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Tell me which Concord Area restaurants a Camberville Foodie would like?

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I am intentionally posting to the Boston board instead of the New England board, so please do not move my topic!

I want to know which restaurants in the Concord Area are recommended by those that have experienced Boston / Cambridge / Somerville dining.

After years of living in the Somerville / Cambridge area, I am moving to Concord and am dreading the loss of local great food. I am hoping others on this board can suggest to me some places that won't make me feel like I have to drive a 1/2 hr back to my old hood everytime I want a tasty dinner (that I didn't cook myself).

Please note that "good" doesn't have to mean "pricey". In fact, given how poor we will be after having bought our new house, tasty cheap eats will be just what the doctor ordered (but feel free to mention the pricey restaurants too, as an ocassional date night might still be in the budget)! I am paticularly hopeful for cheap ethnic restaurants, as these are some of my favorite in the Boston area. Finnally, please do not feel limited to just the town of Concord, the surounding 15 minute drive area counts as local in my book.

Thank you all sooo much!

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  1. In Bedford, there's Dalya's, which always has something interesting. From Concord Center, go east on 62 into Bedford, then left on 4/225, and Dalya's will be on the left. They have both continental and north-african style specialties in a very pleasant big-old-house space. Their menu is online.

    Across from the Concord Depot is La Provence, eat in or take out, excellent French meals and patisserie. I believe they close fairly early, so it's lunch, or get there early for dinner take-out. They also have a website.

    There are a couple of threads on the Concord area, so do a search.

    1. I've never had any of their prepared meals, but the Concord Cheese Shop is an excellent place for picnic provisions.

      I love Concord -- Allstonian and I were married at the Scout House on Walden Street -- but I'm afraid you may well find it way more sparse than your current surroundings when it comes to quality eats.

      6 Replies
      1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

        A good Indian restaurant, Paani, opened up in Sudbury, the next town over. You've got a mediocre Chinese place called Chang An near the train tracks (they've got serviceable Peking Duck and Chicken with Pine Nuts). In Maynard (west on route 2 and south on 27), there is Thai Avenue for decent thai and Little Pusan for suburban Korean. Papa Razzi has a concord location too. Overall though, it's Metro-West, so don't expect at the level of Cambridge/Boston.

        1. re: keith

          Some places we like in the general area:

          Id recommend Woo Jung in Ayer for korean over Little pusan any day. In fact we like it better than the cambridge area korean restaurants we have been to.

          Next to papa razzi is a chinese restaurant downstairs from Sushi House called Asian Gourmet with some very good dishes. We order only off the authentic menu http://www.asiangourmetma.com/

          West Concord you can get very good/fresh fried seafood to go at Twin Seafood. They close fairly early though, seems its always too late when we think of going. http://www.twinseafood.com/welcome_in...

          In Acton, be sure to visit Idylwildefarms http://www.idylwildefarm.com/ All sorts of fruits/veggies/gourmet foods. You can also get alot of prepared foods, sandwiches, baked goods....

          In the summer you will want to visit Kimball's in westford for ice cream and they also do decent fried seafood. http://www.kimballfarm.com/

          1. re: hargau

            A much closer Kimball's minus the seafood is out on Monument Street just over the Carlisle line.

            1. re: cassis

              In the summer for ice cream, I'd give Bedford Farms a try. I think they still have an outpost in Concord. They make their own non chocolate flavors, which are really good, especially their vanilla, and their chocolate based flavors are Richardson's, which is fine.
              by the way, welcome to the 'burbs ISG, I'll miss your Inman reviews!

              1. re: justbeingpolite

                When I worked in Concord we would go over to Kimball's in Carlisle in the summer for lunch. Yes, an ice cream lunch. It's that good and a small size is nearly a pint of ice cream so it really was a lunch for us!

                They make some of the best ice cream in New England. We drive out from Boston on summer weekends because it's worth that trek!

                1. re: crystallyn

                  I drive there from Lexington - it's programmed into my GPS with a heart icon. It's everything an ice cream stand should be - fresh, homemade ice cream, in a laid-back, pastoral setting.

