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whats nice in somerville/medford?

Our daughter moved yesterday and we are going up this afternoon to spend 2 nights
and help move in.

I need a casual affordable place with great food not to far from harris road, boston ave, alewife area.

Tomorrow is our anniversary as well.

I am looking at Summer Shack as one choice, need at least three more options.

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  1. Gargoyles
    Evoo
    Dali
    West Side
    Chez Henri

    all not far if you have a car, all avoid harvard square where parking can be tough...although West Side and Chez Henri (on Mass Ave near Harvard Square can have their challenges...)

    1. For a festive atmosphere, I think Dali is the absolute best choice. I've gone there for birthdays, anniversaries and New Years and never been disappointed. And since it's tapas, everyone can eat as much or as little as they want.

      1. You've got options aplenty. A few quick thoughts, search the board for any of these names to get more info:

        Highland Kitchen (Somerville) - delicious midscale comfort food, great cocktails

        Gran Gusto (Cambridge, near Alewife) - awesome real Neapolitan food, the pizza is my favorite, but everything seems to keep getting better

        Vinny's at Night (East Somerville) - thoughtful Italian American that has largely removed the sigma of the genre for me

        Namaskar (Davis Square, Somerville) - my favorite Indian in town, phenomenal breads especially, served in a nicely decorated room

        I agree with the above recs for Dali and West Side Lounge. The Chez Henri dining room is expensive, but the bar menu is reasonably-priced and arguably better than its neighbor.

        1 Reply
        1. re: finlero

          I second finlero- Highland Kitchen is great (the music is awesome, too), and Namaskar is by far the best choice for area Indian food. Not just typical staples (theyve got those too- carnivorous friends have told me the chicken tikka masala is quite tasty) but great south indian dishes, too.

        2. Casual, affordable, great food, boston ave = Tu y Yo (in my mind at least)

          Family-run, authentic Mexican food that's top notch. All entrees are under $20 I believe. It's not your typical Meixcan fare either, they have a sign on the door that says "We don't serve burritos"

          For your anniversary I'd go with Chez Henri or Dali. Both are on the pricier side, but close to what I'd consider "affordable"

          1. If you are looking for breakfast try Soundbites in Ball Sq Somerville

            2 Replies
            1. re: ebone

              Better yet, try Ball Square Cafe next door. Great food and friendly service.

              -----
              Ball Square Cafe
              708 Broadway, Somerville, MA 02144

              1. re: BBHound

                I knew someone would say that.

            2. No Medford suggestions yet, I see. Bistro 5 in West Medford is excellent, not what you'd expect from Medford (or Somerville, for that matter).

              2 Replies
              1. re: jajjguy

                Bistro 5 is a great choice, but it sounded like they were looking for something a little cheaper.

                1. re: pemma

                  bistro 5 is very reasonably priced.

              2. L'il Vinny's in Somerville is nice and reasonably priced.

                1. Super casual but very good: Moultons Seafood in Medford. http://www.chowhound.com/topics/528379

                  Discussion of Medford restos: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/493218

                  1. If you are into Pho, we like Pho Yan in Medford Square. And FYI Mays Cafe is really great Chinese takeout and they deliver.

                    1. Moulton's Seafood on Winthrop St @ Winter St... great food, not expensive sooooooo much better than Summer Shack- and much closer to you than Alewife Brook Pkwy

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: MeffaBabe

                        A resounding second on this - just had one of the best dishes all year at Moulton's on Wed night - Lobster Scampi - wow! huge, fresh, delicious, with the meat of one really large or more lobsters - and not the previously-frozen stuff - it BLOWS AWAY Summer Shack at about 1/2 the price for lobster, in a casual, friendly, family-owned atmosphere. We're becoming regulars here after discovering it via YOUR posts.

                        I will add a plug for Za in East Arlington as well - it's close, reasonable, friendly, and delicious fancy pizzas/salads - and the menu is currently full of beautiful locally-grown ingredients (the Boston Bibb lettuce salad was a real standout last week!)

                        -----
                        ZA
                        138 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02474

                        Moulton's Seafood Restaurant
                        178 Winthrop St, Medford, MA 02155

                      2. Bocelli's on main st in medford is a very good Italian restaurant. I haven't been in a few years but the food was always fresh and tasty. Reasonably priced as well.

                        1. Some excellent choices have been listed already (and you can try searching this board for Teele Square and Medford Center, the two closest options, along with Davis Square for the next closest area with a lot of restaurants). I'll endorse Gargoyle's (one of the best burgers in town), Dali (raucous Spanish fare, and if you let the wait-staff know that an event of significance is happening -- esp with birthdays -- they won't let you live it down), Chez Henri, and the naan at Namaskar. On the other side, in Arlington Center, there's also Punjab to be considered for Indian fare.

                          If real-deal Chinese is your game, there are also two other options to add -- Qingdao Garden in North Cambridge (solid northern Chinese cookery, the best Peking ravioli in town, and some decent Sichuan cookery) and Wang's in Somerville (not my favorite, but beloved of many other CH'ers and even closer to you).

                          Moulton's sounds interesting, and unknown to me as a relative newcomer to the area -- is this place OK to visit in bike gear?

                          -----
                          Wang's Fast Food
                          509 Broadway, Somerville, MA 02145

                          Punjab
                          473 Massachusetts Avenue, Arlington, MA 02474

                          Gargoyles On the Square
                          219 Elm Street, Somerville, MA 02144

                          Qingdao Garden Restaurant
                          2382 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02140

                          Dali
                          415 Washington St, Somerville, MA 02143

                          Chez Henri
                          1 Shepard Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Dr.Jimbob

                            I've never seen any evidence of a dress code at Moulton's; bike gear (either kind) shouldn't be a problem. Consider: that space had previously been a fish market (also Moulton's) and an old-fashioned corner store. (Actually, it was MY corner store, growing up on Winter St.)

                            It's interesting seeing a highly-regarded restaurant there (that serves alcohol, no less, something that wasn't allowed in Meffa back in the day).

                            1. re: brandywiner

                              The bar especially seems pretty casual and I don't think it would be a problem, but some folks coming for dinner do seem a little more dressed up so it might be a little out of place in the dining room during peak hours. They are so nice there, you could call and ask just to be sure.