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Foodie moving to Westford

p
patplh Jul 16, 2009 04:13 PM

Hi fellow food lovers -
We are a family of 2 with an 18 month old .. and we're moving Westford soon. We love good food for reasonable prices. With an 18 month old, we haven't been fine dining in a long time and don't miss it at all. Places for takeout or quick dining with a child would be perfect for us. any recommendations. Any places in Westford, Chelmsford, Lowell or other close towns would be great.. We will travel for food :D
Thanks in advance.. we know very little about the Westford area so any pointers are especially appreciated!

  1. greygarious Jul 16, 2009 06:23 PM

    The Lowell Sun's food blogger: http://www.thesunblog.com/gourmetgal/

    Westford and the Merrimack Valley area overlap the CH New England board so search there as well - there's a wealth of ethnic restaurants in Lowell.

    The current Townsend thread is relevant: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/636628

    The farmers' market at the Westford town common runs through late October on Tuesdays from 3-7 and nearby Carlisle's is on Saturday mornings. Chelmsford is Thursdays from 2-6 and Lowell's on Friday afternoon.

    1. r
      robertlf Jul 16, 2009 07:01 PM

      Fishbones in Chelmsford. http://www.fishbonesofchelmsford.com/
      Dynamite Sushi in Hudson, NH. http://www.dynamitesushi.net/
      Flatbread in Bedford http://www.flatbreadcompany.com/
      Pho 88 in Chelmsford
      Sichuan Gourmet in Billerica http://www.laosichuan.com/
      Paparazzi in Concord http://www.paparazzi-restaurant.com
      La Provence in Concord http://www.laprovence.us/
      NYAJ in Acton http://www.notyouraveragejoes.com
      Yoong Tong II Thai in Chelmsford http://yoongtong.com/
      Cafe Aiello in Lowell http://www.cafeaiellolowell.com/
      Tepthida Khmer in Lowell http://www.tepthida.com/
      Bamboo in Westford
      Sorrento's in Harvard
      Oliver's Grille and Pub in Groton
      Gibbet Hill Grill in Groton
      Filho's Cucina in Groton

      4 Replies
      1. re: robertlf
        h
        hargau Jul 16, 2009 09:05 PM

        Some more:
        Sichuan palace in Chelmsford http://www.sichuanpalace.net/
        Kimball's in Westford http://www.kimballfarm.com/
        Twin Seafood in Concord www.twinseafood.com
        Idylwild farm in acton http://www.idylwildefarm.com/

        1. re: hargau
          r
          robertlf Jul 17, 2009 09:01 PM

          The Idylewilde Farm has a orange juice machine that makes the best freshly squeeze oj around. Kimball's is a fun place with good generous amounts of ice cream. There is also the Nashoba Valley Ski lodge: The Outlook restaurant and also the Westford Grille. Nothing special foodwise at these places though. Belle's Bistro is another. Never tried it. Karma is awful. Cafe Goa closed down finally. There is another place near the Westford Grille that sells lobster rolls. I think it's called Wally's seafood or something like that. Kimball Farm just started selling fried seafood and lobster rolls too.

          MORE places:

          Cafe Il Cipresso - Tyngsboro (great pasta dishes!)
          Lil' Lobster Boat - Tyngsboro (good value seafood)
          Takumi - Nashua
          Surf - Nashua
          Swan Chocolates - Nashua (did they close?)

          1. re: robertlf
            h
            hargau Jul 18, 2009 06:14 AM

            We had Fish & Chips and Onion Rings at Kimball's last night. Really very good and huge portions. I saw some clam plates going by that looked excellent too.

        2. re: robertlf
          r
          robertlf Jul 31, 2009 09:24 PM

          Wanted to add some links:

          http://www.filhoscucina.com (great atmosphere, there's a wine store next door that you can access via a private passageway, the food is Brazilian-style Italian. large portions, nice takeout options

          )

          http://www.gibbethill.com (bucolic setting with cows grazing the hill outside, they don't serve those cows and i might add that the cows probably don't like the smell of a steakhouse! heck - if you were a cow, you would be quite scared if you knew what was on the grill)

        3. p
          patplh Jul 16, 2009 08:48 PM

          you guys rocks.. i'm sure this will keep us busy for quite a while..
          Thanks again!

          1. b
            bear Jul 17, 2009 03:35 AM

            All great rec.'s I'd add Sweet Bites Cafe in Acton for very good sandwiches and gorgeous sweets. Lovely chicken tarragon sandwich...smoky grilled chicken, hint of tarragon in the house mayo, nice crunchy ciabatta. Good breakfast sandwiches, too. Very laid back.

            Also in Acton, there's a new Italian place on 2A heading toward Concord that some people at work have enjoyed, although I haven't been. La Bella Famiglia. There's also a decent wood-fired pizza/pasta place closer to your end of 2A on the Littleton line called Il Forno. BYOB, which is a plus.

            -----
            Sweet Bites Bakery & Cafe
            5 Spruce St, Acton, MA 01720

            2 Replies
            1. re: bear
              r
              robertlf Jul 17, 2009 10:29 AM

              I tried La Bella Famiglia recently out of curiosity. It is terrible. The restaurant is attractive but the food is mediocre and the prices are high. The chicken parm sandwich, for example, had no breading, the roll was a supermarket type soft roll. You are better off at Sorrento's or Paparazzi. Save your money!

