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Nov 3, 2008 05:08 PM

Just moved from the North End to Wakefield and need help...

Hi, we just moved from the North End to Wakefield where we bought a place and are in dire need of some great places to eat! We love funky places like Deep Ellum, Silvertone, North Street Grill or Neptune Oyster just to name a few. I am trying to hate the burbs because we are city people but just can't afford to buy something there. We tried this place last night called, Ristorante Molise, it was horrible!
The salad came as I was ordering it. Than as I was taking the last bite this pasta dish came and it was just awful! So any suggestions would be great! HELP!!!!

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  1. Hi Roseto33 and welcome to Wakefield. Don't be discouraged, the town will grow on you and there are some good eats around.
    Molise has been around forever and, in my opinion, it is the Italian Hilltop Steakhouse - marginal at best but comfortable for the regulars (I'm a local so I can say that!). Don't bother trying it again, it doesn't get any better.
    Try Sushi Island for excellent sushi, and right next door is Duck Walk for very good Thai.

    For real casual but a great bargain, try Zalek's, right behind CVS and And don't miss Fred's Franks trailer at the head of the lake for outstanding grilled dogs and kilbasa.
    Down Farm St., into Saugus there is a Pace's Market with good produce and prepared foods and in the same little mall there is "Vita Mia"? which is a decent little Italian place.

    Reading has some good stops, too. Mandarin Reading, at the 128 circle at the head of the lake, is pleasant and satisfying. Twins Seafood in Reading center has very good, fresh fish, retail and cooked. Also in Readiing, I don't remember the name, but there is a neat little Thai place that is worth trying, just one block up Haven St from Atlantic Supermarket

    For Italian you should go next door to Stoneham. From Felicia's at one end of Main Street, to Angelo's there is some decent fare.

    Then you should go down Main St into Medford for Turner's Fisheries and the Mexican place whose name escapes me.

    Further down the street into Malden for a wide variety of good food, from Artichokes to Fuloon, and right next door to Saigon (??) with really excellent Vietnamese / pho.

    After you've spent some time exploring please report back on others you might have found.

    7 Replies
    1. re: powerfulpierre

      Caffe Italia on Water St in Wakefield has just opened and gotten a decent review.

      1. re: powerfulpierre

        Welcome to the 'burbs. The bad news is the food scene isn't anywhere near as good as what you lefe behind- we don't have any funky places like the ones you mentioned. The good news is there is decent food to be found and it only takes about 20 minutes to drive in to Boston for your old haunts.

        I'll be a naysayer and say I've always enjoyed my meals at Molise- perhaps it's all in what you order. But I personally don't like to go back to places that disappoint me, and there's lots of other places to try, so no need for you to head back there soon!

        Fred's Franks is closed for the season according to his website: but he usually starts up in April or so.

        In Stoneham, Felicia's left me cold the one time I tried it- just tired food, indifferent service and (the worst crime for me) a bad red sauce. But other people I know love it, so YMMV. I do like Rang Bistro in Stoneham Square.

        Turner's and Mexico Lindo are in Melrose, not Medford. Both worth visiting, IMO (can't say the same for Blues Grille or Stearns and Hill in that same area of Main Stret.) I haven't been there in a while but Porto Bello on Main Street has been a favorite for Italian/Portuguese. Give yourself time though, it's a leisurely experience.

        1. re: Chris VR

          Hi Chris VR, Thanks for the correction, of course Turners, etc. are in Melrose, not Medford. I guess the caffiene hasn't kicked in yet!
          Fred's must have just closed since I saw him there last Saturday, may have been his last day.
          I agree with the service at Felicia's, slow a best, but I did enjoy the red sauce. I was very impressed with the food at Angelo's, also on Main Street next to Walgreens. A bit pricy for the locale but good nontheless.

          1. re: powerfulpierre

            He's off Sunday and Monday. Maybe he still here.

