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What are your current Top 5 food cravings/addictions North of Boston?

I thought it would be fun to start this post up, and have others do it for their regions. This can be whatever food item found somewhere North of Boston has you obsessed, or going back for time and again, or something you had and can't forget.. It can change from week to week etc.

My current Top 5:
--Salmon Katsu/HatsuhanaRestaurant in Danvers-moist crispy panko coated strips stacked like a Jenga game
--Blueberry Muffins/BlueCanoe convenience store bakery at Irving Gas Wakefield Ma. Exit 42 and other locations in Salem Ma, Haverill and all over ME and NH
--Shrimp Gyro/Zalek's in Wakefield--not actually on the menu..juicy bbq shrimp with yummy tsadiki on soft gyro bread. I get cravings for most of Zalek's seafood..
--Cheese Pizza/ Flatbread Pizza Company in Bedford..past the Burlington Mall. Cravable wood oven with sauce cooked in cauldron in oven and fresh vermont cheese
--Swordfish Greek Salad/Brothers Kouzina Rte 1 N. Peabody --Delicious chargrilled swordfish over a big greek salad with the best greek dressing. Its a casual but slightly upscale greek restaurant. Everything is good there..

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  1. Thunder noodles at Mango II, Tewksbury

    Roast beef with sauce and cheese at Nick’s Famous, Beverly

    Rippers (or more accurately, near-rippers) at Lawton’s, Lawrence

    Chili at The Grog, Newburyport

    Margherita pizza at Prince Pizzera, Saugus

    5 Replies
    1. re: hiddenboston

      Got some takeout today from Mango II, so that tomorrow I can either celebrate or drown my election sorrows in Drunken Noodles. Glad I remembered that this dish was mentioned on CH - it's excellent, as is the Indonesian Fried Rice with its topping of barbecued chicken, which I decided to try since my candidate spent part of his youth there. Not on the menu, but highly recommended, is the Curry Puff appetizer, 4 samosa-like chicken/veg pieces, served with the type of cucumber/chili sauce that accompanies satay in Thai restaurants.

      1. re: hiddenboston

        Hi Marc,

        I agree with most of your choices, except for the Pizza at Prince House of Spaghetti in Saugus. I find their food almost non edible. Is this the same place you are speaking of? And have you tried Angelo's in Stoneham? The pizza is excellent. :)

            1. re: Chris VR

              agreed....Prince "so called Pizza" is off the hook BAD!
              Give me Celeste Frozen before that!

      2. --fried haddock sandwich at the Causeway in Gloucester--HUGE (about 1 lb) piece of fresh haddock with nice light batter cooked to perfection, nice slaw too
        --Caesar salad at Stone Soup Ipswich--homemade dressing, very creamy with a nice zing from garlic, homemade croutons topped with roasted red peppers and grilled portabella
        --Stuffed Veal Chop at Zabaglione in Ipswich--very high quality chop, stuffed with fontina and Proscuito, makes all his own stocks so the veal demi-glaze nails it
        --Carmellina pizza at Ponte Vecchio in Danvers-carmelized onions, Motz, parm, cured ham and a nice sweet sauce, make their own dough and brick oven turns out a golden brown airy crust
        --desserts at Giana's in Essex--old Italian guy who used to run bakeries in E Boston recently opened this place, great assortment of Italian desserts

        2 Replies
        1. re: DemBellyFull

          mmmm.. i'm glad i started this cuz its making me hungry for some of these items. nice variety! Where's all the northshorers?? We can't let metrowest run away with this!

          1. re: chompie

            Agree chompie 20 replies to 4, waddup w that? I have several great restaurants right in my north of Boston hometown.
            Penang Duck from the Duckwalk
            Sushi from Sushi Island next door
            Whatever is on special @ Zalek's (b/c I've had everything else on the menu :))
            Lemon pepper fish over salad @ Farnhams
            Tuna Tartere and the cornbread and rolls from Turners Fisheries

        2. ~ Gingerbread Construction Co. makes unbelievably hard to resist muffins - Winchester and Wakefield
          ~ Mango Duck or Salmon at Sato, Stoneham
          that's it so far...

