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birdy30 Mar 18, 2008 08:33 PM

I was walking along Salem Street today and came upon the gaudy new sign replacing La
Brace. It looked horrible and reminded me of something that belonged in a strip mall. Has anyone heard what this place is really about?

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  1. s
    Spelunker RE: birdy30 Mar 19, 2008 06:02 AM

    I saw that walking home last night (and thanks for the reminder- I was on the phone at the time, and couldn't for the life of me remember what used to be there. Which is a shame, because I actually liked La Brace a good bit).

    Besides using the pizza boxes to block the windows, there was some other reason why I thought it was going to be a pizzeria, but I can't recall now. That being said, yes it's one more steak through the heart of the North End.

    13 Replies
    1. re: Spelunker
      Ralphie_in_Boston RE: Spelunker Mar 19, 2008 06:13 AM

      "steak"? I thought you said it was going to be a pizza place!

      The name of that place scares me as much as everything else I've just read (shudder).

      1. re: Ralphie_in_Boston
        BostonZest RE: Ralphie_in_Boston Mar 19, 2008 09:30 AM

        There is a pizza chain with that name in NY. Do the boxes give any clue to a connection.


        1. re: BostonZest
          Ralphie_in_Boston RE: BostonZest Mar 19, 2008 01:14 PM

          I wasn't referring to any other place by that name--just the rampant misuse of that word. I know...I have issues. I'm only wishing the best for the North End, y'understand.

          1. re: BostonZest
            phatchris RE: BostonZest Mar 19, 2008 03:19 PM

            The boxes have a Winthrop address.

            1. re: phatchris
              BostonZest RE: phatchris Mar 19, 2008 03:50 PM

              and the menu on the site says they have:

              "GOURMET ENTREESS"

              1. re: BostonZest
                phatchris RE: BostonZest Mar 20, 2008 02:59 PM

                Yeah doesn't look promising at all does it.

                1. re: BostonZest
                  LindaWhit RE: BostonZest Apr 1, 2008 10:10 AM

                  as well as "Not Responsible for Well Done Orders." noted just under the burgers. ???

                  1. re: LindaWhit
                    MC Slim JB RE: LindaWhit Apr 1, 2008 10:54 AM

                    While the menu doesn't sound exciting, I don't mind the warning about well-done meats; that's fair and proper, in my book.

                    1. re: MC Slim JB
                      LindaWhit RE: MC Slim JB Apr 1, 2008 05:41 PM

                      I guess my ??? was asking about if they're warning that they always cook well-done, or if they do accidentally, they're not responsible?

                      1. re: LindaWhit
                        birdy30 RE: LindaWhit Apr 2, 2008 06:15 AM

                        someone (whether or not they are in the know) just informed me that they get their burgers prepackage and prepared which would explain the warning.

                        1. re: birdy30
                          Ralphie_in_Boston RE: birdy30 Apr 2, 2008 07:13 AM

                          AND prepared!??!! What's next, a warning that the center of the burger might still be cold because the microwave didn't heat properly?

                    2. re: LindaWhit
                      seedove17 RE: LindaWhit Apr 2, 2008 09:57 AM

                      I didn't believe that it actually said that until I checked out the website for myself!!!!! This has to be a joke. Does this mean if you order a burger med and it comes well you can't send it back?

                      1. re: seedove17
                        LindaWhit RE: seedove17 Apr 2, 2008 10:00 AM

                        Can't cook it anymore than that (except charred to a crisp) so I guess not!

          2. j
            John900909 RE: birdy30 Mar 21, 2008 10:54 AM

            I heard that the owner of Paesan's in Winthrop, MA had taken it over. I have spoken to people who have eaten there before and they had nothing but good things to say with their great food and large portions. If they can replace the previous lackluster service, i dont see how it couldn't be a step up from before. I caught wind of it opening in the first week of April, deffinatly going to give it a try.

            4 Replies
            1. re: John900909
              Pa amb Tomaquet RE: John900909 Mar 21, 2008 06:57 PM

              I am very wary of a place sporting a tacky bright red sign, with "steak tips in special Ah-So Sauce" on the menu. I kid you not. Alo "Turkey Tips with Italian dressing" and fajitas? Add Fettucine Alfredo described as "We do like Mama" This is a real dumbing down of the North End, and I for one am not feeling optimistic.