            1. re: shaebones

              Well, like I mentioned, his site says he's closed for the season: "10-28-08 We will be closed today due to forecasted rain, wind, cold, and all in all miserableness. There are 5 more hot dog days left. We are planning on being open our regularly scheduled days through Nov 1. C'mon down and get your last dogs of the season. Thanks for your patronage, it has been a great year. /fred"

        2. re: powerfulpierre

          FYI - Turner's is in Melrose and the Mexican place is Mexico Lindo. Both very good. Turner's has an oyster bar.

          You also have the Gingerbread Construction Co. for muffins (though I don't particularly enjoy the ones with filings). They are HUGE! It is right next to the lake.

          Welcome to the suburbs. I did it 12 years ago and must admit I don't miss the car alarms and general noise that is city living.

          1. re: powerfulpierre

            Turner's is on Main St in Melrose. Great seafood and an interesting scene at the chowder bar.

          2. For breakfast and lunch - try the Blue Moon Grille on Main Street in the Greenwood section of Wakefield. For excellent roast beef and fried seafood, try Billy's on the Wakefield/Melrose border. For great seafood (oysters and everything else), try Turner's in Melrose. For Italian, Pasta Market in Malden or Abbondanza in Everett.

            1. Guys thank you so much!!! I can't wait to try all these places!! I have been to Sushi Island for lunch it was really good. I will eat the burbs and report back! Thanks again!

              1. Welcome to North of Boston!! We moved to Melrose 40 years ago and still love this neck of the woods..

                Molise *used* to be pretty good when they first opened .... but now...not so much. However, everyone's right when they say there is good food right around us with not to much drive time. I second everyone's recommendations for you and will add Donatello's on Rte. 1 North in Saugus. Here's their web site:

                2 Replies
                1. re: Gio

                  Good call on Donatello's. We had mom's birthday dinner there with about 15 people, mostly of Italian heritage. Food was very good and service was friendly and totally professional. It's on our "return to" list.

                  1. re: powerfulpierre

                    We moved to Melrose a year ago from the South End (not exactly a culinary wasteland) and haven't looked back. There are many, many interesting places to eat in this area. You are about ten minutes north of us. My current list, which duplicates some mentioned here, follows. All or almost all of these were found via Chowhound, so doing a brief search will give you lots more detail and recomendations on what to order:

                    1. Fuloon Malden- Absolutely incredible Chinese. Do some research on here before you go. This is not the place to order General Tso's chicken.

                    2. Absolutely Fabulous- Melrose. These guys are currently in a state of flux, and there was a negative review of the service within the last two weeks, but all of our meals have been, well, fabulous.

                    3. Turners- Really good seafood. These guys are basically commercial fishermen who opened a seafood place. It's nice, but somehow I seem to always spend more than I thought I would.

                    4. Billy's Roast Beef- Melrose/Wakefield The roast beef sandwhiches and milkshakes are really, really good.

                    5. Sushi Island- Top shelf Sushi. I would put this place up against any place in Boston.

                    6. Pace- Saugus/Melrose- Excellent Italian Grocery- The meat, especially the sausage, is really good. The pastries, which I try to stay away from, also look incredible.

                    7. Karl's Sausage- Saugus- My parents spent about 25 years in largely German Southwest Africa (now Namibia) and they were blown away by this place. The sausage is really good- everything is really good.

                    8. All Season's Table- This is a very "cosmopolitan" asian place- they have very good sushi and lots of other interesting asian dishes. It is very much a scene. Total opposite of the hole in the wall (and personal favorite) Fuloon.

                    9. Lendy's Deli- Saugus/Melrose- Excellent Jewish/NYC deli. I have had some great lunches here.

                    Here is a second list of places I am not willing to vouch for but to which are on my second chance or to-be-tried places, or are good if you are in the area.

                    1. Pasta Market- Malden. I have read a lot of good things about this place.

                    2. Stearns and Hill- Melrose- I wrote some nasty things about this place almost a year ago. We went for lunch a couple months ago and were pleasantly surprised. It is a great location..

