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Beford/Billerica - good food ????

m
miss seattle Apr 29, 2011 11:35 AM

I’ve not perused the whole board yet but on my 1st click the chain was all about how excited people were that a new Cheesecake Factory was opening. Seriously people, is there not a local place that you like ? Local food, hopefully even organic ? Not laden with meats & fats ?

Last time I was out your way I had the worst food experience almost ever when I travel – ended up as I could not find anyplace else: Chili’s, Cheesecake Factory, and it got better one day when I happened upon a Whole Foods.

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  1. justbeingpolite RE: miss seattle Apr 29, 2011 11:44 AM

    Try these threads:

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/709554
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/712540
    Lot's of good ethnic Chinese (Sichuan), Indian, Korean. A few upscale etc.
    If you'd narrow down a little, I'm sure many CHers would chime in.

    1. m
      miss seattle RE: miss seattle Apr 29, 2011 12:02 PM

      expanding the preferences: local burger places (organic meat), awesome salads (local greens, made from scratch dressings, good steaks with good veggies, whole grain pancakes/muffins, soy lattes, mexican/southern food (fresh made guacamole). just to add a few ideas of what i'd prefer. i know where i'm staying is not the center of the universe but that's closest to where my husband is: MCI Concord. thanks. i'm just there for a few days.

      3 Replies
      1. re: miss seattle
        justbeingpolite RE: miss seattle Apr 29, 2011 12:22 PM

        Dalya's in Bedford.
        How about the new 80 Thoreau in Concord?
        Sounds like up your alley. http://www.80thoreau.com
        Not much Mexican in the area, unless you'll go to Zocalo in Arlington.

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        Zocalo
        203 Broadway, Arlington, MA 02474

        Dalya's Restaurant
        20 North Rd Ste 1, Bedford, MA 01730

        1. re: justbeingpolite
          f
          frond RE: justbeingpolite Apr 30, 2011 08:14 AM

          I had a drink and and appetizer at 80 Thoreau Thursday night at the bar. The duck liver pate was tasty and a nice serving for $5. I had a Manhattan that was good but it was the same price as other nearby restaurants and half the size. The wine pours also looked small. The menu did look interesting. I happen to overhear that the person next to me was there for his fourth time the first week. He obviously liked it.

        2. re: miss seattle
          trufflehound RE: miss seattle May 2, 2011 02:41 AM

          For good greasy breakfast, sandwiches, pizza the Club Car in W Concord is right around the corner.

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          Club Car Cafe
          20 Commonwealth Ave, Concord, MA 01742

        3. Luther RE: miss seattle Apr 29, 2011 02:05 PM

          The best food in Billerica (and probably the best overall Sichuan in MA) is Sichuan Gourmet. It is indeed laden with meats and fats; perhaps you can get used to this.

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          Sichuan Gourmet
          502 Boston Rd, Billerica, MA 01821

          1. h
            Highland Park RE: miss seattle Apr 29, 2011 04:00 PM

            I posted this on your Northern New England Entry, but thought I'd re-post and elaborate on the Flatbread option:

            Since I am very familiar with these two towns, I would send you to the Pongal in Billerica for the weekend brunch buffet. Sichuan Gourmet is not to be missed, also in Billerica. There are many posts on the Boston board mentioning these two restaurants.

            In Bedford, Flatbread is pretty good for a nice beer and alternative style flatbread/pizza. Flatbread sounds like its right up your alley, with all organic materials and nitrate free sausage, etc. I think they even have an organic beer. Service is generally OK, but can be little slow at times.

            There is a small and friendly sushi restaurant in Bedford center called Ginger that offers reasonable quality sushi for a fair price - not the best, but certainly adequate for the convenience factor.

            I don't know from your post if you are confined to these two towns or not, but certainly travel to neighboring towns is pretty simple in off-peak hours. Close by is Arlington, which has several good options.

            1. t
              three of us RE: miss seattle Apr 29, 2011 04:04 PM

              On Boston Road in Billerica but almost to the Burlington line, Pongal is a very good Indian restaurant. In Lowell, there is Life Alive for organic, vegetarian, maybe vegan food. Neither of these are near MCI Concord but a 30 minute or so drive away. In West Concord, Deborah's Natural Gourmet is a health food store with take-out vegetarian food. Deborah's is a five minute drive from MCI Concord.

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              Life Alive
              194 Middle St Apt 3R, Lowell, MA 01852

              2 Replies
              1. re: three of us
                t
                three of us RE: three of us Apr 30, 2011 10:51 AM

                A couple more places around Deborah's: Heading away from the direction of the prison and across the RR tracks is a seafood place that is mostly take-out. Also, there is Concord Teacakes or some such thing that many people like.

                If you have your back to Deborah's, take a right and at the corner where the gas stations is take another right and another right to where there is a line of brick-front businesses. Nashoba Bakery has very good bread and sandwiches.