      2. Here are a couple to try. In Maynard there is a place called cast iron kitchen, very interesting menu that we have always enjoyed, I've sent others who said they had a bad time, service-wise but the food was still good.
        In Acton, on 2A there is a strip mall, Nagog Park (just past the intersection of 2A & route 27. There are 3 restaurants in there: Crossroads, great drinks and although a full serivce restaurant that is always busy, we usually sit at the bar and have sandwiches or appys and those great drinks. Couple doors down, IL Forno, Italian food that is very filling with interesting combos, it is a BYOB place which is one of the reasons we love it, at lunch a friend and I can bring a bottle of Prosecco, have a great lunch and spend less than $10 each! We often have big group dinners there as well. Couple more doors down, Daniela's Cantina, mexican. They just moved to this new location from a tiny place on the other side of Acton, I must say things have not yet reached the standards of the old place. Try for lunch first that way you don;t lose too much $$$.
        Lastly: Chelmsford on Route 110 (this is on the way to the Movie theater in Lowell)
        Here's just a list that you can google and these are all great: Tango Cafe, Cafe Madrid,Moonstones and Feng Shui. You also might try the blog of "bistroBroad" who often talks about the greater lowell area. Lowell is also worth an adventure.

        7 Replies
        1. re: momoftwo

          Daniellas??? uggh its like taco bell with drinks. Read some of the reviews here and on yelp about this place!

          1. re: hargau

            I've heard Sakura in Chelmsford is good sushi. In Bedford, the little place opposite the town green, Ginger, is quite good sushi. Farther through Bedford towards 128 is Firebox, new and improving BBQ which got a good write up on Pigtrip. Lester's BBQ in Billerica is also often good. If you're up to Billerica, don't miss Sichuan Gourmet, one of the best sichuan restaurants in the Boston area, and the Pongol, which gets good comments here for their buffet.

            1. re: justbeingpolite

              I've had sushi at Sakura and enjoyed it.

              There's a Japanese steak house in Concord near the prison rotary that I like, but I'm probably just embarassing myself by mentioning it on Chowhound. Waiting for the reply that informs me that it's not even fit for dog food in 3, 2, 1....

              1. re: scratchie

                As long as you're there, why not go into the prison itself. Here's a link about the Fife and Drum, run by the Concord inmates:
                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/687330

              2. re: justbeingpolite

                We also enjoy Sichuan Palace which is in the same plaza as Sakura in Chelmsford. Larger menu and more spacious atmosphere than Sichuan Gourmet but we still love S.G. in Billerica.

                If your heading that way there is also decent thai at Yoong Tong 2.

                Head to Lowell/drum hill area for Pho 88 for Vietnamese (they also have bubble tea). Downtown Lowell has many options as well.

                Many of these are getting beyond the 15min area i think though.

                Atlantic Sea Grille on 2A isnt bad, i only have been once but it was decent, plain jane sit down seafood. Very much preferred over Scupper Jacks which im not a fan of at all.

                1. re: hargau

                  Bubble tea is also available at Asiana Bistro in Bedford and the new Formosa Taipei in Lexington (former Denians) which serves (suprisingly, based on the name ;)) Taiwanese chinese food.

                  1. re: justbeingpolite

                    I like Asiana Bistro for Cantonese food. It is a fusion restaurant but I have had mostly Cantoneses food. Their Thai red curry is also pretty good. Last year my Chinese colleagues had a banquet for Chinese New Year's and it was all very good especially considering it is in the suburbs.

          2. Are you asking about Concord, NH? Because Concord, MA is part of the Boston board, not New England, and has had a number of threads dedicated to it, if you do a search.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Alcachofa

              I meant Concord, MA, but thanks for checking. Most people would tell you "Boston Area" only counts as within the Rt 95 loop, but some try to pretend that anything within Rt495 counts (usually those in the burbs still in denial) :), LOL!

            2. Make sure to check out Verrill Farms for great produce, decent baked goods (including killer scones, especially when they're warm) and above average prepared foods.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Blumie

                I have actually not been to Verrill, how does it compare to idylewilde?

                1. re: hargau

                  Verrill's is the best of many of very, very good farmstands out here in Metrowest.

                  Idylwilde has a better selection as far as a grocery store goes, but Verrill's produce is better.

                  1. re: hargau

                    Verrill's is more "farmstand-like" even though it's expanded and has better to-go foods and baked goods. Idylwild is larger, has been more crowded when I've gone, and feels more like a store.

                2. For sushi, you can head into Lexington to Daikanyama. Can'r really recommend anywhere else in Lexington Center. Also, yummy small plates at Blue Stove in Nordstrom at Burlington Mall.

                  1. Well, as a person living in Stow I would say your best bet is to drive East along route 2 until you hit Arlington. .....

