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New to Arlington - Where should we eat?

c
ciaodog Sep 18, 2010 08:57 PM

We just moved to Arlington and to find all new local places to eat. We are looking for good quality, fresh ingredients, family friendly, reasonably priced places. Any cuisines, breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Any recommendations?

So far we have tried (with mixed results):
Blue ribbon BBQ
Bagels by us
Punjab
Sweet Basil
Arlington Dinner
La Posada
Gemma's

On our list is:
Little Q
Za
New bagel place in the heights when it opens

Where else is worth a trip?
Lady Siam?

Have read about a lot of bakeries for sweets, any place to get sourdough type breads around town?

Thanks!

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  1. b
    blink617 Sep 18, 2010 10:32 PM

    Thai Moon is my favorite Thai place in Arlington.

    Chilly Cow for ice cream (try the pumpkin custard if they have it).

    Za is okay, but it's more like a local improvement on California Pizza Kitchen (from which it's a huge step up) than a replacement for real pizza.

    Where did you move from? If you haven't lived in the general area before, there are good restaurants worth trying in nearby Cambridge, Somerville and Medford too.

    -----
    Chilly Cow
    451 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02474

    Thai Moon
    663 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02476

    1. c
      CookieLee Sep 19, 2010 06:12 AM

      Tango, the Argentinian steak restaurant is fabulous!

      1 Reply
      1. re: CookieLee
        p
        peppermynt Sep 21, 2010 08:13 AM

        Just wanted to add my assent here. Tango is lovely (a little bit loud due to wooden floors, but other than that I had no complaints). Some of the best grilled meats I've ever had, period. The sweetbreads are not to be missed (huge portions, too), the wine list is robust, and the skirt steak is perfect every time. If you have to have something other than red meat, the salmon is delicious. The chimichurri sauce alone is reason to eat there, but the warmth and hospitality of the staff and owners will bring you back again and again. Wish it were local to me (I live in Harvard, about thirty-five minutes away).

      2. StriperGuy Sep 19, 2010 07:24 AM

        Toraya, Kathmandu Spice, Sabatino's Pizza, Little Q. For more info on these search chowhound.

        -----
        Toraya Restaurant
        890 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02476

        Kathmandu Spice
        166 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02474

        1. m
          marcreichman Sep 19, 2010 07:30 AM

          Welcome to Arlington! My wife and I live on the east end of town, by the Somerville line.

          Echo Thai Moon for sure, Toraya may just be the best sushi in the whole area, and Sabatino's has some great pizza. Lady Siam is most certainly NOT good. We enjoy the various savory croissants at Quebrada. Ristorante Olivio is nice for a warm romantic, if not pricy, Italian spot. Chilly Cow and Capitol Creamery both do a decent job for ice cream. The diners and bagel shops in town are pretty meh, as I am sure you have figured out by now. Jam'n'java is a nice place to sit with a cup of coffee on the weekends.

          There are more for sure, and plenty over the Cambridge, Somerville, Medford, and Lexington lines. I am sure I have left stuff out but that should help keep you moving. Let me know if y'all want to head somewhere! We are always game for food-loving local pals.

          -----
          Toraya Restaurant
          890 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02476

          Chilly Cow
          451 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02474

          Ristorante Olivio
          201 Massachusetts Avenue, Arlington, MA 02474

          Thai Moon
          663 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02476

          Sabatino's Restaurant
          735 Broadway, Malden, MA 02148

          4 Replies
          1. re: marcreichman
            c
            cambridgedoctpr Sep 19, 2010 10:31 AM

            i think that Cambridge offers as good a dining experience as Arltington.

            New American: Cragie on Main, Rendezbous both in Central Square
            Evoo in Kendal Square
            Italian: Rialto in the Charles Hotel
            Chinese: Mulan and Thailand Cafe - sichuan only - near MIT
            Indian: Tamarind Bay in Harvard Square, my favorite Indian restaurant
            Eclectic/ribs: East Coast Grill
            Sushi: Blue Fin
            Cambodian: Elephant Walk.

