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Wakefield/ Melrose/ Saugus

new to CH!! Just moved to Wakefield in the Greenwood section of town. Been searching for the best restaurants around and have some reviews below. I am still looking for a couple of standbys though and was wondering if anyone has any recs for the following:

Takeout Pizza
Takeout Chinese
Other takeout options

BLUE MOON CAFE: I'd like to put an 'attaboy' for the Blue Moon Cafe in Wakefield (Greenwood), which I believe has been mentioned on CH a couple of times. THis is the best breakfast I have had in this country, bar none. Light, fluffy omelettes stuffed with amazing fillings. Gorgeous eggs benedict with homeade hollandaise. Delcious hash browns that are more like potato pancakes than the "home fries" we are used to. they have many healthy options too, which I haven't had because--well--I like the other stuff. They also have amazing french toast and pancake options. But the omelettes, WOW!!!! Nice atmosphere too, very cozy. The only downside of this place is the size. It is very small, only about 10 tables. So if you are a late breakfast eater (9-11 am) you will be waiting for a table, usually outside. They also offer lunch, but I haven't had it yet.

DUCK WALK (Downtown Wakefield): Tried this Thai place for takeout and was not impressed. Very expensive in my opinion and for average food at best. The pad thai was good, but I also got a couple of stir fry dishes. I know that typical stir fry dishes are not authentic thai, but you can pick the style of stir fry you want. I got sweet and sour for my wife and "beef and basil" style for myself. Both were very runny and had little to no flavor. I probably will give it another shot for dine in and I will try a curry or something to see how that is. Overall I would say a bit below average.

RANG INDIAN BISTRO (Stoneham): Got take out from this place and was also not impressed. I tried their online ordering, which I thought was great- until i got there at my scheduled pickup time and the food wasn't ready. To their benefit, they sat me down at the bar and gave me some popadums with onion relish while i waited. I got some onion naan- which turned out a bit salty, doughy and undercooked. I also ordered Chicken vindaloo which was decent, but a bit runny and the color was like nuclear red. I also ordered chicken tikka masala, which was decent but runny. The baigan burta (spelling!), which is like a curried roasted eggplant pureed with tomato was actually very very good and so was the rice. The overall I would say this place was average.

LENDY's DELI (Saugus): Amazing. Greatest deli style restaurant outside of Boston. Amazing sandwhiches (especially the corned beef rueben). Fries are fresh, macaroni salad, coleslaw and potatoe salad are all to die for. Fresh homeade sour pickles. Great chicken and matso ball soup. Many other options along the New york style deli that I have yet to try because I am so hooked on the rueben. Good desserts and the breakfast looks good (but I haven't ahd it yet because I am hooked on Blue Moon Cafe--see a pattern here?). And the prices are the best around, like 7.95 for a huge overstuffed ruben with fries or macaroni salad, only a couple bucks more to get both like i do. Overall this place is AMAZING and makes me very, very happy.

BILLY's ROAST BEEF: Amazing. This place has quite a following on CH, so I will just affirm all the good stuff ever said about it. Best roast beef north of boston. Beats Kelley's by a mile. Kelley's is good for other stuff (fries, seafood, hotdogs) but I feel their roast beef has gone way down hill and now falls under the "nasty" category.

I love this website and look forward to posting tons of stuff.

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  1. Never tried the blue moon cafe- I drive by it every day on the way to work, so will have to make a stop sometime soon. I do like Duck Walk- Like their pad thai, their curry dishes, and all of their duck offerings. They also have a great appetizer- deep fried chicken wings stuffed with mushrooms and spices. I have been to Rang Bistro once, and I did enjoy it- though I will freely admit I am not any kind of expert on Indian food. We got take out formm Billys last Friday night- scallops, clams, roast beef, chicken fingers, fries and onion rings. Beyond good. The onion rings and the fries are so, so good, and I am a shameful french fry snob.

    A few more palces you may want to try- Portabellos in Greenwood ( in the strip mall near Blue Moon) Portuguese imspired- really good seafood entrees, SErvice is slow ( but good), so we usually go during the week. You can also get a certificate for this restaurant on restaurant.com
    Turners in Melrose is one of my go to places for fish. have only eaten their once, but the fish is really good. Mexico Lindo is a fun place for Mexican- I like to go in the good weather and sit outside, as it gets loud and crowded inside. I am not a fan of wither the Blues CAfe or Stearns and Hill bistro in Melrose.

    8 Replies
    1. re: macca

      I don't recall thinking there wasn't anything special about the fries at Billy's but now I'm wondering if I never had them. I usually just get roast beef there (which I do love). I'll have to give the fries a try!

      1. re: Chris VR

        Fries are thin and crispy, with just the right amounf salt. I usually order my fries well done, as I HATE it when they are not crispy- but don't have to specail order at Billys. They are not hand cut fries, but I prefer the thin and crispy fries. And their onion rings are great- nbot the frozen, dark batter encased junk that a lot of places use. No sense in wasting calories on fries or rings if they are not great, IMO!