                    Other options include "J's" at Nashoba Winery in Bolton. The dinners can be a bit pricey, but they have a very nice brunch. Oishi in Sudbury is nice for Sushi. I really like Sorrento's brick oven pizza in Acton, there is one in Concord. You can also get pizzas made and ready to cook at home. There is Nancy's Airfield Cafe at Stow Airport. They have nice fresh ingredients and they serve dinner on Fri/Sat. I've only been there for breakfast, but I've sworn off them because the service is so mediocre (I should really have a waitress come by to offer me coffee once in 20 min when I wait for food, with only 2 other tables). I've been eating at the Stow Cafe on route 117 for breakfast. Nice Brazillian lady owns it and if they have the coconut french toast on the menu get it. Cast Iron Skillet in Maynard is good if you are picky about which small plates you order. Monsoon Indian is half bad at the Acton location, but not too happy about the Maynard one anymore. Daniella's in Acton is no longer, Julia's the breakfast place has expanded into their space. (Bad food, cheep Margarita's) Chloe's in Hudson was a real gem, but the owners had to reallign their expectations of price after they opened. They do have 3 wine dinner's on Wednesday I've heard are good, but I haven't been there in years. (Their Mac&Cheese was excellent.) If you are on 117 near the Stow/Bolton line and happen to see a sign outside Applefield's Farm Stand that says "Peggy's Eggrolls Today" STOP, get out, get the eggrolls.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: stupiddog

                      I have to second stupiddog's response (and no, we don't know each other). I live in Concord, and it's almost a complete food wasteland. The Concord Cheese Shop is fantastic...but not as a restaurant. La Provence is quite good...but not fantastic (their bakery is nummy but a meal usually is more than sugar and flour and butter).

                      Keep on truckin' down 2. I do that a lot around dinner time.

                      1. re: stupiddog

                        I agree on the Acton Sorrento's pizza. I've decided to avoid the subs hereafter though because they're not to the same standard.

                        Daniela's in Acton does still exist: it moved to the mall at Nagog Park. However, most here are agreed that it is very bad.

                        Also in that mall is Il Forno, which can do a good pizza too.

                        I'm not a fan of the Monsoon in Acton; last time I was at the one in Maynard, that was much better. Shame if that one has gone downhill.

                        1. re: stupiddog

                          Thanks for the eggroll tip! I live in the area and never heard of this. I'm going to have to keep an eye out now whenever I'm on 117.

                        2. I'll have to second the rec for Sorrento's in Acton and Concord. Respectible wood-fired pie. Also, in addition to Idylwilde Farm in Acton, check out Wilson Farm in Lexington.

                          Sweet Bites in Acton has decent breakfast and lunch sandwiches.

                          I don't get the local love for Julie's in Acton for breakfast. I thought it was pretty meh when I went with a friend, but he loved it.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: bear

                            The love for Julies is that is a cheap place to get breakfast in the AM, which you think there would be more of in the area. I don't love the food, I just don't want to spend $9 on 2 scrambled eggs, toast and homefries if they are only so-so, which it can be easy to do at other places. (some mornings my breakfast needs just aren't that complicated.) There is a diner in Clinton behind the post-office that I like on the week days, but that is a little further west.

                            1. re: bear

                              Do you find the quality the same at both Acton and Concord Sorrento's? Because I've been underwhelmed, to put it kindly, with Concord's Sorrento's.

                            2. Sandwiches and scones from Sally Ann's bakery on Main in Concord. (Take out, bench outside if it's nice) Also Sandwiches and muffins from Country Kitchen (takeout) on Sudbury Rd right by the train tracks (Concord crossing).

                              1. Count me as a Concord resident who recommends the drive back towards Cambridge (although I *love* living here). But if you're out this ways...

                                About 15-20mins from Concord Center, in Sudbury, is Oishii Too. Great sushi joint. Expensive. Try the crispy sake maki in mango sauce.

                                I am a fan of Cast Iron Kitchen in Maynard, and also the Blue Coyote Grill. Neither is exquisite, but both do well.

                                Unless you just want alcohol, stay away from Sierra's on 117. Terrible food, but decent margarita.

                                In Concord, well, I like the sandwiches at Nashoba Brook Bakery. Both the cafe at the West Concord train station and Helen's in Concord Center do good, basic breakfast (with the train depot joint getting the #1 spot). Helen's is a former Brigham's, and the lunch and dinner aren't quite to Brigham's standards (laughing as I write that). You'll learn to accept Chang An for take-out. Serafina's can be pretty decent, but is a bit expensive for what it is. I've been to Papa Razzi a few times, and feel safe with the chicken caesar salad. I don't know your age, but The Concord Inn is terrific if you're 70+.

                                Again, I love living here, but as a former Cambridge and Belmont resident, you're in Kansas now when it comes to food.

