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Maximo's Watertown and Fastacchi Nut Butters

StriperGuy Aug 6, 2012 10:42 AM

On the way to Fordee's for falafel, I decided to take one for the team and try Maximo's instead.

Had the grilled Mahi burrito and ate it on the premises. Showed up as a white mass, wrapped in foil, no garnish, no side, looked sad, lumpy, and lonely. Even a sprig of parsley or a little pico de gallo in a plastic tub would have made it more appetizing.

The burrito itself was not particularly notable either. Honestly, tasted of well... nothing. Pretty sure they added the sour cream that I asked them to "hold;" sour cream and fish is just icky. One of my fav sandwiches anywhere is a Mahi sandwich in Key West on the Main strip. When I am there I essentially eat it every day for lunch. I had some vague hope that... well nevermind.

As I understand it the owner used to be a Manager at the Cheesecake factory.

Only one table seated other than me. Unfortunately I get the vibe from Maximo's that it just does not have the critical mass, the oomph, heck the tasty food, to survive. Table next to me had turkey burgers with home fries that looked tasty. The roll on the turkey burger looked nice too. I'd go with beef, but what they heck.

Mahi is not that tricky, has some decent flavor of it's own, hit it with a splash of Worcestershire, maybe a hint of soy, and some fresh lime juice when it is done, yum. Honestly there could have been unseasoned tofu in this and I would not have known the difference.

On to more exciting things. Stepped three doors down into Fastacchi, full stop the best place to buy nuts in greater Boston. A tad pricey, but the quality is SO much better then anything you can get anywhere else. I was getting some roasted unsalted squash seeds to snack on, but they had samples of new house-made nut butters: Almond, Hazelnut, Cashew, Pistachio, Pecan and one or two others.

I sampled the Pistachio, Pecan, and Hazelnut and quite honestly the flavor blew my mind. Just so delicious, fresh, and nutty. Intense, so much more so than the store bought. I asked the woman behind the counter about the Pistachio butter and she said is was made from freshly roasted and ground domestic Pistachios. I told her it was one of the best I had ever tasted and she offered that since they started making the nut butters, she can't eat any other nut butter products.

Prices range from $5 - $7 for 8 ounces. Locally made, wonderful, artisanal product; really superb, changed my view of what nut butter (which I love) could taste like.

  1. h
    hyde Aug 10, 2012 04:45 PM

    dont forget Coolidge Variety (across from the Town Diner) for some of the best lamb around. nice guy,interesting joint (variety store with a butcher!) and
    Emilio's Homemade Subs and Dinners,( located at 6 Bigelow Avenue) next door if you are interested in old school subs like eggplant parm and chicken and ziti. family run joint, usually kids around. homemade sauce.

    1. l
      lovejoyeater Aug 10, 2012 09:06 AM

      I recently moved to the area (across from Fordees), and I have had take-out from Maximo's a couple of times. (I have a newborn, so people have brought us their food.) Their salads are fantastic, in my opinion, great ingredients and substantial enough to be a meal (no small feat for a nursing mother with a healthy appetite!). I also have tried the chicken and pork sandwiches, which I thought were quite good. Flavorful and interesting, not just the same run of the mill sandwiches. The quinoa side salad was dry and underseasoned when I had it. In general, I never order burritos from places like this (cafe type places), because they are just so unlikely to be good. I agree that they don't seem to have the critical mass to survive, but I hope they do. When we've been in, they have had 3-4 employees just standing around, never a good sign.

      As an aside, I'd like to thank both StriperGuy and opinionatedchef for all your write-ups of places in my new neightborhood, it has been a great help. We have tried Strip-Ts, Fordees, Arax, Maximo's, and Fastachi, all of which have been solid. With the newborn, we're not eating out as much as we used to, so I appreciate having your recon to help guide our dining decisions. I tend to read, more than post, on Chowhound, but I am going to try to be better now that I've relocated. :)

      6 Replies
      1. re: lovejoyeater
        StriperGuy Aug 10, 2012 10:05 AM

        Used to live right near there in Watertown, also try Shangri-La on Belmont for superb Taiwanese food. Just had lunch there and was stunned at the quality. Just avoid the Americanized dishes and stick with things like:

        Tea smoked duck
        Pork in Garlic Sauce
        Twice cooked beef
        Pork Dry Tofu and Chive
        Any of the noodle soups
        etc etc.

        1. re: StriperGuy
          t
          Taralli Aug 14, 2012 09:32 AM

          Never thought I'd try & like their chitterlings: http://www.shangrilachinese.com/brunc...