                If you take a left from Deborah's, there is Walden Pizza a few doors down. We have enjoyed the calzones and some salads from there.

                1. re: three of us
                  m
                  miss seattle RE: three of us Apr 30, 2011 11:01 AM

                  thank you ! sounds like i can eat a lot better this trip out.

              2. PinchOfSalt RE: miss seattle Apr 29, 2011 04:30 PM

                Boston is a region where "local" means "very seasonal". This time of year, we are getting our first local produce in several months, in the form of greens grown in greenhouses. While you can find some tomatoes grown under glass not too far away (there is a big producer in Maine), at this time of year, almost every bit of fresh (e.g. unprocessed) produce that is in the market will be from somewhere else. So while you may find some restaurants that offer organic food, vegetarian food, or even organic vegetarian food :-) it probably will NOT be local.

                If you do visit again during, say, July-October you may be able to find what you want. I've seen some local chefs shopping at my local farmers market. Fresh, organic, local, delicious. Summer and most of fall are wonderful times for eating in New England. Spring? We love to see the flowers a-blooming.

                1. whs RE: miss seattle Apr 29, 2011 04:38 PM

                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/584034

                  1. m
                    miss seattle RE: miss seattle May 20, 2011 10:21 AM

                    So the trip was uneventful and here is take on restaurants. Travelling alone doesn't make me the most adventurous eater in the world. I ended eating at Blue Stove @ Nordstrom 4 times. Yes, 4 times. I took 2 different people that had never been there as well. The food was good, sometimes very good. The setting is a little dark but OK. Going thru the store to get there not the best, but there's lots of parking ! Items I had: Grilled Steak over Romesco Sauce (very yummy), Arugula Salad w/beets & goat cheese (yummy), Chicken Tacos (good enough), Ricotta Gnocchi with corn sauce (very yummy), Prawn Tempura (fine enough), Butterscotch Pot de Crème (rich and good).

                    I went to Whole Foods on Great Road and it's not like the ones in Seattle, it's very old school. Got some breakfast items from their hot buffet - ok, not great. They don't have espresso !!! I had to hoof it over to Starbucks - they should, it would get them more customers.

                    Oh - and on the way out I stopped at Kelly’s in Revere for a lobster roll at the insistence of the locals. Not that great. I know its heresy to say on this board, but lobster isn't da'bomb for me. Dungeness Crab is much better. I had the lobster roll - and you could tell it was frozen (not enough water drained out of it before serving) and the other ingredients are what give it taste. Just my opinion.

                    Thanks for the direction.

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                    Blue Stove
                    75 Middlesex Turnpike, Burlington, MA 01803

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: miss seattle
                      justbeingpolite RE: miss seattle May 20, 2011 10:29 AM

                      As a west coast Dungeness Crab fan, next time you're here hit one of the Chinatown choices (East Ocean City or Peach Farm) for salt and pepper Dungeness.

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                      Peach Farm
                      4 Tyler St, Boston, MA 02111

                      1. re: miss seattle
                        whs RE: miss seattle May 20, 2011 03:41 PM

                        I like Blue Stove, but c'mon, four times? I believe Nordstrom started in Seattle, so I'm a little disappointed you didn't stretch a little.

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                        Blue Stove
                        75 Middlesex Turnpike, Burlington, MA 01803

                        1. re: whs
                          h
                          Highland Park RE: whs May 20, 2011 05:35 PM

                          Ditto on Blue Stove, aren't there Blue Stoves in the Pac NW Nordstroms? Blue Stove is OK, but 4 times, with Sichuan Gourmet and other fine places within striking distance?

                          As far as the lobster roll goes, next time you are in these parts check this board for the proper places to get it - you won't be disappointed. You would have done better at the airport at Legal Test Kitchen than at Kelly's.

                          Seems to me that the best time to be adventurous IS when you are traveling alone.

                          1. re: Highland Park
                            s
                            Swankalicious RE: Highland Park May 20, 2011 06:06 PM

                            I've sung their praises here before, but just over the Billerica line in Lowell is the absolutely wonderful, Americana-ish Good Thymes Cafe.

                            1. re: Swankalicious
                              h
                              hargau RE: Swankalicious May 21, 2011 07:29 AM

                              Such a sad conclusion to this post.
                              Kelly's lobster roll is indeed horrible. I have never understood how or why anyone gave it praise. Flavorless/spongy soaking wet and ice cold lobster meat fresh out of the freezer. One of the worst i have had anywhere, it really isn't a fair representation of a good roll. I know some on here will disagree.. I suspect that the location in revere holds some sort of emotional/nostalgia thing for some.

                      2. q
                        qianning RE: miss seattle May 21, 2011 01:11 PM

                        sorta hard for me to grasp to concept of flying from seattle to massachusetts to eat at Nordstroms 4 times and WF however many others.

                        And fwi, Kelly's forte is, imho, clam chowder, not lobster rolls, and anyway.

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