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Moving to Malden...?

Hi food lovers,

I'm moving to Malden Center in Sept from Somerville/Cambridge line and I'm wondering what y'all know about the area for good eats. I'm going to miss my Highland Kitchen deperately. Any recommendations, places to TOTALLY avoid, etc?

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Highland Kitchen
150 Highland Ave, Somerville, MA 02143

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  1. Did you search on "Malden" yet?

    Lots of interesting food, including Moroccan, Sri Lankan (Biryani Park), Ethiopian (Habesha) and good to great Szechuan (Fuloon). I've also enjoyed All Season's Table for modern Asian.

    No ideas to replace your Highland Kitchen crush, but I'm sure others will chime in.

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    Highland Kitchen
    150 Highland Ave, Somerville, MA 02143

    1 Reply
    1. re: yumyum

      Thanks!! I'll check these all out.

    2. Welcome to the neighborhood :-)

      I haven’t made it to Highland Kitchen yet, myself, but looking at the menu, there’s no place that’s quite as eclectic here, though I think you will find elements from their menu all over town.

      You have many options right in Malden Center. My favorite place for nicer atmosphere, very good food (which sometimes tends towards the saltier side for my palate) is Tivoli’s on Exchange Street. It’s a small, family-run place; in years past I would set aside a whoel evening to dine there but on my last few visits, things moved along a bit faster. The menu is mostly Italian with a few diversions (escargot are usually on the menu, and lately they’ve had a Portugeuse-style fish soup). The menu changes every few months, the prices are very reasonable and the portions are substantial. They’ve gotten a bit smaller in the last few years but are still more than I can eat at one sitting. I think the chef does a really great job with sauces, especially anything with shellfish or seafood.

      Exchange Street Bistro is a block away, also on Exchange Street (duh!). Very sleek space that’s fun to sit in, expansive flufftini menu and more uneven food. I’ve had some good things there, some not so good, nothing that I would call bad. It’s a fun vibe and that’s mainly what we go there for, when we go. All Seasons Table also has a very cool vibe and sleek look; I like their sake-tini with lychee (not to be confused with their lychee-tini, lol).

      Other options for nicer dining in nearby towns are Bistro 5 in Medford (some folks on this board have not had good experiences; I’ve been 2 or 3 times and really loved the food). Parson’s Table in Winchester is supposed to be very good but I haven’t been there yet.

      For breakfast, we like the Do Wop Diner on Main Street and Valle Restaurant on Exchange Street. Do Wop is typical diner food, they make their own corned beef hash and have a crab cake benedict that I enjoy (I had mentioned it before on CH; they used to make it with fake crab but the last few times we went they’d upgraded to the real deal). Valle makes their own whole wheat bread and serves it up in huge slabs; they also do an El Salvadorean bfast with eggs, tortillas, etc. I haven’t tried the Converse Restaurant on Main St, I heard it was not so good and haven’t ventured in. I’m not a big fan of Cornucopia foods (on Pleasant St) only because the vibe in there feels weird to me; it might just be me. We used to love Margie’s Kitchen on Eastern Ave but they changed owners recently and my hubby didn’t like it on his last visit. The Lunch Box Diner, a little farther down Eastern Ave, is a sweet little place; I haven’t been in a while but we used to go there quite often. They don’t have many tables, just stools lining the room.

      For Chinese, def. Fuloon and we’ve also enjoyed dim sum at the recently renovated Sun Kong on Eastern Ave.

      For Vietnamese, there are 3 places on Pleasant Street in Malden Center (Pho Hoa, Pho 99, and Saigon Noodle, which is technically on Main St but it’s right at the intersection of Pleasant Street). Pho Hoa has the nicest atmosphere and decor; it’s probably a tossup as to which has the best food. Pho Hia has the most extensive menu. Each place has its fans among my friends, I don’t have a fave myself.

      For Italian, Prisco’s Pasta Market Café on Ferry Street has a nice, neighborhood-place atmosphere and makes their own pasta (except for angel hair). We especially enjoy their stuffed gnocchi appetizer. Massimo’s on Pleasant St. is a comfy, family-style place; most of their pasta is not homemade but they do make a few things, if you ask for it (there is a surcharge for the homemade stuff). In nearby Everett, Abbondanza on Main St is very good IMO and would probably be my pick for local places to go for Italian (though I can walk to Pasta market, which is a pretty big plus…).