        2. re: lovejoyeater
          opinionatedchef Aug 10, 2012 03:00 PM

          well that's about the nicest thing any CH has ever said to me, lje; thank you! (i'm much more used to vengeful arrows!)

          I will urge you to spend some time at Eastern Lamejun Bakers. Over the last year, after reading many pro-Arax and Sevan CH posts, I tried a lot of the Arax and Sevan salads,spreads, savories
          but every single time I found that, for my taste, they couldn't hold a candle to their counterparts at Eastern Lamejun. My favs at EL are the rice stuffed baby eggplant (expensive but sooo amazing) and the Spinach and Cheese Borek (turnovers).( I like them crunchy on the outside and gooey inside so I use the toaster over, but My Love likes them soft outside and gooey inside so he uses the microwave. But sometimes it just depends how hungry you are! Given that your newborn may now be predisposed to like all these flavors, they will probably enjoy growing up with their hand around a cheesy borek!) btw, EL also sells the milder,creamier Bulgarian and french fetas, which are my preferred. Unfortunately, a major thing missing at EL is a warm personality by the register. (That guy at Sevan is just sooo nice!) But you can count on nearby Sophia for that warm welcome in spades. (And she has those wonderful syrup soaked walnut cookies!)
          Congrats on your new baby (and all it took ).What a vibrant community you have joined!
          And thx so much for the detailed Maximo recs. We'll be heading over there soon, thx to you!

          p.s. for a little known hidden away park-like destination for you 2, check out The Commander's Mansion over by the Arsenal.

          1. re: opinionatedchef
            l
            lovejoyeater Aug 11, 2012 09:28 AM

            We will definitely check out ELB, we often go by there on our walks. My spouse thinks maybe they get overlooked since they're not right in "Little Armenia." I really hope that my son grows up with this hand around a cheesy borek! I also am looking forward to trying Sophia's frozen yogurt.

            And weirdly, even though the quinoa side salad at Maximo's was not good, their entree quinoa salad is great.

            1. re: lovejoyeater
              opinionatedchef Aug 11, 2012 04:41 PM

              what's often fun about following these threads is that they help remind, often in extrapolated ways.

              i.e. the op is about maximo and fastachi.....then, down the line, triggered by one of the responses(yours) the thread segues/side steps over to Eastern Lamejun... and Sophia's...and to Shangri-La (all on the same street and in your new neighborhood)

              so that (as just one example of a result) w/ a print-out of your Maximo list and Stripey's Shangri-La list, we will finally be visiting both those places soon! (point of clarification-
              Shangri-la has been written about often and has been on my list for yrs, but now it will really happen)

          2. re: lovejoyeater
            gansu girl Aug 17, 2012 05:17 PM

            Well, was going to write off Maximo's after SG's review (and yes, thank you SG for taking one for the team!) but now you've convinced me that we do need to try it - the salads were what attracted me when we got the menu in the mail a few weeks ago . . . and I mean really, how many take-out places serve quinoa??

            This is a GREAT neighborhood for walking & eating - tonight would be a perfect one for walking that baby down to Celebrity for a cone . . . ahhhh. Enjoy!

            GG
            http://www.semisweetonline.com

          3. opinionatedchef Aug 9, 2012 01:49 AM

            great report; will have to try some soon. W/ the intensity of the nut flavor, might make for a really robust vinaigrette. and/or as a base for a pesto to smear on grilled meat.

            1. m
              Madrid Aug 7, 2012 11:26 AM

              I got a jar of their pecan butter years ago when I had more disposable income. Utterly delicious, I still dream about it.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Madrid
                s
                shaebones Aug 7, 2012 11:15 PM

                Wow, I make my own nut butter and sell it on a small scale. Looks like there is a lot of interest in this product. Better start thinking more globally if I want to retire from my day job soon, :)

              2. viperlush Aug 7, 2012 10:15 AM

                We went in there once, but were disappointed that the cashews are roasted w/peanut oil. I forgot about the nut butters so I'll have to remember to make a stop next time I head out to Russo's.

                9 Replies
                1. re: viperlush
                  StriperGuy Aug 7, 2012 10:58 AM

                  How should they be roasted?

                  1. re: StriperGuy
                    viperlush Aug 7, 2012 12:18 PM

                    BF doesn't like cashews roasted with peanut oil because he doesn't like the flavor that it adds. Even if it is minimal. So the only cashews that he has found that he likes are from Trader Joe's because they don't use peanut oil. Don't have any in the apartment so I don't know what kind of oil they use.