          1. "Just" north - any one of many dishes (see other threads...) at FuLoon in Malden!

            1. I can't name five. All I know is I adore the crabcake appetizer at Finz in Salem! :-)

              I also adore the chili con carne at El Paisa, but that's only "north" in the sense that East Boston isn't downtown.

              1. In no order of magnitude, but places I crave.

                Napoli's Pizza - Haverhill - Tray pizza...amazing. Only open Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

                Agaway Diner - Rowley - Fried Chicken, Apricot Cream Pie.

                The American Barbecue - Rowley - Smoked brisket and chicken. This place is consistant putting out good smoked brisket.

                Cafe Azteca - Lawrence - Anything off their daily specials and their house made salad dressing.

                FuLoon - Malden - I wish I lived closer but it's worth the drive.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Infomaniac

                  Info, is the Napoli pizza in Haverhill anythihng like the Napoli of Lawrence?

                  1. re: mjg0725

                    Napoli's in Haverhill is nothing like the Napoli in Lawrence. Napoli's in Haverhill is takeout only. I order mine with their grated cheese, not the mozzarella. I haven't found anything like it in the area and it's been around a long time. Heats up well in the oven also. I hope you like it if you try it.

                  2. re: Infomaniac

                    It is the Agawam Diner at the intersection of Rt 1 and 133 in Rowley

                  3. Just one currently - the crab cakes at Three Cod Tavern, Marblehead. Closest to the real deal that we've had in a long time.

                    1. I'm trying to distinguish the things I actually crave from the things I just LIKE in this area. So here are the foods that occasionally haunt my mind:

                      Lobster tail pastry from Fisichelli's in Lawrence. I've only had it once but it's been nagging my subconscious for more ever since then. http://www.fisichellis.com/

                      Fried Chicken from Agaway Diner in Rowley

                      Fried Clams (big bellies!) from Clam Box in Ipswich

                      Gingerbread Muffins from Gingerbread Construction Company in Wakefield/Winchester

                      Crispy Tamarind Duck from Duck Walk in Wakefield

                      Fruit ice cream sundaes (any kind, as long as it's seasonal) from Benson's in West Boxford

                      11 Replies
                      1. re: Chris VR

                        I made the same spelling error...it's Agawam Diner in Rowley.
                        I get my lawn & garden supplies at Dodge's Agway.

                        1. re: Infomaniac

                          Haha I knew that didn't look right. I must have gotten it from you :-)

                        2. re: Chris VR

                          Sigh, I need to strike the fried chicken from Agawam Diner from my list. We went today and it was just not that good. Maybe it was undercooked- there was an unpleasant mealy texture to the coating, which had NO seasoning at all. Last time I thought it needed salt, but this was ridiculous. The pie (Apricot cream) didn't have much flavor beyond "sweet" either. I liked it so much the last time I went and have been raving to hubby about it ever since and now he thinks I'm crazy.

                          However, I'm going to swap Jacqueline's fried chicken in Lawrence in there - this chicken is seriously craveworthy.

                          1. re: Chris VR

                            Oh no....I was saddened to read this news about Agawam Diner fried chicken and Apricot cream pie. For me, they were always so consistant with both.

                            On the other hand, your right about Jacqueline's fried chicken...their fried chicken is one of the reasons I haven't been to the Agawam Diner in a while.

                            1. re: Infomaniac

                              Info, this place seems to really be picking up exposure on this board.

                              I crave their empanada's quite often and their chicken is excellent. Anyone in Lawrence should stop in to try them if they like empanadas. For $1 each it's also gotta be one of the best bargains going.