                                1. Cast Iron Kitchen in Maynard; Bulfinch's & Luigi's in Sudbury; drinks & music @ Colonial Inn in Concord; Ixtapa Mexican in Lexington

                                  1. Bedford:
                                    Dalyas (excellent food, great atmosphere, excellent service)
                                    Ginger (decent sushi)
                                    Luigis (decent red-sauce Italian)
                                    Flatbread Company (wood-fired clay oven flatbread pizzas)

                                    Billerica:
                                    Riverview (on the river on Route 4, great inexpensive breakfast and lunch with some Greek specialities thrown in)
                                    Sichuan Gourmet

                                    Sudbury:
                                    Oishii II (excellent sushi, but beware you can spend a lot)

                                    Concord:
                                    La Provence (sandwiches, pates, take-out)
                                    Walden Grille (has a nice bar, decent food)
                                    Paparazzi (has an ok bar, decent, surprisingly authentic, Northern Italian, can be noisy)
                                    Vincenzo's (has a small bar but fun to eat at, decent not too expensive Italian, can be very nosiy)
                                    Serafina (has a very nice bar, attempt at fine Italian dining doesn't quite come off, service can be poor, can get nosiy).

                                    Not restaurants:
                                    Verrill Farms (don't miss the Tomato & Corn Festival, and if Guida Ponte is doing anything go along, she is a great chef)
                                    Concord Cheese Shop
                                    Concord Teacakes (try the Anise Drops)
                                    Twins Seafood (the fishcakes are excellent and cheap)
                                    Kimballs (was Bates Farm) Icecream (on Route 225 west of Bedford, make sure to go there in August when they have the peach icecream, fabulous)
                                    La Riviera Gourmet (charcuterie/bakery on Route 4/225 between Lexington Centre and 128)
                                    Nine Acre Wines
                                    Vintage (wine merchant, West Concord)

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: cap

                                      Vintage is a terrific little wine shop. I go in on a weekday morning and ask them to select six bottles under $12 each. It's fun to see what they come up with. There have been some misses but far more delightful surprises.

                                      1. re: cap

                                        The Pongal is a must-add for the Billerica list.

                                        1. re: cap

                                          Re Billerica: Dissenting view of Riverview; worst breakfast I can remember - lord, the food was awful - and lousy service. I'd go to Belly Buster, on 3A in Billerica, instead; nothing special, but reliable, fairly cheap diner-style breakfast and good, fast service. Sichuan Gourmet is great great great sichuan, but has lousy generic-Chinese (not a dis, just a point to remember if, like me, you often dine with someone who dislikes spicy food and prefers generica).

                                          If you're gonna be out this direction, explore north up route 3. Search the NE board for threads about Lowell, and especially look for lexpatti's posts - she's a great resource about restaurants in this area. Lowell has more interesting and better Asian restaurants than anything closer to Boston, and the dining scene there is much better than I, at least, ever expected when we moved out this way. We had an awesome breakfast this morning at Dream Diner in Tyngsboro, a minute or two off of route 3, and I know there are a few other places in the area we want to try.

                                          -----
                                          Sichuan Gourmet
                                          502 Boston Rd, Billerica, MA 01821

                                          Dream Diner
                                          384 Middlesex Rd, Tyngsboro, MA 01879

                                        2. Every time we get to Oishii Too in Sudbury we wish we lived closer to it - it's far and away consistently the best sushi spot in the entire Boston area. Always worth even a long drive.

                                          1. I can sooooo relate to you, Inman SQ girl! I just moved away from Cambridge too to Concord, MA, and I've been too paranoid to try the restaurants there, but I have been to Nashoba Brook Bakery, Oishii too, Woo Jung in Ayer, and takeout at Twin Seafood, and that's it I like them all and can wholeheartedly recommend all of them for various reasons.
                                            For instance, I have only gone to Oishii too and am too scared to eat at Sushi House because I used to live across the street from New Deal Fishmarket.
                                            And Woo Jung has reliable but simple Korean food, and the presentation and ingredients are basic, not as fancy as Koreana, or as fresh as the korean places at Super88...
                                            And Nashoba Brook Bakery is nice because you can watch them make the bread while you eat it and take home a bread loaf souvenir that's at least $2-3 cheaper than buying it at whole foods. I eat at home A LOT more now, and drive into Cambervile for cheaper better food, during non rush hours, it only takes half an hour, right?
                                            SO, instead of actually eating at local places, here's what I've been doing instead:
                                            1. Buying in season produce at Idylwilde farms, carefully avoiding the chocolate and bakery aisles, but finding a lot of their nice cheeses. And juicing oranges.
                                            2. Joining that Cape Ann Fresh Catch CSF, which had a pickup in Lincoln and Acton this winter. I used to buy pounds of Maine shrimp at new deal, with the head on, and this was my only way to get my hands on it this year.
                                            3. Going to Carlson farms for apples or all of the other farms around Bolton/Harvard/Ayer to pick your own fruit! I'm still enjoying frozen and canned stuff from this summer.

