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Grub Sandwich Shop in N'hampton

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

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  1. 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

      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

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

        1. re: magiesmom

          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!

        2. re: JunieB

          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

            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

              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

                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

                  I think they are normally open wed to Sun.

              2. re: JunieB

                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

                  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

                    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

                      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

                        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

                          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

                            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

                              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

                                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

                              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

                          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

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

                      2. re: jzzy55

                        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

                          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.

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

                21 Replies
                1. re: jzzy55

                  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

                    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

                      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

                        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

                          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

                            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

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

                            1. re: magiesmom

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

                              1. re: scaffnet

                                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

                                  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

                                    me too. or Amanouz, which never disappoints.

                                    1. re: magiesmom

                                      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

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

                                        1. re: magiesmom

                                          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

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

                                  2. re: magiesmom

                                    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

                                      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

                                        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

                                          thanks.
                                          Do you like Night Kitchen?

                                          1. re: magiesmom

                                            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

                                              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. 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

                        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

                          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

                            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

                              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

                                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

                                  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

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

                                2. re: jzzy55

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

                                  1. re: magiesmom

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

                                    1. re: magiesmom

                                      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

                                        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. 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

                              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

                                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

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

                                  1. re: scaffnet

                                    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. 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.