                    1. re: viperlush
                      StriperGuy Aug 7, 2012 01:59 PM

                      Gotcha.

                      1. re: viperlush
                        jira Aug 9, 2012 05:46 AM

                        I don't know if they still do, but the last I checked they used rice bran oil.

                        1. re: jira
                          viperlush Aug 9, 2012 06:45 AM

                          I'll have to check when I go out there for some nut butter. When we last went (last summer?) the signs said peanut and their website still says peanut, but I hope you are right.

                          1. re: jira
                            galleygirl Aug 10, 2012 07:25 AM

                            Don't know when you checked, but the cashews are roasted in peanut oil. As as the red-skinned peanuts. All others are dry roasted...

                            1. re: galleygirl
                              Allstonian Aug 10, 2012 07:44 AM

                              Is it possible that jira is referring to which oil Trader Joe's uses, in response to viperslush's comment "the only cashews that he has found that he likes are from Trader Joe's because they don't use peanut oil. Don't have any in the apartment so I don't know what kind of oil they use."?

                              1. re: Allstonian
                                viperlush Aug 11, 2012 12:14 PM

                                Ah that makes sense.

                                1. re: Allstonian
                                  galleygirl Aug 14, 2012 07:38 AM

                                  Oops; my bad...I misunderstood!

                      2. GretchenS Aug 7, 2012 07:58 AM

                        Thanks for taking one for the team on Maximo's and for the pointer to the nut butters which has made a trip to that neighborhood this weekend an imperative.

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: GretchenS
                          StriperGuy Aug 7, 2012 08:47 AM

                          While you are there certainly hit Arax, and possibly Sevan and possibly Massis. Arax alone is worth the trip. Heck, get yourself some felafel at Fordees, or an excellent veggie lunch at Red Lentil...

                          1. re: StriperGuy
                            Science Chick Aug 7, 2012 09:10 AM

                            Don't forget a slice at Stella's across the street!

                            1. re: Science Chick
                              StriperGuy Aug 7, 2012 10:58 AM

                              True, true, one of my earliest chowhound posts ;-)

                              1. re: StriperGuy
                                Science Chick Aug 7, 2012 11:03 AM

                                I guess we could also add a quick soft serve at Celebrity....man, that block is just *cookin'* with great chow!!!! :)

                                1. re: StriperGuy
                                  GretchenS Aug 7, 2012 12:50 PM

                                  And good thing you did post on Stella's, StriperGuy, not only is it now my go-to pizza joint but it is near enough to the doggie daycare for me to bring the gang lunch every now and then and they LOVE it, esp the roasted red pepper-black olive-feta combo.

                                  1. re: GretchenS
                                    StriperGuy Aug 7, 2012 02:00 PM

                                    Huh, never even tried red pepper. olive, feta... will give it a whirl next time.

                          2. Science Chick Aug 7, 2012 06:47 AM

                            Thanks for the plug for Fastacchi.....a place I should hit more often. Now they will be on my list.... :)

                            1. l
                              lergnom Aug 6, 2012 01:04 PM

                              We get the hazelnut and pistacchio butters, mostly the former.

                              One of my addictions is corn nuts. I get them there and sometimes at Whole Foods.

                              1. BostonZest Aug 6, 2012 12:44 PM

                                StriperGuy, Have you tried Fastachi's fresh roasted almonds with the soft shells? So good.

                                http://www.fastachi.com/farmers_markets

                                They actually do a number of famers' markets. The list is on their site at the link above.

                                Nice people, great products,high standards, and an asset to our food community.

                                Penny
                                http://www.bostonzest.com/

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: BostonZest
                                  StriperGuy Aug 6, 2012 12:51 PM

                                  Huh, have not tried those almonds, will give them a whirl.

                                2. t
                                  teezeetoo Aug 6, 2012 12:43 PM

                                  I love all things fastacchi though I misspell it regularly. Thank you for the heads-up on the nut butter. We haven't been for a while though it is our "go-to" place for nuts, candied fruits, and other good stuff. Now I'll put it on the front of the to do list.

                                  1. k
                                    katzzz Aug 6, 2012 11:36 AM

                                    I've never eaten at Maximo's because I can't get past the eclectic menu. It's just too diverse: burgers, burritos, bruschetta, satay, pork dumplings, steak, etc. Maybe the chef does one or more of these especially well, but I just don't know where to start.

                                    1. a
                                      AGM_Cape_Cod Aug 6, 2012 11:04 AM

                                      FYI Fastacchi has a booth at the Copley Square farmer's market though not every Tues & Friday. Easier than going to Watertown if you are in Boston.

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