                                            4. I will probably start picking up farm eggs at Codman Farms or Pete and Jens Backyard birds soon...
                                            5. And then Verril Farms. Thursday evenings they sell pulled pork sandwiches! Friday is chili night. If you can't cook, these evening takeouts are reasonably priced and as close to homemade as you can get, especially if you also pick up something from their brownie table...
                                            In all, I've really enjoyed cooking at home living in Concord, and in the end, don't feel too guilty about occaisionally dropping by Oishii too and spending the big bucks.

                                            1. Hi Inman Sq Girl. - Welcome to Concord.
                                              I've lived here for a dozen or so years, and found that there's not a lot chow wise around.
                                              As Mentioned in other posts, your best bet is to take a 15 or 20 minute drive east on 2, and hit Blue Ribbon, or any of the other Arlington Belmont or west Cambridge joints.

                                              Locally: Thai Chili Maynard is very good, Um, what's next. Up for an adventure, head to Blood Farm in West Groton for great beef and pork and bacon. Heard good things about the Korean joint in Ayer, about 20 Minutes away.

                                              Concord and Acton wise, it's sort of a wasteland.
                                              Wish that weren't so, but welcome to quiet. Big time.

                                              Cheers!

                                              Dewey

                                              1. Chris Chung and Chris Touche (Clio,Uni) are opening a place in Lincoln..AKA Bistro?

                                                That's something I'd be excited about coming to the area if I lived there.

                                                1. One place that hasn't been mentioned in Concord is Farfalle Italian Market. It's one of those hidden places. it's across the tracks from la Provence, kind of behind Chang Ann. They make very good paninis and various fresh dishes. They are very picky about the quality of their ingredients. They have a few tables or it's takeout.

                                                  I also second the recommendations for Sally Ann, Concord Cheese Shop, La Provence and Twin Seafood (very good clam chowder!). For lunch you won't be hurting in Concord, but for dinner, good luck.

                                                  -----
                                                  La Provence
                                                  105 Thoreau St, Concord, MA 01742

                                                  1. I know this thread has been inactive for a couple of weeks, but it's right up my alley. I'm a lover of all foods Boston/Cambridge/Brookline, and have been working at Clock Tower in Maynard for 3 years now. I've tried most of the places mentioned, and can't believe no one pointed out Debra's Market in West Concord for soup. It's a small gourmet / health store that has some average to good prepared foods, however their soup is excellent. Yesterday I had a great red lentil with ginger and carrots even though it was 80 degrees out. The Chicken Barley and Veggie Chili are always good choices, and they usually have one or two others as well.

                                                    Other off the grid spots:
                                                    - Slowpokes BBQ is hidden in a warehouse on Beharrel St. behind the train station in West Concord. It's a catering kitchen not a restaurant,. and half the square footage is taken by a giant smoker. It's legit BBQ, but only available as takeout lunch. (found on pigtip)
                                                    - Thai Chili in Maynard was mentioned, but not given it's proper due. This is not average suburban Thai. The veggies are fresh and crispy and everything tastes wonderful. They serve a delicious noodle soup with their meals that makes it worth the trip.
                                                    - Savoury Lane in Acton is my go-to for deli. The sandwiches always taste great - Not everyone knows how to build a proper sandwich. Don't expect perfection (the pickles served with sandwiches are terrible), but it's pretty good overall.

                                                    Concord Cheese Shop, La Provence, Nashoba Brook Bakery, Verrill Farms, and Oishii Too are all in my regular rotation as well. I'm never in the area for dinner, so I'll leave that to others.

                                                    -----
                                                    Verrill Farm
                                                    11 Wheeler Rd, Concord, MA, MA 01742

                                                    Nashoba Brook Bakery Cafe
                                                    152 Commonwealth Ave., Concord, MA 01742

                                                    Oishii Too
                                                    365 Boston Post Rd, Sudbury, MA 01776

                                                    La Provence
                                                    105 Thoreau St, Concord, MA 01742

                                                    Thai Chili
                                                    40 Main St, Maynard, MA 01754

                                                    Savoury Lane
                                                    251 Arlington St, Acton, MA 01720

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: Foodie_BBQ

                                                      I will have to try Thai Chili, Im not a fan of the Thai place in Acton so would be good to find one around.

                                                      I went to Savoury Lane only once, years ago... no line, yet it took forever to make a simple corned beef with swiss sandwich to go. It was $7-8 and patheticly small. Like smaller than what i would expect HALF a $8 sandwich to be. Never went again. Maybe its changed? Maybe they were low on corned beef that day? I dunno..

