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Davis Sq ?

This Sat I plan to check out MF Dulock's. The plan is to take the T to Davis Sq and walk up Highland Ave to the store.

Other than Redbones(which I don't want to go to cuz their truck is downtown if I want them), I don't know much about that area. I did a search and found Posto but they're only open for dinner.

I'll be there for an early lunch. Any favorites? I live near Chinatown so probably not Chinese. Any other cusine recs would be appreciated; especially if you have something that is not readily available Downtown/North End.


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  1. Stop in to Three Little Figs, on the right on Highland, just past Cedar. Best coffees in Boston, great baked goods, etc. Sandwiches.

    Just past Dulock is the Somerville Armory, which usually has a farmer's market on the weekends. Worth poking your head in. There is also a cafe there - have not heard it mentioned here on the board, but again, may be worth checking out.

    There is the new nut place on the left, before you cross Willow. Have not been yet.

    In Davis, Painted Burro (Mexican) and Five Horses (bar) are decent options. Could also swing by Ball Square for brunch at BSB or Soundbites.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Bob Dobalina

      That new nut place is intriguing. I haven't been in either, but I've driven past it. From the sign, it looks like they also offer Christina's ice cream.

      I love Three Little Figs but it may be a further walk then anticipated. But, it's a really pleasant walk on the Bike path, maybe .5 miles from the drug store parking lot? My favorite thing at Three Little Figs is the Apple Cider Donut Muffin and the fig bar. The fig bars are elusive though, I've only had them once. Actually, the lemon donut muffin is quite tasty as well. I've only had the breakfast sandwiches there but have enjoyed them.

      1. re: beetlebug

        Three Little Figs is on the way to M.F. Dulock (which is about a mile from the T stop).

        1. re: dfan

          My bad. I was thinking that Dulock was next to or across from the nut place.

      2. re: Bob Dobalina

        Don't bother with the Armory - that's a winter farmer's market and doesn't start until December 1. Three Little Figs is awesome though - highly recommend!

        1. re: Bob Dobalina

          Q's Nuts is on the corner of Willow and Highland. They are open 12-8 all days except Monday. They have a delicious assortment of nuts, including lots of samples, and Christina's ice cream, yogurt and sorbet. If only they would put in a table or somewhere to sit while eating said ice cream, we'd probably spend every evening there. Maybe it's better for my waistline if they don't.

        2. How about Dave's Fresh Pasta? Really delicious sandwiches.

          There is also that new falafel place that has a long thread. Unfortunately, I can't remember the name of it, maybe Amsterdam Falafel?

          Another option would be to take the T to porter for lunch and then it's a short walk to Davis. You can go to Cafe Mami in the Porter Exchange Bldg, or Rod Dee across the street.

          1 Reply
          1. re: beetlebug

            Great sandwiches at Dave's, I agree.

          2. The Armory farmers market is a winter market and I don't think it opens until after Thanksgiving. The Union Square Farmers Market is open this coming Saturday however and well worth visiting.

            Amsterdam Falafel in Davis is amazing...lots of toppings and great sauces.

            Enjoy Dulocks...it's wonderful. If you like Indian, Dosa Temple is further down Somerville Ave, towards Union Square, not far from the Market Basket.

            5 Replies
            1. re: Madrid

              Confused about the Armory market - I know I was in there during the summer - maybe it was a one-time thing? This Saturday, it is hosting the Harvest Fest - http://www.artsatthearmory.org/Events...

              1. re: Bob Dobalina

                events for Oct 2012:

                only food event I see is the Harvest Fest; it's a fundraiser and costs $25.

                The Somerville Winter Market facebook page says they will open Dec. 1 2012

                1. re: Madrid

                  I agree with you - I just know that there is a lot of activity there on Saturdays in general and that I have personally stepped foot in the Armory on one occasion this summer and it was a farmer's market of some sort.

                  1. re: Bob Dobalina

                    I need to get on their mailing list or check more regularly. It's really a great space with lots of good events and has really changed Saturdays in Somerville. I wish Highland Kitchen would open for brunch or lunch on Saturday! I need to try Three little figs.