      For Indian, we’ve been fine with the food we gotten at Joti Palace, others prefer Spcie N Hot (both on Main Street). Both places have their detractors…after trying out Biryani Park, though, I will drive the short way across town every time.

      +1 on Habesha and Morrocan Hospitality. Yummmmmm.

      For ice cream, Dairy Delite on Main Street. I love their chocolate ice cream….Jay’s Ice Cream on Center Street is perfectly fine and also has parking. If you travel down Salem St to Maplewood Sq. check out Jules Ice cream – a sweet little place, she has Richardson’s flavors.

      What else? We usually have a farmer’s market but there was a problem with the site and they had to cancel it this year, sadly. Farmer Dave’s has added a CSA pickup for Malden (we are still going with Farm Direct Coop with pickup in Melrose, though), Boston Organics delivers here on Fridays, and I think Houde Family Farm will deliver here as well (we do Chestnut Farms CSA with pickup in Arlington).

      Oh, and coffee! You will notice the absence of Starbucks, something that I’m rather proud of. I do wish we had a coffeehouse, tho…Abiata on Pleasant St is new and supposedly has coffee and wifi (as well as Ethiopian and Mediterranean food for lunch). New England Coffee Company on Charles St (behind the Stop and Shop) has a small café open in the morning. You can get a decent (and inexpensive) latte and buy their ground coffee for less than at the grocery store but there’s not much room to sit and linger. (And that slightly burned smell in the air sometimes? That’s the aroma of roasting coffee. I don’t mind it, myself).

      We have a crazy number of pizza shops, if you ask me. I don’t know how they all stay in business.

      The only place that I usually avoid is the Dockside, either location. The only time we go is when my in-laws are in town and want to take us and the kids out for fish and chips (they have a magician of sorts on Saturday evenings, it’s fun for our boys).

      I’ll end my opus now…I really hope you enjoy living here! It’s kind of a quirky place, because we have such a diverse population, but that’s what I love about it.

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      Joti Palace
      308 Main St, Malden, MA 02148

      Exchange Street Bistro
      67 Exchange Street, Malden, MA 02148

      Saigon Noodle
      381 Main St, Malden, MA 02148

      Pasta Market Cafe
      237 Ferry St, Malden, MA 02148

      Lunch Box Diner
      906 Eastern Ave, Malden, MA 02148

      Bistro 5
      5 Playstead Road, Medford, MA 02155

      Highland Kitchen
      150 Highland Ave, Somerville, MA 02143

      All Seasons Table Restaurant
      64 Pleasant St, Malden, MA 02148

      Habesha Restaurant
      535 Main St, Malden, MA

      Tivoli's
      121 Exchange St, Malden, MA 02148

      Sun Kong Restaurant
      275 Eastern Ave, Malden, MA 02148

      Biryani Park
      105 Broadway (Route 99), Malden, MA 02148

      11 Replies
      1. re: gimlis1mum

        I'd avoid Saigon for pho. Pho Hoa and Pho 99 are much better with Pho Hoa taking the slight edge.

        1. re: gimlis1mum

          what have you ordered at joti palace?

          ate there a few years ago and had the worst indian food in my life. i usually give a restaurant a few chances before i give up but this meal was so bad that it made me never want to return

          1. re: galangatron

            Ditto. I am not too hot on Spice N Hot either. Given the introduction of biryani park
            and that they have indian in addition to sri lanken, I doubt I will be trying it again real soon.

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            Spice N Hot
            519 Main St, Malden, MA 02148

            1. re: galangatron

              We usually get takeout instead of dine-in. It's been a while since we ordered from them (a few months at least) and I don't rememebr specific dishes that we got, sorry. I do remember there was a discussion on the board about Indian food in Malden, and being a bit surprised because while Joti's food didn't knock my socks off, I didn't think it was Bad, either. What was bad about it? Bad tasting? Wrong spices? I'm just curious and wondering if I missed something.

              Agree with DrB, though - I'll probably go to Biryani Park to get a (local) fix of Indian food from now on.

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              Biryani Park
              105 Broadway (Route 99), Malden, MA 02148

              1. re: galangatron

                Joti used to kinda suck, but they've been a lot better in the last year IMHO. I don't go there, though, because Kebab Corner in Wellington Circle is so close and yummy.

