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Grub Sandwich Shop in N'hampton

JunieB Feb 4, 2012 09:47 AM

I was very excited to read about a new place opening in Northampton called Grub Sandwich Shop. Northampton has needed an all day eating place with variety for a long time. I miss the Vermont Deli. This place has a great looking menu - from Frito Pie hot dogs to specials like meatloaf and mac & cheese in the evening. It should be opening in mid to late February. Oh - and it's being run by the folks from Bistro Les Gras. Looks great. Can't wait.

http://www.grubsandwichshop.com/411.html

  1. o
    Oaksbluff Jun 16, 2012 05:44 PM

    Went in the other night at midnight to try their Night Owl Menu. Lots of GREAT choices, and it was hard to pick just two (if I really wanted to be piggish, I would have ordered a third).

    Tried the Seoul Dog and the Buffalo chicken slider. Both incredibly tasty, great flavors, but I will concur that for both, the bun to filling ratio was a little bread heavy. That's me REALLY looking for something to complain about though, and overall I will go back, many, many times. Service even at that hour was friendly, prompt, and helpful. Can't say that about too many after hours locations, right? Altogether, with a bottle of water the bill came to $6 and change.

    As far as I'm concerned, if I have a late night hankering ever, this is definitely going to be a place I'll return. I hope they do well there!

    3 Replies
    1. re: Oaksbluff
      JunieB Jun 16, 2012 06:49 PM

      Thanks for the review. It sounds like they are experimenting and sticking with what works and changing what doesn't. Gotta give them credit for that. Their hearts are in the right place. I hope they've worked out that hot dog bun issue. I'll probably try them again soon. Quite frankly, I forget they're there and I'm no longer out looking for a place to eat after midnight. I hope they succeed too.

      1. re: JunieB
        f
        fatheryod Jul 21, 2012 08:23 AM

        they really do seem to have worked on everything. the frito dog is now a single and eatable as a dog. a friend and i went there the other evening to have that (he had tofu dog in the frito style & said is was great), plus the slaw & the corn. all were excellent and the beer selection, while small, was dandy. not much of a late night guy myself anymore, but i really feel as though grub is trying hard to take folks' opinions into account and alter the style accordingly. well worth a visit.

        1. re: fatheryod
          f
          fatheryod Aug 14, 2012 06:02 PM

          i work just down the street from grub, and because of how things have been going lately we've been ordering a lot of lunches from there. they do keep the menu evolving, although it appears the frito dog may have been stricken from the menu, my business partner has become addicted to their bahn mi.

    2. JunieB Mar 31, 2012 09:57 AM

      I think Grub is paying attention to their customers. Today I noticed the "cheesesteak" is gone! I had a problem with their hot dog buns when I ate there but was told that they make their hot dog buns in-house and they have been trying to use a local flour, but was having problems getting the recipe just right. Said if they didn't get it right soon they would change to a different flour, not local. Anyone had a hot dog there lately? Or anything else for that matter?

      3 Replies
      1. re: JunieB
        s
        scaffnet Apr 2, 2012 05:35 AM

        I've eaten there several times, all good to excellent. The Chuckroll was beefy and spicy. The peanut noodles excellent. The pickle platter is always a hit. I'm not surprised to see evolution- this place is run by skilled people who care about putting out a good product. Too often you see places like this reaching but not having the chops to get there. GRUB won't have that problem.

        1. re: scaffnet
          JunieB Apr 2, 2012 07:40 AM

          I think you're right and I hope they succeed.

          1. re: JunieB
            f
            fatheryod Apr 6, 2012 08:18 PM

            i tried that frito pie double dog a while back, and although it was not really eatable "as a dog" (you needed a fork and knife), it was quite delicious. but the bun definitely was a little large and heavy.