                    1. re: Bob Dobalina

                      I googled a bit and saw suggestions that the winter's farmer's market from last year may have continued all the way into April or May of this year. That must have been what I went to.

              2. If you're walking that direction, some places to check out for lunch are the aforementioned 3 Little Figs (I love their BLT), M3 for southern fare (pig's ear sandwich, chicken & waffles, fried green tomatoes), and wacky hotdogs at Spike's. Foundry on Elm also has a nice lunch, but I haven't been in awhile.

                1 Reply
                1. If you're in the mood for pizza, check out Flatbread (right behind the T stop). Great fun to sit at the bar, munch on your slices and watch the bowlers right behind the bar. Like BobD, I like Five Horses. HUGE improvement over the last few places in that space. It's spiffed-up pub food, generally done well. I like that there are decent veggie choices offered. I think Painted Burro is only open for dinner, just like Posto (same owners). I avoid Foundry but would go back for drinks only because it's a nice space. Blue Shirt and Mike's, not great food, are both fun and collegiate but I haven't been in a few years (I have been known to love the Thai-seared tofu bowl at Blue Shirt). Dave's is a great food stop - as Beetlebug attests, great sandwiches. When Pigs Fly is a fun food stop, too. I went to Q's Nuts a couple of weeks ago (the "nut place"). Good food stop, fer sure. I picked up nuts for a host gift and got some yerba mate almonds and chocolate ginger cashews for our own consumption...not inexpensive but yum. Rosebud is a hoot, too, if you're in the mood for diner food. Since I don't eat meat or eggs (yeah, I know, I'm a kill-joy), I have found it tough to sample much there, but it's fun nonetheless.

                  If all else fails, can you change your plans and go on Sunday and then hit up Highland Kitchen for brunch?

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: digga

                    Chocolate ginger cashews? I am going to have to pull the car over for those. ARe they dark or milk? Fingers crossed for dark....

                    1. re: beetlebug

                      I just ripped open the package to try one for you BB (we've been "saving them" - oh god, I'm starting to sound like my mom).

                      It's dark chocolate but rather subtle. And so is the ginger. The ingredients read "cashews, raw cane sugar, Taza ginger chocolate, ginger, ginger oil," but I want more in-your-face ginger flavor. So they get the chocolate from Taza but the nuts are not enrobed in chocolate; more like peppered with a crust of chocolate. Anyway, they encourage sampling in the shop (but I didn't...I always feel a little sheepish, I dunno why) so you can sample to your heart's content before deciding. The couple who run the place is quite cool. And, as you stated, there's Christina's ice cream to slurp up while you decide.

                      BTW, we and some out-of-town guests loved the yerba mate nuts. Went nicely with a beautiful brunello we were drinking that night.

                      1. re: digga

                        Thanks for trying them. I'll have to check them out, but like you, I would prefer a more gingery experience.

                    2. re: digga

                      I don't think Dulock's is open Sunday. Thx for the ideas. Lots of good ones.

                      I'll report back on where I end up.

                      1. re: digga

                        Definitely 2nd Flatbread -- good pizza plus the beer list features local beers (mostly MA with some NH, ME, CT, and RI craft beers).

                        Blue Shirt Cafe has been a quick, healthy, and tasty foodspot for the last 19 years for me.

                        Other than Martsa on Elm and Mr. Crepe, I don't really eat there (despite being the closest major square).


                      2. Hey nine! I think you will dig Dulocks and get into good conversations with the butchers there. For lunch I would recommend posto for a nice glass of wine and a pasta or pizza. Not skirt blowing but a great late lunch spot. Foundry I find not great in the food or service department. I haven't really exercised Five horses but friends I know love it for casual grubbing. Enjoy our little Paris of Massachusetts.

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: yumyum

                          Dulock's definitely closed Sunday. Posto doesn't open until 5, that was a really late lunch!

                          1. re: Aromatherapy

                            Hmmmm. I know I've had lunch there on a weekend around 2. Wonder if their hours have changed? My memory isn't what it used to be but I'm not delusional (yet!)