                              Jacqueline Discount
                              199 Salem St, Lawrence, MA

                              1. re: mjg0725

                                Thanks to you for making me try Jacqueline's.
                                I need to mow my lawn first but seeing it's Saturday, I might head over to the market next to T&N for a Bahn Mi sandwich then across the street to Jacqueline's for some chicken.

                            2. re: Chris VR

                              I agree. I couldn't understand the raves about the fried chicken at Agawam. Went about two months ago and was very unimpressed. Had no flavor and the coating was thick and tasteless.
                              Tonino's in Saugus for Italian food.
                              Capitol Diner for wonderful and different French Toast and huge breakfast sandwiches. Plus, the outdoor seating is just so laid back and surrounded by flowers. The wait staff is so very friendly. Go there - you won't be disappointed. Oh, they are on vacay until Aug. 26th.
                              Lil 'N Chicks for apple pie and homemade gelato and ice cream!

                              1. re: taxi

                                i have been having huge cravings for Toninos after being there once a few months ago but the phone is disconnected! Have you been there recently?? I know they were changing names, so wondering if they changed phones too, or if they are gone:(

                                1. re: chompie

                                  It is now called Esperanza's and is in the same location. I just checked the ad they ran in the Saugus Advertiser and the number is:781-231-2777. I was at the White Hen next door this AM and the place was still there - new hours 4-8 M-S.

                              2. re: Chris VR

                                ChrisVR, I agree with you. I went this summer and the chicken was horrible! The batter had NO flavor, I don't get all the hype about the chicken.
                                Love diners and hope they stay around for a long time but I will stick with the breakfast there.

                                1. re: taxi

                                  The fried chicken used to be very good at Agawam and was a steady choice of mine for years. I went recently after ChrisVR's strike to see for myself and thought it was still good, but my last two visits were not as good. My daughter used to love their fried clams and she and I were not to happy with the coating and fry job are last two visits. I have a void to fill now as Agawam Diner was a weekly stop for me during the winter months.

                            3. Sichuan pork dumplings with roasted chilli vinaigrette, Sichuan Garden II, Woburn

                              Tacos de cabeza especiales at Taqeuria El Amigo, Waltham

                              Fresh bamboo shoots with spicy wonder sauce at Sichuan Gourmet, Billerica

                              Grill-table galbi at New Jang Su BBQ, Burlington

                              Churrasco (especially pork shoulder, beef sirloin, and sausage) by the pound at Tudo Na Brasa, Woburn.

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: MC Slim JB

                                Nice choices, but I think it's a stretch to call Waltham "north of Boston".

                                1. re: justbeingpolite

                                  I consider the Pike the equator of Greater Boston. And I like to promote Taqueria El Amigo, which is terrific and a little off the track. I know people who have worked in Waltham for years and didn't know it existed until I steered them that way.

                                  1. re: MC Slim JB

                                    Allright, I'll buy that. Actually had lunch in Waltham recently, and was trying to steer my DC to TEA, but she had her heart set on Domenic's: a Eggplant Parm and a Melanzane. Good, but I've got to get to TEA one of these days.

                                    1. re: justbeingpolite

                                      I actually considered putting Dom's melanazane on my list! But those slightly greasy tacos at El Amigo just edged it out.

                              2. I have been following this discussion with great interest as I will be spending my vacation in Cape Ann. Can anyone recommend an "upscale" restaurant in this area. Thanks.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: clipper7

                                  there's lots of waltham places, so i had also started a Metrowest post for this topic, so I am bumping it up for all of your Waltham cravings...
                                  Also, clipper7, if you search this boston board you will find tons of recs for fine dining in Cape Ann..Just try wording it in a few ways, by town, etc. to cover lots of posts..

                                  1. re: clipper7

                                    The Franklin on Main Street in Gloucester.

                                  2. Here is my list:

                                    Zuppa de VOngole at Feliccia's in Stoneham. Clams steamed in.a red or white sauce. Delicious. I always get the red sauce and ask for extra bread to sop it up after I finish the clams.