                                                      -----
                                                      Thai Chili
                                                      473 S Broadway, Salem, NH 03079

                                                      Savoury Lane
                                                      251 Arlington St, Acton, MA 01720

                                                      1. re: Foodie_BBQ

                                                        Thanks for the Slowpokes tip! Will try it out for lunch.

                                                      2. Try the Concord Inn. The Potato Crusted Haddock is unblieveable!

                                                        1. I have been to Fishbones in Chelmsford center for lunch and dinner...very good I thought. The tuna steak was not only huge but was fantastic. A great beer selection as well.

                                                          1. I usually get pizza from Sorrento in Concord when I'm in the area, but the past two times I've gone to Walden Italian Kitchen in West Concord. Right now, at least, based on the cheese and the salami we got tonight, I think Walden has the edge in our house.
                                                            The first time at Walden, I got some slices that tasted really good and I thought maybe I was particularly hungry so I decided to give it another try to see if I still thought it was good. I did. The crust has some nice fermentation, although it could have been cooked a bit longer. Sauce was fine and the cheese had some flavor. Nice pie overall.

                                                            Haven't tried the subs or pasta yet. Salads peopel got while I was waiting looked decent, and the rolls looked house-made from their pizza dough.

                                                            I like the smoky char from the wood fire at Sorrento, but, at least right now, think we'll stick with Walden.

                                                            -----
                                                            Walden Italian Kitchen
                                                            92 Commonwealth Ave, Concord, MA 01742

                                                            1. Sorrento's has gotten a bunch of mentions, but no love for New London Style?

                                                              Sorrentos for pizza, New London Style for everything else.

                                                              The buffalo chicken sub (no tomatoes) is great, as are the stromboli.

                                                              Classic New England Greek joint.

                                                              The only exception is steak and cheese sub, which I get at Sorrentos.

                                                              ------

                                                              Also, someone mentioned the Colonial Inn, its very blue hair during the day, but go to the bar at night and it gets younger (30's and 40's, this is a rich suburb after all.) The chowder and the pot pie are excellent. Also try and come on a night John Fitzsimmons is playing guitar. He was my English teacher; local legend. Great guy to talk to.

                                                              4 Replies
                                                              1. re: CptBuck

                                                                Yea no love here for New London. I have not had the Stromboli but have had far too many poor subs both hot and cold there, that i wont ever go there again. For Steak and Cheese id suggest going to T.C. Landos not far from Sorrentos at all and far superior subs. Same owners as Carls in Waltham

                                                                1. re: hargau

                                                                  I'm a partisan for their buffalo chicken sub. They also do chicken fingers and fries well. And again, the stromboli is worth checking out. Heart attack on a plate, but damn good.

                                                                  And their prices are good.

                                                                  ----
                                                                  But yeah, no doubt about TC Lando's, it's just that I live like 3 blocks from the depot, so I go with the ultra convenience.

                                                                  1. re: CptBuck

                                                                    I will have to try the stromboli some day.
                                                                    The fries are straight out of the freezer bag off the sysco truck, how is that chowish? Not sure about the chicken fingers, but likely the same? Oh and the place across the street, de capri? I went there only once. Ordered buffalo chicken fingers, ate 1/2 of one in the car on the way home, seemed odd. Got home to look at them in the light (it was night) and saw they were raw chicken. Only the breading was slightly cooked... So that place is off the list!

                                                                    1. re: hargau

                                                                      "What we have here is failure to communicate."

                                                                      I've been talking about the Concord New London Style, the Acton New London Style is a completely different restaurant owned by different people.

                                                                      I really can't speak to the quality of the Acton NLS as a result, nor DiCapri's for that matter.

                                                                      But, if this is any indication http://www.hiddenboston.com/NewLondon...

                                                              2. ISgirl, have you moved? haved you tried AKA bistro in lincoln? supposed to be great.

                                                                14 Replies
                                                                1. re: opinionatedchef

                                                                  We have moved and have been very grateful for all the great advice on this board. We've only been in Concord 2 months, so here is an update on what we've tried, but it is far from exhaustive :)

