents, and how supremely friendly the proprietors are.

                            1. re: Prav

                              Having sampled the wares at both places now, it's a very good banh mi but PhoViet's is still better.

                    2. Just made it over there the other day and agree with so much of what has been said. The woman (one of the owners) was very friendly and gracious. She asked just enough questions to make sure that what she made was done perfectly. The fresh rolls were created before my eyes and she created them with tofu. The banh mi was fantastic. The roll was warmed in a small oven, crisp on the outside and soft inside. The chicken was good, but the pork was fantastic-sweet, moist. I loved the vegetables-daikon and carrots, and the fresh cilantro. While the chicken banh mi at Pho Viets may be better, the pork was a close call. Also, unless you live in Boston, this is a great location with easy parking. We also got some kind of mixed dessert-essentially yellow beans with jello chunks and coconut milk. Unique and a good contrast after the savory meal.