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Concord, MA Restaurants

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EmilyEstUnePatate Jun 17, 2009 11:15 PM

A few threads recently have dealt with restaurants in Concord, and I thought it was worth collecting info on them into one Google-able post since I grew up there and still visit my parents there often. It's true that it's not a particularly inspiring destination for food but I thought I'd break it down. Please add your own thoughts, obviously this isn't an exhaustive list.

GOOD RESTAURANTS
* Sushi House. Standard sushi menu but everything is very high-quality, and the ambience is nice.
* Chang An. This came up in another thread and I know not everyone likes this place, but it's my favorite destination for "Americanized" Chinese food, especially for the peking duck and moo shi anything.
* Papa Razzi -- same as all the others.
* Concord Tea Cakes -- really a bakery, but with a few deli-shelf meal offerings (sandwiches and pre-made salads, etc), lots of sit-down space, super-tasty and super-charming.

OK RESTAURANTS
* Colonial Inn. Popular with tourists because it's housed in an old-fashioned, well, inn in the town center near all the historic sites. The food is hearty and decent but nothing too special, and fairly overpriced. Their brunch and special event menus tend to be good, though. The charm factor is high given the setting.
* Comella's -- they're all over the place and we have one too. Get your massive quantities of ordinary but good Italian food here!

BAD RESTAURANTS
* Walden Grill. Fine place to have a beer and watch the game, but the food is unimaginative and cafeteria-quality at best. I frankly am shocked they've been around so long. Servers are very nice, though.

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    three of us RE: EmilyEstUnePatate Jun 18, 2009 05:43 AM

    In West Concord, down the next block from Concord Teacakes on the right side, is a pizza/calzone place that is pretty good. It's usually crowded and they make some other dishes as well. They make a cold green bean salad with grilled bits of chicken that is really delicious. It's a great place to take kids.

    From the pizza place, take a right turn out the door and continue walking to the gas station. Turn right and cut through the lot to a long brick building. Nashoba Bakery is there and they have a good sandwich menu for lunch. Outdoor seating in the back is pleasant and great for the kids, too.

    If you're in West Concord, you're less than ten minutes from Maynard. There have been plenty of posts about restaurants in this town and its worth a search.

    2 Replies
    1. re: three of us
      peregrine RE: three of us Jun 18, 2009 11:53 AM

      La Provence, across from the depot on Thoreau St., is a fine place for a light lunch. They also have an excellent pastry selection to eat in or take out.

      http://www.laprovence.us/

      1. re: peregrine
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        robertlf RE: peregrine Jul 5, 2009 07:00 PM

        I 2nd the recommendation for La Provence. Great rotisserie chicken, a large selection of quiche, side dishes/salads, fresh baked baguettes, and gourmet French groceries, etc...

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      Blumie RE: EmilyEstUnePatate Jun 18, 2009 07:10 AM

      A good summary of Concord's measly offerings (although I think the Colonial Inn may belong in the "bad" rather than the "ok" category. And although not a restaurant, Verrill Farms deserves mention as the best food establishment in Concord (and, in fact, the best in the entire Concord/Sudbury/Lincoln/Carlisle area), selling wonderful produce and serving excellent prepared foods and sandwiches.

      1. fmcoxe6188 RE: EmilyEstUnePatate Jun 18, 2009 08:03 AM

        Hmm Im not seeing the Cheese Shop on the list- I'm hoping its because its not technically a "restaurant" and not because for some reason it isn't there anymore? I LOVE the cheese shop!!

        3 Replies
        1. re: fmcoxe6188
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          lescaret RE: fmcoxe6188 Jun 18, 2009 11:07 AM

          Not to worry, the cheese/wine shop is still there.

          No one mentioned Helen's Restaurant. I'd say that's worthy destination for breakfast or lunch. The food is quite good on the whole.

          1. re: lescaret
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            robertlf RE: lescaret Jul 5, 2009 07:01 PM

            Helen's is okay. It's essentially a former Brigham's with a nouveau twist. Not bad but not great either. They have ice cream too.

          2. re: fmcoxe6188
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            EmilyEstUnePatate RE: fmcoxe6188 Jun 19, 2009 12:44 PM

            Oh man, mega-brain fart on my part. The Cheese Shop is a crown jewel. (Note to the uninitiated that it is not a formal sit-down restaurant, but they have a deli section with a couple of places to sit.) Cheese and wine selections are outstanding, all the employees are incredibly friendly and super well-versed in what they're selling; it epitomizes the great local business.

            Second the Verrill Farms shout-out, too.

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            three of us RE: EmilyEstUnePatate Jun 19, 2009 01:37 PM

            Wasn't there a new place, mainly take-out although I think they have some seating, across the RR tracks heading towards the supermarket? There is/was a bird seed/feeder store on the right in a plaza where this place is supposed to be. It's gotten extremely positive reviews on the board.

            2 Replies
            1. re: three of us
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              sflory RE: three of us Jun 20, 2009 07:47 AM

              That would be Farfalle. Pressed sandwiches, pasta dish of the day, deli.

              1. re: sflory
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                robertlf RE: sflory Jul 5, 2009 07:06 PM

                Can you tell us more about Farfalle? Do they have a web site?

            2. kelly001 RE: EmilyEstUnePatate Jun 20, 2009 07:06 PM

              Colonial Inn & Comella's would also end up in my Bad restaurants list (another one that would also end up there is the Main Street Café.)