                I haven't been to Biryani Park as I just learned about it yesterday, but it's 3 minutes from my house and I can't wait to try it!

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                Biryani Park
                105 Broadway (Route 99), Malden, MA 02148

              2. re: gimlis1mum

                P.S. Forgot about Ristorante Serena in Maplewood Square...haven't tried it yet but it's supposed to be very good Italian.

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                Ristorante Serena
                18 Lebanon St, Malden, MA 02148

                1. re: gimlis1mum

                  Second for Ristorante Serena. I live nearby so I go there a lot and it's consistently good.

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                  Ristorante Serena
                  18 Lebanon St, Malden, MA 02148

                2. re: gimlis1mum

                  Tivoli's is closing.... :-(

                  http://malden.patch.com/articles/tivo...

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                  Tivoli's
                  121 Exchange St, Malden, MA 02148

                  1. re: gimlis1mum

                    what's the story on Pearl Street Station?? Any opinions?

                    1. re: cpkostos

                      It is fine. Good place to watch a game; totally unremarkable food.

                  2. Some of my favorites are:

                    All Seasons Table (Pan-Asian)
                    Habesha (Ethiopian)
                    Salem Wood Cafe (Italian-American)
                    Pasta Market Cafe (Italian)

                    All are within walking distance of downtown Malden.

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                    Pasta Market Cafe
                    237 Ferry St, Malden, MA 02148

                    Salem Wood Cafe
                    385 Salem St, Malden, MA 02148

                    All Seasons Table Restaurant
                    64 Pleasant St, Malden, MA 02148

                    Habesha Restaurant
                    535 Main St, Malden, MA

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: hiddenboston

                      Slaem Wood Cafe also has great steak tips.

                      1. re: hiddenboston

                        Been to Salem Wood Cafe a few times, I really like their steak tips, great flavor, tender and juicy. However, everytime I've been they were out of draft beer, what??? Also, one time I ordered their ceasar salad and they charged extra for anchovies, I mean it's a fregg'n ceasar salad what do you think it should have on it? I'm not giving up, as the tips are worth going back for but, I hope to score at least a draft next time.

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                        Salem Wood Cafe
                        385 Salem St, Malden, MA 02148

                      2. fuloon
                        pho hoa
                        habesha
                        moroccan hospitality restaurant
                        biryani park
                        abiata
                        sun kong
                        spice n hot
                        pho 99
                        the pasta market
                        exchange street bistro
                        pisa pizza
                        nonni's pizza

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: galangatron

                          Pisa pizza is just like my old visits to Anna's on Revere Beach. Love it, you can actually see the oil floating on top of the pizza. Yet not greasy....

                          And try Papa's Bar and Grille.. It's a kind of a bar like atmosphere, but the Steak tips are TDF.

                        2. The Sun Guang bakery in Malden Square makes a delicious cake with fruit and whip cream. It's very simple, and very light, but delicious. Ask for a "fruit cake". Reasonable prices, too.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: pemma

                            Agreed - good stuff, we've had their cakes for the boys birthdays several times. The twist donuts are pretty yummy, too. I like the coconut buns but they defiantly need to be eaten on the day you buy them, they don't hold up well overnight.

                          2. All Seasons Table: Awesome pan-Asian, great atmosphere, and nice bar scene on the weekends. Mussels in Black Bean Sauce, tempura-style Calamari, Spicy Tuna App., True Love Maki, Caribbean Seaweed Salad are some of my favorites.
                            Tivoli's: Open Wed-Sat for dinner only but great, cozy Italian-French bistro
                            Fortune Corner: In Maplewood- Chinese food to-go. The staff are really nice, and I think it's a solid choice for Chinese to-go. (I like the fact that the kitchen is semi-open, so if you stand at the counter after you order you can watch them cook. It was here that I watched pork fried rice being made for the first time.)

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                            All Seasons Table Restaurant
                            64 Pleasant St, Malden, MA 02148

                            Tivoli's
                            121 Exchange St, Malden, MA 02148

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: givemefoodnow

                              Tivoli's is closed :(

                              http://malden.patch.com/articles/tivo...

                              -----
                              Tivoli's
                              121 Exchange St, Malden, MA 02148

                            2. Thanks for this thread, all! Terrific rundown of Malden options. Gives me new hope. I had been afraid that Habesha might be the only good food in town. Now I have tons of stuff to try.