              1. re: robertlf
                b
                bear Jul 19, 2009 02:38 PM

                Thanks for the warning., Robert. We'll take a pass.

            2. mjg0725 Jul 17, 2009 07:05 AM

              Lots of nice rec's on here.

              Thanks to another hound, we found a small bakery in Tewksbury that is really good too. http://www.bittersweetbakeshoppe.com/

              1 Reply
              1. re: mjg0725
                greygarious Jul 17, 2009 07:40 AM

                Tyngsboro, not Tewksbury.

              2. d
                Dinsdale45 Jul 17, 2009 08:11 AM

                Paul's Diner, Westford (good breakfast) http://www.paulsdiner.com/
                India Palace, Chelmsford http://www.indiapalacenh.com/
                Szechuan Chef, N. Chelmsford http://www.szechuanchefrestaurant.com
                Red Rose, (Cambodian) 716 Middlesex St Lowell
                Kebab, Chelmsford (Indian) http://www.eatoutnet.com/kebab.html
                Phien's Kitchen (Lao), 586 Westford St Lowell,
                Southeast Asia Restaurant http://www.foodventure.com/

                13 Replies
                1. re: Dinsdale45
                  justbeingpolite Jul 17, 2009 08:22 AM

                  What's this Szechuan Chef restaurant? Haven't heard of it, here, or elswhere.
                  How does it compare to the Sichuan restaurants typically cited, Sichuan Gourmet in Billerica and Framingham, Sichuan Garden in Woburn and Brookline, or even Sichuan Palace in Chelmsford?
                  The Website looks interesting, I like that the chef is highlighted and that there's a Chinese Dishes section of the menu.

                  Oh found your one post on the New Englan Board, Dinsdale. I guess I'll have to check it out.

                  1. re: justbeingpolite
                    h
                    hargau Jul 17, 2009 09:25 AM

                    I had never heard of that one either. The menu doesnt seem to have a whole lot of Sichuan items on it, more mainstream. I mean there are *some* of the typical items but missing alot. Past experiences at places with Sichuan in the name and only a few items on the menu from that cuisine have been that they really are not all that spicy and dont use the Sichuan pepper corns, etc. Any comments if that is the case here? We go to Sichuan palace or gourmet almost weekly.

                    1. re: hargau
                      justbeingpolite Jul 17, 2009 11:23 AM

                      Is that what dinsdale means by "not much ma with the la", here:?
                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/626923

                      1. re: justbeingpolite
                        h
                        hargau Jul 17, 2009 11:54 AM

                        perhaps. Ma refers to numbing effect to your lips, La to spiciness (i think).. I can do without the Ma, but I am always dissapointed when i ask for "extra spicy" and get something not very spicy. I have had this happen even at Sichuan Gourmet in Framingham. They seem to dumb down the spiciness there quite a bit compared to the Billerica location. I find that Sichuan Palace has more of the numbing flavors then Gourmet but less of the spicy. The peppers that give the numb can sometimes taste oddly soapy so sometimes i prefer just more heat.

                        1. re: hargau
                          justbeingpolite Jul 17, 2009 12:04 PM

                          If I read you right, then Dinsdale is saying they DO make it spicy there.
                          If I make it over, I'll report back.

                          1. re: justbeingpolite
                            d
                            Dinsdale45 Jul 17, 2009 12:20 PM

                            The "Szechuan" in the name may not accurately represent the style of cuisine, but if you order off the "Chinese" menu and engage the owner, I think you will get some tasty items. I never order the Americanized stuff. While I'm a nut for heat, I am impressed with the unique depth of flavors in most dishes, even if they aren't swimming in chile oil or laden with chiles. I actually am a little disappointed that every authentic Sichuan place in Greater Boston seems to serve more or less the same dishes. I can say I've had food at Szechuan Chef that I've never had anywhere else.

                            1. re: Dinsdale45
                              KWagle Oct 31, 2010 02:27 AM

                              Someone just mentioned this place to me. Can you make any specific recommendations?

                              1. re: KWagle
                                d
                                Dinsdale45 Nov 1, 2010 06:01 AM

                                Chicken & Chinese Sour Cabbage, Crispy Chicken Cubes & Chili Peppers (not quite the same as chongqing chicken, but pretty good), and the best roast pork lo-mein I've ever had. Stay away from the hot/cold "Szechuan" noodles which are a very poor interpretation of dan dan mien.

                  2. re: Dinsdale45
                    r
                    robertlf Jul 31, 2009 09:17 PM

                    India Palace is terrible. The food tastes like leftover buffet. Kebab is even worse - it's located in the basement. There's a long steep staircase to get into that dungeon of restaurant. Cafe Goa was decent when they had the buffet but I believe they have closed for good. No decent Indian food in the area. I haven't tried Pongal in Billerica yet. I used love Southeast Asian but I've heard that it's not that good anymore under the new management.

