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Jun 26, 2008 12:09 PM

Szechuan Bay under construction, Foss Pk & other Somerville trucks

Szechuan Bay is finally under construction, with two crews of Brazilians doing demo. The inside looked pretty empty and I wouldn't guarantee its reopening with the same ownership as the phone was also disconnected. (Also don't assume the Brazilian contractor means its a Brazilian restaurant as its one of the larger firms, but if I had time I would have asked them what's going on or looked for the name on the work permit.)

Foss Park in East Somerville (where I think Louie's would be a hit if it was that side of the intersection) has a new truck offering lemonade, steak and cheese, and sausage. That adds to Moe's at Powderhouse Square (dogs, chili, sausage), the Italian Specialty or something between Home Depot and Good Times (also dogs, sausage, ok steak and cheese). There also is Reynaldo's Pizza truck in the area, but not 100% certain if it parks in Somerville although I vaguely remember it somewhere maybe just stored near Tufts (I think the MIT pizza truck is Yona's, so its different). Some of them are good in a pinch, but would rather hit a East Somerville taqueria or Brazilian buffet or Italian Deli for something quick... And Louie's over the ice cream trucks around.

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  1. I had a hot dog at Moe's -- it was good and the guy was really nice to me, making way for a lady among the beefy regulars. Italian sausage looks yum as does burger. I'm trying to avoid these kinds of things at the moment, but sometimes the car just kinda pulls over by itself.

    The Reynaldo's pizza truck parks by the Winter Hill community school after 3 p.m. (or used to before school ended). Is the pizza any good?

    Also have heard great reports about Taco Loco further down Broadway toward Sullivan. I'm excited to check it out soon.

    10 Replies
    1. re: yumyum

      Have been to Taco Loco twice in the last week. Kicking myself for not trying it sooner. My current favorite is the Taco Combo which, for $7.99 gets you three tacos (I like to get two chicken and one steak), sides of rice and black beans AND a drink.

      Also stopped in the other day while walking by hungry and grabbed one of their chicken pies - a little pocket filled with chicken and veggies. Very good.

      Dad and brother are both big fans of their burritos (Chicken for Dad and Veggie for my brother). Generously sized and served with a handful of their house made chips and some very spicy salsa.

      1. re: yumyum

        Of the lower Broadway Taquerias, Tapatio was my favorite (note that they had finished framing its location last I was by so I hope it returns). Taco Loco is pretty good and might be the better bet for burritos. However, I tend to prefer Montecristo overall... good for the montanero, decent tacos but always out of adobo (which is good, but not mexican), tasty but not mexican nor new mexican huevos rancheros, decent tortas. Their slaw for the pupusas is not as good as Lupita or Tapatio... and its all distinctly Salvadoran (fine for me, not so much for mission burrito lovers, texas or nm traditionalists). Maya Sol has the condiments laid out much like Tapatio, so I want to try their tacos soon, but still slightly prefer the montecristo menu. Los Paisanos is my least favorite, but I think Heather or maybe MB said their eggs with chorizo is good. Also don't forget the central american bakery, the Brazilian pastelaria (need to reply to Bob D about something related), and even Patsy's for more reasons to ingest calories in the area. Don't think any of them have a liquor license, unless Maya Sol is working on one, but you might be able to bring food into Khoury's (Casey's I am less sure about).

        Good tip on Reynaldo's, but I have no idea (yet) on the pizza... will have to track them down.

        1. re: itaunas

          Thanks for the run-down on these places. Maya Sol is the new big one, right? I need to twist Heathermb's arm to go to Taco Loco with me since she's a regular.

          Now that school is out, I would look for the Reynaldo's truck over by the pool on Main Street in Medford. Seems to gravitate towards the kids.

            1. re: yumyum

              There are at least two new restaurants in the area. Maya Sol is next to Casey's in a space that was previously vacant. Its two storefronts but a bit larger than Taco Loco because its more open (Taco Loco is adjoining split levels) and more than twice the size of Montecristo or Los Paisanos. It has an open kitchen and a long series of pans and steam trays with condiments/ingredients, etc for food. They could almost do a bay area style Burrito line there.

              Rodizio is in the Brazil2000 space and is owned by the same owner of Gauchao. Maybe a hair larger than the others, but more deep than wide. It offers churrasco by the lb to go and mostly fixed price eat in (but I think you can do per-lb eat in too). Its a bit more upscale and intended to be more welcoming to Americans than Gauchao which does most of its business in fixed-price to-go boxes, but that really doesn't distinguish it for me (perhaps a few more meats than Gauchao). The owner is a local pastor, so while a rodizio would seem ripe for a liquor license, live music, I think maybe only the music is on the agenda.