            -----
            East Coast Grill and Raw Bar
            1271 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139

            Tamarind Bay
            75 Winthrop St, Cambridge, MA 02138

            Elephant Walk
            2067 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02140

            Blue Fin
            1815 Massachusetts Ave # 1, Cambridge, MA

            1. re: cambridgedoctpr
              f
              FoodDabbler Sep 19, 2010 11:16 AM

              These towns in the Greater Boston area are so closely packed together that confining yourself to one doesn't make food sense. And if you're (speaking to all) going to go to the MIT end of Cambridge from Arlington, you might as well wander over to Belmont, Somerville, and Watertown where other possibilities open.

              In Cambridge I'd add Oleana and Hungry Mother to your list, and Formaggio Kitchen (not a restaurant, of course, but still a must for anybody who likes food).

              -----
              Formaggio Kitchen
              244 Huron Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138

              Hungry Mother
              Cambridge, MA, Cambridge, MA

              Oleana
              134 Hampshire St., Cambridge, MA 02139

              1. re: FoodDabbler
                c
                cambridgedoctpr Sep 19, 2010 12:29 PM

                I live in Cambridge and know it best, but there are other contiguous towns that are well worth exploring.

                1. re: cambridgedoctpr
                  r
                  redelephant Sep 19, 2010 03:29 PM

                  Another place in Cambridge that is relatively close to the Alewife Whole Foods area (I figure that area could be part of your day-to-day life, as that Whole Foods combined with the liquor store right next door, Cambridge Wine & Spirits, is what I consider one-stop shopping) is Gran Gusto, which has my favorite margarita-style pizza in all of Boston.

                  -----
                  Cambridge Wine & Spirits
                  202 Alewife Brook Pkwy, Cambridge, MA 02138

                  Gran Gusto
                  90 Sherman St, Cambridge, MA 02140

          2. c
            cambridgejen Sep 19, 2010 11:41 AM

            I agree with all of the other recommendations, and also recommend Tryst for excellent brunch (also quite fond of their dinners, although pricey) and Zocalo for burritos. Just across the Somerville line on Broadway is Guru for excellent Indian takeout. Midami (formerly Kayuga II) makes a good okdol (hot stone bowl) bibimbap and decent sushi. For guilty pleasure Americanized Chinese food, we're actually quite fond of Shanghai Village. For straight up sushi, Toraya is definitely the best around, although we find Mr Sushi to be a little more kid friendly and relaxed (as Toraya has very limited seating and always a queue of waiting customers).

            Welcome!
            (formerly)cambridge(now arlington)jen

            -----
            Shanghai Village Restaurant
            434 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02474

            Toraya Restaurant
            890 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02476

            Zocalo
            203 Broadway, Arlington, MA 02474

            Kayuga
            1030 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA 02215

            Mr Sushi
            329 Harvard St, Brookline, MA 02446

            2 Replies
            1. re: cambridgejen
              okra Sep 21, 2010 05:37 AM

              Second Tryst. And not only for brunch!

              -----
              Tryst
              689 Massachusetts Avenue, Arlington, MA 02720

              1. re: okra
                t
                taos Sep 26, 2010 07:18 PM

                I'll third this, although I would not say it is family friend. Then again, neither are many of the places recommended here.

                Would also recommend Za, which is on your list. This IS family friendly.

            2. Eatin in Woostah Sep 19, 2010 12:15 PM

              Welcome to the neighborhood! Flora is worth a try, as is Prose. Pasha seems to have gone downhill since it opened a couple of years ago, but is not bad for Turkish food. Just not as great as it was.

              I'll echo a few others here - Little Q is great, Thai Moon is our favorite Thai in Arlington, and Toraya is excellent sushi.

              While Lady Siam isn't great, it's not awful. I've never had the Thai food there, as we always get the Vietnamese. There is a real lack of Vietnamese food in this general area, and it's the best we've found without driving into Boston when the craving hits.

              Don't miss Lakota Bakery's shortbread cookies. To quote my daughter, "There is like a pound of butter in this cookie!" Oh, yes.

              -----
              Toraya Restaurant
              890 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02476

              Lakota Bakery
              1373 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02476

              Thai Moon
              663 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02476

              5 Replies
              1. re: Eatin in Woostah
                m
                marcreichman Sep 19, 2010 01:11 PM

                Re lady Siam, we have never had anything but terrible pho here. Pho and thai in Belmont isn't perfect but it's worlds better and very close.

                1. re: marcreichman
                  Aromatherapy Sep 20, 2010 04:49 AM

                  I had a bowl of really meh bun at Lady Siam. Wrong noodles and IIRC no fresh herbs or chilis. The sliced pork was good though. They did bring a condiment caddy with dried chilis and 2 cooked red sauces of some sort.