                            1. re: yumyum

                              Funny, they have a brunch menu on their site, but no hours listed. I don't think you've quite gone over the edge, yumyum!


                              1. re: bear

                                You never know bear. But thanks for the backup.

                                1. re: bear

                                  I had brunch there about a year ago, on sunday. late ish.

                          2. I highly recommend Amsterdam Falafel, possibly the best falafel I've had in the Boston area. I would also second the Five Horses recommendation. It is above-average pub food, a nice neighborhood place with a great beer list. Not really a destination restaurant but a nice option if you are already in the neighborhood.

                            I also like the new Indian place in Davis, Punjabi Grill. They have some interesting Pakistani specials that I have not seen elsewhere - I like the Lamb Karahi in particular.

                            Dave's sandwiches are great, although it's in the opposite direction from MF Dulock's (but not far). Try the cubano, it rivals Chez Henri IMO. Limited seating, though, and it can get crowded on Saturdays.

                            You could also try Martsa on Elm, which is Tibetan and quite good.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: greenzebra

                              zebra, i completely agree with you on the recs for Amsterdam Falafel and the Cubano at Dave's
                              (and totally agree it at least EQUALS the chez henri Cubano.) 9Lives is coming a long way and these both make that journey well worth it imo. Also the breads at Pigs Fly- 9 can walk past it on his way to Dulock's.

                              Also,9, if the recent flurry over ramen has you intrigued (but i would also understand if you felt it was just too close to chinese to be appealing right now) you might enjoy the bustling Japanee community scene at the Porter Exchange Bldg and the fare at Sapporo Ramen, followed by a luscious Adzuki Cream at Japonaise Patisserie. Google Map shows Dulock's being a 20 min. walk from either Porter Exchange or the Davis Sq T stop.

                            2. Sadly, I find it easier to list places I'd disrecommend in Davis, but this thread has reminded me it's not so bad there!

                              I would suggest you avoid, in no particular order:

                              Amsterdam Falafel (the falafel is _almost_ moist.)
                              5 Horses Tavern (almost as good as the last four restaurants in this space!)
                              The Broken Yolk (it's like home-cooked breakfast, but with more sticky soybean oil!)
                              Joshua Tree (a SYSCO special, it's just terrible.)
                              Blue Shirt Cafe (I like vegan food, but I like seasoned food even more.)
                              Boston Burger Co. (Guy Fee-eddy loves it.)
                              Orleans (blue cocktails, and "you can't even taste the alcohol!" WOO! SHOTS! GO PATS!1!!)
                              Burren (wish I liked it. want to like it. Feel sick whenever I eat there. Mushy fries.)
                              Diva Indian (brusque service with prettily plated, dull food.)
                              Redbones for food (I love everything about this place except that the food has NO salt.)
                              Out Of The Blue (9lives, you can do fish like this at home.)
                              Martsa on Elm (somehow they succeed in making Tibetan food boring to a white-bread-kid)

                              Wow, I usually try not to be so negative without careful explanation. Guess I had the special oatmeal today with extra twigs & rocks.

                              18 Replies
                              1. re: enhF94

                                enh, it's easy to agree with you on your entire list EXCEPT Amsterdam Falafel. we ate there so many times that we kind of o.d'd on it, for now, but my falafel has always been moist there. Might you try it again? I loooove the toppings of varied salads, roasted eggplant, and beets. It is such a healthy and superior taste experience compared to all the other falafel i've had in boston.

                                p.s. i love the Island smoothie at Blue Shirt cafe.

                                1. re: enhF94

                                  I've had excellent food at Boston Burger Co., Burren, Amsterdam Falafel, Redbones, and Out Of The Blue, myself.

                                  1. re: enhF94

                                    You forgot to mention that Out of the Blue is inexpensive enough that if you're lazy, you can get a good seafood meal. Seafood lunch specials around $12, fish sandwich at lunch for $8? Compared to other choices in the area that around that range, it's a good option if you want healthy seafood...