            FY

      2. j
        jzzy55 Mar 6, 2012 12:35 PM

        Ate at Grub today, too. My husband had the chorizo pressed sandwich (Barcal-lni) and I had the smoked cheese (Tom-ini) pressed sandwich. My sandwich was good, but I didn't swoon over it. My husband liked his but said the bread to filling ratio was all wrong. He wants more filling -- more over the top sloppiness -- and less bread. A friend eating alone came and sat with us. He had a Chicago hot dog -- said the same thing - too much bun and not enough meat, and the bun was uninteresting. He wasn't thrilled and said he'd come back one more time to try something different. The place was filled to capacity with hipsters and 30 somethings grabbing lunch. Or should I say Grubbing lunch. I still prefer a bowl of noodle soup from Siam Square or a felafel from Amanouz for a quick and tasty lunch.

        9 Replies
        1. re: jzzy55
          s
          scaffnet Mar 9, 2012 07:08 PM

          Had a very mediocre lunch at Bread Euphoria. GRUB was far tastier. another great and overlooked lunch spot is Serios Market. Old school Italian American stuff, they roast their own beef and turkeys for the sandwiches.

          1. re: scaffnet
            m
            magiesmom Mar 9, 2012 07:41 PM

            true about serio's. they make great meatballs. But I have never had a bad lunch at BE, at least once a week for a couple of years now Soups excellent, good pizza. Salads overpriced, imo.

            1. re: scaffnet
              JunieB Mar 9, 2012 08:15 PM

              I love Serio's. They make the best mac & cheese! Their meat products are really good quality. I buy their house roasted pork and make Cuban sandwiches. I also buy their house roasted roast beef. I like that they carry Boar's Head products and they ordered Tavern Ham just for me! It's a Southern thing and no one around here ever heard of it. I tried to get some of the local grocery stores to carry it but everyone said their products come from their headquarters and I couldn't get anywhere, so I went to Gary and asked him if he would order it, and he did! It's been in his case ever since. They also keep Uncle Jerry's low-salt pretzels for my husband. Really nice people.

              1. re: JunieB
                j
                jzzy55 Mar 9, 2012 08:26 PM

                They are super-nice at Serio's, and their meats are very good. I buy my holiday brisket there and at other times if I don't see what I want they try to find it in the back. I sometimes get a little container of cooked food to go, but alas must avoid things like mac and cheese now. If we're talking about local markets, then you can't leave out State St Fruit which has basic things like egg salad. These are fine places to grab a quick bite, but not exciting. I am not always in the mood for exciting so that's OK.

              2. re: scaffnet
                j
                jzzy55 Mar 9, 2012 08:27 PM

                That's what makes horse races as my grandmother used to say. My experience is the opposite, and while I have only eaten at Grub once, and not loved it, I have eaten at BE many times and enjoyed it every time.

                1. re: jzzy55
                  n
                  Nickmerill Mar 10, 2012 04:59 PM

                  I want to thank several members of the board particularly Magiesmom for jogging my memory on Serios... I had forgotten that place having only gone there once last year and for an odd reason not thinking about it again. I was considering going to No Ho for the Grub Shop but your posts on Serios made me go there again and I ordered the meatball grinder... it was very good. Worth the money and very good. I'd get it again!

                  I had gone to Serios once but bought grassfed ground beef there and never ordered a sandwich. Now I'll order the sandwiches. So thanks.

                  1. re: Nickmerill
                    j
                    jzzy55 Mar 17, 2012 07:28 PM

                    Nickmerrill, I think sometimes in our zeal for the new we overlook the tried and true. I have never bought a sandwich at Serio's, and I don't eat sandwiches very often anymore, but next time I want one I'll go there.

                    1. re: jzzy55
                      m
                      magiesmom Mar 17, 2012 07:37 PM

                      While you are at Serio's check out the wonderful goat ricotta from Sangha farm in Ashfield. It is amazing. Serio's does a nice job of carrying lots of local products without being in the least pretentious.

                      1. re: magiesmom
                        JunieB Mar 18, 2012 07:57 AM

                        Couldn't agree more, mom. I also buy my feta at Serios's. Their meat is great and they have the only low-salt pretzels in the Valley (that I know of) - Uncle Jerry's. And they have fresh, handmade pastas and Bell & Evans chicken. I wish the Big E's in Easthampton were more like Serio's. They try, but they don't really seem to know much about food.