                    3. Mexico Lindo- Melrose- I know some others recomended this place. It is much better than the american-mexican fair you get in many places, but I don't think it can possibly compare to say, Angela's. We lived for a while in middle of no-where Arizona so we are kind of jaded on this topic. There are a couple really good things to order here, however. The ceviche is quite good, as is the seafood soup.

                    4. Sushi Corner- Melrose- This is a very small sushi place. They do not serve alcohol and the bulk of the business (I think) is take out. With that said, they have a lunch special on Saturday (and maybe Sunday) and if you are hankering for Sushi on the weekend it is good (note Sushi Island is closed on the weekends for lunch). I have found the fish to be very good and a search of this board will confirm.

                    5. Pete's BBQ- Revere MA- We lived in Virginia for many years and spend a lot of time eating BBQ. This is the best place in Boston. It is a fair distance from you in Wakefield, but if you are in the are I would strongly endorse it.

                    6. La Vita Mia- Right next to Pace's- Only been there once, but it was good. I have a strong sense that I should have done more research on what to order.

                    All in all, I was quite hesitant about moving out here but I really am happy with our options and I am sure you will be as well.

                2. Ice Cream - Again, down Farm St. to the Saugus strip mall where La Vita Mia, Pace's, Russo's Chocolates (made right there and a Saugus institution) is Lil 'N Chicks for unbelievable homemade ice cream, gelato and sorbet with such a diverse selection of flavors. You won't be disappointed. Also, yum cappucino. Lovely Italian decor.

                  17 Replies
                  1. re: taxi

                    Russo's Chocolates has been out of business for some time.

                    Mexico Lindo is worth a visit, but don't get anything that sounds like every other Mexican restaurant around. Ask the server. I usually go with the albondigas.

                    1. re: almansa

                      Unless they've closed in the last few months, Russo's is still operating there next to Pace's. They closed the location at Rte. 1/Lynn Fells, were closed for a while and opened the smaller operation (no ice cream) in that shopping center over a year ago.

                      1. re: Chris VR

                        I was there the other day and they were shuttered.

                        1. re: almansa

                          I just called the store, they are still open.

                          1. re: Chris VR

                            Weird, but a relief. Thanks. Come to think of it, I always go on Sundays. Stupid me.

                            1. re: almansa

                              Russo's is there but isn't Russo's. Since they scaled down they farm out their product to some place down south. Nothing is as good as the original place.
                              Better chocolates elsewhere.

                              Re: Billy's Roast Beef-simply the best around. Ditto for Cafe Italia

                    2. re: taxi

                      Meltharb ice cream- at the corner of Vernon and Lowell is great too. N ot too far from the lake. Had some delicious bananna ice cream from there last week.

                      1. re: macca

                        Second Meletharb (Bartholomew backwards, sort of). Lots of great common and original flavors, all made in the shop. My favorite is pistachio, not green just filled with nuts and flavor. They originated, at least in this area, Oreo Cookies in sweet cream ice cream 20+ years ago.
                        And it is the place to go for a great Lime Rickey.

                        1. re: powerfulpierre

                          And a third- had some wonderful baklava ice cream there this summer.

                          1. re: Chris VR

                            And a fourth.... the sweet cream is pure heaven.

                            1. re: shaebones

                              This is killing me. My boss and I just decided we are having ice cream from here for our lunch. Will let you know what we end up with.

                              1. re: macca

                                The coconut almond chip is my other favorite from Meltharbs. I practically live across the street. :)

                                1. re: shaebones

                                  I work nearby- so it can really be a distraction!!

                            2. re: Chris VR

                              OMG- we got a small pistachio and a small baklava to split- the bakalava is positively decadent- not sure if I will be able to even make a dent in the pistachio. What a great lunch.

                              1. re: macca

                                That is MY kind of lunch! Well done :-)

                            3. re: powerfulpierre

                              love pistaachio- we went with the bananna and the black raspberry. Good to know about the line rickey. Hope they do the raspberry lime rickey. And Chris VR suggestion f baklava sounds delicious and decadent! A bit pricey, but wwll worth it- as we do not get ice cream more than a few times a year.