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Favorite ethnic food in Newton or surrounds?

My husband and I will be in the Newton area for Thanksgiving and are looking for suggestions for your favorite casual places to try for lunch. We particularly enjoy great, authentic ethnic food. Any specialties in the area? Thanks.

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  1. Farm Grill and Rotisserie on Needham Street for Greek food. Great spot for lunch especially.

    1. Lam's Thai in Newtonville is v. good. If you ask for the dishes "Thai Style" , they'll bump up the heat. There are some good sandwich places in Newtonville, on Walnut St., right nr Washington St., where Lam's is.

      Lam's Restaurant
      825 Washington St, Newtonville, MA 02460

      3 Replies
      1. re: CookieLee

        I'm not a Thai food expert, so I don't know if how authentic everything is, but I've always enjoyed lunch at Amarin in Newton Corner.

        1. re: CookieLee

          Another big thumbs up for Lam's. Their seafood is incredibly fresh and service far exceeds the casual setting and comfortable atmosphere in general. Every member of the staff is welcoming, efficient and gracious. They will make modifications to taste or need (allergies...) without hesitation. Co-Co Curry Mussels are a family favorite but I have yet to hit a dish there that I didn't like.

          1. re: CookieLee

            Hmmmm, I was never that impressed with Lam's...

          2. Green Tea Restaurant in Newton is quite good, by all accounts (have not been there myself). Second the Farm Grill rec, you can't go wrong there. Haven't been in a while but Tango Mango is pretty good for burritos. There's Oishii on Route 9, not sure if that's exactly in Newton, but if not, it's close.

            Tango Mango
            1191 Centre St, Newton, MA 02459

            6 Replies
            1. re: nsenada

              Cafe Petersburg for Russian, in Newton Center, Sabra for Middle Eastern, and never forget Blue Ribbon Barbecue for Southern ethnic!

              Blue Ribbon Barbecue
              1375 Washington St, West Newton, MA 02465

              1. re: nsenada

                shrimp dumplings (har gau) at Green Tea are good, and the steamed vegetable/mushroom buns, but their spicy wontons are way too sweet (hoisin sauce, which is totally wrong for this dish imo), salt & pepper shrimp have too much batter (should be just a dusting) and red pepper powder, ja jiang mein (peking meat sauce noodles) are not as good as Chung Shin Yuan or Jo JO Taipei imo (and the chopped carrots are out of place for this dish, imo)

                1. re: nsenada

                  Finally got to Green Tea. It was quite good, though now I've confirmed that I have a nasty reaction to eggplant (my salivary glands swelled up like golf balls again). The scallion pancakes were the best I've ever had - not greasy, and each layer had a distinct crunch to it, while remaining moist. I don't know how they did it. Also had crab rangoons, which all fried very nicely.

                  I've been ruined for twice cooked pork (or bacon) by Sichuan Gourmet, but GT's version had its charms - the pork slices were tender, and the sauce had a nice cinnamon flavor. Mongolian beef was excellent, though the sauce was pretty sweet. Chicken chow foon was amazing, the noodles had a perfect consistency, thin, tender, but firm enough to hold together while being attacked. Their General Gau's chicken was also perfectly fried and crispy, the sauce being sweet and spicy, as per the standard. we will definitely go back, would like to try their sushi and dim sum. The mai tai was perfectly good for a $6 drink - they didn't hold back on the rum.

                  Green Tea Restaurant
                  24 Elliot St, Newton Highlands, MA 02461

                  1. re: nsenada

                    They do make a good chow foon. You should try branching out and trying some of the non-americanized dishes they serve too.

                    I have the same egg plant reaction, bananas too..

                    1. re: hargau

                      Weird on the eggplant - this only just started happening. Will have to test out bananas too. Could be worse, I suppose - imagine finding beef or pork unpleasant.

                      Any recs for non-americanized stuff there? All the photos of the dim sum offerings looked good.

                      1. re: nsenada

                        I have had pretty much everything on the dimsum menu and like most of it. The items in the section called "hong kong specialties" on the regular menu are good authentic items. The Salt & pepper squid is one of my favs from that section. Tender Pea greens with garlic sauce. The Szechuan spicy beef noodle soup is excellent. We also really like the fried rice cake dish. Last time i was there they had some Pork Belly dishes posted on the wall too.

                2. Farm Grille for Greek; Green Tea & Rice Valley (W. Newton) for Chinese, Fiorella's for Italian.

                  Green Tea Restaurant
                  24 Elliot St, Newton Highlands, MA 02461

                  Rice Valley Restaurant
                  821 Washington St, Newtonville, MA 02460

                  187 North St, Newtonville, MA 02460

                  1. Amarin Thai in Newton Corner

                    1. Agreat casual place for lunch is Kouzina in Waban Square. One of the owners is Greek. The food is wonderful, service excellent, the owners are there. I would say modern American with Greek influence. The whole bronzini ( fish) baked with potates and tomato is great. Cozy place.

                      1649 Beacon St, Waban, MA 02468

                      1. I would HIGHLY recommend Red Lentil in Watertown. It's not that far away and the food is wonderful. Great service and vibe too.

                        Red Lentil
                        600 Mt Auburn St, Watertown, MA 02472

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: idealist

                          It *IS* quite good, but how is it ethnic food?

                          1. re: Science Chick

                            The chefs are of Indian descent and do take much of their inspiration from Indian veggie food.

                            1. re: StriperGuy

                              Yes, I've met the chef/owner. Very nice guy and really cares! But I never see that much Indian influence there....no more than any other influence they use (Greek, Mexican, Asian, etc). More "eclectic" really, IMO. I guess I only consider an ethnic restaurant one that showcases food from a single ethnicity (Indian, Chinese, Thai, etc). Semantics, really, I guess. But if you broaden the scope to include any place that uses ethnic influences in their food preparation, I feel like the only places that wouldn't be included would be steak/burger joints! (Ok, maybe seafood joints too!).

                                1. re: StriperGuy

                                  Hey, it's America.......we're ALL ethnic, right? ;)

                        2. Farm Grille as previously mentioned, Taco El Amigo in Waltham, and I think the wonton noodle soups at Number One Noodle House in Newton Centre are really good, though not quite to Chinatown standards.