            2. JunieB Mar 6, 2012 11:56 AM

              Had my first taste of Grub food today. My husband and I were taking a stroll in N'hampton, so we stopped in for 2 plain hot dogs to go. The dog was great. All beef and as noted earlier (I think) they come from a farm in NH, called North Country. Just yesterday I ordered a package of their hot dogs, kielbasa, and Irish bangers. Can't wait to get them!

              Anyway, the dogs were great but we didn't care for the buns at all. They were chewy and too bread-like. We asked for mustard and we got Dijon. Each to his own, but In my opinion, there is no need to try and dress up the lowly plain hot dog! Just offer a really great tasting dog and give it a regular old soft bun (grilled or not) and some yellow mustard.

              I will go back and try another sandwich or two, but I was hoping for a better hot dog experience.

              1. n
                Nohofoodie Mar 2, 2012 07:57 AM

                I can say with no reservations - Take a Pass on this new Grub - Over priced and over rated. Ordered a salad, bland and soggy. Philly Cheese Steak, more like Fooly Cheese Steak. If you can call a bun with Alpo in it a sandwich. Meat was basic pot roast over cooked and dry, the "cheese sauce" was a curdled and burnt mess. Must have been left over from the 2AM night shift before. No onions or peppers - Absolutely disgusting. Stay far far away.

                4 Replies
                1. re: Nohofoodie
                  JunieB Mar 2, 2012 08:16 AM

                  So sorry to hear this. It's my opinion that NO ONE outside of Philadelphia should try to make a Philly Cheesesteak!! After being disappointed repeatedly when ordering them in other states, I gave up. I will never order a cheesesteak anywhere but Philadelphia.

                  I do hope you will share your experience with the restaurant. I have found that restaurants around here respond to constructive criticism. Several restaurants have taken my suggestions to improve their food or the presentation. Northampton really needs an all day sandwich shop. Maybe this won't be the one, but if we offer positive suggestions to them, maybe they will listen. It's certainly worth a shot.

                  1. re: Nohofoodie
                    j
                    jzzy55 Mar 2, 2012 03:13 PM

                    I went in there the other day to try it but I only had 15 minutes to get takeout and I could see that wouldn't be long enough because of the crowds both sitting and waiting for to-go orders. I hope your experience was a fluke or part of their opening shakedown that won't be repeated. The owners do know good food.

                    1. re: Nohofoodie
                      s
                      scaffnet Mar 3, 2012 09:16 PM

                      I'm sure there are crappy cheesesteak sandwiches in Philly too.

                      1. re: scaffnet
                        JunieB Mar 4, 2012 06:15 AM

                        I lived in Philadelphia for 12 years and I never had a crappy cheesesteak. Some are better than others, but they all use the right ingredients. When you order a cheesesteak outside of Pennsylvania, you are practically guaranteed to get a crappy one. That's been my experience anyway.

                    2. JunieB Feb 22, 2012 04:10 PM

                      Just saw on facebook that Grub will have their grand opening next Tuesday, the 28th. They're having some soft openings this week, Wed. - Sat..

                      11 Replies
                      1. re: JunieB
                        s
                        scaffnet Feb 27, 2012 06:27 AM

                        I went to the soft opening and everything I had was very good - bahn mi, sesame noodles (best outside of Chinatown), pickle plate, and pulled pork sandwich. My colleagues raved about the mozza ball sandwich and portabella sandwich. The dogs look like a great deal. Some of the sandwiches are a bit pricy but the quality is definitely there. I'll be back, more than once. I am burned out on the lunch options in town.

                        (Those of you waiting for a food truck to come to Noho...get real. Anyone foolish enough to put a food truck here in town will quickly find that there is just not enough foot traffic to support one.)

