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Mar 1, 2009 08:06 AM

North End food shopping crawl

A friend and I plan a foodie shopping crawl of the North End this week. So, I am making a list of must-visits. Pace's, Polcari's, Purity Cheese, Salumeria Italiano come to mind immediately. (Too bad Dairy Fresh is no more!) So, I have a few questions for my fellow hounds:

- Does anyone remember the name (and address if it still exists) of the little ravioli shop that used to be on a side street off of Hanover? it's been years and years since I was last there. They made fresh raviolis right there every day. If memory serves it was a block or two east of Hanover on the north side of the street. You walked in and saw this big, very old, ravioli-making contraption. You ordered the varieties you wanted and they would pack them up in a cardboard box tied up with string. So old school and so nice!

- What other stops would you recommend? My friend and I are both avid cooks. We are interested in hard-to-find items or new discoveries to be taken home and experimented with. Interesting produce is good (but this is not the time of year for that.) On the other hand, we are not looking for $200 balsamico.

- Umberto's or Pizzaria Regina or Il Panino for lunch?


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  1. I think you may mean Trio's. They have been gone for about 5 years. Here's an old post about it.

    I'll add a couple of places that are often part of our food shopping crawls. Salem street hardware for a great selection of simple items for the kitchen. I always find a couple of things I need there.

    The little fish store on Salem between Neptune and Polcari's -- if you are looking for fish.

    And, the Wine Bottega at 341 Hanover. She has a very nice selection of wines for that meal you are planning.

    7 Replies
    1. re: BostonZest

      Thanks, but if memory serves Trio's was on Hanover Street, on the left hand side as you walked away from the central artery. Trio's sold all sorts of pasta, plus they also sold their own sauce. I do remember that both businesses were going concerns at the same time. (Am I right in remembering a period when Trio's was distributing their sauce and pasta to other retail outlets?)

      Fish is always a good thing. Thanks!

      1. re: PinchOfSalt

        Yes, Trio's was where you described on Hanover (and was distributing to other retailers)and there was another place on a side street...both gone.

        1. re: 9lives

          Trio's was closed when the original owner (I think he was in his 80's) passed away. I don't know their names (I was introduced to them, but cannot remember). When he and his wife started the business they made all the pasta by hand!

          They used to sell their pasta and sauces in the fine cheese section of Stop & Shop - maybe other stores, too. I heard their children didn't want to continue the business.

          I used to get fantastic homemade pasta at Il Pastificio in Everett. Been a couple of years since I've been there..

          (edit: they were on Hanover St.)

          IL Pastificio
          328 Broadway, Everett, MA

          1. re: threedogs

            I heard the same about Trio's; the next generation didn't want to get into the business. Also higher rents made it tough to be profitable.

            Too bad, it was a great place.

            1. re: 9lives

              Mmmm...tortellini "pizza"...big, crusty rounds of bread cut in half, slathered in Trio's wonderful sauce and then covered with cheese and cheese tortellini and served hot and melty. My whole family mourned when they closed.

            2. re: threedogs

              I thought his daughter & her husband opened Cremaldi's on Putnam in Cambridge which we loved to stop by on weekend mornings. It's now Petsi's.

      2. You've mentioned a few of my regular stops. I think the ravioli maker is gone but you can get fresh ravioli at Monica's on Salem

        Butcher shop..Sulmona, shop on first block of Salem where Calore used to be..Mare Mercado? Produce..Alba on Parmenter..across from Il Panino.

        Lunch choices..I'm a fan of all 3 so it really depends on your mood.. They're all pretty different. Il Panino has a strike against it for not serving tap water but it's a good restaurant

        2 Replies
        1. re: 9lives

          Do you know if they make the ravioli at Monica's?

          1. re: PinchOfSalt

            I think it's made at their restaurant across the street..and sold retail at the market.

        2. Biagi is the pasta shop, long, long gone.

          1 Reply
          1. re: StriperGuy

            Thanks! I googled and found your old post about it.

          2. If you're there on a weekday, take some time to browse around Eastern Baker Supply. It's a restaurant supply store but I never leave there without something I love: baking sheets, silpats, serving dishes, etc.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Chris VR

              Great suggestion! I live in Belmont and miss the small (but very (useful) restaurant supply place that used to be on Belmont Street, practically walking distance from my home. Alas, it relocated a year or so ago.

              1. re: PinchOfSalt

                I'll add Cirace on Richmond and the Wild Duck on Salem for great wine and spirits, also Fresh Cheese on Endicott.

            2. Could it have been Biaggi's Ravioli Company on Richmond Street where Monica's is now located? That is my recollection