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Oct 8, 2008 11:40 AM

Valley and coming soon Habasa (?) Malden Ctr

I have been meaning to check out Valley (previously they had a sign with Valle) on Exchange St for a couple of months, but just not been in the area at lunchtime (or going to Fuloon). Its a combination of morning cafe, salvadoran taqueria, and healthy lunch place. Also serving dinner and delivering. I thought overall they were pretty intelligent in combining the 3 types of food into a menu that made sense, with the on exception of a selection of mostly cliche plates of pasta (the actual selection, not the pasta... dunno, none were ordered at lunch). Most folks were ordering the 1/2 sandwich and soup type healthier lunches, with a few burgers, and then later on more latino orders. The healthy sandwiches had huge hand cut slices of bread, but fairly skimpy filling. It looks like they make the bread and what was left of breakfast pastries -- the blueberry muffins -- looked possibly house made too. We tried the montanero and burger to see how it was. Montanero: good steak, nice black (not red salvadoran) beans, underseasoned rice, chicharron meat very toasted but skin could have fried a bit more. Oversteamed taco, a bit of avocado. Burger: really nice grilled bun, but much smaller frozen patty w/one american slice. Steak fries (frozen variety) decently crispy, but a big greasy, little salt (and none on table and nearby table shaker empty) and parsley. Both came with huge servings of salad, iceburg, carrot, tomato, and cucumber.

Overall a bit disappointed, but didn't order super well. If I worked near by I might go a bit, for Salvadoran specifically there are a couple of slightly better options in Everett, but I will be back. The beans would have made a decent burrito and the rice could have been ok in that setting, so I may definitely try that in the future, but what seemed like the best future option was the tostada.

I also noticed there is finally a sign up in the restaurant space on Main near Florence which used to be "Neapolitan Cafe...." with the name Habasa which I am spelling wrong, coming soon, and some Arabic letters. Sounds like a good improvement and I think the only restaurant space in that area which could use a turnover is that Couitoise (also spelled incorrectly).....

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  1. Don't bother with the burrito. It's all rice and very little of everything else. I used to like the place very much before the original owner went back to Brazil oh 3 years ago. Same theme but, now overpriced and they skimp on food and flavor.

    2 Replies
    1. re: slade

      I was going to mention what I saw of the burritos looked skimpy, but I held judgment since there were two sizes small and large.

      BTW, has anyone tried any of the Brazilian salgadinhos or lanches "sandwiches" at the Bakery outlet on Eastern Ave (now more of a bakery than supplies)? When I have been in their, their selection was a big meager so I passed, but was curious?

      1. re: slade

        What to get at Valley is the turkey sandwich. It comes on the housemade wheat bread, with a good amount of real sliced turkey, lettuce, tomato, mayo and cranberry sauce. The mayo and cranberry combine to make a special's a huge hit at my office down the street, we'll order 12 turkey's at a time!