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Good, Cheap Ethnic Food in Watertown?

deekins23 Aug 21, 2008 09:29 AM

Hi All:

I'll be moving to Watertown Square next week. While I've been in the area for a while now, I'm not really familiar with Watertown. I was wondering if anyone had reccomendations for good and relatively inexpensive ethnic food in the area. My favorites are Thai, Mexican and Indian, but I like trying just about anything. I heard there's good Armenian food, but not sure where.

Thanks for the help.


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  1. StriperGuy RE: deekins23 Aug 21, 2008 10:03 AM

    Watertown does not have a great variety but there are some:

    Shangri-La excellent Taiwaneese.

    Stella's Pizza really good thin crust.

    Conley's Pub also very good thin crust pizza and serviceable bar food.

    Demo's Great shish kebab and black eyed pea soup.

    Molana for Persian.

    Tabrizi Bakery for excellent sweets.

    The Sushi place down from Demo's is not bad.

    Taco place on the Waltham line whose name eludes me is not bad.

    For groceries:

    Russo's - amazing fruits and Veggie's, prepared food, flowers, pretty good bakery
    Arax - Armenian fruit and veg and some prepared foods.
    Sevan - Armenian Really good desserts and preparred foods.

    2 Replies
    1. re: StriperGuy
      Pia RE: StriperGuy Aug 25, 2008 06:11 AM

      Sushi place is gone, replaced by Super Asian Fusion, which I haven't tried.

      There's another place called Asiana Fusion that I like -- my favorite is the ok dol bi bim bap. It's just off Main Street a few blocks past the library. A few more blocks, and you get to Spot Cafe, which is not ethnic, but is a great little place for breakfast and lunch.

      For Thai, Amarin (which may be technically in Newtonville -- it's on Centre St just before the Mass Pike) is much better than Tantawan.

      Casa de Pedro, a Venezuelan place in the Arsenal, is not bad -- it's a pretty good deal for lunch.

      1. re: Pia
        Allstonian RE: Pia Aug 25, 2008 06:40 AM

        Actually, Super Fusion II is another sushi restaurant, related to Super Fusion in Washington Square, Brookline.

    2. GretchenS RE: deekins23 Aug 21, 2008 10:04 AM

      I can recommend Molana in Watertown Square, really good, value-priced Persian food -- at least downstairs, not familiar with newly-opened upstairs. A thread with a review and link to menu: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/500377

      Also, Fordee's sandwich shop has excellent falafel. (555 Mount Auburn St Watertown). A block or two along Mt Auburn from Fordee's are Arax and Sevan, two wonderful small markets selling Middle Eastern foods.

      Not in Watertown but very nearby in Belmont is excellent Chinese at Shangri-La. If you do a "search this board" on Shangri-La you will get tons of posts.

      Russo's is a fabulous resource for produce, cheeses and deli items with a huge selection (including loads of unusual ethically-oriented produce) at prices that reflect the fact that they are largely a wholesale operation.

      I will leave the Thai, Mexican and Indian recs to others, while noting that there is a general dearth of good Mexican food in greater Boston, with a couple of notable exceptions.

      4 Replies
      1. re: GretchenS
        fredid RE: GretchenS Aug 21, 2008 01:02 PM

        "Ethically-oriented produce"? Greens that do good!

        1. re: fredid
          GretchenS RE: fredid Aug 21, 2008 01:42 PM

          never was good at typing :)

          cool ethnic greens that push me to my culinary limits, how's that?

        2. re: GretchenS
          fredid RE: GretchenS Aug 21, 2008 01:07 PM

          PS - On a more serious note :) ! You're close to Moody St. in Waltham - 15 minutes by car?, or a quick bus ride from Watertown Square, that has tons of food, including excellent Mexican on a small, out of the way street - Do a search for posts. And of course, Cambridge, including Central Square, isn't far either, by bus or car.

          1. re: fredid
            Eatin in Woostah RE: fredid Aug 24, 2008 11:40 AM

            Yes, Taqueria Mexico on Charles St. Right off of Moody near Felton. Awesome.

        3. l
          lexpatti RE: deekins23 Aug 21, 2008 01:50 PM

          Absolutely love Fordee's for a fantastic falafel (everything at surrounding tables also looked fantastic, including a massive burger).

          1. h
            hyde RE: deekins23 Aug 22, 2008 01:37 PM

            while technically in waltham, taqueria el amigo at 196 willow street, ( right across from the big Shaw's on river street) is a hoot. decent food, husband and wife team, ridiculously inexpensive. cant be more than two miles from watertown square. if youre going to russo's anyway..