                                    Hamachi Kama at Sushi Island in Wakefield. The "collar bone" of a Yellow Tail broiled with lots of salt.

                                    Chile Verde Buritto at Tres Amigos in Stoneham.

                                    Chengdu Dry Hot Chicken at Sichuan Garden in Woburn. Also their tea smoked duck.

                                    Any of the dishes at Catch in Winchester.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: RoyRon

                                      mmmm.... i forgot about Felicias! I have been craving to go back and have their battered shrimp marinara... and hear those crazy guys sing and play the accordian..
                                      Shaebones--hi! just noticed your post. You mentioned Farnhams, but said your posts were in your town. Do we have a nearby Farnhams?? or did you mean the one in Essex?? thanks!

                                      1. re: chompie

                                        Oh sorry for the confusion. Don't I wish there was a Farnhams in Wakefield but no...I meant the one in Essex.

                                    2. West Ender sandwich from Virgilio's bakery in Gloucester -- perfect proscuitto and provolone, with roasted red peppers, on fresh-baked bread with a little oil and oregano. So simple, so perfect. I MUST HAVE ONE SOON.

                                      Riverview Pizza in Ipswich -- nuff said. So simple, so delicious.

                                      Lazyman's Lobster at Lobster Pool in Rockport -- So simple, so damn lazy.

                                      1. Fried Clams or Oysters at The Village, in Essex.

                                        1. "The Greek" lamb sandwich at Cafe Zabaglione in Ipswich
                                          Fried Haddock with Molho Vilao & Portuguese fries at The Azorean in Gloucester
                                          Crispy Beef at Royal Garden on Rt 1 S in Danvers
                                          anything chocolate (especially turtles) or the roasted cashews at Nichol's Candies on Rt 128 N in Gloucester

                                          and my #1 craving that I have actually requested be in the delivery room when I give birth because I have not been able to eat cold cuts throughout my pregnancy ....

                                          the Saint Joseph's sandwich at Virgilio's Bakery in Gloucester with just lettuce, olive oil & oregano...I can't wait!

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: saridt

                                            "and my #1 craving that I have actually requested be in the delivery room.............
                                            the Saint Joseph's sandwich at Virgilio's Bakery in Gloucester"

                                            Stop the presses, I think we've have an incontestable winner here!


                                          2. Chicken salad sandwich at Virgilio's bakery in Gloucester, yum!
                                            Pulled chicken at American BarbQ in Rowley, extra yummy.
                                            Fried pickles at the Porthole in Lynn, if you haven't tried em, you got to.
                                            Mango chicken at Thai Thani in Swampscott, very fresh mango.
                                            The Tuscany sandwich from Cafe Vesuvius in Marblehead, carmelized onions and roasted peppers over chicken on focaccia bread with a sweet sauce, it's the best.

                                            1. Sushi Island in Wakefield :Yama kake at (raw tuna over creamy grated mountain yam with quail egg and slivered nori and soy sauce);
                                              all their sushi.

                                              FuLoon in Malden: Wok Baked Beef, Green Starch Noodles w/ Cucumber and Pork, Yu Siang Eggplant , Soup Dumplings filled with Sweet Black Sesame paste.

                                              1. Tripolis pizza in Lawrence
                                                Napolis Pizza in Haverhill
                                                Skip's Snack Bar in Merrimac
                                                Larry's Clam Bar in Plaistow NH
                                                Markey's Lobster Pound

                                                All of these places have good food and a local kind of a charm

                                                1. gỏi cuốn summer rolls at Southeast Asia in Lowell
                                                  bun noodles at Pho88 in Lowell
                                                  perfect wedge salad at Ricardo's Trattoria cafe, Lowell
                                                  fresh toro at Sakura in Chelmsford
                                                  Lobster roll at Glenview Pub and Grill, Chelmsford - craving that now that we're talking