      2. re: macca

        Wanted to add another review. I have been to Restaurante Molise a couple times, but last night prompted me to write a quick review.

        RESTAURANTE MOLISE (Wakefield)- I like this place. Last night I had the fusilli bolognese. I have to say that I am a sucker for a good bolognese but have yet to have any outside of Italy or my own kitchen that I think is worth anything. Most places call tomoato sauce with meat in it "bolognese" and it ticks me off. Real bolognese is heavy on the meat, good amount of wine and a touch of tomato and cream. MOLISE does it right! Also had the antipasto and it was delicous, the lobster ravioli was great and the soup is pretty darn good. While this place does have the omnipresent veal parm type options and several pasta sautee's with silly Italian names, all of the food is very fresh and well seasoned. They even made my wife something not on the menu. And the owner is always there and checking on everybody- she is a sweatheart. While the place is a bit on the pricier side (18 for a bowl of pasta bolognese), I don't mind paying if the food is good and MOLISE falls into this category.

        1. re: mwbachta

          I'm glad you enjoyed Molise. It gets mixed reviews here but I've generally had very good food there, and even hosted a bridal shower there. We heard lots of compliments on the food.

          1. re: mwbachta

            I've heard Molise is good by try Cafe Jag's, behind the railroad tracks in Wakefield. They own Gloria foods as well. Had a wonderful meal their the other night. It is fairly new, so not too crowded when we got their. Some of the best mussels I've ever had. Great calamari appetizer too (my son is very picky about his fried calamari and is still talking about it). Great entrees's as well (in $20 range, but their portions are very generous). Owners very nice and great service too. Can't forget the little touch they add. The bread they service with a dipping oil is so fresh but the take it to next level and grill it before they bring it out. No only is it piping hot but nice and crisp on the outside. Really, it is worth trying..Can't wait to go back..

            1. re: ecurreri

              Went Sat. evening - the calamari is delicious - they are offering 3 courses for $19 even on the weekend nights. Food overall was quite good - DC had the seafood casserole which he enjoyed - I had the NY strip - cooked as ordered med. rare.

            2. re: mwbachta

              I realize this is an old post, but thanks for the tip. I was literally JUST thinking the other day about how I have yet to find a good bolognese sauce - one of my favorites - outside of Italy. I moved to Reading a couple of years ago, and have heard of Restaurant Molise, so now I have to check it out!!!

              1. re: beefstick

                Please report back- as I mentioned earlier here, Molise gets such mixed reviews, and it's good to add more data points!

          2. Welcome to the 'hood!

            Pizza suggestion - in Melrose is Pettrone's on Main Street across from Eastern Bank.

            Mexican suggestion - Mexico Lindo - very good Tex Mex fare

            Seafood suggestion - Turner's. Eat at the raw bar. Good fresh ingredients.

            BYOB suggestion - Absolutely Fabulous - this place (in the Cedar Perk coffee shop only serving Fri, Sat and Sun) is really a great little place. Problem is word has gotten out and they over book their reservations, but if you can get in, it is really a great experience.

            Sushi suggestion - Sushi Island in Wakefield next to Duck Walk. Good sushi (see yesterday's Globe article).

            Other CHers from the hood will give you other suggestions, but I thought I'd start with these.

            Again welcome.

            4 Replies
            1. re: kate used to be 50

              Petrones also has great, in store made pita bread. Love it when it is hot from the ovens. Forgot about Absolutely Fabulous. Will have to make it back there soon. WE went to Sushi Island for our office Christmas lunch- so good.

              1. re: macca

                Agree about the pita bread although I have to say that Petrone's pizza never did anything for me.

                1. re: Chris VR

                  Our go to, local place for pizza has been the corner deli. I do love Marios in Northh REading, but Corner Deli is much more convenient.

              2. re: kate used to be 50

                I got my quarterly craving for sushi this weekend and could not get it off my mind. For someone who is not a huge fish person, i was surprised at how bad i wanted sushi. My wife was away for the day yesterday and i decided to go for it (since she does not like sushi). I wanted to try the Sushi Island in Wakefield but it did not open until 5 on sunday. so I tried the sushi bar at the Mandarin Reading. I must preface this by saying that I am not an expert on sushi as I am with other foods ;-). Overall I thought it was very good. I got three items: tuna maki, alaskan roll and mermaid roll. All three were very nicely made and presented. They came with the usual soy sauce, pickled ginger and wasabi combo as well as a mustardy-oily dipping sauce which was actually quite nice. The service was good and the atmosphere was nice in the little side area of the restaurant where the sushi bar resides. The prices were affordable and like how they have this as an option. For instance i could go there with my wife and she can eat the regular chinese food and I can get sushi. Pretty cool. Definately will return, but am anxious to see what any sushi experts may have to say.