                  1. re: Aromatherapy
                    Eatin in Woostah Sep 25, 2010 05:42 AM

                    My biggest complaint with the bun at Lady Siam is the weird bowl. It makes it way too compact and hard to eat. We haven't tried the place in Belmont - thanks for the tip!

                    1. re: Eatin in Woostah
                      m
                      marcreichman Sep 25, 2010 08:12 AM

                      Just to add to my earlier statement, I haven't actually had the bun in Belmont, just the Pho. I'm sure it will be tasty, but my go-to for bun is the charred pork and spring rolls and they don't seem to have any pork there. I usually get my favorite bun at Le's in allston.

                      That said I enjoy the Pho as well as the Thai duck noodle soup they have. We also are a big fan of their papaya salad. They will make it very spicy (and really, anything very spicy) if you ask.

                2. re: Eatin in Woostah
                  d
                  dsmoxie Sep 28, 2010 10:45 AM

                  I just had lunch at Pasha. The food was fine, and the mashed veggies had a good kick, but the service was appalling. They had "run out of napkins," so gave each person one, tiny napkin of the type that come out of table dispensers at diners. And the waitress seemed totally overwhelmed by eight customers. I'm unlikely to return.

                3. r
                  redelephant Sep 19, 2010 12:31 PM

                  For coffee (beans for home or a cup while out and about), you have a great coffee roaster in Arlington: Barismo.

                  -----
                  Barismo
                  169 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02474

                  1. n
                    nasilemak Sep 19, 2010 02:21 PM

                    Thai Moon is by far the best thai spot in town.
                    Za is ok, nothing great.

                    -----
                    Thai Moon
                    663 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02476

                    1. m
                      makonna Sep 19, 2010 03:10 PM

                      Welcome! Definitely Little Q. For pizza, we like Nicola's and Za, and my hubby likes Francesca's kitchen. Flora and Tryst for brunch. D'agostinos for sandwiches. Toraya for sushi. Pasha for turkish.

                      -----
                      Toraya Restaurant
                      890 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02476

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: makonna
                        GretchenS Sep 20, 2010 09:56 AM

                        Welcome to Arlington! I'll add a second vote for Francesa's Kitchen (Mass Ave, East Arlington) but only for their eggplant parm, which is outstanding every time. I have had mixed results on other things there. But oh that eggplant!!! Yet another vote for Toraya, both for sushi and for cooked Japanese food, Kathmandu Spice and Sabbatino's in Arlington, Quingdao Garden on Mass Ave in North Cambridge, and Bollywood on Mass Ave in East Lexington. In case you are new to the area altogether, I will also encourage you to seek out Wilson Farms on Pleasant St in Lexington for produce (admittedly it is a zoo on weekends) and the Armenian markets (Arax, Sevan and Massis) and Fordee's for falafel in Watertown, and Shangri-La (Chinese) and Sophia's Greek market in Belmont, all fairly nearby.

                        Where in the Heights is a bagel shop opening? That's my nabe, first I've heard of it, I'm intrigued. Oh, if only it could be a western expansion of Bagel World!!

                        -----
                        Shangri-La
                        149 Belmont St, Belmont, MA 02478

                        Toraya Restaurant
                        890 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02476

                        Wilson Farm
                        10 Pleasant St, Lexington, MA 02421

                        Bollywood Cafe
                        135 Massachusetts Ave, Lexington, MA 02420

                        Kathmandu Spice
                        166 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02474

                        1. re: GretchenS
                          digga Sep 20, 2010 04:41 PM

                          Never been a fan of Wilson Farms, though I want to like it. I feel like I might as well be shopping at Stop and Shop, albeit in prettier surroundings. Every time I've been there, it looks as though most of the produce is shipped in and I really dislike battling all of the fancy cars and SUVs in the parking lot. Maybe there is something I am missing about Wilson. I prefer Verrill Farms in Concord if you are looking for that kind of experience.

                          -----
                          Wilson Farm
                          10 Pleasant St, Lexington, MA 02421

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

                          1. re: digga
                            StriperGuy Sep 20, 2010 04:58 PM

                            Know what you mean re Wilson. And in season they really don't try hard enough on the local fruit and veg!

