HOME > Chowhound > Greater Boston Area >
Jun 27, 2008 06:28 AM

Bay Sweets Market; West Roxbury.

Their card says “French and Mediterranean Market”, which may be why they get no mention here. Let’s call it what it is, folks, a very good Middle Eastern market. Not as all encompassing as the Big Daddies in Watertown, but better than ‘if you’re in the neighborhood”. I make it a point to stop here when I’m in West Roxbury, after dropping in for a quick bite on the way to a demo, and being blown away by their “veggie”. Veggie what, I’m not sure, but it was a large, pita-like flatbread, with lots of fresh peppers, olives, mushrooms, chopped fresh tomatoes, and just a sprinkling of feta in olive oil. It sounds ‘meh’, but is just so sweet, and juicy and fresh tasting, and fairly guiltless….

They have fresh pita from a number of vendors, including my favorite, Hellen Bakery in North Providence, the aforementioned sweets, a ten choice or so olive bulk selection, all kinds of Middle Eastern dairy and cheeses, all kinds of canned stuff, , grains and rice, every nationalities' teas (including two sizes of bulk Yerba mate), and all types of Za-atar.

In fact, there’s a decent bulk spice counter right behind the checkout.
There’s also a take-out made-to order food area in the back corner. Based on my repeated 'veggies', I'd go for that way before Samia’s, which seems to get more mention but was empty the day I tried it.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Sounds great, and i agree about Samia's. Where is Bay Sweets? How does it compare with Bob's Pita in Roslindale?

    5 Replies
    1. re: gourmaniac

      Haven't been to Bob's Pita, sorry. Bay Sweets is heading up Centre St toward VFW Pkwy, where Centre St.has already turned to Spring St.

      120 Spring St.
      West Roxbury

      1. re: galleygirl

        They're quite different. Bob's is more of a produce market these days (and a good one) with a limited selection of stuff like spinach pies & zataar on an "as available" basis. i.e. they're frequently not there.

        Bay Sweets, which I have less experience with, seems to be much more about the prepared foods, especially empanada-like fried pies (which were amazing) and other appetizer/snack things. Plus desserts which looked great.

        Also, it's a shame that Samia's doesn't get more attention around here. Though I am a longtime devotee of the Shwarma King in Brookline, Samia's has surged ahead to become my favorite Lebanese place in the area. Really amazing fresh food with that special personal touch. She is the type of cook chowhound used to lionize in the old days: obsessive compulsive about freshness & quality and with a strong personal take on a traditional cuisine. I go there every so often and it is usually empty but she does a fairly bustling takeout business.

        West Roxbury: underrated chowhound paradise. Also check out Auntie B's across from Samia's for the best unsung burger in town.

        1. re: skordalia

          Samia catered a party for us before her husband died (of heart disease a few years ago). She makes the best fattoush I've had in America, and it comes with a side order of lecture about how you need to eat it right away. Her sandwiches are a meal for two and the soup specials are wonderful. The menu is limited. She is sometimes there by herself - or with her daughter, who if I remember works nearby, or a single helper. Her food is like eating at a really terrific home cook's house.

          1. re: skordalia

            I went to Samia's at lunchtime, eager to see what was available, but all the cases were empty, so it didn't look very promising....

            1. re: galleygirl

              There's nothing (or more usually, little) in the cases because she makes it all fresh... Trust Samia! She is an artist.

      2. I love this place! Used to live in W. Rox and went there all the time.....I can't believe I never mentioned them here. Since I moved ~4 years ago, I'm not over there much and I forgot about them...thanks GG!! Also, don't forget their fabulous home-baked sweets. Great stuff! No need to trek over to Wtown if you live nearby or are passing through.

        1. I also love this place. The sandwiches are great, the pastries are to die for and the selection of groceries fabulous. The people are also friendly and helpful.

          1. I'm addicted to their kibbe (sp?) and meat pies. I can't drive by this place without stopping to get a few of each.

            On Friday, I wrote a draft for my blog about Bay Sweets that I'm going to post on Monday.

            1. Thanks to galleygirl for the chow rec. I went on saturday and got the aforementioned veggie pita which was great, 2 za'atar pita, 2 falafel, 2 kibbe and 2 meat pies. It was all very good but i found the za'atar to be too dry for my taste. Prices weregood and the whole lot cost around $10. Nice to have it in the neighborhood. I recall that there was a Syrian community near Chinatown that got dispersed when the southeast expressway went in (1950s). I know that some move to West Roxbury/Roslindale and so perhaps this store, Samia's and Bob's pita are the noble descendents from this diaspora.

              2 Replies
              1. re: gourmaniac

                So, now that you've been to both, how does this compare to Bob's Pita? Do I need to get there, too? ;)

                1. re: galleygirl

                  Skordalia is correct. they are different. I like Bob's for olives, feta and inexpensive and good produce (comparable to Arax in Watertown), but it only has a couple of prepared items at the register (spinach pies, meat pies). There is a good selection of pitas and flat breads as well as spices and canned goods. Bay Sweets has a wider array of prepared foods (like Sevan but not as extensive).I would go to Bob's if you're in Roslindale village and there lot's of other nice shops there, but wouldn't makle a special trip especially if Watertown is as convenient for you.