              3. Don't miss Zalek's in Wakefield Center for take out. Family run, lots of seafood , greek cuisine. Amazing.

                1. You should definitely put Sushi Island on your list. As another poster mentioned it is next door to Duck Walk. I have found it to be one of the best and most authentic sushi places in the Boston area. Of course they offer a lot of other types of Japanese food if you are not a sushi fan but their sushi is superb. The owner/ itamae-san (sushi chef) Kenji-san was trained in Japan and knows his craft well. On Fridays and Saturday nights they offer a small jazz combo with a vocalist which makes for some nice entertainment too.

                  1. Blue Moon has been a recent favorite here too. Nice people and great breakfast food- standouts for me have been the eggs benedict and the crepes.

                    My other favorite breakfast place is a bit off the beaten track- Cappa's Trackside in Melrose, where Grove Street meets the train tracks. And I always do enjoy Brothers for breakfast, with its greek influences cafeteria-style menu. I've only had dinner there once and it was quite a while ago, so I can't real comment on it.

                    I've liked Lendy's but I don't think anything has blown me away the way it's done for you. But I like it for solid, dependable deli food.

                    You're not on the right side of Melrose for this to be the best takeout option, but you're not far from FuLoon in Malden, which is some of the best Chinese food around. Another decent but not that convenient option for you there is Out of Asia on Route 1 iN Saugus. Friends in Wakefield get most of their Chinese either at Mandarin Reading (across from REI, near 128) or Emperor's Choice on Main Street in Reading.

                    One of the best takeout options not too far from you is Three Amigos in Stoneham. Their pork chile verde is particularly good. Agree on Zalek's, you can eat in or take out.

                    My favorite dish at Duck Walk is crispy tamarind duck. It suffers a bit in takeout, but fresh at the table, it's just fantastic,

                    For pizza, I recently tried takeout from Firehouse Pizza in Greenwood and was definitely interested enough to try more. I tend to get takeout from Bacci's in Saugus. Don't bother with the pizza place in Greenwood plaza. My friends in Wakefield really like Nonni's (I think?)

                    Here are a few other threads to get you going:

                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/581024
                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/426200

                    1. I totally agree - Blue Moon and Billy's are two of my favorite places. I also recommend Turner's in Melrose as well as Sushi Corner in Melrose (behind CVS).

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: lulu806

                        I never think of sushi corner as a restaurent, for some reason, but do use it for take out. Will have to eat in sometime.

                        1. re: macca

                          haha - actually we usually get takeout from there too but sometimes, on the weekend, we'll eat in for lunch. Not much of an atmosphere though :)

                          1. re: Karl S

                            They just stuck a menu in my mailbox yesterday, so I assume so.

                            For pizza I forgot to mention Caruso's in Melrose. It's a quirky place with a quirkier owner, but their Zazza is quite good. Cash only, I believe.

                            1. re: Karl S

                              Absolutely, I got dinner there on Monday :)

                              1. re: Karl S

                                I think this confusion has come up before, because when you're in the parking lot looking towards the building with Sushi Corner, you see the sign on the top left of the building, and a window with a "For rent" sign in it. But that window is the one for the business that used to be to the right of Sushi Corner (a florist maybe?).

                            2. For takeout pizza, I think Corner Deli is the best in the area. The crust is really good.

                              For Chinese food, I agree that Fuloon is one of the best around. It would be worth the short drive from Wakefield.

                              I also love Lendy's Deli (and by the way they serve breakfast all day long).

                              I'm curious, what does everyone think about Bobby C's?

                              21 Replies
                              1. re: crabtree

                                Reading isn't too far away and can recommend a few places

                                Bangkok Spice for Thai, better than Duck Walk and cheaper. No atmosphere like Duck Walk but for takeout great!

                                Christopher's for breakfast.

                                Green Tomato for good comfort food takeout. Fresh Turkey dinners, meatloaf, roast pork, etc. Menu changes daily.

                                Also don't forgot about Harrow's Chicken Pies

                                All restaurants in Reading center

                                China Pearl also was good for takeout and cheap but haven't been there since new management. Mandarin Reading is consistently good but expensive in my opinion.

                                1. re: cdoobiest

                                  Wow, some great options, thanks everybody. I will definately be trying Bangkok SPice in reading for Thai. I am not big on atmosphere. It can be a vacant warehouse sitting on wooden crates if the food is good and authentic!

                                  Regarding Pizza, what is the consensus on Bacci's in Saugus? I have heard mixed reviews, but the consensus seems to think that the pizza is good but the owner is a jerk. What does everyone think about the pizza? I don't care if I am buying pizza from a jerk if it is good!

                                  1. re: mwbachta

                                    I generally like their pizza. It's not the "House of" Greek style that's so common around here. It's a thin, slightly crispy crust. I feel like their sauce is a bit sweeter than it used to be, which is a down side for me. Because they deliver to a play space I'm a member of, we often order their pizza for events and everybody seems to like it. Friends like their pizza that has spinach, tomato and feta on it (I'm not a spinach fan so I don't care for it) I think it's called their Mediterranean pizza.