                            1. re: digga
                              peregrine Sep 21, 2010 07:19 AM

                              Even the Wagon Wheel in Lexington, near the intersection of Waltham St. & Concord Ave, next to the gas station, does better on local produce at reasonable prices.

                              Their bakery is good, too. They carry Cheryl Ann's challah as well.

                              I no longer shop at Wilson's Food Museum.

                        2. b
                          Bluebell Sep 19, 2010 04:10 PM

                          Welcome to town! Here are my family's recc's:

                          - Thai Moon is also our first choice for Thai, but Lady Siam is fine for takeout.
                          - Also for takeout is Great Wok, but when we are feeling ambitious we prefer Qingdao Garden in N Cambridge
                          - Kathmandu Spice for Indian/Nepalese fusion- love the starter of roasted soybeans
                          - Bollywood Cafe in E Lex for Indian takeout, reasonably priced
                          - Fusion Taste in the center is OK, very family friendly service
                          - Nicola for pizza

                          and yes, Lakota is wonderful - you don't really need to buy anything, you can just walk in and get a contact high from the smell of butter and sugar!

                          -----
                          Qingdao Garden Restaurant
                          2382 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02140

                          Bollywood Cafe
                          135 Massachusetts Ave, Lexington, MA 02420

                          Kathmandu Spice
                          166 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02474

                          Thai Moon
                          663 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02476

                          1. s
                            spicyivan Sep 19, 2010 08:06 PM

                            I'll add on to the support for Nicola's pizza (and calzones and grinders) and Thai Moon. Also a fan of Bollywood and Zocalo (table-side guac is the best).

                            I must have missed the post. Where/when is a new bagel place opening in Arl Heights?

                            -----
                            Bollywood Cafe
                            135 Massachusetts Ave, Lexington, MA 02420

                            Thai Moon
                            663 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02476

                            Zocalo
                            35 Stanhope St, Boston, MA 02116

                            1. p
                              pemma Sep 20, 2010 06:26 AM

                              Very close by in West Medford there is Bistro 5. It is not cheap,but would be a good choice for a special dinner without the need to go into Boston or Cambridge.

                              -----
                              Bistro 5
                              5 Playstead Road, Medford, MA 02155

                              1. j
                                joth68 Sep 20, 2010 08:14 AM

                                Definitely Little Q as others have mentioned.
                                Sabitino's for great non-yuppy style pizza
                                Boyles Market for Steak and Cheese subs

                                -----
                                Boyles Market
                                64 Broadway, Arlington, MA 02474

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: joth68
                                  StriperGuy Sep 20, 2010 08:33 AM

                                  A tad more on Sabatino's: I grabbed a pie to bring to a buddy's two weeks ago and we were both impressed at the sheer quality of the pie. Think we had sausage and green pepper. It was definitely in the top tier of ALL Boston Pizza in my book.

                                  I might even like it a bit more then my local Stella's because Sabatino's does a thicker more old fashioned NY style (hard to get in Manhattan these days) crust. I believe they use a decent amount of Durum flour as it has some of that good crunch. Really just a superb pizza.

                                  -----
                                  Sabatino's Restaurant
                                  735 Broadway, Malden, MA 02148

                                  1. re: StriperGuy
                                    MrsCheese Sep 24, 2010 08:19 PM

                                    Man do I miss Sabatinos. Didn't realize how good I had it when I lived just down the street from there.

                                2. c
                                  carneyvore Sep 20, 2010 02:57 PM

                                  Shanghai Village is fine and reasonably priced. Ristorante Olivio good Italian. Old fashioned Jimmy's Steer House decent American food at fair prices. Scoot to nearby Somerville for L'il Vinny's or to Lexington for Ixthapa Mexican.

                                  -----
                                  Shanghai Village Restaurant
                                  434 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02474

                                  Ristorante Olivio
                                  201 Massachusetts Avenue, Arlington, MA 02474

                                  Jimmy's Steer House
                                  1111 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02476

                                  1. digga Sep 20, 2010 04:26 PM

                                    Anyone know what is going on at Tom Yum Koong in Arlington Heights? Was there a fire that I didn't hear about? All the windows are boarded up as well as the salon next door.

                                    I heard somewhere that Sun's Kitchen is a hidden gem but I haven't tried it yet. Is there anything worthy at Great Wok or Jade Garden?

