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Moved to Lexington (on the Waltham line) -- trying to find new "go to" places

  • r

Hi all,

We have just moved to Lexington (very close to route 2 and the Waltham line) and are realizing that we have to start all over again finding the places that we go to on a fairly regular basis, our "go to" resturants. Would love some help getting us started. Here are the types of places we are looking for:

Bagels (surely one doesn't have to go all the way to Newton for a good bagel?)

Indian (sit down and takeout)

Thai (sit down and takeout)

Chinese (sit down and takeout)

Pizza (delivery? takeout)

Diner (or other weekend breakfast place we can go with kids)

Weekend dinner with the kids (4 yr. old twins) -- a place where we won't feel bad bringing kids, but we'll still like the food and can get a good glass of wine. [we tried ZA in Arlington the other night - that's the kind of place I'm thinking about]

Bakery (for bread mostly)

Thank you very much for your suggestions

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  1. Bagels: Sad to say, Newton is the place to go.
    Indian: Kabab & Tandoor on Main Street in Waltham is very good for dining in or takeout.
    Thai: Thai Moon in Arlington Center is also good. Small place, but ok for dining in.
    Chinese: Sato on Winter Street in Waltham is good for both Chinese and Japanese.
    Pizza: For takeout, Franco's on Moody Street in Waltham is terrific.
    Diner: Maybe In a Pickle in Waltham Center? Never been, but hear good things.
    Weekend dinner: Maybe Via Lago in Lexington Center. Good Italian food, nice atmosphere.
    Bakery: Winchester isn't far, so maybe Mamadou's Artisan Bakery on Swanton Street.

    Kabab & Tandoor
    699 Main St, Waltham, MA

    In a Pickle Restaurant
    655 Main St, Waltham, MA 02451

    Mamadou's Artisan Bakery
    63 Swanton St, Winchester, MA 01890

    Thai Moon
    663 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02476

    1 Reply
    1. re: hiddenboston

      Have to agree with hiddenboston.................Newton is the place to go for bagels.

      You might want to try the bagels at Russo Brothers, Pleasant Street in Watertown. I bought some there a while back and they were excellent.

      In a Pickle on Main Street (across from City Hall) is a good choice. Not many tables though and can get very crowded, especially on weekends.

      For Italian and American fare head to Fiorella's on North Street in Newtonville.

      In a Pickle Restaurant
      655 Main St, Waltham, MA 02451

      187 North St, Newtonville, MA 02460

    2. In Lexington, just off Waltham Street on Marrett Road is Formosa Taipei. Definitely a good choice for "go to" Chinese (Taiwan style) take-out.

      Formosa Taipei
      315 Marrett Rd, Lexington, MA 02421

      1. Had a very good falafel wrap at Nourish in Lexington center recently. Can't vouch for the food in general, but there is an emphasis on healthy choices, plus a few old standbys. Definitely kid-friendly.

        5 Replies
        1. re: jpcat

          I didn't feel this warranted a new thread, and I hate starting a negative thread on a place I've only been to twice, but I have to add in that I had a pretty lousy lunch experience yesterday at Nourish (after a mediocre experience last time). I was served a very measly portion of cod cakes ($11), and after initial disappointment at the size of the dish, was even more disappointed to find that they were charred black on the bottoms. I sent them back and 25 agonizing minutes later (with an infant and a 3 year old dining with us in an almost empty restaurant) my re-order of a quesadilla came out lukewarm. My friend's kid portion of mac and cheese was a stingy little soup cup of pasta for $6 and it appeared that they microwaved mozzerella with noodles- how else to explain the stringy cheese that she had to cut apart for him to eat? Her 3 year old complained "mommy, I'm still hungry." Really, pasta's cheap. For that price at any red sauce joint, you can get a side of a huge portion of pasta. Although the manager apologized for my cod cakes, there was no adjustment on the bill or offer of a free beverage while we waited or anything. We won't be back.

          1. re: Parsnipity

            Our lunch experience was also pretty lousy. The food was expensive, but unimpressive. Not sure if any of it was actually local/organic/etc. as the menu doesn't tell any specifics to explain the prices. The burger had a slightly spicy (almost cinnamon??) flavor, which was odd, and my nachos had a lot of flavorless white cheese that could have been mozzarella (texture, but no flavor). The service was horribly slow. Although there was only one other table, our food took about half an hour (burger and nachos). Drink refills were slow or non-existent. When we asked for our check, our dirty dishes were left on the table. We looked on Yelp afterwards and saw similar issues from a year ago.

            The black and green iced tea was great.

            1. re: quirkydeb

              I tried this place once and it was so meh I can't remember what I ate. That's bad by the way.

          2. re: jpcat

            Nourish has good and pretty healthy food- lots of it organic. The original owners had ties to organic produce and that was one of their passions (they owned Big Fresh in Framingham)
            I recommend it, plus there is music sometimes.

            Big Fresh Cafe
            341 Cochituate Rd Ste 3, Framingham, MA 01701

            1. re: jpcat

              Have yet to have a decent meal at Nourish. Sorry, we were so hopeful for it. While NYAJ's had terrible service and seemed to have problems getting food out of the small kitchen it was so much better than Nourish. Sad to say.

            2. For bread, you want Nashoba Brook Bakery. It's in concord and not easy to find. Worth seeking out. They have very good sandwiches, too.


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

              1 Reply
              1. re: cannedmilkandfruitypebbles

                You can also buy Nashoba bread at Verrill farm.

              2. In Belmont Center you have Il Casale (nice, but I think the kids would be fine there unless they are terrors), Stone Hearth Pizza, A Thai place, and an Indian place.

                Stone Hearth Pizza
                57 Leonard St, Belmont, MA 02478

                1. Joes and Joes II on main street in waltham are fine for breakfast: basic diner food and very friendly. Solea on Main Street is a pleasant tapas restaurant with good drinks and an ok place to take reasonably behaved kids. Domenics has excellent italian (best for take out as it is small, and best to order ahead) including very good subs and standard italian fare. There are several good Indian restaurants on Main Street, an excellent Indian grocery store (Patels? I think) and an excellent Italian grocery store (Salem I think, sorry I'm bad with names).

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: teezeetoo

                    Just wanted to correct a couple of addresses............Solea and Indian restaurants mentioned are not on Main Street, they're on Moody Street which is just off of Main Street. Salem foods is also on Moody Street. I believe Patels is as well.

                  2. For bread, you can hop on Rt 2 (or back roads), during non rush hour periods and make it to Iggy's fairly quickly.

                    1. Indian (sit down): Khushboo in the center...is actually a favorite of transplants (from the native country :' )) at work

                      Thai: Lemon Grass is decent IMHO

                      1. Bamboo in Bedford, off 62 near the Middlesex Turnpike for chinese, very good, even their lunch buffet is great. They also do a dinner buffet on Sunday nights. Right next door to Bamboo is Flatbread pizza, nice pizza and good wine/beer selection

                        1. I second the post recommeding Mamdou's Artisinal Bakery on Swanton St in Winchester. If you go early on a Sat morning you could have breakfast at the Swanton St, Diner which is directly across the street. I love Mamadou's Pain Levain.

                          1. Would recommend Baan Thai on Main Street, Waltham (near the traffic light with Moody) for Thai food. I've been going there with my (now) 4 year old since she was 4 months old. We brought another couple there with a 4 month old just this past weekend and they were very accommodating. All at the table declared the food fresh, spicy (when it was supposed to be) and delish.

                            MuLan (a Taiwanese restaurant and beloved on this board) is opening a branch in Waltham, also on Main Street, that would be great for families. The signage is up, but I haven't peeked in to see if they are operational yet.

                            If you do get to hop over to Watertown for a run to Russo's, a stop for brunch at The Spot Cafe on Main Street, Watertown, may work for you. Nice cozy atmosphere with the nicest owners. FIlls up quick over the weekends and can be a little loud, but very kid friendly. Awesome, fluffy pancakes and Belgian waffles. Marco, the owner will make a bunny-faced pancake for your kids anytime. He does a strawberries and cream with chocolate sauce for my 4 year old every time she comes around. Eggs are basic, but good. Love their Miche toast.

                            Baan Thai
                            659 Main St, Waltham, MA 02451

                            228 Broadway, Cambridge, MA 02139

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Crazy Egg

                              I've had breakfast at The Spot Cafe (fried egg sandwich) and it was delishious. We often stop by just to by a load of the bread which he makes. I'm assuming it's Miche. So good!

                            2. A few more options, slanted toward staying in Lexington or neighboring towns:

                              Bagels - Bagels by Us on Mass Ave in Arlington (near Lexington line) has H&H bagels. Closer than Newton, but a little overpriced.

                              Indian - The relatively new Royal India Bistro in downtown Lexington is really, really good. We no longer drive to Waltham for Indian.

                              Thai - Takeout in Lexington, Rice Cube. Very good (especially the spicy wings and beef basil.) Sit down in Lexington, Lemongrass Thai. Not great, but OK and close.

                              Chinese - Takeout, as mentioned before, Formosa Taipei in Marrett Sq., Lexington. For pu pu platter/pork fried rice type Chinese takeout, Changhai at the corner of Woburn and Lowell Streets in Lexington. No good sit down option in town. (Yangtze River in downtown will make you wish you drove to Sichuan Garden in Woburn.)

                              Pizza - takeout not too bad from Mario's in downtown. Upper Crust takeout is consitently lousy. Frankly, we order takeout from Nicola's in Arlington.

                              Diner/breakfast - Via Lago is open for breakfast M - Sat. We go to Classic Kitchen on Mass Ave in Arlington Heights.

                              Bakery - There are a few options for fresh bread in Lexington. Tutto Italiano has fresh baguettes and sub rolls, Great Harvest has a variety of breads (including a really delicious apple pie bread that is more of a dessert) and Wilson Farms offers a variety of local breads, including Iggy's. For pastries, Royal Pastry Shop has excellent Italian cookies and pastries, and Cake in downtown does very nice cakes and cupcakes. For the best cookies in the world, drive to Arlington Heights to Lakota Bakery.

                              Weekend dinner with the kids - we really enjoy Via Lago. It's the kind of place where you can get a decent glass of wine or cocktail, roast chicken, cubano sandwich, or cassoulet, and the kids can have real mac and cheese. It's small, but if you go fairly early it shouldn't be an issue squeezing in with the kids.

                              Other good spots nearby that you didn't ask about:
                              Ixtapa in Lexington is good for quick sit-down Mexican.
                              Daikanyama has very good sushi.
                              Prime Roast Beef and Seafood has really good roast beef sandwiches and onion rings.
                              Tutto Italiano - delicious prepared Italian takeout and Italian sandwiches
                              Candy Castle - ice cream!!!
                              Rancatore's - ice cream! and Lakota Bakery cookies!!!!
                              Avenue Deli - very good sandwiches, and Mexican Cokes in glass bottles with real sugar

                              Places in Lexington that we wish we could like but just don't (non-chains)
                              Yangtze River
                              Three Gorges
                              Nick's Pizza
                              Lexington House of Pizza
                              Waxy O'Connor's (except for wings and beer)

                              Wilson Farm
                              10 Pleasant St, Lexington, MA 02421

                              Lakota Bakery
                              1373 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02476

                              Yangtze River Restaurant
                              21 Depot Sq, Lexington, MA 02420

                              321 Woburn St, Lexington, MA 02420

                              Dabin Restaurant
                              10 Muzzey St Ste 1, Lexington, MA 02421

                              Lexington House of Pizza
                              399 Lowell St, Lexington, MA 02420

                              Formosa Taipei
                              315 Marrett Rd, Lexington, MA 02421

                              6 Replies
                              1. re: Eatin in Woostah

                                This is such a helpful post for me -- thank you!

                                Do you know of any good Cambodian places near Lexington?

                                1. re: michelleats

                                  Hi Michelle,
                                  I've been neglecting my CH threads, and missed your question. Glad the post was helpful! I don't know of any Cambodian in Lex. Elephant Walk in Waltham has some Cambodian dishes, but if you're willing to drive 20 minutes it's worth it to go to Lowell. A quick search should turn up a list of SE Asian spots to try there.

                                  I agree with tatsu that Dabin is not really bad, we just don't love it. It's worth the drive to Nu Jang Su (sp?) in Burlington for Korean.

                                  Elephant Walk
                                  663 Main Street, Waltham, MA 02451

                                  Dabin Restaurant
                                  10 Muzzey St Ste 1, Lexington, MA 02421

                                  1. re: Eatin in Woostah

                                    No worries -- thanks for getting back to me! I once lived very close to Elephant Walk in Boston and ate there frequently. But I was hoping for some lesser known, hole in the wall, less-French-more-Cambodian types of places in areas surrounding Boston. It's not a cuisine we do very well in NYC, so I want to make the most of my time when I'm in your parts. (A Chowhound posting in the NYC board once mentioned Cambodian as an area strength.)

                                    Thanks for the suggestions, though. I never turn down good Korean, if I can find it, either. :)

                                    Elephant Walk
                                    900 Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02215

                                    1. re: michelleats

                                      go to lowell. plenty of excellent cambodian restaurants up there. totally worth the trip

                                  2. re: michelleats

                                    Oh, and while I'm updating, have you checked out the food court at H-Mart? There are Korean, Japanese, and Vietnamese stalls. Awesome for a quick pre-grocery shopping dinner.

                                    3 Old Concord Rd, Burlington, MA 01803

                                  3. re: Eatin in Woostah

                                    Dabin is the best of your worst list. I'll eat there.

                                    Dabin Restaurant
                                    10 Muzzey St Ste 1, Lexington, MA 02421

                                  4. For pizza, we kept Sabatino's in Arlington in business when we lived down the street. I think the Sabatino's in Waltham would be closer to you, but I have no idea if the quality is the same.

                                    Second Thai Moon and Ixtapa (great for dinner with kids - maybe not a good glass of wine, but a margarita!).

                                    Thai Moon
                                    663 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02476

                                    1. Welcome to the vast wasteland that is dining in Lexington. We've yet to figure out why an affluent town of 30,000 people has some of the worst restaurants in the Boston area.

                                      Bagels: Rosenfeld's in Newton is about the best in the broader area.

                                      Indian: Punjab is Arlington is reasonably good. I have not yet tried the new restaurant on Merriam St but hear it is good.

                                      Thai: We tend to go into Boston for Thai. Have yet to find any place decent nearby and Lemon Grass is horrible.

                                      Chinese: All terrible in Lexington. Bamboo in Bedford is passable. We usually trek to Cambridge to go to Changsho.

                                      Pizza: We like Upper Crust.

                                      Diner: No such thing. We can dream though, can't we?

                                      Weekend dinner: We like Ixtapa in East Lexington. The food is better than Margaritas and they are good with kids. I know it gets dissed here a lot and the food is not great but you just can't beat Marios for a quick dinner with the kids.

                                      1712 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138

                                      349 Main St, Woburn, MA 01801

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: jeninma

                                        I like the veal parm at Marios. When I'm looking for red sauce comfort food, Mario's fills the need.

                                        And I have had some decent Indian food at Kushboo.

                                        1. re: LStaff

                                          As a Lexington resident with two kids, I completely agree on the thumbs up for Mario's. Not high end eats by any stretch, but decent enough red sauce food and very kid-friendly.

                                      2. I had occasion to spend every day last week in Lexington. It's a bit of a wasteland (for lunch anyway), unless I missed some hidden gems. Arlington offers more. My best experiences were two very good lunches at Formosa Taipei (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6897... ) and four post-lunch visits to the excellent Sweet Thyme Bakery (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7098... ). 

                                        Less successful were very ordinary lunches at Royal Indian Bistro (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7573... ), Via Lago (corned beef on  rye), and Lexx (an acceptable turkey club, with dreadful, dry sweet potato fries). The atmosphere at Lexx is quite pleasant and the staff agreeable. I found Via Lago a little gloomy, and the woman behind the counter rolled her eyes when I asked to see the corned beef before I ordered it. It looked nicely fatty, but looks were deceptive. 

                                        Formosa Taipei
                                        315 Marrett Rd, Lexington, MA 02421

                                        1. I used to work in Waltham and a favorite of mine for Thai food is Green Papaya. Good food, reasonable portions and affordable, so in summary, good for families. Dine in, take out or delivery. They are very busy weekdays during lunch time and sometimes it's hard to find a place to park so I'd say if you have to, get there before noon or after 1 PM Good place to bring kids. http://www.greenpapayawaltham.com/
                                          For pizza, I like B&F House of Pizza, for delivery, take out and dine in. Also good for kids. I don't eat a lot of pizza (gluten/wheat intolerant) but I can eat a slice or two of their pizza. They are on Lake Street in Waltham http://www.bfpizza.com/
                                          Both places are near my workplace so I hope they are convenient for you. There are great places to consider for a kids free date on Moody's Street, my favorite is Tapas.

                                          Green Papaya
                                          475 Winter St Ste 1, Waltham, MA 02451

                                          House of Pizza
                                          206 Division St, Pawtucket, RI 02860