                                    Lately I've stopped ordering them for home delivery because I like Vinnies in Malden better (and it's also cheaper).

                                    1. re: mwbachta

                                      Bacci's used to be very good. Now it's OK - I am not sure if there was a change in owner or not, but the pizza's not up to what it used to be. Like Chris, I have a red flag for sugar in pizza sauce. I don't know if Bacci's calzones are still good - they were the only place around that properly made them with more ricotta than mozzarella (most Boston area calzones are really disguised strombolis, which have more mozzarella than ricotta).

                                      I am underwhelmed by the pizza options on Main St in Melrose (believe it or not, I think Papa Gino's simpler pizzas are better options) - but it's been years since I've bothered with them and perhaps they've improved. I want a thin crust pizza made on the cooking shelf, not in a pan, without detectable sugar in its sauce and with decent ingredients, et cet. Lots of places don't live up to that.

                                      1. re: Karl S

                                        Karl- You should try Petrones and Melrose House of Pizza. I think both are excellent.

                                        1. re: drbangha

                                          MHOP is Greek Pizza - or at least used to be for many years - Precisely what I don't want. Petrone's used to be a pan pizza, also no good. Have either changed?

                                        2. re: Karl S

                                          The pizza places on Main Street are still bad. Try Corner Deli on West Wyoming It's what I would call New York style pizza with a thin crust that gets bubbles in it.

                                          1. re: crabtree

                                            We are having pizza from there for dinner tonight- Have 5 neices/nephews over tonight, and am too lazy to cook, so will pick up some pizzas on the way home, and make a salad. Easy dinner.

                                            1. re: crabtree

                                              My first impression in their first year was that the sauce was sweetened - not what I want. Has that changed?

                                              1. re: Karl S

                                                Though I do like Petrone's (that's what you have to love about pizza. everybody has different likes and dislikes for such a simple food), I have heard great things about Mother's at the Highland commuter rail station.

                                          2. re: mwbachta

                                            Regarding Pizza, what about Mothers in Melrose? I am not sure I have the name right, but it has mother in the name. I have heard from some other people that it is good.

                                            1. re: mwbachta

                                              I haven't been there but what I've read describes the pizza as Greek-style. That's not my thing, so I won't be trying it, but I hope you post a review if you do!

                                          3. re: cdoobiest

                                            Tried bangkok spice in reading a few weeks ago. Great spot. Affordable, nice atmosphere and great service. Only downside is the menu is a tad limited. Great pad thai, beef and basil and the best Tom Yum soup i have ever had!!! Provides a great alternative to duckwalk in wakefield which is a total ripoff!!!!

                                            1. re: mwbachta

                                              I'd contest that Duck Walk is a "ripoff", which to me implies that you don't get any value for your money. I've never been disappointed with the food at Duck Walk, although I do think their prices are a bit on the high side.

                                              1. re: Chris VR

                                                Sorry, but every time I have eaten there the food has not been very good at all. For the prices they charge, this makes it a ripoff. I have had better thai food at one of those nasty food court places. The pad thai there is decent- but you can't judge a thai rest. on pad thai alone! For instance- thai beef w/ basil. a classic thai dish loaded with garlic, chili and thai basil. the one I ordered at duck walk was watery, barely any basil and NO spice. For $14 bucks, i expect more.

                                                1. re: mwbachta

                                                  That's too bad. I absolutely love their crispy tamarind duck. I haven't been there recently, though, so perhaps the quality has gone downhill.

                                                  1. re: mwbachta

                                                    I like their duck dishes, and their chicken wing appetizer. Funny- the last time I ordered one of their basil dishes, their was plenty of spicy basil. Have not been there in about 6 months, though.

                                            2. re: crabtree

                                              Crabtree- I've had a couple of good, but not great, meals at Bobby C's. The food tends to be very rich and come in large portions. I would not travel a long distance to it but if you live in the area it is a good stand by. The service has been excellent and it is a very comfortable place to spend a couple hours. It is what Sterns and Hill could have/should have been.

                                              1. re: drbangha

                                                Ah, Sterns and Hills. Probably the worst restaurant experience I have ever had. Besides the unrelenting echo, the place smelled like ammonia. Our waitress kept insisting we were imagining it.

                                                1. re: crabtree

                                                  S&H - don't get it never have. The one time we tried to get into Bobby C's it was over an hour wait. Is that still the case?

                                                  1. re: kate used to be 50

                                                    It was over an hour when I tried to eat there. I'm wondering if it is worth the wait or not.

                                            3. Hey all, just wanted to chime in with another review!

                                              LA VITA MIA: Very good italian american food. delicious meatballs, nice fresh marinara sauce. I had the manicotti which were delicious. The antipasto was great too. overall was a very good experience, but the service was sloooooowwwww. Very friendly, but slooowwwww. We ate there early on a Friday evening just before the rush, so maybe they were busy preparing or something. Will definately go back.