              Other recent changes in the area. Cafe Belo had somewhat of a makeover and some management maybe ownership changes. The Holiday Inn has changed the programming on its bar to make it a bit more upscale as a club (more house music and probably no more acaraje). And last year Minas Grill opened in what was Branca's and Cafe Varanda in what was Bahia Cafe (they were trying to attract more breakfast business with more bakery and lunch counter products). Two Dads also I think dropped a lot of the seafood they had offered. Not certain what is happening at the Marshall St International (Portuguese) Club -- they tried to do a Brazilian menu earlier this year to attract more business but I don't think it caught on.

              1. re: itaunas

                I heard from a friend, a local guanaco, that Maya Sol is owned by the Taco Loco people. Can anyone confirm?

                1. re: deglazer

                  Luis Morales the pastor mentioned above has had a hand in most of these, including Maya Sol, Taco Loco, Gauchao the Brazilian restaurant and Tony's Foodland (the central american grocer with a Brazilian butcher) which are next to... and Rodizio. I can't tell you if he still runs all of them or has sold some, or how the management is structured.

              2. re: yumyum

                The pool on Main Street in Medford is the Tufts Park Pool. Is the food from the Moe's truck really good? Does he only have hot dogs and sausages?

                1. re: buffet king

                  Dog's and sausages seem to be most of his business and he has several inexpensive combos. He definitely has burgers and I thought he had another sandwich too. However, since he moved to Powderhouse because of the construction at Trum I haven't been back and its a bit hazy. I did like his dog better than the home depot truck, but not enough that I ultimately go to the latter more. The latter has ok homemade meatballs and passable steak and cheese, were serving Dom's sausages and not certain the dogs. I think they also might have chicken parm, but you can tell it didn't leave a big impression because I don't remember it that well. Piantedosi bread.

                  1. re: buffet king

                    "really good"... I don't know. I enjoyed my hotdog there ... it's no speeds, but it does have the allure of being cooked in a wagon and eaten on the sidewalk. As I said, I know for sure he has dogs, sausages and burgers. I haven't seen other offerings, but I haven't scrutinized the menu lately.

            2. FYI, Moe's has moved back to Trum field.

              1. Having lived my whole life across from Foss Park, and having enjoyed an illustrious (yet fleeting) little league baseball career there, I can verify the Renaldo's pizza truck, or some iteration of it, has patrolled Foss for many a year. Granted, its been roughly 15 years since I last had a slice, but even back then, it tasted only "OK".
                Id still prefer a quick walk to Mama Lisa's or Leones for pizza, much as Id rather go to Louie's for ice cream or an East Somerville taqueria if I want something quick, cheap and tasty on the fly.
                That being said, I'm dying to try a Moe's sausage...

                1 Reply
                1. re: EYErishprEYEd

                  Winter Hill represent!

                  I've never had a craving for Renaldo's because they do tend to follow the after school crowd and really how choosy are those starving 12 year olds anyway?

                  But speaking of East Somerville taquerias, I checked out Taco Loco on lower Broadway last night and it was really good. Three taco combo -- I had chicken steak and tongue -- with rice and beans for $7.99. The place was hopping at 8 and I'll definitely go back. Good clean food with little fuss or muss. Well, a little muss since the tacos were hard to eat without spilling all over. But I survived.

                2. At this weekend's 'Somerville ArtBeat' in Davis Square, a representative from East Somerville Streets was handing out a cleverly packaged "East Somerville Eats" brochure listing locations such as Tapatio, Maya Sol, Taco Loco, Louie's and (ick..) KFC/Taco Bell. I live just outside of Davis and was interested in checking some of these places out, so my SO and I decided to wander on over and walk around.

                  We were in the mood for burritos but wanted some AC to go along with it as we'd been in the heat all day, so space to sit was on our list of needs. Maya Sol fit the bill, and we're definitely pleased we tried it out.

                  Maya Sol was bright, clean, and fairly busy on a Saturday night at 7:00, which I took as a good sign. The prices were ridiculously low (can't remember the exact price, but I think it was about 4.50 for a dinner sized burrito), the food tasty and fresh, and the service was great too. The burrito fillings were nicely proportioned, not too much rice or too few beans, etc. and the guac was as creamy as can be!

                  I had the vegetarian burrito while my SO had the steak. The only complaint was about the chips. Nothing special, which was a shame as the condiments, the pico de gallo in particular, were very tasty.