                                                                  1. Vincenzo's - Surprisingly good Italian. The strip mall location initially lowered my expectations, but I was wrong. I had some beautifully done fish (my measure of a good chef) with a flavorful but not overpowering wine sauce. I'll definitely go back.
                                                                  2. Sorrento's - Again much better than I expected from the burbs. Not quite Pizzeria Regina from the North End, but still quite good. Great variety of creative toppings, excellent quality of ingredients, and a pretty good crust thanks to the brick oven.
                                                                  3. Spicepepper Garden (Acton, MA) – Really good Chinese. Wonderfully fresh ingredients, not at all oily or greasy, and some really authentic and creative options. I especially loved the sichuan eggplant…extremely flavorful and just the right amount of kick. Duck mooshi was an another surprise hit…very fresh veggies, tender duck, all perfectly flavored with just enough sauce to make it tasty without being goopy. Can’t wait to go back.
                                                                  4. AKA Bisto – Was a bit of an unexpected disappointment. I am just hoping we miss ordered or came on the wrong night (we went on a Monday night). We stuck to the French side of the menu, I had the Cock au Vin, my husband the Duck Confit with potatoes cooked in duck fat. The Cock au Vin was eerily flavorless, like someone cooked all the flavor out of the wine and my husband’s confit was dry of all things. I’ll give them one more shot as the service was solid and the reputation contrary to our own, but I was definitely underwhelmed.
                                                                  5. Concord Inn – Adorable and the food was actually quite tasty ( I know they have a rep as a tourist trap and blue hair magnet). I got the chicken pot pie, which was clearly made from scratch, great crust, big chunks of chicken, and a flavorful sauce. I don’t know how they do on more challenging fair, but for old yankee comfort food, they seem to know their stuff.
                                                                  6. The 99 – Yah I know. It’s convenient, clean, staffed with very friendly waitresses, and the food isn’t half bad if you choose carefully.
                                                                  7. Helen’s – Sweet little sandwich and ice cream type spot. Food wasn’t stellar but is was certainly tasty enough. The ice cream was good and the atmosphere had just the right touch of kitsch. I got the fish taco, which was pretty tasty, but my husbands dish was more of a miss. Over all not bad though.
                                                                  8. Walden Street Grill- Ugh. This restaurant wants to be good, but fails. Their menu reads beautifully, but execution was just terrible. My Walden chicken salad had ridiculously dry chicken even the dressing couldn’t save and when my husband asked for anchovies with his Caesar salad, they gave him ones that were pickled!! Ruined the dish. Dark depressing atmosphere was the final nail in the coffin for us. Tell me if we hit I on a bad day because I wanted them not to suck.
                                                                  9. Club Car Café – Another Ugh with caveats. I think we ordered the wrong meals. This is clearly a breakfast place and we came in not knowing this and ordered lunch. As we sat, people all around us got what looked like tasty breakfasts, but our lunches were meh at best. Limp and oily French fries, over mayoed tuna fish melts, and super bland coleslaw (like seriously, it was just watery mayo and cabbage). I’ll give them another shot based on what I saw, but I’m not in a rush as my hubby doesn’t like breakfast so I need breakfast places that can do lunch too.

                                                                  -----
                                                                  Club Car Cafe
                                                                  20 Commonwealth Ave, Concord, MA 01742

                                                                  Spicepepper Garden
                                                                  36 Great Rd, Acton, MA 01720

                                                                  1. re: InmanSQ Girl

                                                                    Did you have the Sorrento's pizza there? I just realized that I've only had take-out, and that could explain why I've only had below-mediocre pizza.

                                                                    1. re: Alcachofa

                                                                      We bought takeout at Sorrento's, but we live close enough that my husband was able to pick them up just as they came out of the oven and have them out on our dining room table for our friends to devour in 10 minutes, so they were still quite hot and crusty. I am guessing they'd loose some spark if they sat, self steaming in the take out box for too long.

                                                                      1. re: InmanSQ Girl

                                                                        If you're at the Club Car Cafe at lunchtime, head away from Concord Teacakes and on your left, across the tracks, walk to Walden Pizza or some such name. They are before Deborah's Natural Gourmet and usually have a plastic Pizza Guy holding a menu of the day's specials. They make a great marinated green bean salad with chicken and the calzones are pretty good.

                                                                        -----
                                                                        Club Car Cafe
                                                                        20 Commonwealth Ave, Concord, MA 01742

                                                                        Pizza Guys
                                                                        178 Main St, North Reading, MA 01864

                                                                      2. re: Alcachofa

                                                                        If you heat up a pizza stone and put the pizza on it for a couple of minutes when you get home, the pizza is as good as fresh out of the pizza oven.

                                                                      3. re: InmanSQ Girl

                                                                        Walden Grille has its ups and downs. The owners will hire a chef every couple years to mix up the menu but then fire him soon after and replace him with the cheapest line cook they can find. If you go when they have the chef on board its worth it. Otherwise its just another dive bar. Main St. Cafe (Which also does dinner) has stolen a lot of their thunder ever since they got a liquor license. Better food, better crowd, although their live music nights are sometimes insufferably bad.