                                              1. Just wanted to update you all. I actually had a chance to go out for pizza the other night and we wound up at..

                                                TOODY'S: Average. The pizza itself was decent, kind of like Papa Gino's. While, I won't be rushing back anytime soon, I would eat there again. You walk in and order your pizza then sit in a cozy and clean dining room. They bring you your pizza when its ready. The pizza itself is okay, nothing special. the crust is light and crispy with a decent chew. The sauce was way to sweet for my liking and tasted too much like dried herbs. The cheese was very good and gooey. The weirdest thing was on each of the tables they have this letter from the MA state senate touting that Toody's invented the submarine sandwich, etc. The other thing is that we went on a Friday night at like 7pm, prime dinner time and the place was empty.

                                                1. Hey all, just wanted to let everyone know I tried Bacci's!

                                                  BACCI's NORTH END PIZZA:. Average. I got the Sicilian Style half tray of pizza. I was very excited that they have two kinds of pizza. This is very unique and its the only place I have been to that serves the two styles. Anyways, I just got the plain cheese version. The crust the cheese were great, but the sauce was flavorless. Some people have mentioned that Bacci's sauce is too sweet, but I did not see that at all- I would have begged for sweet!!! Maybe they use a different sauce on their Sicilian style pizza? Anyways, I thought the service was good and the menu looked decent- if maybe a bit too long. I am NOT a fan of big menus because quality is often sacrificed. I will definately go back, but will try the traditional pizza and perhaps get some toppings to add a little more flavor to the pie.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: mwbachta

                                                    I've never tried their Sicilian pie. A lot of people I know like the Mediterranean pie (with spinach as a toppping) but I'm not a spinach fan so it's not up my alley. The calzones are worth trying too.

                                                  2. I know you did not ask for suggestions for Malden but I have to recommend Tivoli's on Exchange St. which is right off Main (one way, however). It is only open for dinner but everything is made to order. Sort of a French twist. Husband/wife own it and run it.
                                                    Very tiny but intimate and yummy!

                                                    1. I can't understand why no one has mentioned Bobby C's on Main St @ Pine Banks in that new housing development. I finally had the chance to make it there on Saturday and my 1st thought was "What took me so long?"

                                                      I do have to start by saying MAKE RESERVATIONS... unless you don't mind waiting... that being said- the wait was more than worth it. I had the Frutte de Mare done with Fra Diavalo sauce. It was loaded with mussels, clams, scallops and shrimps. THe sauce consisted of cherry tomatoes cooked down with spices and the perfect amount of "heat" (and I love it spicey so beware!). There was very little pasta which IMHO is the way I love it... lots of the good stuff and little of the "filler".

                                                      My DC had a chicken dish layered with eggplant, cheese, mushrooms and other wonderful things with a marsala sauce. It was delicious.

                                                      We enjoyed bruchetta that was also delicious...

                                                      Most dishes range from 17-28 and most give you a choice of 2 sides. We both got salad and pasta but you can get asparagus, salad, pasta, potatoes and a few other choices... The decor is very stylish and all the photos are of Bobby C and his musical career... his daughter is the owner and her dad was a singer in the group North Shore Accepella- that is the only music you will hear playing softly in the background... (IMO- the best kind of music going!)

                                                      We will definately be back- this time armed with the information that reservations are really needed for weekend night dinning there. We were told reservations usually fill up for Saturday nights by Wednesday...

                                                      It appears they are doing something great here and it's nice to see an upscale restaurant in our local area so trips to Boston/N. End are becoming less and less needed...

