Recently moved to the neighborhood and looking for worthwhile local spots. It seems to be a content void on CH, and perhaps for good reason, but I thought I'd share my (limited) impressions thus far:
Wally's Ice Cream - some interesting favors. They get their ice cream from a Massachusetts supplier whose name I didn't recognize. I like the base better at Coney Island in West Newton, but the flavor selection/quality at Wally's.
Boca Bella - Underwhelming lunch experience featuring very slow service and a turkey burger that seemed like frozen restaurant supply fare, which was disappointing given their semi upscale pricing and descriptions. The dinner menu looked like it could be decent if executed well, but haven't tried yet.
Knotty Pine - greasy spoon, it is what it is. Charming, with a small town diner vibe. Since we can walk here and have little kids, we will be back, but it's not really because of the food.
Toms Pizza - not been, looks Greek, have heard they do Sicilian slices.
Breadsong Bakery - Have only been by when they are closed thus far, interested if anyone has tried their bread or other products.
The Shaws, though not cheap, has been a pleasant surprise in quality and selection.
Anyone with experiences at any of these places care to fill in some blanks?
Take a short drive to West Newton and try Paddy's, a local favorite for solid comfort food (and solid drinks). And Blue Ribbon BBQ is around the corner, certainly worth a try to see if it hits your spot.
Lots of options if you care to drive 5 minutes north to Waltham.
In a Pickle for Breakfast,
Guanachapi for great pupusas and any plates meals,
Cafe on the common for coffee (obviously) and baked goodies,
Food Court in the basement of India Market,
Mulan for Chinese,
The Gaff for beer,
Lizzy's for ice cream,
Solea for Tapas, and the list goes on....
welcome to town.
I love The Gaff - they take really scrupulous care of their beers, and I've never gotten a nasty pour from them. They've got a pretty big draft selection for a place that size, and get stuff I haven't seen elsewhere. I'm big on IPAs, and they usually have several I like on draft (Lagunitas, Troegs, Founders) and seem to have a good selection of Belgians. I'm pretty sure they have a few cask offerings as well. While the food isn't "artisanal" (the kitchen is the size of a phone booth) I like their food a lot - chicken based items are great, especially with their homemade buffalo sauce. Reuben fritters are also good, and hot dogs with crazy stuff on them like avocado, chili, and other items I can't remember.
I have a different opinion of the quality of the beer at the Gaff. About half the time I've been there - about once a month in the last two years - I get some beer that is less than fresh. Doesn't seem like they move many kegs of the varieties I like to drink. A beer like Racer5 could be good one time, then 2-3 weeks later it's not nearly as good as if its still the same keg. I kind of stopped going after my last visit a few months ago when I had an outright disgusting Sierra Nevada Torpedo served to me. It was winey and had absolutely no hop character - it was like drinking craft beer in the 90's all over again. But fortunately Bison county stepped up their game a little, Joco's has decent craft beer now, and with the new Copper House Tavern there are other options.
Breadsong is a hidden gem, so I would definitely try to hit them when they are open.
Your initial impression is correct, there is little noteworthy that is directly in Auburndale. However, venture up Lexington Street ~1 mile, and you are on Moody Street in Waltham, chock full of Indian grocers and restaurants and countless other chow-worthy destinations.