                        1. re: scaffnet
                          j
                          jzzy55 Feb 27, 2012 07:20 AM

                          maybe during the school year near Smith....an eater can dream! Agreed, the hotdogs (including a veggie option) were modestly priced. I'm going to suggest they try a breadless sandwich (using romaine as a wrapper). Had one in the (real) Hamptons last summer and it's a great option when avoiding carbs and calories.

                          1. re: scaffnet
                            JunieB Feb 27, 2012 08:19 AM

                            Thanks for the review. Everything sounds great so far. I noticed that their original postings said they would be a sandwich and pizza shop, but I didn't see pizza on the menu. Did they have pizza when you were there? I don't really need a pizza, but N'hampton can sure use a good sandwich shop!! I can't wait to try it. The hot dogs are supposedly from a small farm operation up in NH, North Country Smokehouse.

                            Speaking of food trucks, there's a guy that sets up shop every summer down on route 5 between N'hampton and E'hampton, just past the Clarion hotel. I think he just sells dogs, chips and drinks. I don't know how much money he makes but he's been there every summer for the past few years.

                            1. re: JunieB
                              j
                              jzzy55 Mar 2, 2012 03:11 PM

                              JunieB, I've seen that hotdog guy and wished he sold something I'd like to try. I have wondered if a truck could make a go of it a few times/week by the new Kollmorgen building since there is no place to walk to nearby. They must be missing their King Street options - nothing fancy but there was the Blue Bonnet, anyway. Plus fast food.

                              1. re: jzzy55
                                JunieB Mar 3, 2012 08:39 AM

                                Trucks are a thing right now. I've noticed cupcake trucks opening up around the country. I don't see why a truck couldn't make it here, but it would need to have something really good, as well as be in the right location. I stopped in at the truck on route 5 once and got a hot dog. Nothing to write home about but it was okay.

                                1. re: JunieB
                                  s
                                  scaffnet Mar 3, 2012 09:13 PM

                                  Why won't a food truck work here? It's simple: not enough foot traffic. Just because you and a small handful of people think food "trucks are a thing right now" does not mean it is economically sustainable to create a food truck business in western Mass. It's freaking expensive! A hot dog cart is not a cupcake truck!

                                  1. re: scaffnet
                                    JunieB Mar 4, 2012 06:23 AM

                                    No one said a cupcake truck is a hot dog cart.

                                2. re: jzzy55
                                  m
                                  magiesmom Mar 6, 2012 05:55 PM

                                  I like his hot sausage. And he is there all fall, actually until at least Thanksgiving.

                                  1. re: magiesmom
                                    m
                                    magiesmom Mar 8, 2012 05:48 PM

                                    And he is back already for Spring, with a fancier rig!

                                    1. re: magiesmom
                                      JunieB Mar 8, 2012 05:53 PM

                                      Yes, I saw him the other day, with snow all around him. Today would have been a great day to stop for a roadside hot dog!

                                      1. re: JunieB
                                        m
                                        magiesmom Mar 9, 2012 05:07 AM

                                        Since all next week is forecast to be warm, I'm thinking I'll stop for lunch. Then all we have to do is wait a month or so for the Williamsburg snack bar and all will be right with the world.

                          2. j
                            jzzy55 Feb 7, 2012 04:47 PM

                            OMG, really? The Bistro people? That's SO interesting.

                            21 Replies
                            1. re: jzzy55
                              fame da lupo Feb 21, 2012 08:24 PM

                              Jest, I assume? I think most people have found Les Gras to be rather underwhelming (I count myself in that group). Here's why. On the menu at Grub, $9 for a "mozzarella ball sandwich with fresh tomato sauce, torn basil, olive oil and aged balsamic vinegar" is ridiculous. That's $5, tops. Depending on its size, it could in fact be insulting (like the "portions" served at The Roost). For $9 I'll go over to 40 Green Street and get some jamon serrano in my sandwich and spend the extra $2 on a coffee. Either way, it's terrible value in a town filled with terrible value (which is why so many people love Local Burger).