                                    -----
                                    Great Wok Restaurants
                                    1284 Massachusetts Ave, Dorchester, MA 02125

                                    Tom Yum Koong Restaurant
                                    11 Forest St, Medford, MA 02155

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: digga
                                      s
                                      sablemerle Sep 20, 2010 07:59 PM

                                      There actually was a fire, on July 23rd. Extensive damage, but no injuries. Last I heard, they were still waiting on the insurance company.

                                      1. re: digga
                                        b
                                        bear Sep 21, 2010 05:28 AM

                                        I wouldn't call Sun's Kitchen a gem. It's so-so take-out, but great prices and nice people. The food is pretty bland and they use dried rice noodles in the chow fun. They will load dishes up with fresh veggies, though, which makes my veggie son happy when he's looking for something healthy.

                                      2. c
                                        ciaodog Sep 24, 2010 08:09 PM

                                        Wow! Thank you! Thank you! I really did not expect to get so many great recommendations. So much to digest :) Really appreciate it.

                                        We moved from Inman Sq and well, we didn't know how good we had it. We certainly won't limit ourselves to Arlington but we do have a hankering for a new favorite/ local spot we can get to without any traffic or plans...

                                        I have a list and am looking forward to eating out!

                                        GretchenS, new bagel place in the heights is - http://littlemarysbagels.com/

                                        Thanks!

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: ciaodog
                                          c
                                          ciaodog Sep 24, 2010 08:44 PM

                                          sounded like an Inman square snob there... we were familiar with a lot of great places within walking distance of our old house and we are still learning our way around here... and suspect our local spots are going to be in a wider radius from our new house.

                                          1. re: ciaodog
                                            opinionatedchef Sep 28, 2010 10:59 PM

                                            i don't think you sounded at all like a snob. From having tried most of the arl. places in the 23 yrs we've been in adjacent winchester, we only eat in arl. occasionally(and in winch. never ever), preferring indian, chinese, italian, middle eastern, mexican, american regional etc.restaurants elsewhere. We go to only 2 arl.restaurants and we do hope you will try these favs:
                                            - beef empanadas from Tango, take out(best beef empanadas in boston imo though chipotle sauce does help give them a needed kick; also they freeze really well)
                                            and
                                            - basil beef udon, panang chicken, excited chicken and seafood tomyum from Sweet Chili (which we prefer to Thai Moon.)
                                            but we are also retired, so driving a distance for dinner is not a big deal for us . However, i would guess that you have pretty hectic lives, so it's helpful that, unlike 10 years ago, Arl. has plenty of good and varied places to feed you now.It has become quite the bustling restaurant scene. We'll be interested to hear how you compare your various Arl. stops with your experiences 'in the big city' , and which places become your favs.

                                            -----
                                            Sweet Chili
                                            470 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02474

                                            Thai Moon
                                            663 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02476

                                            1. re: opinionatedchef
                                              Eatin in Woostah Sep 29, 2010 08:51 PM

                                              Mmmmm.....those beef empanadas are truly special. My two favorite things to eat in Arlington - beef empanadas at Tango, and shortbread cookies at Lakota Bakery.

                                              -----
                                              Lakota Bakery
                                              1373 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02476

                                              1. re: opinionatedchef
                                                r
                                                robyn76 Sep 30, 2010 06:55 AM

                                                I absolutely agree with Sweet Chili. It's one of my favorite places. The excited chicken and chili chicken are fantastic. Lots of good veggies and the sauces are delicious. Only serve limited beer & wine, but the staff is nice, prices are great, and the food is consistantly good.

                                                -----
                                                Sweet Chili
                                                470 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02474

                                          2. j
                                            jennkay36 Sep 29, 2010 04:26 PM

                                            There's a new Mongolian hot pot restaurant near the Capitol Theater - makes for a great dinner and a movie. You order what broth you want and then what you want to put in it and you make your own dinner. You can have two different broths for different tastes. I'm a vegetarian and gluten free and my husband is a carnivore and we were both very happy. Wish I could remember the name.

                                            The Nepalese place also near the Capitol is also great.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: jennkay36
                                              Eatin in Woostah Sep 29, 2010 08:50 PM

                                              The hot pot restaurant is Little Q Hot Pot. The Nepalese is Kathmandu Spice. I agree - both excellent!

