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MetroWest casual for next Wednesday night?

Shep Huntleigh Jun 2, 2010 02:15 PM

We're four food-minded ex-colleagues who get together for a meal, some conversation and lots of laughs every few months. We're looking for a place in MetroWest for this coming Wednesday night, June 9, where we can have a good, unfancy meal and where we won't be rushed.

In the past, we've met at a casual Armenian place in Worcester and at Saray in Brighton, both excellent for our purposes: good honest food, no rushing, allowed us to laugh a lot.

For reference: Stone's Public House in Ashland is perfect...except they have a band booked for next Wednesday night and we don't want to compete.

Thanks for any suggestions you can offer.


  1. trufflehound Jun 2, 2010 05:15 PM

    The band is usually in he tavern, that leaves the dining room and the patio without too much noise.

    1. nsenada Jun 2, 2010 05:29 PM

      How about Sichuan Gourmet in Framingham?

      1. Eatin in Woostah Jun 2, 2010 07:26 PM

        How about La Cantina in Framingham?

        1. i
          Isolda Jun 3, 2010 06:46 AM

          I agree with the Sichuan Gourmet recommendation, but if you want a quieter place, try Dah-Mee (Korean BBQ, but not tableside cooking, as well as sushi) in Natick Center. I also highly recommend Cafe Mangal in Wellesley. It's BYOB, so you can save some money there, and they never rush you even if there are people waiting. They were even nice to my mother in law, who is the bane of every waitperson's existence.

          No matter what, avoid Dolphin seafood (really bad) and Sel de la Terre (Boston location is much, much better!)

          Sichuan Gourmet
          502 Boston Rd, Billerica, MA 01821

          Cafe Mangal
          555 Washington St, Wellesley, MA 02482

          Sel de la Terre
          1245 Worcester Street, Natick, MA 01760

          1. hiddenboston Jun 3, 2010 02:07 PM

            How about either The Local in West Newton or Sato in Waltham? The former is a decent gastropub-type place, while the latter has excellent sushi and is rarely crowded at night.

            6 Replies
            1. re: hiddenboston
              Blumie Jun 6, 2010 10:40 AM

              The Local is neither "decent" nor a "gastropub" (imho, of course!).

              1. re: Blumie
                hiddenboston Jun 6, 2010 10:45 AM

                LOL, I've had decent food there, but know folks who don't like it at all.

                1. re: hiddenboston
                  Blumie Jun 6, 2010 10:49 AM

                  I'm always tempted to give it another try. I like the location and the neighborhood feel. Unfortunately, in my experience the food has never lived up to the overly ambitious menu.

                  1. re: Blumie
                    bear Jun 6, 2010 04:22 PM

                    I think it is one of the better burgers around, but am usually disappointed by the fries. The truffled mac and cheese, the fish and chips and the lobster roll have also been respectable but not memorable. I'm not sure it's a good place to linger in a group, though.

                    I haven't been for 3-4 months, though, so this might be out-of-date.

                    1. re: bear
                      nsenada Jun 6, 2010 06:07 PM

                      I'd say O'Hara's would be a good spot for better food, sans gastrification indicia. Their food is consistently great, and I love their burger. It is also clearly a great place to linger, as every time I've been, people have hunkered down to make a night of it. The big drawback is, people tend to hunker down and make a night of it, and tables do not seem to turn over.

                      1. re: nsenada
                        Blumie Jun 6, 2010 06:10 PM

                        I gotta say that, while I like O'Hara's, it too has failed to live up to the hype on this board. Neither O'Hara's nor The Local come close, IMHO, to the level of, for example, The Druid in Inman Sq.

            2. kelly001 Jun 3, 2010 02:56 PM

              Aka Bistro in Lincoln, MA.

              3 Replies
              1. re: kelly001
                justbeingpolite Jun 4, 2010 05:59 AM

                Great food, but not really "unfancy".
                If you're looking for sushi, the original Oishi in Newton, just off Rt 9 is excellent.

                1. re: justbeingpolite
                  Eatin in Woostah Jun 4, 2010 05:25 PM

                  But not big enough for a group of friends to sit and talk all night.

                  1. re: justbeingpolite
                    kelly001 Jun 4, 2010 05:54 PM

                    I'd disagree. It's pretty low key. Very family/kids friendly.

                2. e
                  emilief Jun 3, 2010 06:17 PM

                  How abou the Tavern at the Sherborn Inn, Kouzina in Waban (Newton) or Bobby's American Grill or the Milestone in Wellesley. All casual with good food.

                  1649 Beacon St, Waban, MA 02468

                  1. nsenada Jun 4, 2010 06:12 AM

                    By the way, what's the name of the Armenian restaurant in Worcester? Ever since House of Ararat closed I've been looking for other decent options.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: nsenada
                      Eatin in Woostah Jun 4, 2010 05:26 PM

                      There's Sahara and El Basha.

                      1. re: nsenada
                        trufflehound Jun 4, 2010 06:07 PM

                        Shiraz on Park Ave. El Basha is Lebanese and Sahara , Arabic.

                        Basha Cafe
                        26 New St, Cambridge, MA 02138

                        1. re: trufflehound
                          Eatin in Woostah Jun 8, 2010 03:50 PM

                          Of course - thanks for the clarification!

                        2. re: nsenada
                          Shep Huntleigh Jun 16, 2010 06:33 AM

                          Shiraz on Park, Worcester, is the place my Armenian friends took me for dinner.

                        3. MABMAQ Jun 4, 2010 11:25 AM

                          How about El Basha Grill on Rte 9 westbound side in Westboro - BYOB with a liquor store right next door !

                          1. s
                            Shep Huntleigh Jun 6, 2010 08:24 AM

                            Thank you all for these excellent suggestions. I appreciate it.

                            1. w
                              Wheels1 Jun 16, 2010 06:39 AM

                              Cast Iron Kitchen in Maynard is worth the trip http://www.castironkitchen.net/

                              Tavern @ Sherborn Inn is also very good ...

                              Cast Iron Kitchen
                              177 Main Street, Maynard, MA 01754

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