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: lexpatti

                                                    Agree with the grated cheese pizza @ Napoli's in Haverhill! The BEST!!
                                                    The Captain's Platter @ Causeway (Rte.133) Gloucester....HUGE and delicious!!
                                                    Also, in Gloucester, LobstaLand on Rte. 128N. Everything is wonderful. Great breakfasts. They close for the winter so call first.
                                                    Italian Birthday Cake (w/whipped cream frosting) in Revere!! FAB!!
                                                    Anything @ SuChang's in Peabody. Clean and fresh flavors!!
                                                    Also, Feng Shui in Chelmsford. Memorable!!
                                                    Pecan Crusted Boneless Chicken @ Lucciano's in Danvers Sq. I love that place!!
                                                    And Kathys Kountry Kitchen on Rte.1A Rowley. Wonderful breakfasts and lunches. Homemade breads and pastries. Yum!


                                                    1. re: contessa1

                                                      I agree with you on Kathys Kountry Kitchen. The kitschy name aside, one of the better breakfasts I've had in a while.

                                                  2. forgot one: Best Eggs Benny at the Owl Diner in Lowell (their home fries are terrific too)

                                                    1. Desperately seeking creton! I recently moved from New Hampshire to Florida and creton is not available here. Does anyplace ship it down here or am I stuck attempting to make it myself-which would be a very scary option.

                                                      1. I'm going to say:
                                                        1. A monster dog from Freds Franks with his homemeda "habanaise" , brown mustard and onions.

                                                        2. Pulled pork sandwich from American BBQ- (with a pint of brisket on the side-outstanding)

                                                        3. Buffalo chicken pizza from Supinos in Danvers.

                                                        4. French Dip sliders and a dozen cherrystones from The Tides in Nahant.

                                                        5. Double onion bagel with bacon scallion cream cheese from The Dailey Bagel at The Cummings Ctr. in Beverly.

                                                        Now I'm starving.

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: hhookk

                                                          Where is American BBQ? With Uncle Petes gone I am dying. This has been discussed quite a lot but the seafood trio at Salemwood Cafe is to die for if you are looking for something heavy.

                                                          American BBQ
                                                          950 Cummings Ctr Ste 96X, Beverly, MA 01915

                                                          1. re: drbangha

                                                            American BBQ has two locations. One at The Cummings Center in Beverly and the other in Rowley. So worth the trip from wherever you have to come from.

                                                            American BBQ
                                                            950 Cummings Ctr Ste 96X, Beverly, MA 01915

                                                        2. Can we revive this?:
                                                          Dan dan noodles at Sichuan Gourmet in Billerica
                                                          Sushi at Sakura's in Chelmsford
                                                          baked haddock at Good Thymes in Lowell
                                                          shrimp dishes at Cafe Azteca in Lawrence
                                                          chicken garlic nachos at Hermano's in Concord, NH

                                                          Sichuan Gourmet
                                                          502 Boston Rd, Billerica, MA 01821

                                                          Cafe Azteca
                                                          180 Common St, Lawrence, MA 01840

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: lexpatti

                                                            Pho in Pho1, Woburn
                                                            Chile Verde Burrito, Three Amigos Stoneham
                                                            Spring rolls, Plum Island Grille, Plum Island
                                                            Badami Kheer (rice pudding, Rang Indian Bistro, Stonehm
                                                            Chicken Kra Pow at Pho 1, Woburn

                                                            Plum Island Grille
                                                            2 Plum Island Blvd, Newbury, MA 01951

                                                            Three Amigos
                                                            125 Main St Ste 4, Stoneham, MA 02180

                                                            Rang Indian Restaurant
                                                            5 Central Sq, Stoneham, MA 02180

                                                          2. Just two. Tiger's Tears at Floating Rock and Special Spicy Fish Filet at Fuloon.

                                                            Floating Rock
                                                            485 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: nasilemak

                                                              Floating Rock is moving to Cambridge. Happy for them, sad for me. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/658939


                                                              Floating Rock
                                                              485 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA