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Feb 26, 2009 04:34 AM

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
    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: