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Nov 13, 2010 02:33 PM

Lunch "down da Lake": Babalicous and Antoine's

First things first: anyone know why the Nonantum neighborhood of Newton is called "The Lake"? When I was a kid growing up in Newton, I'm not sure even knew it was called Nonantume; we all called it "da Lake."

I had a meeting in Newton yesterday afternoon, so I decided to cut through "da Lake" for a banh mi from Bobalicious. It was delicious. Not as good as the Super 88, but very good nonetheless.

I then made the mistage of going across the street to Antoine's. Was this place ever good, or did I just think it was good when I was a kid? I tried a raspberry turnover and an M&M cookie, both of which sucked! Is their famous strawberry cake still good (if it ever was)?

308 Watertown St, Newton, MA 02458

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    1. re: Blumie

      Nice on the History. I love MA lore like that.

      "Gotta love that 1950s development mindset. Huh, pond, sure, let's just pave it over."

      On the Antoine's part I'm with ya. Never understood. Though from past postings I gather there are some things they do well. Ohlin's in Belmont has the same issue. Most stuff just sucks, but some of their donuts and breakfast pastry are okay.

      1. re: StriperGuy

        Antoine's cinnamon bread is good. Makes great French toast. I never buy anything else there.

        You can still see references to the former Silver Lake in some Nonantum business names.

      2. re: Blumie

        Okay definitely small world... was out to dinner with several chowhounds, one from Newton, last night and she mentioned the lake in Nonantum. Heck she remembered when they paved it over and said, "heck back then they paved everything over, their back yards, ponds whatever...

      3. I like their almond biscotti but most of the stuff in the case isn't special.

        1. I'm certainly partial to the strawberry cake; I also like the bismarks and the eclairs (and I have a hard time finding an eclair that I like around Boston nowadays.) In the proper season their zeppole are not as good as Modern's but are pretty darn good.

          I have to say that I haven't had a good turnover *anyplace* in many, many years.

          1. I'm in the "depends on what ya get" camp re Antoine's. Their eclairs, pasticciotti and Italian cookies are good. Most of the rest....isn't.

            I also overhead the owner talking about trying to sell the place one of the more recent times I was in there, which might mean their heart isn't in it. But I'm still a fan overall-It's a tough business

            1. i have a nice paved back yard in the lake and was recently called a "mush" at buffs pub.

              9 Replies
                1. re: StriperGuy

                  A 'mush' is a slang term for 'guy' or 'buddy'. there is a fair amount of nonantum slang that bears some similarity to romany language. see blumie's wikipedia link above.

                    1. re: burny carbo

                      Get out!!! That's where "pissa!" comes from!?!?

                      1. re: galleygirl

                        No, I don't think so. Most of the rest of that vocabulary is indigenous to Nonantum (and, apparently, Newton North High School), but I can vouch for the fact that "pissa" has been widespread throughout Boston for decades.

                        1. re: Allstonian

                          Yes, I know, having grown up here, but since I wasn't around in the 30's or 40's, it could have started there!

                          1. re: galleygirl

                            I don't buy it - why would that one word become widespread throughout the whole greater Boston area and all the other Nonantum-speak stay local? I think the Globe reporter just got that wrong.

                    1. re: BoDubya

                      I went to high school at Newton North High School in the early '80s. We all referred to each other as "mush" in those days. "Hey, mush, how's it going?" Some old high school buddies recently organized a reunion, which they called "mushfest."