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Capone Foods in N. Cambridge

Every time I go to Capone Foods (located on Mass Ave a bit down from Pemberton Farms) I'm amazed at the quality and affordability of what they have and concerned that I'm the only customer there. I don't want to lose this place! They have 5 or 6 kinds of ricotta gnocchi for around $5 a pound and a bunch of filled pastas for about the same. They have tons of sauces, fresh pastas, and frozen meals. Their dry goods are very affordable and they have a huge variety of very cool stuff. But maybe the best part about this place is how nice they all are. Everyone I've spoken with there has been helpful, fun, and friendly.

So yeah... Just wanted to give some love to Capone. :)

http://caponefoods.com/

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  1. Great excuse to go. May 3, 12-5pm they will be doing a oil and vinegar tasting, and some of their premade goodies will also be out for further tasting.

    1. It's one of those places I've been meaning to get to as a result of reading about it on the CH board Thanks for posting the link. I didn't realize they were right down the street from Pembertom Farm. I've passed Pemberton at least 100 times and didn't realize they were something other than a gardening supply place. That's the impression I'd always had of them until I read about them on CH. I swear CH is repnsible for the 10 lbs I've been trying to lose again. I went there last week and would have definitly stopped in at Capones if I'd known they were so close. Has anyone tried their ginger pasta? I love ginger and that's a new one for me. If so, how did you make it?

      1. maillard, I have the same worry about being the only customer in the store every time I shop there, and posted a few months ago encouraging people to check them out. They do have a good variety of pastas and sauces. I love that you can get extruded, shaped pasta made with egg, as well as have so many gnocchi choices. It really elevates some pasta dishes. I think their bread is Clearflour, too, and very reasonable, and you're right about everyone being really friendly and low-key. Usually a couple of samples to taste, always a bonus in my book.

        1. address

          -----
          Capone Foods
          2285 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02140

          1. ...and their italian sausage is great, too!

            1. I think I was one of the original posters about this place. The more I think about it, I really want to like the place, but somehow something is lacking. All the cheeses are pre-cut and shrink wrapped. The pastas are pre-portioned in plastic take out dishes. The place is just too sterile. If you are making fresh pasta, why seal it away in plastic tubs?

              Somehow the whole place has the feel of being a section of a supermarket somewhere. If you are doing an italian food store with homemade pasta, it should feel that way.

              If I order a piece of parmessan I want someone to hack it off a big block the way they used to at Pace or I think still do at Salumeria Italiana in the north end.

              The place is gorgeous; the products are great; the people are nice; I just think they need to loosen up a bit and make this place FEEL like a food store. It does not even smell like a food store.

              6 Replies
              1. re: StriperGuy

                "If you are making fresh pasta, why seal it away in plastic tubs?" Because they make it and package it at their Union Square location, I assume.

                But yeah, I'm happier getting my pasta at Dave's where they squish it through the machine right in front of me. I feel a little guilty because the folks at Capone's are, indeed, so nice.

                1. re: StriperGuy

                  Amen to that, brother. I adore the Union Square original, partly because of the wonderful selection of cheeses at close to reasonable prices and partly because of the Capone family, all of whom are very knowledgeable, quite passionate about their cheeses and more than happy to help and make suggestions.

                  I live a few blocks away from the North Cambridge store, and I keep trying to convince myself that I love this place. But the fact that the cheeses are pre-cut and shrink-wrapped, the fact that the prices are just a bit higher than in Union Square, and the fact that the woman that I've seen there has seemed to be friendly and well intentioned, but doesn't seem to know much about what she's selling (she'd never heard of Manchego before I walked in the store -- am I just esoteric in my cheese choices?). I wind up back in Union Square, or at Dave's Fresh Pasta around the corner.

                  Come to think of it, the presence of Dave's around the corner might be why they're struggling; between that and the aforementioned Pemberton Garden shop, there isn't a unique enough niche, perhaps.

                  1. re: Dr.Jimbob

                    This store is owned by a woman who is a sister of the owner of the Union Square store, but it is not owned by the same people.

                    1. re: StriperGuy

                      This is not true. Same family, same owner.

                      1. re: smtucker

                        The other day when I was there, the woman in the store told me her sister owned the place.

                        1. re: StriperGuy

                          This is like a word problem :)

                          I believe it is Al's wife who runs the Mass Ave shop.

                2. I assume y'all are aware of the main store in Union Sq., Somerville. Still as busy as ever. Correct me if I am wrong but the Mass. Ave. satellite branch does not have a deli counter, which may have something to do with it - some of the best things at Capone are the Italian cold cuts.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Bob Dobalina

                    I make it to Union Sq (and the North End) enough that I also frequent the Somerville location. FWIW, you also need to ask about what is not in the deli case. On my most recent visit they had a pretty limited soppressata/salami selection out, so I asked about other alternatives and they had just gotten a shipment of some really nice cured meats from California (I partially cheated, I saw them unloading the truck, so waited about a half-hour and came back :-).

                    1. re: itaunas

                      I enjoy the store, but not in the same way as when I hit up Bob's in Medford.. I go there if I want pasta and sauce for a quick meal..

                      1. re: grant.cook

                        I don't actually buy pasta there, usually at La Bella Ravioli up the road from Bob's, but I also frequent places in Everett and Malden (and occasionally a different La Bella in Medford). Bob's pasta isn't quite as good as La Bella, but their saute station offerings with the fresh pasta is a total bargain. Capone repackages Caputo 00 pasta and pizza flour from Acardi in home-friendly sizes (5lbs).