                              1. re: fame da lupo
                                j
                                jzzy55 Feb 22, 2012 05:53 AM

                                I agree that $9 for a meatless sandwich is overpriced. Unless they milked the buffalo themselves. Bistro has the best creme caramel I've ever had outside of France, though, and their food doesn't give me indigestion (I don't do rich food well for the most part). And I agree that 40 Green Street is a treasure. I've avoided Local Burger because I can do burgers just as well at home. If I want an inexpensive restaurant meal I go ethnic, which I can't do as well at home. Chacun a son gout.

                                1. re: jzzy55
                                  fame da lupo Feb 23, 2012 04:00 PM

                                  It isn't the presence/absence of meat that is notable, but the paying a high price for non-superlative ingredients. I'd pay $9 for a sandwich of buffallo mozzarella, young olive oil (< 1 year from harvest), 10 year balsalmico (e.g. real balsamic vinegar) on Hungry Ghost bread. Sadly, this only happens in Italy or NYC.

                                  This is why I don't feel cheated by 40 Green Street's sandwiches, even though they are pricey. Their ingredients are high quality.

                                  1. re: fame da lupo
                                    j
                                    jzzy55 Feb 23, 2012 04:11 PM

                                    how do you know their ingredients aren't superlative? did you eat there? I'll reserve judgment until I try their food.

                                    1. re: jzzy55
                                      fame da lupo Feb 23, 2012 09:29 PM

                                      If they were, you'd see it mentioned on the menu. If you were using buffalo mozz and real balsalmico, or a DOP olive oil you'd certainly state it.

                                      1. re: fame da lupo
                                        j
                                        jzzy55 Feb 25, 2012 07:36 AM

                                        Husband picked up a Banh Mi sandwich and some sides last night (soft opening days). He loved the sandwich, the sides (coleslaw, mixed pickles) were good too. I tasted the coleslaw -- topnotch. It's the white (mayo) kind. I thought it was a small sandwich for $9, but the food is fresh-made, not from a freezer case. He wasn't bothered by the price. He was still hungry, though. It's not a big meal even with sides.

                                      2. re: jzzy55
                                        m
                                        magiesmom Mar 6, 2012 05:53 PM

                                        Bistro les gras doesn't have great ingredients, so why would grub?

                                        1. re: magiesmom
                                          s
                                          scaffnet Mar 9, 2012 05:46 AM

                                          Seriously, magiesmom? This from a person who celebrates a generic hot dog stand by the side of Route 5?

                                          1. re: scaffnet
                                            m
                                            magiesmom Mar 9, 2012 07:29 AM

                                            It is what it is and makes no pretensions otherwise, and the hot sausage is tasty. I much prefer that to an overpriced pretentious place where the food is only marginally better, if at all. Why is that odd?

                                            1. re: magiesmom
                                              j
                                              jzzy55 Mar 9, 2012 07:41 AM

                                              Unfortunately I am feeling the same way about Grub (though not the hot dog wagon, but only because I can't eat that sort of food anymore). I wanted to like it, but I really didn't. It wasn't BAD, but I didn't feel the need ever to go back there. I'd rather go up to Bread Euphoria for a nice little lunch, or 40 Green Street.

                                              1. re: jzzy55
                                                m
                                                magiesmom Mar 9, 2012 01:46 PM

                                                me too. or Amanouz, which never disappoints.

                                                1. re: magiesmom
                                                  j
                                                  jzzy55 Mar 9, 2012 01:52 PM

                                                  Lunch: Bread Euphoria, Siam Square, Amanouz, 40 Green Street, Sam's, Green Bean. Don't see adding Grub to that list based on my experience so far.

                                                  1. re: jzzy55
                                                    m
                                                    magiesmom Mar 9, 2012 05:03 PM

                                                    I really like Paul and Elizabeth's for lunch too.

                                                    1. re: magiesmom
                                                      j
                                                      jzzy55 Mar 9, 2012 09:08 PM

                                                      P&E is great with fish, but I always feel like lunch just takes too long there. I rarely have the time or patience for a table service lunch (except for Siam Square, which is quick). P&E is a grande old lady though.