              In my good list: Farfalle Italian Market, Cheese Shop, La Provence, Sally Ann's and Helen's (for a dinner type place.)

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                samboland RE: EmilyEstUnePatate Jul 4, 2009 04:01 PM

                Let's not forget the pizza place across from the train station on Thoreau St.; I forget the name. I started eating there in 1991 during my first visit to Concord and the same bunch of guys are behind the counter every time I show up. I'll be back in October. Helen's is every bit as dependable as they were when they were Brigham's. And while I agree that the Colonial Inn is no great shakes, I do enjoy their breakfasts; it's simply a charming atmosphere when you're staying at the Inn.

                4 Replies
                1. re: samboland
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                  three of us RE: samboland Jul 4, 2009 04:28 PM

                  I used to take my son there a lot. It was good but the last couple times, not so good. Try the place in West Concord, mentioned above. See how they compare.

                  1. re: samboland
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                    algero RE: samboland Jul 5, 2009 06:41 PM

                    It's called Sorrentos. They own the place in West Concord too.

                    1. re: algero
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                      robertlf RE: algero Jul 5, 2009 07:05 PM

                      Sorrento's is a local pizza/sub/pasta chain. They have locations in Harvard, Acton, Concord and perhaps a few other places. The pizza is decent but nothing to rave about.

                      1. re: algero
                        Alcachofa RE: algero Jul 6, 2009 06:17 AM

                        No, the place across from the train station is New London Style Pizza. Great Greek salad. Decent toasted subs. Pizza... does the trick when needed.

                        Sorrento is on the same side of the street as the train station. Not a fan. Actually prefer New London better.

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                      robertlf RE: EmilyEstUnePatate Jul 5, 2009 07:04 PM

                      The Concord Papa Razzi location is very well managed. It's one of the best local chain restaurants I've been too. I've had nothing but great service from them. Their panna cotta is excellent and so is their scallopini di vitello (veal cutlet w/lemon, roasted potatoes and veggies)

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: robertlf
                        Trumpetguy RE: robertlf Jul 6, 2009 12:45 PM

                        Yes I totally agree! Great kind service at the bar and nice selection of Italian wines by the glass. The salmon dinner(w/ spinach & crispy potatoes) has been good the 2 times I ordered it.

                        I too would recommend Farfalle Italian Market. Again nice selection of Italian bottles of wine and I had a nice breakfast sandwich there as well as a good mozzarella & tomato panini. Good espresso too.

                      2. rubysdad RE: EmilyEstUnePatate Jul 6, 2009 12:34 PM

                        Is there a category for "pretty good restaurants"? If so, let's put www.vincenzosrestaurant.com in that one. They do a consistently good job with veal, always have fresh ingredients, and the service is attentive. A bit loud, (the Chelmsford location has better acoustics) so it may be difficult to hear your dinner companions if you're slightly deaf like this hound, but on the whole an enjoyable local dining spot.

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                          slipangle RE: EmilyEstUnePatate Sep 20, 2009 05:13 PM

                          Colonial Inn is definitely in the BAD category. The food is not fresh, well spiced, or imaginative - In fact poorly executed. The Service is unattentive, though the servers are pleasant. The building is picturesque.

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                            catchow RE: EmilyEstUnePatate Sep 21, 2009 01:42 PM

                            Also in west concord, Debra's Natural Gourmet has a nice selection of fresh organic veggies and grocery items and a nice selection of prepared foods. The Veggie chili is addictive.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: catchow
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                              three of us RE: catchow Sep 21, 2009 02:33 PM

                              I like to support Deb's NG but find I really don't like the seasoning in their prepared foods. I'll have to try the veggie chili.

                            2. neil RE: EmilyEstUnePatate Sep 26, 2009 08:58 PM

                              Yes, its hard not to reflexively grade on a curve. There is still a vaccum of chow-worthy eats in this vector.

                              Does Sushi House really warrant a "GOOD"? Once on a September weeknight was enough to make me write the place off for good. Pre-sliced fish? Really?

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                                CarrieJ RE: EmilyEstUnePatate Oct 22, 2009 07:51 AM

                                Does anyone have an opinion on Sorrento's vs. Rossini's pizza? I am from the Boston area and will be hosting a kid-friendly event at Drumlin in Lincoln. I hope to serve some pizza that will please my foodie friends and their children.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: CarrieJ
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                                  LStaff RE: CarrieJ Oct 22, 2009 08:02 AM

                                  Never had Rossini's but Sorrento's makes an ok pie imo. They give an nice amount of toppings, and the cheese and sauce was always good, but I always found the crust to be a bit too spongey for my tastes.

                                  1. re: CarrieJ
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                                    Blumie RE: CarrieJ Oct 22, 2009 09:14 AM

                                    As with most food in Concord, neither is all that exciting. Rossini's is more convenient to Drumlin Farm. Sorrento's might be better, but not so much so that it's worth going out of your way for. Another option for mediocre pizza is Country Pizza, in Lincoln, which is the closest to Drumlin Farm.

                                    1. re: Blumie
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                                      CarrieJ RE: Blumie Oct 22, 2009 09:53 AM

                                      I would actually be doing delivery, so if location isn't as crucial, sounds like I'm better off with Sorrento's. Thanks for the help!

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