                              Research also popped up Bossa Nova, a new Brazilian steakhouse joint that's getting some good reviews.

                              http://www.bossanovaboston.com/

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                              Habesha Restaurant
                              535 Main St, Malden, MA

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: AlCracka

                                Here's a thread on Bossa Nova:
                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/822049

                                Lots more happening in Malden Center lately, most has been mentioned in other threads but I'll summartize for ya...Baba Market is open (very first storefront on Pleasant St., right next to Government Center): I stopped in one morning but was to early for lunch & coudln't get back there later, unfortunately. There's a new Mexican place going in next to the T in the old Artichokes/MyCousin Vinny's space. The Cannoli Guy on Main Street (inside the Pisa Pizza shop) makes a nice latte, a decent cannoli, and other desserts. He also ahs a wine liscence so you can sit at the bar and sip a glass of port with your dessert...very nice.

                                I need to make a separate post about this, but - there's going to be a series of "Community Dinners" at several Malden restaurants. These events are in conjuction with Malden Reads, which chose "Outcasts United" for the 2012 One City, One book program. Sun kong, Bossa Nova, Habesha, Biryani Park, Moroccan Hospitality and Valle Restaurant are participating. More info is on the Malden Reads website, under Events:
                                http://www.maldenreads.org/Community-...

                                1. re: gimlis1mum

                                  Nice, gimlis1mum, thanks. Yeah, fingers crossed for that Mexican place - especially since it's right on my way home. I've been keeping an eye on it; mostly all I've noticed so far is that they dump a lot of trash outside the place.

                                  Man, I love the idea of combining food and talking about books...I can't say I'm very interested in that specific book, sadly. Maybe I should read it anyway just on principle.

                              2. Malden Square has a lot of great places to get food. The three biggest restaurants in the square are All Seasons Table, Exchange Street Bistro, and Hugh O'Neill's Pub. All three have dramatically different styles that are not disappointing in any way. All Seasons Table is a modern Asian restaurant with many Pan-Asian tastes. There is live music played on the weekends and the service is very good. The prices are moderate, but you're paying for quality food.

                                The Exchange Street Bistro is a modern American restaurant/lounge. I really enjoy this restaurant myself. The food is good and the service is good. The prices can get a little high depending on what you order, but the food is definitely worth the pay.

                                Hugh O'Neill's Pub is an American pub. It is very lively and there are often events like trivia nights going on inside. Those are very fun to be a part of. They also have a happy hour, which is great. The food is typical pub food, which is very good to me, and it's an essential restaurant to Malden Square. There is outdoor seating which is great on a nice day.

                                One of the best things about all of these restaurants though is that they are all in close proximity and all located in Malden Square. Malden Square is growing and it is becoming the new place to be. There a lot of events being scheduled so having these popular restaurants in the square is only helping this cause.

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: glynndaniel

                                  Much as I'd like to agree, I think it might be a touch premature to say Malden Square's becoming "the new place to be"...but I will say that it's underrated/ Easily accessible by T and uncrowded. Desperate for a place where you can actually secure a table outside? Come on down.

                                  Anyway - you've reminded me to chime in about that new Mexican place, Guadalajara, which is now open. The decor is cheesy and the plating is terrible, but the food itself is pretty good. It's not gonna blow you away, but it's totally effective. I hope it lasts; I think it deserves to.

                                  1. re: AlCracka

                                    There are things like street performers and food trucks coming in on weekend nights and attracting positive attention to the square. It is definitely taking a step in the right direction. There are new businesses like Fizz Ed'z that are becoming popular and bringing more people downtown. City Hall is working on bringing new businesses into the Malden Square that will put it on the map.

                                    I think that in a few years, Malden Square could be comparable to Davis Square in Somerville. Things are happening in Malden.

                                    1. re: glynndaniel

                                      Oh, is Fizz Ed's the place that replaced that shitty place that I used to kindof like? How is it? And more importantly, is that the dumbest name for a bar ever?

                                      I do hope you're right, my friend. I like Malden.

                                      1. re: AlCracka

                                        Yeah it used to be the Honey Fitz. Good burgers. Good beer. They have live music some nights and the renovations are really nice.

                                        I can assure you Malden Square is going to change for the better in the next couple of years.

                                      2. re: glynndaniel

                                        Best thing City Hall could do to promote business in Malden Center is tear itself down so you can actually get there conveniently from the T station.