                                                      1. re: jzzy55
                                                        m
                                                        magiesmom Mar 10, 2012 06:53 AM

                                                        I like soup lunch, served with their excellent whole wheat roll. quick, nourishing, good.

                                              2. re: magiesmom
                                                JunieB Mar 9, 2012 12:17 PM

                                                I'll have to try the hot sausage. I think his sign says Foley's Franks, or something like that. I don't know if Foley is a brand of hot dog or if that's his name! I looked online to see if it is a brand, but nothing turned up. My favorite dog is Sabrett or Kayem. I don't know what brand Tom's serves, but they're pretty good too.

                                                My husband sent me this link of the 101 best restaurants in America. You see places like Ben's Chili Bowl right up there with O Ya in Boston and Le Bec-Fin in Philadelphia. It doesn't have to be fine dining to be good! Will be having dinner at Coco tonight for my husband's birthday. Can't wait!

                                                http://www.thedailymeal.com/101-best-...

                                                1. re: JunieB
                                                  m
                                                  magiesmom Mar 9, 2012 01:44 PM

                                                  junie, I am very interested to hear your experience at coco. I had wanted to go for my birthday but they were closed and then we have been away.

                                                  I think his name is Foley. he's a nice guy.

                                                  1. re: magiesmom
                                                    JunieB Mar 9, 2012 02:54 PM

                                                    I've eaten at Coco and it's wonderful! I think it's the best value for the dollar of anywhere around. I'll let you know more detail after tonight.

                                                    1. re: JunieB
                                                      m
                                                      magiesmom Mar 9, 2012 05:05 PM

                                                      thanks.
                                                      Do you like Night Kitchen?

                                                      1. re: magiesmom
                                                        JunieB Mar 9, 2012 08:04 PM

                                                        I do like the Night Kitchen. Not as much as I like Gypsy Apple though. And probably not as much as I like Alina's or Coco. But it is definitely in my top 10. Coco and Gypsy Apple never miss a beat. The food is consistently good and I love the way they match flavors together. The menu at Coco is very small, about 5 entrees, but they range in price from $12 - $15. Tonight 4 of us ate for $125, with wine! I will post some pictures tomorrow.

                                                        1. re: JunieB
                                                          m
                                                          magiesmom Mar 10, 2012 06:55 AM

                                                          My partner and I are the only people I know who don't like gypsy apple. I have been three or four times and don't understand the draw, but also know we are in the minority.
                                                          Alina's I like a lot .

                                2. m
                                  magiesmom Feb 4, 2012 01:28 PM

                                  I was so with you until you said it was by the Bistro people. I find BLG so overpriced and mediocre
                                  that I can't imagine this place will be good. I hope I am wrong!

                                  23 Replies
                                  1. re: magiesmom
                                    JunieB Feb 4, 2012 03:05 PM

                                    That's too bad. I've only eaten at Bistro Les Gras once because I don't really care for their menu, but they must be doing something right because for one thing they're still in business, and secondly because they are opening another place. They use locally produced meat and vegetables and that goes a long way with me. Their hot dogs at the new place are from North Country, which is in NH and it's a small artisanal operation. The more I read and hear about the mass produced meat that is going into grocery stores the more I turn to vegetarianism or local meat! Another thing I love about Bistro Les Gras is that they opened their place on Thanksgiving Day and made food for 75 or so needy people. I thought that was a great thing to do for the community. Not everyone would give up their own holiday or be willing to cook that much food for free. I hope the new place is good, because this menu looks good to me!

                                    1. re: JunieB
                                      m
                                      magiesmom Feb 5, 2012 07:28 AM

                                      I hope it is good. Do you know where it is going to be?

                                      1. re: magiesmom
                                        JunieB Feb 5, 2012 08:02 AM

                                        Where Luna Pizza was, on Pleasant St., more or less across the street from Pleasant St. Video. Yes, I have my fingers crossed for a really good (and affordable) sandwich shop!