                                              -----
                                              Kathmandu Spice
                                              166 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02474

                                            2. digga Jan 7, 2011 02:57 PM

                                              We recently had the thick crust (square) Italian Flag pizza from Nicola's and it's my new favorite pizza in the area. Toppings (red sauce, fresh chopped tomatoes, spinach, and mozz) were generous and the crust was chewy but not too thick at all. B had the chicken BLT thin crust, which I didn't taste, that he loved. We've tried Sabatino's a couple of times but somehow, there's something missing for us...can't put my finger on it, though it is quite tasty. (Is it lacking salt in the dough? Dunno...) Plus Nicola is within walking distance.

                                              -----
                                              Sabatino's Restaurant
                                              735 Broadway, Malden, MA 02148

                                              6 Replies
                                              1. re: digga
                                                digga Jul 22, 2011 05:00 PM

                                                On this hot steamy night, we decided to eat early and get pizza from Nicola. My margarita Sicilian-style is delicious. Tons of flavor, great chewy crust, perfectly cooked (no need to ask for well-done). But, I gotta say, B's chicken pesto pizza was really one of the best pizzas we've had in Boston. Rich, creamy, redolent of garlic, loaded with broccoli and spinach. This pescatarian broke down and had a piece...wow! We are struggling right now not to eat the whole pie. Vinho verde, low alcohol and effervescent, cuts the richness perfectly. Go visit Nicola if you are in the area hankering for pizza made with obvious care and love (when hubby picked up the pizza, he got a lot of comments from the pizza makers and the terrifically crazy lady at the register..."whoa, the pesto...you gonna love it" and "honey, you won't go hungry tonight." This place is great.

                                                1. re: digga
                                                  b
                                                  bear Jul 22, 2011 05:03 PM

                                                  Thanks for the suggestion. We don't live too far away. Was the chicken pesto thin crust or Sicilian?

                                                  1. re: bear
                                                    digga Jul 22, 2011 05:13 PM

                                                    We got the thin crust. It was a large, so a tad soggy. I would think a small or a Sicilian-style would be less so.

                                                    1. re: digga
                                                      b
                                                      bear Jul 22, 2011 05:55 PM

                                                      Thanks. I'll heat up my pizza stone to crisp it up a bit.

                                                  2. re: digga
                                                    opinionatedchef Jul 25, 2011 01:47 PM

                                                    o.k. digga. i think you've finally propelled ? me.Since we are very very happy regulars at Stone Hearth in Belmont and Otto's in Harv Sq, this will be a risk "but one that I'm willing to take"!! so thank you and i will report back.

                                                    1. re: digga
                                                      opinionatedchef Jul 25, 2011 09:19 PM

                                                      well digga, My Love picked up 3 different pizzas tonight from Nicola's. What brilliant observation popped out of him after dinner? "I think maybe pizza is like film comedy>> harder to find like tastes than with steak or drama."

                                                      Negativity began with the impatient (new?)solo worker who took my order and handed over/charged for 4 pizzas when we only ordered three (yes, phone call to follow tomorrow).We tried but were unimpressed by all 3 pies: Marinara chicken pesto, Nicola's special, and Eggplant w/ roasted peppers and ham, all thin crust. Crust was unamazing (but it sure looks convincing in the photos) and not crispy, in spite of not having enough marinara. Marinara itself was a problem; in my book it should be simple rustic plum tomato and full of bright tomato spunk; this one is v. herby and lacks any punch. You can tell by the color- brownish red. Kosher salt helped a little but not really. Topping quality was o.k. but canned roasted peppers was not what i was expecting.

                                                      Whoever enjoys Nicola's- more power to you. I'm glad you have something near you that you like.
                                                      But if I lived in Arlington,15 minutes away from Stone Hearth in Belmont,my go-to pizza place would be Stone Hearth. And so it is, even with us being 30 minutes away instead of 15. I hope you'll try it and I hope you'll like it. Our favs are the Caramelized Onion and Sausage(amazing and spicy , made by them) and the White Bean w/ Pesto spinach salad on top (and to which we add goat cheese and bacon), both well done and whole wheat crust.

                                                  3. s
                                                    somervilleoldtimer Jan 7, 2011 03:55 PM

                                                    Well, I haven't been there yet myself, but I'm surprised no one came up with Flora.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: somervilleoldtimer
                                                      Small Plates Jan 10, 2011 09:10 AM

                                                      One of my favorite places. Good clean updated American dishes, locally sourced product, family-run, excellent service, great bar. flora has been in our regular rotation for years. One of our fav go-to places.

