Moving to Marblehead--need chow and food shopping guidance
I am hoping to take advantage of your wise counsel as we prepare to move from Cambridge to Marblehead in the coming weeks. I love Marblehead but I get the sense that some of the food options there are a bit precious/silly/touristy/overpriced. So, I'd love to hear of any gens you may know of there or in easy driving distance.
We have a toddler and don't really dine out much, though kid-friendly restaurants would be good to know about. In general, I'm really seeking three different things:
--recs for lowbrow awesome chow (roast beef sandwiches, donuts, seafood shacks, ice cream, etc.)
--recs for a Russo's substitute (is there such a thing?)--affordable abundant produce
--CSA/farm stand recs in the area
Thanks in advance!!
Farm Direct Coop for the CSA. They have a waiting list so you might not get in for this year...but IMO it's worth the wait. They work with several different growers, so weren't quite as affected by the bad weather last year - each week their buyer would get whatever was available. The variety of produce wasn't as wide, but I was happy with the quantity (and especially the quality). Most weeks there was a choice available for some items so you didn't have to just take what you get..I don't know how they manage it, but it seems to work out OK.
In addition to veggie and fruit shares, they offer a cheese share, an herb share, and in some locations a bread share. In the fall they offer late-season and winter shares, as well as extra cheese, honey, and maple syrup. You can also special-order veggies and fruits by the case, which works great for me - I love to pick-your-own but it's not feasible for me, with my hyperactive toddler. IF you let them know what items you are interested in, they will give you the prices and let you know when the items are available.
For seafood, there's a good market; Marblehead Lobster..which is sort of the NW corner of Old Town.
I've bought some fresh fish and lobsters on the Fish Dock, that's been very reasonable..and of course fresh. Obviously not always available.
Shubey's is a good gourmet type market..ok prepared foods but good cheese, charcuterie.
Driftwood does a good breakfast. Barnacle has a nice view but food is nothing special.
Marblehead is pretty rough for food. One real notable is AJ King Bakery in Salem. Excellent breads and superb scones, etc. O' fado in peabody is great for Portugese. A few of the places on the dock in Salem are also good for dining out.
BAgels - Bagel world in Salem (Canal Street)
Fresh Fruits & Veggies - Marblehead Farmers Market or Salem Farmers Market(I think starts in April/May til end of OCt- Early Nov.)
Toddler Friendly, good eats - Hurricanes (MHD), Romano's - Pizza (MHD), Red Rock Bistro - Swampscott - 129), Fresh Taste of ASia - Sushi (Salem - Washington St), Passage to INdia (Salem, Washington St), Bella Verona - Italian (Salem), Garden Gourmet in Vinnin Square is not bad (chinese/sushi), Five Guys (burgers) Vinnin Square,
We go to the above alot with our 3 yr old