                                        1. re: JunieB
                                          m
                                          magiesmom Feb 5, 2012 10:00 AM

                                          thanks.

                                      2. re: JunieB
                                        j
                                        jzzy55 Feb 7, 2012 04:51 PM

                                        We eat at Bistro regularly because it is our son's favorite place. I am not a huge fan of French food but nonetheless I think when the kitchen at Bistro is on, it's very good. Much better than the other expensive spots in town such as Eclipse (which is erratic, and often veers too close to messy, faux-bistro Spoleto-dom)...actually, there aren't so many left now with Green Street and Circa closed.

                                        1. re: jzzy55
                                          JunieB Feb 7, 2012 07:32 PM

                                          Yes, for its many restaurants, it's hard to find a good one in Northampton! There are some pretty good breakfast/lunch spots, but a good dinner is hard to find. We like Caminito's and for a burger we like Local Burger. I'm really looking forward to Grub because it will be an all day place with lots of variety. Let's keep our fingers crossed that they can pull it off. It really shouldn't be that hard! BTW - if you haven't tried Coco in Easthampton, you really should. I think it's one of the best places in the Valley for the quality and value.

                                          1. re: JunieB
                                            m
                                            magiesmom Feb 8, 2012 06:26 AM

                                            I am so looking forward to trying Coco. we wanted to go for my birthday but they are closed on Tuesday even though it is Valentine's Day. weird business decision, imo.

                                            1. re: magiesmom
                                              j
                                              jzzy55 Feb 8, 2012 06:31 AM

                                              We went to Coco on a Sunday night last month. It was open and there were people dining -- but it was a private party and we were asked to leave. They were nice about it but we were puzzled. Not open for dinner on a Sunday night? ?Is that a regular thing? Why? We'll go back sometime after we call first.

                                              1. re: jzzy55
                                                m
                                                magiesmom Feb 8, 2012 06:14 PM

                                                I think they are normally open wed to Sun.

                                            2. re: JunieB
                                              j
                                              jzzy55 Feb 8, 2012 06:29 AM

                                              My go-to place for a quick meal is Amanouz (with Green Bean as a runner-up, but they don't do dinner). The food is consistently tasty and the prices are fair. Enough menu variety that I don't feel bored there. But strangely I dislike its sister restaurant over by Bela and Woodstar. It has a different vibe and I don't like the food as well. It seems fussier and yet less tasty. Speaking of Woodstar, they need to do something about the table-hoggers. The last three times I went in there I could not get a table because there were so many laptop users nursing empty cups of coffee. With its limited seating that's an issue. I can usually find a table downstairs at Haymarket, but I prefer the natural light at Woodstar. The Roost is too far "uptown" and it's too noisy for my aging hearing.

                                              1. re: jzzy55
                                                m
                                                magiesmom Feb 8, 2012 06:16 PM

                                                I actually like mosaic better than amanouz these days; maybe just sick of amanouz after a million meals.
                                                Staff at woodstar will chase away loiterers.

                                                1. re: magiesmom
                                                  j
                                                  jzzy55 Feb 8, 2012 07:34 PM

                                                  Another big eater of my acquaintance told me recently she was sick of Amanouz too. I only eat there maybe once/month so the menu is large enough that I haven't eaten my way through it yet. Also I consider falafel to be a reliable fallback, the way other people are always up for a burger. When I worked at MIT years ago there was a falafel truck that I never tired of...wish we had more food trucks hereabouts.

                                                  1. re: jzzy55
                                                    m
                                                    magiesmom Feb 9, 2012 07:08 AM

                                                    I like the loubia best. But I think it's just so many years. And it is so incredibly uncomfortable .

                                                    We definitely need food trucks!

                                                    1. re: magiesmom
                                                      BerkshireTsarina Feb 9, 2012 07:41 AM

                                                      Is Mosaic more comfortable than Amanouz? I've wanted to try the latter, but it looks so small and scrunched I never have!

