Save me from Margarita's -- Moody Street, Waltham
- GretchenS Jan 7, 2013 10:05 AM
Meeting some business colleagues in from out of town for dinner Wednesday night: they have proposed Margarita's Moody St Waltham but are OK with me proposing an alternative in the area. We do want to be able to sit and chat for awhile but won't be camping at the table or anything.
Research here suggests that these may be good alternatives -- please let me know positive or negative thoughts or alternate suggestions. TIA.
Pho & Spice
Kebab & Tandoor
(Tempo looked too pricy)
I dine at Solea often (including last night). The food is very good, and I think it would be perfect for your needs.
If they're specifically interested in Mexican food, I'd take them to Taqueria Mexico. The food is far superior, the booths are comfortable and relatively private, and it's a pleasant, homey atmosphere. Plus I'm pretty sure they have a beer/wine license if that's important. And it's right there in the area, a half-block off Moody Street near Route 20. (Although someone hereabouts once hilariously suggested that Taqueria Mexico was somehow located in a horribly scary neighborhood filled with abandoned buildings where vagrants waited for unsuspecting visitors so they could cut them. Absolutely none of which is true.)
Margarota's not only serves bad food but their service is awful too. I hate eating in places where I go with anothewr adult and they seat me next to a noisy family with a highchair. I realize that these places cater to families but Margarita's is just a ridiculous place. It's funny because Moody street used to be a fun place to eat but I do not find it that way anymore. Watertown has better places to eat. You should try Jasmine Persion restaurant or the Middle Eastern Baker & Cafe in Watertown next to Target. It's totally affordable and is excellent family run homemade food.
Margaritas is fine for a drink and some chips and salsa/guac, but the entrees aren't all that great and pricey for what it is- although I have been liking the fish tacos lately when the wife and I don't feel like walking over to Tacqueria Mexico after a couple margaritas.
Solea seems to be the best choice for you as it will offer something for everyone. Habenero's could be ok too.
Pho and Spice is pretty casual and would be kind of cramped for chatting. K&T may be too "third world" when it comes to food and service for business colleagues unless you know them well enough that they won't care. Haven't been to Charcoal Guido's yet.
Bison County is on the casual side, but make great burgers and the spicy carolina wings are the best non-buffalo wings in the area imo.
Margarita's is the perfect place for work people to go after work to hang out.. Its loud, they have lousy service, lousy food smothered with lots of cheese and lots of big fruity drinks.. While other places suggested have better mexican, they are small boring holes in the wall without the fruity drinks. Not the "scene" that the people having fun after work want.
Solea is great but you need to be comfortable sharing small overpriced (lets face it, while i love tapas, it is a ripoff!) dishes with coworkers you may or may not know well which can be weird...
Im not familiar with the other places on the list...
When i used to go out after work in waltham (15+years ago).. we would go to the mediocre buffet at Sichuan Garden and then next door to the pool place at the Waverly oaks Club.. Or sometimes just to the pool shooting place to have beers, loud music, watch drunk college kids and eat some mediocre nachos and chicken fingers..
I know my post wasnt very helpful but the reality is the average corporate work group going out type of gang, likes places like margarita's regardless of all the negatives the food appreciating person such as yourself will find with it.. Maybe i am a quitter but i have found through my years of trying to do exactly what you are trying to do, that it is more often perceived as being a pain in the butt and picky then trying to actually help and enlighten people to something out of their comfort zone that they might enjoy... your mileage my vary! And then if it doesnt work out the stories end up, "well everyone wanted to go to blah, but so and so insisted we go to some blahblyblah place and it was blah".... This ends up the story even if the food is great and you love it. Cause you are now taking on responsibility for all the picky or closed minded eaters. I just wont do it anymore and either dont go or go with the flow. Hard to not say something though, just the other night a group of friends were driving an hour out of the way to go to Kowloon before a show in Lowell. I couldnt help myself to tell my thoughts on Kowloon which they love, and make Lowell recs... They went to Kowloon...
That is actually a very helpful post in its own quirky way. :) For large groups I completely endorse that approach and practice it myself. In this case it is 4 people total and at least one other besides me cares a lot what he eats. Also it is 100% a low-key group not into the "scene" stuff.
The only difference I see here is that the OP is entertaining out of town business guests, vs. going out after work with the usual "work gang". I think these different circumstances call for different dining environments. Looks like the OP is on a budget, so some of the "fancier" places in Waltham probably aren't under consideration. Still, I wouldn't want it to be a hole-in-the-wall type of place, unless the OP knows the colleagues very well and knows that they would welcome this type of place. Probably best to stick with a place where they can get meat/veg/drink in a reasonably nice environment. Solea would probably be best given the choices offered...although I agree with you, Hargau, that they ain't worth the prices for the quality you get!
Thanks to one and all for your great input. This story had a very happy ending. My two out-of-town colleagues, like most road warriors, can stomach any kind of swill but it turns out they both really like good food and were very interested in going to Mulan as long as I ordered. :) So we had -- and loved! -- dumplings, salted crispy chicken, house special fish, shredded pork with baby bamboo, and sauteed pea tendrils. They want to go back next time they are in town.