                                    Redbones salts their cornbread...not much corn taste to me, but salty? :-P

                                    Two friends had stomach issues last time at Amsterdam Falafel, so I'm wondering what happened that day.

                                    The rest of your list is hilarious :-)

                                    1. re: Spike

                                      1. Good reasons for me to try several of these places again.
                                      2. If I can't be thoughtful, I'm at least glad I was entertaining.
                                      3. if snoreastercane doesn't provide other entertainment tomorrow, maybe I'll try to seriously flesh these out.
                                      4. to my surprise, my most intense and ambivalent vitriol here goes to Redbones, because they could even salt the BBQ after cooking and be FINE, but they don't, so it's a choice.
                                      5. Good point on Out Of The Blue. It's not unpalatable or evil, it's just I can do this at home, and so can you, even on a tired, lazy night.
                                      6. I'll try the falafel again in particular.
                                      7. I am a traitor to my southern roots for liking Redbones' yank cornbread.

                                      1. re: enhF94

                                        ok now you've got me, enh....i hate yank cornbread. i'm from NC so I don't especially like the redbones bbq either! Even east coast grill has yank cornbread. agree 900% about Joshua Tree but we have loved Amsterdam falafel ... to those who were sick afterwards, maybe consider the fat content of some of the white sauces.

                                        1. re: Madrid

                                          ok...I have to ask...what in the world is Yank Cornbread?
                                          BTW, the best cornbread I've had in the area was at Union Bar&Grill in the South End...came out on a 5" diameter small cast iron pan...lots of corn taste and nice crust..mmm :-)

                                          1. re: Spike

                                            Yankee cornbread......at least where I am from, North Carolina, cornbread has no white wheat flour, just cornmeal, buttermilk, egg, and maybe a teaspoon of sugar. That kind of cornbread is full of corn taste and yes, if you cook it at 400 degrees or above in a very hot cast iron pan (heating the pan first for 20 minutes or so in the oven), it gets a wonderful crust. To me, Yank cornbread tastes like a cake dessert.....southerners love to load up on sugar but not in cornbread.

                                            now you will hear from other southerners that yes indeed they do put white flour and sugar in their cornbread, so the "yank" style is all around, but the "southern" style I've never found in the north.

                                            1. re: Madrid

                                              this always cracked me up. my sister in law was from Mars Hill, N.C., would complain about sugar in the cornbread while eating a big slice of chocolate cake, washed down with a coke, for BREAKFAST!

                                              that said, i have grown to dislike a lot of sugar in my cornbread., but without any still find it a little dull.

                                              my least favorite thing about B.T.s smokehouse. their cornbread is way too sweet.

                                              1. re: hyde

                                                yeah, I'm sure you know about the four southern food groups (back when we had food groups and not a pyramid...)...fat, sugar, bourbon, and fat/sugar.

                                                wonder what she ate for lunch, besides iced tea with 8 tablespoons of sugar

                                                if anybody knows any cornbread served in a restaurant in the boston area, without or with minimal sugar, please let me know!

                                                if you can get used to it, and use excellent stone ground organic cornmeal, and think of it like the best homemade corn tortilla you ever ate....it can be really an amazing dish. especially hot, with the crust from the cast iron pan, and smeared with butter (fat fat fat).

                                        2. re: enhF94

                                          I will happily pay someone to fry quality seafood and wholebelly clams rather than save a dollar or two by doing it at home. The same applies for pretty much any restaurant meal, but fried seafood in particular. That said, I haven't been super thrilled with some of the other non-fried meals I've had at Out of the Blue; decent, not terrific.

                                          I recommend the baby back ribs at Redbones to anyone who says they can't make decent BBQ.

                                      2. re: enhF94

                                        I actually laughed out loud at your list, enhF94. Almost all legitimate complaints. A few counterpoints- Redbones apps are pretty good. The fried pickles are plenty salty and the pork green chili is served with chips and between the chips and the chili, I've always felt my salination needs well-met. On second thought, that's my only counter. For the rest, you're dead-on.

                                        1. re: Parsnipity

                                          Hey, those two items are what I almost* always order now! And agreed, they're plenty good.