                                                      9 Replies
                                                      1. re: MeffaBabe

                                                        Mwbachta, welcome! its nice to see some of our hangouts get some new reviews.. We recently went to Blue Moon for first time too and were thrilled. Fantastic breakfast burrito! Just wish it served later and was bigger so it would be easier to go! Agree with most of your reviews too.. Not as enthusiastic about Lendys but still go regularly.. Breakfast isnt that great but at least its all day. If you like corned beef and you are north, go to Evans in Marblehead. As far as pizza, I originally posted excitedly about Toody Pizza but it has changed. Last couple times it was rubbery and mediocre. I also used to love the Flatbread Co. in Bedford. Was outstanding but didnt like it last time i went! So looking for new pizza places, and actually just discovered Bacci in Stoneham and loved it! I think there is some confusion on ths board about Bacci. There are a few Baccis around and they are NOT related! Saugus, and the old Wakefield place are NOT related to Stoneham.And I never really liked their pizza much. The Bacci in Stoneham is related only to Bacci in Tewksbury and the owner used to have a place in Malden called CItysomething (city lights?? maybe.) Cant imagine the Stoneham owner being a jerk. Its family run i think and the people there were really great and friendly Nice older waitressess, not kids. The pizza was crispy and thin with some good dough on the edges, and I dont usually like crisp but this one was delicate and easy on the teeth...Nice melty cheese, and I love when pizza is juicy with sauce and oil , like this was. Also, this pizza was great even as it got cold, and i find most pizza only tastes good for the first 10 minutes after it comes out..Try an appetizer called Gillys Ravioli. Its a huge dish of 5 giant raviolis in a ton of buttery very garlicky sauce with chopped tomatoes and scallions. I am not a big fan of any of the Wakefield places for pizza. Bellinos also fairly good at the head of the lake. Also for very thin and crisp like a breadstick, very Italy style is Calitris on Rte 1. Also love their homeade angelhair. Unlike any other angelhair. Also have you tried Polcaris in Saugus for Regina Pizza. Its the old standy for good pizza. Sometimes spotty though. Been disappointed by a lot of Chinese lately. Actually Bamboo is good in Wakefield, in your neighborhood. Cheap too. Mandarin was old fave, but gone very downhill. Used to love Portabello but had worst meal experience on many counts including very bad seafood last time and we never want to go back. If you like authentic Mexican you do have to go to Mexico Lindo. Probably cant compare to Blue Moon, but other great breakfasts are Christophers in Reading and Depot Diner in Beverly. Oh yeah, cant forget, you do have to try Zaleks. You will never stop going there ever. We much prefer to eat there than take out just because food that good always seems better hot and fresh and well plated..Especially for any seafood dish, and if you like shrimp as for a shrimp gyro. Its not on the menu. Freshest fish and nicest people around. You are really close to Saugus and theres a few good places there. The Ship has a really good early bird special. Good fried shrimp and swordfish kebobs etc. for 10 bucks with salad. Midwest grille, when its cheap until 4 pm on the weekends is great. If you want entertainment, theres Brazilian music there at night and Sun afternoon, and great jazz at Sushi Island. and Continental in Saugus just started really good jazz jam on Sundays. You should try it for the old New England experience for early birds at nite too. Not a young crowd, but good baked stuffed shrimp and fun passarounds like corn fritters, wings and spinach pie and popovers. Also up the road on rte 1 Peabody is excellent sem-upscale greek called Brothers Kouzina. Related to someone at Brothers in Wakefield but very diffierent. ( you may like the potato salad at the brothers in wakefield.0 Also great live music(greek) at Kouzina.. Have fun!

                                                        1. re: chompie

                                                          Wow chompie, that was a reply for the ages. Great information though. I agree with most of it too. I have yet to try Zalek's, but definately will soon. Also wanted to write another review:
                                                          Turner's Seafood: I am not a big fish person. Once in a while I will get a craving, but I am very picky. The fish must be fresh or I can pick up on it right away. Although a bit pricy, Turner's offers the freshest seafood around- so the price is justified. I had the codcakes and beans for an appetizer and they were great. They brought me back to my childhood. Next time I go, I will probably get these for a meal. My wife got the lobster roll which was nice and fresh with a nicely buttered and grilled roll. I am a bigger fan of more celery in my lobster roll, but the lobster meat was fresh and nicely chunked. My dad got the fish and chips which was amazing. great fries, and perfectly cooked fresh fish. Just be sure to get the dinner sized portion, not the bistro sized portion which was too small. Trust me, you will want more. Service was good and the place is very clean. all around great experience and will definately go back when I get the craving for fish.

                                                          1. re: mwbachta

                                                            maybe i'll try turners again. went years ago and thought it wasnt worth the price..
                                                            That's why I like Zalek, cuz I can sniff unfresh fish from a mile away. And Zaleks is always really fresh. He gets it daily from Ipswich. And noone elses's grill tastes like summer like his.Since you like fish cakes, the best I ever had were surprisingly at The Century House in Peabody. They are not like the standard that tastes like mashed potatoes with a little fish flavor. This are big dense cakes full of solid fish and really well flavored. They actually have really good seafood all around there too for very very reasonable prices. Many years ago I had stinky haddock there so never went back until last year but since then I have always had great seafood and we go often. Just had scrod smothererd in tons on roasted veggies, with a big fresh fruit salad and sherbert, cottage cheese and bean dip, pecan rolls, beets, baked potato, and ice cream for 12 bucks.. The fried oysters are fantastic.. Like big juicy clams. although I never had fried oysters anywhere else so cant compare, but I know a good clam!

                                                            1. re: chompie

                                                              Turner is OK but, no great deal. I don't like how they rush in and out. Also, stay away from Bobby C's way over priced for medicore old school Italian.

                                                              1. re: treb

                                                                Not to be argumentative, but my experience has been different at both Turners and Bobby C's. Re the former, we've never been rushed and I think the fish is really quite good. I love sitting at the raw bar.

                                                                I would never encourage somebody to go a long way out of thier way for Bobby C's, but I wouldn't "avoid" it in the way I would avoid Sterns and Hill. It is a very comfortable/semi-upscale setting with great service and good food. I think it is typically over-sauced and always quite heavy, but under the right circumstances it is great. We went one day after a full day of skiing and it hit the spot perfectly. I've been a couple of other times when we were too lazy to go very far and its been fine.