                                                                        At sorrento's if you're into "crazy toppings" their "Spicy Fingers" pizza and their Tortelini pizza are both awesome (i'm especially partial to spicy fingers, if you want a buffalo chicken pizza get this, and not their actual "buffalo chicken pizza" which is good but not really what you'd expect.)

                                                                        Both are made up as slices at lunch.

                                                                        ----

                                                                        Helen's has too many menu options, its not a place to be adventurous in. The frappes are fantastic as are the burgers (including patty melts) and almost all of the sandwiches. Same with breakfast. Otherwise beware. Its the same waitstaff almost every day though, so its very easy to set up "The Regular" order.

                                                                        -----
                                                                        Walden Grille
                                                                        24 Walden St, Concord, MA 01742

                                                                        1. re: CptBuck

                                                                          Yeah, the tortellini pizza is good. Sorrento's (at least in Acton) is one of those massive-slice places too; odd considering the quality. Order "a slice" and they give you two. The hot subs are pretty poor for some reason.

                                                                          1. re: chickendhansak

                                                                            Yeah the only sub I ever order there is the Steak and Cheese, which is usually good. I feel like the bread is sometimes a little off (because they use french bread over italian bread? as best as I can tell?) and they don't use enough cheese.

                                                                            I get subs at New London Style in Concord (not ActonNLS, different restaurants.)

                                                                            1. re: CptBuck

                                                                              I will have to try the concord one. Im suprised they are different places given the identical menu and name.

                                                                              I have had really bad luck at sorrentos with any meat products. Got a hamburger pizza once with rancid burger. (Harvard location). So are you saying the Concord location does something special with their fries other than opening the Sysco bag?

                                                                              For subs the best around here i think is tc landos in Acton. They are famous for the steak subs but i have had man others that are good too.

                                                                              1. re: hargau

                                                                                I don't think the Sorrento's fries are very good. But their pizza's are excellent. Go with what they do well. I've never seen someone order a hamburger pizza there. Spicy Fingers, Pepperoni, Sausage, Mushrooms, Tortellini, chicken pesto, and the Acton, are my go-to choices and they've never failed me.

                                                                                But I can vouch for Concord New London Style's fries being good. And again, I'm not sure that frozen fries are such a bad thing so long as they come out salty and are fried up crispy. And the menu's are similar, but not identical. Check out how many more stromboli the Concord NLS has over Acton NLS. They're both New England Greek places, there's going to be menu overlap.

                                                                                1. re: CptBuck

                                                                                  Sorrento's spicy fingers i find disgusting too, Frozen, straight from a bag chicken fingers with a side of hot sauce in a plastic thing. Their basic pizza's are ok but after the meat incident i stick with plain cheese. Anything else i have had on their menu has been really bad. The entrees, subs, apps...

                                                                                  The new london websites say they both are owned by the "Botto" family.. I guess they are brothers or something..

                                                                                  I guess we just have different tastes. Im sure any of these places are ok in a pinch but certainly not a destination or any place id recommend to a "foodie".

                                                                        2. re: InmanSQ Girl

                                                                          so happy you reported back!! so many people fail to do that! gee i hope aka was a fluke; we're wanting to go there, but it won't be on a monday anyway because mondays are bad for fish and sushi. will also try your recs. Thanks again; beautiful country out there, congrats!

                                                                          1. re: InmanSQ Girl

                                                                            Thanks for the report on Spicepepper garden - will definitely try it, as options in Concord for Chinese are lacking to say the least. We made our way out to Concord 17 years ago now and I thank god I still work in Cambridge so I can more easily get a fix of old/new favorites. And still, for any sort of date night - we head into Boston/Cambridge or at least as far as Waltham. I feel your pain.

                                                                            1. re: InmanSQ Girl

                                                                              Moved from Medford/Somerville line a little over a year ago... I agree with many of the other posts, but am also, like you, a fan of the Colonial Inn. I especially liked their "comfort food" menu over the winter ! I also dig the historical decor; the tiny little tavern is a fun place to get a pint and a bite to eat. Besides a decent breakfast, The Club Car Cafe has great burgers -- not frozen like what they serve across the street at the 99! The Spicepepper Garden had delicious sushi the night I went... And I like the pizza at Walden Kitchen but also think it could be cooked longer. For a cheap treat, go to Twin Seafood for lunch or an early dinner and get a grilled fish sandwich -- I had the salmon and it was delish! -- and it comes with yummy fries or they will serve as a salad if you ask.

                                                                              -----
                                                                              Colonial Inn
                                                                              48 Monument Sq # 2, Concord, MA

                                                                              Club Car Cafe
                                                                              20 Commonwealth Ave, Concord, MA 01742

                                                                              Spicepepper Garden
                                                                              36 Great Rd, Acton, MA 01720