              1. re: John900909
                BostonZest RE: John900909 Mar 21, 2008 07:09 PM

                Large portions are the last thing many of us need or want.

                It really isn't what I look for in a place to dine.

                But, good luck to them. Different people look for different things in dining spots. Perhaps they will find a niche.

                1. re: BostonZest
                  phatchris RE: BostonZest Mar 23, 2008 09:37 AM

                  La Famiglia is still there and packing people in...... I was really hoping for a true brick oven pizza place in the neighborhood for when Regina is too much to deal with and a little more bar like than Antico Forno.

                2. re: John900909
                  buffet king RE: John900909 Apr 4, 2008 12:22 PM

                  I went to Paesan's in Winthrop today and picked up some brick oven pizzas. I got a cheese pizza and a pizza with sausage,ricotta, mozzarella and tomato sauce. I didn't care for both pizzas. The dough was very chewy, sort of rubbery. The sauce had plenty of herbs and was kind of bitter. I only went to Paesan's because I saw it featured on TV Diner. I didn't try any other items on their menu. I won't be returning to Paesan's.

                3. r
                  Ralphie_in_Boston RE: birdy30 Mar 31, 2008 11:09 AM

                  Has anyone been there yet? I walked by recently and they're open. It doesn't look too bad from the street, but I am still puzzled by the presence of Mexican items such as fajitas on the menu. And I could be wrong as it was only a quick glance, but I don't think I saw pizza on there. And I also heard two local passers by remark to each other "did you hear? they don't even have pizza".... "Whaaaaat?" as they walked by

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Ralphie_in_Boston
                    saltyair RE: Ralphie_in_Boston Mar 31, 2008 12:50 PM

                    I refuse. I will be at Ernesto's

                    1. re: saltyair
                      FreshRye RE: saltyair Jun 16, 2008 11:46 AM

                      See you there.

                    2. re: Ralphie_in_Boston
                      9lives RE: Ralphie_in_Boston May 9, 2008 02:59 PM

                      The Mexican/pub food items on the menu were enought for me to toss the takeout menu..:) did get a laugh out of it.

                      awful signage

                    3. hotoynoodle RE: birdy30 Mar 31, 2008 01:45 PM

                      on my way to ernesto's today, i walked over to look at the menu. looks like crap bar food: potato skins, steak tips, fajitas, bbq ribs, etc.


                      and the signage is horrible. isn't there a neighborhood association to prevent that kind of thing?

                      i'm guessing they'll make some dough in the summer from tourists and then be done by winter.

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: hotoynoodle
                        phatchris RE: hotoynoodle Apr 1, 2008 09:28 AM

                        The sign is almost as bad as Bacco's.

                        1. re: phatchris
                          Sterndogg RE: phatchris Apr 1, 2008 10:03 AM

                          Walked by it the other day...the menu has zero identity. However, I bet they are hoping to attract the masses of clueless tourists that flock to the NE because there are plenty of those!!! That red sign is horrible.

                          1. re: Sterndogg
                            pierce RE: Sterndogg Apr 2, 2008 07:24 AM

                            they aren't going to catch many tourists at that corner, and next to scaffolding which is sure to be there through the summer.

                            Also, I noticed that they covered nearly half of the front window with a big bin of bottled beers, and pushed alot of service stuff up into the front of the house, virtually making it look like a bar-back area. This place seems like a textbook for bad decisions, if they last two months it is by virtue of their capital alone

                            1. re: pierce
                              Ralphie_in_Boston RE: pierce Apr 2, 2008 07:30 AM

                              When I was there the other day a tourist was checking out the menu and said out loud to his friend "hey, this place looks really good."

                              I'm sure that they'll get *some* foot traffic. Salem is one of the bigger streets in the area.

                              1. re: Ralphie_in_Boston
                                Hambone Willy RE: Ralphie_in_Boston Apr 2, 2008 10:27 AM

                                This place looks like a train wreck. I too noticed the beer up front etc. I mean seriously, they have "wing dings" on the menu, thisis like a [Fill in Blank of your hometown] House of Pizza - although they don't serve pizza! The owner of La Brace is doing cartwheels he found some schmuck to take over his lease.

                                1. re: Hambone Willy
                                  phatchris RE: Hambone Willy Apr 2, 2008 03:12 PM

                                  I wouldn't be so sure she is doing cartwheels I got a funny feeling she is involved in the project, see her around the space a lot still.