                                                                1. re: drbangha

                                                                  Agreed the fish at Turners is good- they own their own fishing fleet, so there is lots of fresh fish!. Have never been to Bobby C's, but do want to give it a try- and, like, you, I cannot stand STearns and Hill. The food is not horrible, but just don't like the atmosphere.

                                                                  1. re: drbangha

                                                                    I do prefer to sit at the raw bar for the reason I stated about being rushed along, never said their fish was not fresh or good, just pricey, IMO. As for Bobby C's, maybe the atmosphere is 'upscale' but, the chow is meh for old school Italian. I can't see paying a premium for the walls hangings or the light fixtures.

                                                                    1. re: treb

                                                                      I usually get the fish at the fish market, and cook it at home!. I do think they are pricey. I prefer the raw bar,too. For some reason, I always feel cramped in the restaurant. But the fish is great!

                                                                      1. re: macca

                                                                        Interesting. I have never tried Stearns and HIll because of the reviews I have read on CH. Don't plan on trying it anytime soon either. It looks like it should be really good, but that is why CH is so great!!!

                                                                        regarding turner's, I actually did feel a bit cramped in a dining room booth. The booths are a bit small compared to other restaurants. However, I am a big guy, so I will not take points of for that! Next time I will just ask to sit at a table.

                                                        2. Make sure you check out the Italian bakery offerings at The Farmland. Absolutely great biscotti and cookies.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: ginafly

                                                            Agreed re Farmland. Another place we tried yesterday for the first time was Dom's sausage in Malden. Had an excellent italian sub for lunch and very inexpensive filet mignon (which was superb) for dinner.

                                                          2. Have to mention too that starting July 11 every Saturday in the summer there will be a FARMERS MARKET by the Lake downtown!!! Very exciting for Wakefield!!! Thanks for the posts- we moved to the area 6 years ago and have gotten great tips from this board. Zaleks is the bomb, I agree. cheers all!

                                                            24 Replies
                                                            1. re: lysander

                                                              That's it, I am trying Zaleks tonight. I am working a bit late and will not have energy or time to cook. Gotta try this Zaleks. I will let ya'll know what I think.

                                                              1. re: lysander

                                                                lysander,

                                                                Does the farmers market have a website? Thanks for the tip, looking forward to going this summer.

                                                                And yes people, go to Zaleks, it's really excellent food. And we like to support small, local business people and I am sure business has been hurt a bit because of the economy. Peter's a great guy and if you don't see something on the menu, he is always willing to make it if he can.

                                                                  1. re: phonelady

                                                                    Wow, what a great bunch of vendors, including a fish market, Petsi's Pies and LaCascia's breads! The Melrose farmer's market has really struggled for vendors, so I'm so excited that Wakefield has surmounted whatever obstacles were keeping people away from Melrose!

                                                                    1. re: Chris VR

                                                                      Though last summer, the Melrose market had several vendors, which was a nice change.

                                                                      The Wakefield market has more vendors because it's a prime time - Saturday morning - market. Melrose is on Thursdays. And Saugus is on Tuesdays - I like it for Cider Hill Farm. Now, Melrosians have a local farmer's market on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. That's a huge improvement.....

                                                                      1. re: Karl S

                                                                        We shopped the Melrose Farmers Market back when it first began and loved it. Since I have become dependent on someone else to shuttle me around Thursdays became impossible. I'm so happy to read of the Saturday market in Wakefield! And, what a great list of vendors. I'll be there with bells on.

                                                                        1. re: Gio

                                                                          Well, I work from home, so if you need a lift on some Thursdays, let me know. It is very busy early unless the weather's off.

                                                                          1. re: Karl S

                                                                            Oh Karl.... that's very generous of you. I truly appreciate your offer. Thank you!

                                                                            1. re: Gio

                                                                              While we're sharing the Melrose love- I've got rhubarb in my garden for whoever wants it, drop me an email (in my profile)!

                                                                              1. re: Chris VR

                                                                                Chris,

                                                                                What a nice gesture. If I knew what to do with rhubarb, I would love some.

                                                                    2. re: phonelady

                                                                      I'm just *thrilled* to have a local-to-me farmer's market on a Saturday! I kept forgetting to go to the one in Winchester as I rarely go into Winchester, but I'll make a note to stop by the Wakefield one on a regular basis!

                                                                      1. re: phonelady

                                                                        The site doesn't say anything about the hours - anyone know?

                                                                              1. re: Karl S

                                                                                Thanks - found a link for a new FM in Newburyport for a coworker and my Mom who are both in the area.

                                                                          1. re: greygarious

                                                                            Saturday, 9:00 am - 1:00 pm July 11 - October 17

                                                                            I found it after clicking on Vendors on the Home page...then Flats Mentor Farm one of the vendors. There's a list of all the farmers markets they will be at and Wakefield is one venue.