                                          *Occasionally I hold out hope and order the fried oysters or fried okra. The tartar sauce that attends the oysters makes them a decent bet. The okra has always disappointed so far.

                                          1. re: enhF94

                                            what do you think of the hushpuppies and corn pudding? both at Redbones and elsewhere at the "southern" restaurants? I can't fry well at home.....and don't want to. but fried oysters and okra, done well, are right at my southern heart......

                                            1. re: Madrid

                                              I love the Redbones corn pudding but their hushpuppies are dry little lumps -- never been a fan. Been looking for good hushpuppies for awhile.

                                              The buffalo scallops & shrimp are both worthwhile at Redbones.

                                              1. re: Madrid

                                                I haven't had the corn pudding, but I would recommend dipping hushpuppies in any of the several sauces likely to be on your table in order to punch them up.

                                                I suggest that the fried apps are basically unfixable with table salt once they hit your table. At least I can correct the braised/BBQd meats with table salt, half a lemon, and self-doctoring.

                                                1. re: Madrid

                                                  has anybody tried the hushpuppies at all star sandwich bar? thanks for the previous replies!

                                                  1. re: Madrid

                                                    The hushpuppies at Redbones are horrible. Dry and depressing. I've tried them a bunch of times, because I love hushpuppies, but man, they are just really bad.

                                                    Hushpuppies at Sweet Cheeks are like cornmeal donut holes. They're not dry, but they're rolled in sugar? And have no scallion or whatever. They are disappointing.

                                                    Squash hush puppies at JM Curley were pretty tasty, but also more like cornmeal donut holes than classic hush puppies. Though at least they weren't rolled in sugar.

                                                    I haven't found good hush puppies yet. :(

                                              2. re: enhF94

                                                Have to disagree with you about Blue Shirt - nothing fancy, but everything I've had there is fresh and decent - soups, sandwiches, smoothies.

                                              3. Nice afternoon in Davis Sq.

                                                My first thought was Martsa on Elm because I've only had Tibetan food a handful of times. Unfortunately they only offer a buffet on weekends and I wasn't in the mood for that.

                                                If i had a 3 headed coin, I'd have flipped it between Dave's Pasta, M3 and Flatbread Pizza. Heard great things about Dave's and liked the M3 menu.

                                                Ended up at Flatbread. While the actual pizza wasn't up there with my current favorites, Gran Gusto, Coppa, Regina's, and Pasta Beach; I enjoyed it. I really liked the overall feel of the place. I had a perfect booth near the wood burning oven, sunlight streaming throught the big windows and skylights and just an overall fun atmosphere with the bowling alley across the room. I don't know if it was because of Halloween but there were a lot of kids at noonish on a Sat. I'd stronglyrecommend this place for families with young kids. I wouldn't say it's a perfect restaurant but it was the perfect restaurant for me today. Friendly and earnest staff.

                                                15-20 minute walk to MF Dulock and back with a stop at Sessa's for a cannoli. I'm not much of a sweet eater and haven't had 1 in years but the sign saying "fresh filled" drew me in. Great market and cannoli. Terrific assortment of cheeses. cold cuts,olives, etc.

                                                Thx again for the ideas. Next trip, Dave's or M3.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: 9lives

                                                  hey, what did you think of mf dulock? glad you had a good trip in. the salad at flatbread is one of my favorites.

                                                  1. re: Madrid

                                                    loved it...going to post on the existing Dulock thread so it doesn't get "lost" on this one.

                                                2. Amsterdam Falafel, as others have mentioned, is quite good. I'm accustomed to Israeli/Palestinian-style falafel from NY, so the flavors are a bit different and I miss having the pros assemble my sandwich, but it's worth a stop.

                                                  I also enjoy subs at Sessa's Italian market. Being in the North End, I imagine you can get a killer sub in your neck of the woods, but if you have a hankering I think Mr. Sessa does fabulous work.

                                                  Along Mass ave just up from Davis square (it's a few-block walk), Greek Corner makes fantastic chicken and meat gyros. Pricing is good, service is recalcitrant, lemon soup is fantastic.