                      2. r
                        Ralphie_in_Boston RE: birdy30 Apr 7, 2008 10:40 AM

                        Walked by there again today and noticed something peculiar in addition to the entire window area being occupied by beer bottles on ice. There are two elevated buckets of champagne, seemingly by themsleves, about six feet high, off to the side near the front.

                        It looked like a P.A. system on an empty dance floor at a wedding.....only instead of a pair of speakers, it was a pair of champagne bottles in buckets.


                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Ralphie_in_Boston
                          pierce RE: Ralphie_in_Boston Apr 7, 2008 12:52 PM

                          i also noticed the other night they have what appeared to be tv screens directly in front of your face at the bar, and at least one table with a tv screen in the middle of it. It looked like a seen out of the film "idiocracy"

                        2. hiddenboston RE: birdy30 May 1, 2008 02:04 PM

                          So has anyone tried this place yet?

                          1. LindaWhit RE: bridge1 May 13, 2008 10:10 AM

                            However, this is your first post here on Chowhound, bridge1, so people who frequent the North End restaurants have no basis with which to judge what other places you go to and like, except this one post. So what else do you like? Where else do you go?

                            And if you read further upthread, it seems some people *have* been to the Winthrop Paesan's, and found it lacking. And I'm sorry - any place that touts itself as a "brick oven pizzeria" should *not* be serving Mexican fajitas! Period.

                            7 Replies
                            1. re: LindaWhit
                              pierce RE: LindaWhit May 13, 2008 12:01 PM

                              And I think perhaps someone at Paesan's must be reading this: they've moved the bar-back area away from the front window pretty shortly after I posted about the poor layout. They moved it all of 10 feet away, in front of the side windows.

                              1. re: bostonTC
                                TonyO RE: bostonTC Jun 11, 2008 01:28 PM

                                There does seem to be a quick rush to damn places and assume "tourists" are ignorant neanderthals rooming the alleys looking for chicken fingers and corn dogs. Aren't we all tourists at some point ? I'll wait for a few actual reports before I condemn a new business.

                                1. re: TonyO
                                  Ralphie_in_Boston RE: TonyO Jun 11, 2008 01:41 PM

                                  I also am eager for a few actual reports.

                                  I'd volunteer, if it weren't for the fact that there are already a couple dozen places on my gotta-try list for the North End!! If only I lived or worked in the area, I'd give it a shot.

                                  I just looked again at the menu online. They do have chicken fingers! And despite a bunch of interactive pizza boxes on the website, no pizza on the menu (whuh?).

                                  I actually did see a few things that I would order, if I finally get around to trying this place. None of them is in the 'barbecue' section of the menu. however.

                                  1. re: Ralphie_in_Boston
                                    kallis33 RE: Ralphie_in_Boston Jun 11, 2008 02:06 PM

                                    I have no idea how good it is, however I do live in the North End and I am sure that the curiosity will get to me eventually and I'll try it. The name does make me cringe.

                                    1. re: kallis33
                                      Ralphie_in_Boston RE: kallis33 Jun 11, 2008 03:41 PM

                                      That was my first reaction too. I hope we don't see Cafe Baddabingfehgedaboudit opening up next door.

                                      1. re: Ralphie_in_Boston
                                        TonyO RE: Ralphie_in_Boston Jun 11, 2008 04:35 PM

                                        Or the ever popular Youtakintome Bistro. I'm just glad to hear they have Chicken Fingas' and Moozarel Stix

                                        1. re: TonyO
                                          Applejakx RE: TonyO Jun 17, 2008 08:03 PM

                                          I had the eggplant parm today. It was really good. Don't knock it for how it looks - many have made the same mistake. It's not trying to be anything it's not. Read my yelp review.

                              2. j
                                jaclyn1198 RE: birdy30 Dec 20, 2008 11:23 AM

                                I live in Winthrop where the original Paesan's is- it's notr a chain by the way. Their food is good, we order from there a lot. I'm not crazy about their tomato sauce, but I'm picky about that since I'm used to the homemade Scicilian style kind. Anyway, their steak tips are AWESOME and the turkey tips are very yummy too. Their white pizzas are good. At least give the place a try.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: jaclyn1198
                                  BostonZest RE: jaclyn1198 Dec 20, 2008 01:40 PM

                                  The North End branch was gone by last summer.

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