                                                                            1. re: Gio

                                                                              Thanks - I Emailed the Contact info to ask that they put the hours on the Home Page as well.

                                                                          2. re: phonelady

                                                                            Thanks phonelady, it looks great.

                                                                            1. re: mcel215

                                                                              have been to Zalek's a couple of times since this post. Great food. I like going and sitting outside while I eat. Love the greek dinner plate they have: gyro, grapeleaves and greek salad for like $7. Best deal in town without I doubt. it fils me up and I eat a lot!! Havent tried anything else there yet, bet the grilled fish and fries, etc all look good. Service can tend to be very slow, however, which is the only downside. But i can honestly say it is worth the wait.

                                                                              1. re: mwbachta

                                                                                i decided to ressurect this post because there is so much good info for the area. Plus there have been a bunch of new places in the area, and would like to hear CH opionions of them, and any updates. Mwbachta, glad you enjoyed Zaleks finally! Just brought my family there for a birthday. They managed to get 10 orders done at once and very well done as usual! I even made up an app. idea to nibble while we waited and they made it up beautifully..
                                                                                Anyways, what are CH opinions on Sabatinos, Sonny Notos, Artichokes(havent wanted to go based on phone attitutude and prices), Sam's Bistro, Jags, etc. I revisited Bellinos and really enjoyed it, especially out on the deck by the lake for lunch or pizza, They were very accomodating to special requests..Havent been to Felicias for a while, but still havent found many flavors better in the new Italian places. Just found out they do lunch, and willl be trying it. North Ave Diner remodeled and retried it and glad we did. Breakfast is very good and very cheap. Eggs with homemade mashed potatoes and bicuit for 3 buck and change (i made up that combo.. usually its homefries and toast). All day breakfast some days. Jags seemed to have potential, but they messed up both times we went. Havent tried breakfast there. How is it? What happened to Georgie D's?? I thought they were popular.. Whats going in there? How is Fat Cactus? I assume its not Mexico LIndo!

                                                                                -----
                                                                                Zaleks
                                                                                21 Princess St, Wakefield, MA 01880

                                                                                Georgie D's Restaurant
                                                                                Main St, Malden, MA 02148

                                                                                Sabatino's Restaurant
                                                                                735 Broadway, Malden, MA 02148

                                                                                North Ave Diner
                                                                                247 North Ave, Wakefield, MA 01880

                                                                                Sonny Noto's Restaurant
                                                                                22 Central Sq, Boston, MA 02128

                                                                                Bellino's Restaurant
                                                                                30 Main St, Franklin, MA 02038

                                                                                1. re: chompie

                                                                                  Georgie D's moved to that little side strip mall that Three Amigos is at. It's near the Redstone Shopping Mall, same side. He's pricey to me.

                                                                                  -----
                                                                                  Georgie D's Restaurant
                                                                                  Main St, Malden, MA 02148

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

                                                                                  1. re: mcel215

                                                                                    Georgie D's shut its doors fairly recently.

                                                                                    I just went to Sabatino's on Friday for dinner. I didn't know what to expect since I used to buy my wallpaper in that exact location just a few years ago! I have to say I enjoyed every second of the evening. The inside has been designed very nicely. Kind of an upscale, yet very comfortable vibe. The $7.95 appetizer of provolone and roasted peppers was very tasty. We' ve all probably had this a million times but this version was exceptional. The peppers were served warm and that was a nice touch.
                                                                                    For dinner we chose two items that were only $9.95; spaghetti carbonara and linguine with clam sauce. Both were done very well.

                                                                                    I regret not tasting the red sauce, but I plan to solve that this week.

                                                                                    Wakefield is becoming an Italian restaurant mecca. Sabatino's, Caffe Italia, Ristorante Molise, and Sonny Noto's. I'd love to hear some experiences from Sonny Noto's.

                                                                                    -----
                                                                                    Georgie D's Restaurant
                                                                                    Main St, Malden, MA 02148

                                                                                    Sabatino's Restaurant
                                                                                    735 Broadway, Malden, MA 02148

                                                                                    Sonny Noto's Restaurant
                                                                                    22 Central Sq, Boston, MA 02128

                                                                                    Caffe Italia
                                                                                    21 Water St, Wakefield, MA 01880

                                                                                    1. re: thanksgang

                                                                                      We have a glut of Italian restaurants now. It's the safest formula, but safe and excellent do not tend to travel together. (Sigh.)

                                                                      2. Corner Deli in Melrose has opened under new management, but with the same menu. We have had food delivered a few times since they opened - each time they have gotten the orders wrong. Has any one else tried them?

                                                                        -----
                                                                        Corner Deli
                                                                        45 W Wyoming Ave, Melrose, MA 02176

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: crabtree

                                                                          Havent tried them. Thats too bad. We liked the pizza from the original store. Never had a problem. Maybe its opening jitters- i hope so.