                                                    2. g
                                                      grant.cook Jan 7, 2011 06:40 PM

                                                      Well, you aren't far from Iggy's for breads,, its in an industrial park-ish area near Fresh Pond.

                                                      Living in the East, here's my take..

                                                      1) Arlington has 3 sections.. take-out, and the like, you tend to stick to your zone.. in the East, for example Sab's is my take-out Italian. Kathamandu Spice, Little Q, Za, are all close and tend to be go to places. For a nice drink, Res. Olivio or Flora, but Arlington really isn't much of a cocktail town.

                                                      But close by, Il Casale in Belmont, Toraya north of the Center, Punjab in the center, Scutra are all good options..

                                                      The Steer House north of the Center? Seems to be a big of an upscale OCB crowd...frankly, I'll go there the day I join AARP.

                                                      Note that you are also close to a lot of great ingredient meccas.

                                                      1) Ebisuya - Japanese, Medford Square
                                                      2) H-Mart - all other Asian, pretty much - up near Burlington
                                                      3) Arax and Sevan - Middle Eastern/Eastern Med - close by in Watertown
                                                      4) Patel Bros. - Indian - Moody St. in Waltham
                                                      5) Penzeys - Spice, in the Heights
                                                      6) Modern Brewer - beer making, in North Cambridge
                                                      7) Dave's Fresh Pasta - pasta, Davis Sq., and there's another Italian sauce place on Mass Ave near Joe Sent Me

                                                      and its not too too far of a haul into New Deal Seafood.. although CH posting seems to indicate a seafood place is opening up near the Center..

                                                      -----
                                                      Toraya Restaurant
                                                      890 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02476

                                                      Dave's Fresh Pasta
                                                      81 Holland St, Somerville, MA 02144

                                                      Joe Sent Me
                                                      849 Main St, Waltham, MA 02451

                                                      H-Mart
                                                      3 Old Concord Rd, Burlington, MA 01803

                                                      3 Replies
                                                      1. re: grant.cook
                                                        Eatin in Woostah Jan 8, 2011 09:13 AM

                                                        I had the same view of the Steer House that you expressed. My parents (both members of AARP) really wanted to go, so we went. It actually was not bad. I had a decent steak, potato, and salad. It's not anywhere that we would choose to go, but it's not awful. Prices are very reasonable, cocktails OK, decor and service just fine. Overall, probably a little better than you'd expect.

                                                        1. re: Eatin in Woostah
                                                          f
                                                          fantundo Jul 22, 2011 06:40 PM

                                                          Be careful in the parking lot, tho - a lot of senior driving going on there!

                                                          1. re: Eatin in Woostah
                                                            s
                                                            sablemerle Jul 22, 2011 08:38 PM

                                                            Jimmy's is actually very good for what it is. Yes there most loyal customers do tend to be the AARP set. It isn't trendy in the slightest. Honestly, I don't think the menu has changed much since the late 70's. But you do get an honest value. The food isn't trendy, but if you are looking for a step up from outback, without committing to the price of a Morton's or a Capital Grille, Jimmy's hits the spot. I'd pick it over Frank's (which I do think, sadly, has gone far over hill. The last two times I've eaten there the steak was abominable).

                                                            In short, basic, not adventurous menu, clientele skews heavily towards seniors, lunch is good value. If you're in the mood for steak tips, they can cook them medium-rare (unlike Frank's, who always seem to hit the far-side of medium). And their rice pilaf is delicious.

                                                        2. l
                                                          lc02139 Jan 10, 2011 10:29 AM

                                                          I would recommend Shangri-la, and Golden Garden in Belmont, Cafe Barada, Greek corner and Quindao Garden in north Cambridge when it reopens. Oh Sophia's in Belmont for your greek panty needs as well as sweets.

                                                          -----
                                                          Shangri-La
                                                          149 Belmont St, Belmont, MA 02478

                                                          Greek Corner Restaurant
                                                          2366 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02140

                                                          Cafe Barada
                                                          2269 Massachusetts Ave Ste 1, Cambridge, MA 02140

                                                          Sophia's Greek Pantry
                                                          267 Belmont Street, Belmont, MA

                                                          Golden Garden
                                                          63 Concord Ave, Belmont, MA 02478

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