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Near Arsenal in Watertown other than Strip T's

Been there enough times I should have my own chair. Where else should I go for pre-theater? Bonus if I can walk (under 1.5 miles). Good food a must, atmosphere less important.

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  1. Gustazo is a bit far, but excellent. Fordee's is great falafel.

    1. Have you tried Casa de Pedro? Service can be a bit spotty but the food has always been good.

      5 Replies
      1. re: psc109

        Sorry but I am not a fan of the food at CDP. Bland, often sloppily prepared. Not a lot of flavor. Try Gustazo for comparison and I guarantee you will never have another bite at CDP.

        1. re: StriperGuy

          I'm with you, Striper, on CDP. How about Red Lentil?

          1. re: Science Chick

            Red Lentil is also superb, and Shangri-La as well. Though probably just at the 1.5 mile limit.

            1. re: StriperGuy

              Believe it or not, it's about 1 mile, especially if you go through the neighborhood instead of taking School to Mt. Auburn. Take School to Dexter, turn right, go to Mt. Auburn and you're basically there.

              1. re: lergnom

                I guess it depends on exactly where you are starting, but from Arsenal Mall I always just go straight up Arlington Street, directly to Mt. Auburn where all the Armenian shops/Red Lentil are located.

      2. If you like Persian, there is Molana on Spring Street in Watertown Square, Jasmine on Mt. Auburn close to Red Lentil, or Roksana on Mt. Auburn by the Common Street Cemetery. Out of these, I like Molana best, but I know there are a number of supporters for Jasmine on CH. Roksana may only have take out currently (says Persian New Year on their website) with very limited seating. If you do not care to walk, the #70 bus can take you in front of Arsenal from the Square.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Crazy Egg

          Also Shiraz on Bigelow Ave. Gets hardly any foot traffic, so I try to mention it whenever the other Persian places come up! I prefer it to Jasmine, although I like Jasmine too.

          I live in the neighborhood agree with Strip-Ts, Shangri-La, Red Lentil, and any of the Persian places as the best nearby eating options. Plus Fordee's and Stella's for counter service places. The diner is also a decent choice -- I think it's surprisingly good for dinner, although certainly not a destination place.

        2. If atmosphere is not important, get a thin crust pizza at Stella's on Mt. Auburn.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Prav

            Remember to order the "extra large", which is the dough for a large, stretched out bigger/thinner. The smaller pies are *not* thin style!

          2. Is Miller's Ale House any good?

            4 Replies
            1. re: maillard

              I've heard from NON-chowhounds that Miller's is plain awful. So, imagine how a 'hound would feel about it?

              Agree with pretty much everywhere else on this thread, except Casa de Pedro... mediocre. Though I would put it in the "could be worse" bucket.

              Stella's pizza, Gustazo, Shangri-La... all good. Town Diner for acceptable diner food.

              Sadly, I have not yet been to either of the Persian places yet!

                1. re: Alcachofa

                  I had forgotten Town Diner, have to consider that, been a few years.

                  1. re: Alcachofa

                    Casa de Pedro = Could be worse

                    Exactly right.

                2. I am perhaps the only Chowhounder that likes Casa Del Pedro. Though I admit its inconsistent. Plus we eat at the bar so service is generally good.

                  Millers Ale House is ok for a beer but the food is bad. I am forced to eat there once in awhile because there are things on the kids menu that my nephew will actually eat.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: C. Hamster

                    While I don't love Casa De Pedro, I do like the dish that has fried pork, pumpkin seeds and hot sauce. We also sit at the bar, and the Margaritas are fine, and we can usually get enough to eat. It can be described as could be worse, but you can't beat the convenience when going to the theater there. That's the only time we eat there, and we're nearby.

                    Miller's Ale house is fine for beer. I will admit to enjoying their "famous" chicken fingers with whatever ridiculous name the hottest sauce is (Thermonuclear maybe? even then it's not really hot), but that's the only decent thing I've had there in the 2 times we've tried it.

                    1. re: kimfair1

                      Next time im forced to go ill get the famous chicken fingers

                  2. There's a Thai restaurant on Arsenal across the street from Casa de Pedro. I haven't eaten there but friends have and find it ok (not a resounding recommendation but it is right by the theater which is why they go as well).

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: teezeetoo

                      Is it sandwiched between a gas station and a minute clinic? If so, I believe that is O-Sha.

                    2. Isn't there a little Italian place that looks like its in someones living room down the side street after Target? The street that has the Armenian bakery near the top. I've never been, has anybody else?

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: psc109

                        That's called "Grappa", I think. The Armenian bakery there had some tasty shawarma when I was there a while back.

                        1. re: psc109

                          there's another italian place on school street i think - Porcini? my memory is it has an outside patio - probably wouldn't starve and it might be better than I think. My memory (several years old) was that it was "serviceable." Also definitely walkable

                          1. re: teezeetoo

                            Yah, not a fan of Porcini. Grappa is WAY WAY better.

                            1. re: teezeetoo

                              Actually, it's "Porcini's". That must be one bright mushroom, to have its own restaurant.

                              1. re: Alcachofa

                                Yah the mushroom is friends with Habanero who lives in Waltham.

                                1. re: StriperGuy

                                  And that zebra in Medfield. Also, has anyone met Pepper Sky? She sounds really cool.


                          2. If you're in a burger sort of mood, I am partial to the Rio Grande burger at Wild Willy's, down the street. They also have excellent raspberry lime rickeys.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: Ruprecht

                              It the OP is heading down to Watertown Sq, I guess there is Stellina's as well, although I haven't been there.

                              1. re: Ruprecht

                                when it was a trip to WW in Watertown, we liked it.

                                When they opened one in our town, it became a chore and it quickly closed. Now we can't even think about it.

                                My mom likes Grappa. I'll have to weigh the chances of running into her there!

                                1. re: L2k

                                  Gosh, forgot all about Grappa, that place is quite excellent.

                              2. Within 1 mile:
                                Stellina in Watertown Square - fave Ital for years. Try the warm tomato salad with goat cheese;
                                Red Lentil on Mount Auburn St. - excellent veggie. Try the chickpea crusted cauliflour;
                                Aegean on Arsenal Street - decent Greek,20th century ambience. Excellent and well-priced rack of lamb.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: FoonFan

                                  Sorry to be the naysayer, but Chowhound opinions on Aegean are mixed at best. Some lovers and some haters.

                                  Stellina's I agree is a really nice spot.

                                2. Was very pleased with Grappa. Slightly disappointed to notice that the tables on each side of ours had Groupons, and I didn't (disappointed in myself, not the restaurant!), but we truly felt we got our money's worth.