                    1. re: robertlf
                      d
                      Dinsdale45 Aug 1, 2009 05:02 AM

                      My Indian friends at work say India Palace is the best in the area.

                      I've had some good food from Kebab. Who cares if it's in a basement?

                      Cafe Goa's buffet was limited and lame. They hurt themselves by not serving distinctive West Indian cuisine (to go along with their name) rather than the same tired Northern variety.

                      Just my opinion.

                      1. re: Dinsdale45
                        r
                        robertlf Aug 1, 2009 10:00 AM

                        It may be the best place in the area but it's lousy so it's just an indicator of how bad it is. What about Monsoon in Acton?

                        1. re: robertlf
                          d
                          Dinsdale45 Aug 1, 2009 04:09 PM

                          No, it means that Indians (at least many that I know) who are familiar with the restaurant options in Merrimack Valley, choose to go to Indian Palace. But, heck, what do Indians know?

                          Is Monsoon better because it's slick, shiny, and expensive?

                          1. re: Dinsdale45
                            r
                            robertlf Apr 23, 2011 05:30 PM

                            All the Indians I know go to the Pongal in Billerica. I have been several times and I can attest that it's the best. On Sundays, about 90% of the clientele are Indian families. But it's about the food. It's fresh and they have a great selection unlike the crappy Kebab and India Palace. I have not tried Pongal 2 in Sudbury yet but I'd imagine they are just as good. Monsoon is more expensive than those crappy restaurants but they have better food. Pongal is on a different and higher level than Monsoon.

                  3. m
                    maxevan Jul 19, 2009 08:11 AM

                    We moved out here to Maynard (from Cambridge) and love Cast Iron Kitchen in "downtown" Maynard

                    1. p
                      patplh Jul 22, 2009 06:59 PM

                      Thanks again to all the responses. Really looking forward to trying some of these places!

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: patplh
                        k
                        kellyr76 Jul 31, 2009 03:52 PM

                        I'm so excited to see your post. We too are foodies moving to Westford at the end of August and had a fear of no "good" restaurants. Looks like we have a few new places to try!!!

                        1. re: kellyr76
                          greygarious Jul 31, 2009 04:27 PM

                          Welcome to Greater Lowell and the Merrimack Valley, Pat and Kelly! BTW, on August 17 Gibbet Hill Grill in Groton is doing a special dinner featuring locally sourced ingredients, in case that's of interest to you.

                          1. re: greygarious
                            p
                            patplh Aug 1, 2009 02:57 PM

                            unfortunately, we won't be moved in yet - but we'll definitely keep it in mind for another time. I love restaurant events where they use local ingredients..

                          2. re: kellyr76
                            b
                            Baier Baby Sep 18, 2010 03:50 AM

                            I cannot get the restaurant to appear in the field above, but the best new restaurant is
                            TAZA GRILL IN WESTFORD. 175 LITTLETON ROAD.
                            ***** OUTSTANDING FOOD AND THE BEST BARTENDER, DAWN! SHE IS SO TALENTED.
                            Middle Eastern lean but just fabulous different things. Quail in lemon and rosemary.
                            Goat cheese stuffed chicken w/ plum and peach sauce. A Rib Eye that is stellar.
                            Desert! Marscapone and fruit crepes drizzled w/ chocolate that I could live on (and frankly, recently I have been). Chocolate Pate! You won't be sorry. I would be there every night if the budget allowed.

                        2. garnetmemory Jul 31, 2009 08:32 PM

                          Some excellent suggestions here which I will not repeat.

                          I will add Michael Timothy's in Nashua (http://www.michaeltimothys.com/) and Cocina Toscana (https://www.cucinatoscananashua.com).

                          For excellent quality meats try Blood Farm in Groton.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: garnetmemory
                            p
                            patplh Oct 22, 2010 02:53 PM

                            i know this was posted ages ago, but somehow i missed it until i searched chowhound for more local suggestions and found my old post..

                            we LOVE Blood Farm... the delmonico steak is amazing..

                            we also love Formosa Taipei in Nashua which I think wasn't opened when i originally posted..

                            thanks again

                            -----
                            Formosa Taipei
                            315 Marrett Rd, Lexington, MA 02421

                            1. re: patplh
                              m
                              momoftwo Oct 22, 2010 03:10 PM

                              I can't believe I missed this thread as well. Here is what we enjoy with the "kids" Il Forno, mentioned above, BYOB...a REAL DEAL at lunch, a friend and I have walked out of there splitting an entree and an entire bottle of wine for 7 bux each including tip! Huge portions, a little pricey to cover for the corking fee (o$). We like Westford Grill, our kids are a little older and if they can grab a pool table all the better. Crossroads, in the same strip mall as Il Forno, but more of an adult place, Moonstones or Cafe Madrid on 110 in Chelmsford. We also love Gibbet for birthdays etc. I hear good things about Feng Shui in Chelmsford, right near the Lowell line, convenient if you are going to the movies at Lowell.

                              -----
                              Cafe Madrid
                              28 Alpine Ln, Chelmsford, MA 01824

                              Feng Shui Restaurant
                              285 Chelmsford St, Chelmsford, MA 01824

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