                                                      1. re: BerkshireTsarina
                                                        j
                                                        jzzy55 Feb 9, 2012 08:40 AM

                                                        BT, I find it just as uncomfortable in a different way. They have a dining patio in the rear that my husband likes but I find uncharming, dirty and unkempt (the plants are dead/scraggly). No effort has been made to mitigate the feeling of being in an airshaft -- that I can recall. The front patio is OK if it's not too hot a day (strong direct sun, no roof/awning on one side). A long thread could be written about Noho outdoor dining at its best and worst. For example, the dumpster/parking lot two feet from the cutely-decorated al fresco dining area behind Viva Fresh Pasta. I don't go to that restaurant anyway, ever since I had grilled meat hat tasted as if lighter fluid had been used instead of cooking oil. The waitperson said, "Yeah sometimes our food tastes like butane...".

                                                        1. re: jzzy55
                                                          JunieB Feb 9, 2012 08:50 AM

                                                          Yikes! Guess I won't try the pasta place. I don't have much to add to this discussion but just wanted to interject that another new place is coming to N'hampton this summer. Down the side street by Serios - Center St.? The Serios siblings have bought the old building that housed Circa (I think) and the building next to it. The article in the paper and the drawing of what they want it to look like was interesting. It will have outdoor seating. It might be nice to have something in that part of town to connect State St. and the center of N'hampton. I hope they get it right!

                                                          1. re: JunieB
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                                                            jzzy55 Feb 9, 2012 09:07 AM

                                                            I saw that article, too. I'm a bit dubious but await the outcome. Many have tried and few are chosen...Circa was in an old plate glass window stand-alone building (could have been a hair salon, butcher shop, shoe repair, etc. once upon a time). Next door was a dilapidated, partly-renovated small wood frame house. They bought both. The article seemed to be saying that they would demo both buildings and put up something new with two different (food?) businesses in it...we'll see. I like the Serio people and hope it works out.

                                                            1. re: jzzy55
                                                              JunieB Feb 9, 2012 11:10 AM

                                                              I think they're actually renovating the buildings that are there. They are going to lower the second floor of the building that stood to the left so that it can be joined to the building where Circa was. My husband and I were walking around there the other day and we peeked in the windows of the Circa building. It was ghostly. The table in the window still had sugar packets and salt and pepper on it as if whoever owned it just walked away one day and left it as it was. There were some contractors working in the back of the building. I like the Serios people too. I think the article said there would be a restaurant and then some type of retail business. To succeed, all they have to do is provide good quality food at a fair price and create an atmosphere that will draw people. Sounds simple, huh?!

                                                          2. re: jzzy55
                                                            m
                                                            magiesmom Feb 9, 2012 05:41 PM

                                                            I love the patio behind Mosaic, especially in the am for breakfast. I find it charming.
                                                            even the inside is not as cramped as Amanouz.

                                                      2. re: jzzy55
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                                                        hilltowner Feb 9, 2012 09:16 AM

                                                        That truck outside MIT was my first introduction to felafel back when I was a young high schooler from the suburbs. I loved that truck.

                                                        1. re: hilltowner
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                                                          jzzy55 Feb 9, 2012 07:32 PM

                                                          Yes, and the Mass Ave felafel guys were so feisty. You got an argument AND a sandwich. What a hoot.

                                                    2. re: jzzy55
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                                                      JosefMarlowe Mar 2, 2012 11:45 AM

                                                      As a cafe worker, I wonder what you (and the rest of the CH community) think about how one would go about asking a cafe table hogger to move on. I find it to be a delicate issue, with a big risk of pissing off the customer.

                                                      1. re: JosefMarlowe
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                                                        fatheryod Apr 27, 2012 07:20 PM

                                                        unless there's some kind of posted/stated policy, it seems like asking for trouble. of course, i would applaud your efforts, but not sure how you'd do it without getting people upset. best idea might be to just NOT HAVE available electrical outlets. ha.

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