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Dec 11, 2008 07:24 AM

food store tour help


I've promised some friends that I would take them on a food tour and then cook up a storm. They live in the South End, so there is no need to include Las Ventas, Formaggio SE or the excellent middle eastern store next door.

I have no plans to include any of the Russian stores and won't hit Pensey's....

We live in Coolidge and plan on starting from my place.

I absolutely plan on including:

Formaggio Cambridge (so much better than the SE location)
Savenor's (Kirkland)
The New Deal Fish Market

I am debating between Reliable and the Asian market in the Porter Exchange and may roll into the Live Poultry Fresh Kill.

I also was thinking about a liquor stop. I could hit the wine & cheese cask - great small store... roll into Davis for Downtown or go up to the Provisions....

Am I missing anything? And if I do include one of the Armenian shops, Arax?

Also, any help structuring this trip in terms of geography (gas prices are down... but I still don't want to waste time / gas....) would be appreciated.


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  1. Hmm.. Arax/Sevan in Watertown.. Mayflower Poultry (fresh killed!). Christina's in Inman for spices (or Penzeys in Arlington).. Super 88 (I prefer the Malden/Melrose one).. Salumeria Italiano/Bob's Food for Italian (good for lunch..), and maybe a nice Italian butcher - I like Tony's in Rosi square..

    2 Replies
    1. re: grant.cook

      Ooops... and Iggy's Breads in that industrial park near Fresh Pond

      1. re: grant.cook

        And Bazaar in Allston/Brighton if can navigate Eastern European food..

      2. There was a thread on exactly this topic very recently, search before you post ;-):

        3 Replies
        1. re: StriperGuy

          I started my own thread because I wanted to feel special...

          1. re: Mr Bigglesworth

            I don't know how you'd work the logistics into your current plan and this may require a second or third trip..which isn't so bad...:)

            The North End...Fresh Cheese, Salumeria Italiana, Sulmona Butchers, Polcari's.

            Baltic Mkt in Andrews Sq..Polish

            East Boston..lots of Latin Mkts worth wandering into.

          2. re: StriperGuy

            We encourage people to revisit topics, and we don't require posters to search before they post (although we agree it's a helpful thing to do, it's not required.) While we know such repetition is boring to regular posters, it's a good way to bring out new tips from the the posters who weren't around the last time the topic was raised, or missed it. We encourage posters to treat each other with respect. If you want to point towards a previous thread where a question has been addressed, that's fine, but let's do our best to make this a hospitable place where we can all share tips and ask questions without having to worry that we'll get a hard time if we don't do it the way another poster would like us to.

          3. After Russo's I would head over to DiPasquale's Sausage Factory in Nonantum.
            and stop by to Dave's Fresh Pasta on your way to Porter Square

            7 Replies
            1. re: ginnyhw

              Where is Nonantum? Never heard of it. I've been thinking about making the trip to Karl's (sausage is sacred food for me...) What's better? Karl's or DiPasquale's?

                1. re: StriperGuy

                  Nonantum is in Newton. Never had Karl's, but DePasquale's is damn good and it's much more in line geographically w/the OP's route . . . .

                  1. re: gansu girl

                    DP makes fine sausage, but Karl's is a shrine to many different kinds of porky goodness. Really worth the trip. I don't think of DPs as a destination, but a good local place.

                2. re: Mr Bigglesworth

                  Apples and Oranges -- Karl's is German and largely smoked/cured, DePasquales is Italian and strictly fresh. Both have their uses.

                  And Nonantum is a part of Newton. When leaving Russo's, take Pleasant Street to Bridge Street, turn right, go straight through the California Street intersection and Nonantum is the next major intersection, at which Bridge Street comes to an end. DePasquale's is about two blocks to the left, a couple storefronts down from Antoine's Bakery. Which has pretty good eclairs.

                  1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                    Not really BFP,
                    While it is true that Karl's is more well known for their German & Polish offerings; they do, in fact, offer excellent fresh sweet, sweet w/cheese and hot Italian sausage. They also produce first class andouille and hot chorizo as well.

                    All the best,

                    Karl's Sausage Kitchen
                    142 Broadway, Saugus, MA 01906

                    DePasquale's Sausage Co.
                    325 Watertown St, Newton, MA 02458-1322

                  2. re: Mr Bigglesworth

                    SAUSAGE: (fresh Italian sausages. ... Salsicce (pronounced salseeche)
                    is Sausage, and.............
                    WURST is WURST ('always the same' / German saying,
                    but never the worst nor the same

                3. Choosing between Reliable and the Porter Square market, I'd go with Reliable, then you have all the rest of Union Square within a couple of blocks (Capone Foods, La Internacional, etc).

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: BobB

                    Cool. Thanks for the input (including StriperGuy - hope you realize I was having fun as well :-))

                    I think Karl's will merit a special solo trip. Based on everyone's feedback, and rereading the previous thread, which indeed was helfpul, here's my trip:

                    1. Nonantum
                    2. Russo's
                    3. Arax
                    4. Formaggio's
                    5. Savenor's
                    6. Wine & Cheese Cask
                    7. Christina's
                    8. Mayflower
                    9. New Deal
                    10. Reliable

                    I maybe delusional attempting that in one day and then cooking... but we will see!!!!

                    1. re: Mr Bigglesworth

                      Totally understand. I personally don't think Wine and Cheese cask is particularly special. Only notable cause they have wine and cheese. There wine selection is okay, likewise their cheese, but neither really stands alone as particularly noteworthy.

                      1. re: Mr Bigglesworth

                        You might want to have a theme in mind.. I mean, Mayflower and New Deal are close (and Christina's/Savenors nearby to them), but are you cooking up a mess 'o chicken or doing fish/shellfish/crustaceans? And then Savenor's, which is Red Meat Central. Arax is great for apps/snacks... btw.. I love their spicy vegetable mix.. and their garlic spread.. mmmm..

                        1. re: grant.cook

                          The theme / point is that they've never seen most of the various resources for food in this town.... While I would take them to every single secret spot if I could, there's only so much you can do in a day.... I'm sure we'll go into a bunch and not buy anything, but I figure we can go to town, grab some stuff, and just start cooking... It's more fun that way :-)

                          And I agree on the Cask - I figure it's right there, so why not pop in - they usually have a decent but small selection of beer.

                        2. re: Mr Bigglesworth

                          If you're going to Mayflower and New Deal, add Courthouse for the more Portuguese angle.

                          1. re: Mr Bigglesworth

                            If you're stopping at Arax, you really should walk 2 doors down & stop by Sevan Bakery. It's a festive shop with so many tempting sweet and savory treasures.

                            1. re: Taralli

                              This could turn out to be the lengthiest food trip on record... Definitely will add Sevan. I'll see if people are standing by the end of the trip... :-)

                              1. re: Mr Bigglesworth

                                Arax and Sevan are pretty similar, to be honest.. I think its Arax that has the huge barrels of olives, to I tend to end up there..