            4 Replies
            1. re: hyde
              Lucymax RE: hyde Aug 22, 2008 02:36 PM

              Did anyone mention the wonderful Armenian grocery stores that are mostly on Mt. Auburn Street around Coolidge Square? Arax, Massis, Sevan, and I must be forgetting another one. Then over on Belmont Avenue (not far from the Star Market in Cambridge) there is Eastern Lamejun. I like the other stores better because they are bigger and as they are close together, you can pick up anything at one store, in case the first store didn't have it. Sevan is very good for party platters, and also has wine for sale. Arax has the most produce, I think. Massis is nice overall. They all have wonderful salads, dips, cheeses etc. in their cold cases, and all have olive bars.
              Jasmine on Bigelow Street is quite new, "Persian" restaurant. I ate there once and all 3 of us liked it and would go back. It's BYOB.

              1. re: Lucymax
                Spenbald RE: Lucymax Aug 22, 2008 04:03 PM

                There are now four Persian restaurants in Watertown (well, one, Fiouna, is a catering company that does serve take out food and it's right over the river in Newton). The one restaurant Lucymax mentions is actually called Shiraz Cuisine; Jasmine is the other Persian restaurant in the Coolidge Square area, and it's on Mt. Auburn St. Molana was already mentioned by GretchenS.

                The one glaring omission in Watertown is an Indian restaurant. There are a couple in Waltham on Moody St, and one, Kashish, in Belmont Center. But my life in Watertown would be much happier with a great Indian restaurant in town.

                1. re: Spenbald
                  dreamerlpme RE: Spenbald Aug 22, 2008 09:54 PM

                  There used to be an Indian restaurant on Bigelow Ave several years ago. The owner got sick and had to sell it, he used to also own another Indian restaurant on Moody St. in Waltham but I am not sure if health reasons forced him to sell that one too.

                2. re: Lucymax
                  gansu girl RE: Lucymax Aug 23, 2008 04:19 PM

                  All true, except that I think Eastern Lamejun has, by far, the best lamejun of them all . . . .

              2. b
                Baiye RE: deekins23 Aug 24, 2008 07:16 AM

                Shangri-La is my number one pick.

                For Thai food, Tantawan is passable.
                For Mexican, I prefer a taco fix from Felipe's in Harvard Square.
                For Indian, you'll do better going to Moody Street in Waltham. Search the boards for names.

                I hope you enjoy discovering the Armenian and Persian food in Watertown!

                1. opinionatedchef RE: deekins23 Aug 25, 2008 12:44 PM

                  one of the things that's really great about watertown is that it is so accessible to so many communities.
                  For Mexican, I would direct you to Mexican Cuisine on Mass Ave between Porter and Harv Squares. go for their seafood and pork dishes w/ interesting sauces(moles).

                  For Indian, skip Waltham and go to Davis Squar'es Namaskar.

                  at Eastern Lamejun, try their Spinach and Cheese turnovers;skimpy filling but wonderful flavor.

                  Shangri-La is a CHboard fav. and well deserving of that status.

                  For pizza, we really raved over the Stone Hearth homemade sausage and caramelized
                  onion pizza.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: opinionatedchef
                    deekins23 RE: opinionatedchef Sep 3, 2008 06:40 PM

                    Thanks so much everyone. I really appreciate the list of new places to try. It's much better than just picking something out of the phone book. II'm definitely glad there are a few places right here. Also appreciate the picks in nearby Waltham and the Indian Rec. for Davis Square. I'd only been to Diva out there, but I'll have to try Namaskar.

                    Happy eating everyone.

                    1. re: deekins23
                      Taralli RE: deekins23 Sep 4, 2008 11:39 AM

                      A neighborhood fav that's not ethnic is Strip T's little storefront resto w/a daily spec'ls board full of fresh fish, etc.: http://www.stripts.com/

                      1. re: Taralli
                        StriperGuy RE: Taralli Sep 4, 2008 01:49 PM

                        Hate to admit it, but I ate there recently and the food was only so so. I like the place, and it is nice to have a local like this, but in the end it IS about the food.

                    2. re: opinionatedchef
                      pamalamb RE: opinionatedchef Sep 4, 2008 02:08 PM

                      The spinach and cheese turnovers at Eastern Lamejun are one of my favorite foods. You're right, the filling is skimpier than it used to be, but it still tastes fantastic.

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