First Stop on Eggplant Parm Crawl: Victor's Italian Restaurant in Saugus
- opinionatedchef Nov 14, 2013 02:23 PM
For whatever reason, I have been craving Eggplant Parm lately. So i've spent hours following up CH leads, and today we went to Saugus to try an MCSlim rec, Victor's Italian Restaurant.
Sometimes, no matter how much you research, things don't always turn out simple, and such was the case today. Aside from a road construction detour right where we wanted to go, i found out from the helpful traffic cop positioned outside Victor's- that there are indeed TWO Victor's in Saugus -because a year ago, the original owner/couple split up; the wife kept the Lincoln Ave. spot (Victor's Ital. Restaurant) and Victor moved to Broadway and opened Victor's Italian Cuisine.
So MCSlim's guy this wasn't. We stayed anyway, and had a very delicious, happy old fashioned red sauce lunch.
Cute little cottage house with 3 tables and an open kitchen. Owner Debbie was warm and welcoming and I haven't been "Hon"ed that much in many years. Her red sauce is excellent, simple, lightly cooked, no tomato paste or sweetener or oregano. Pretty much anything that is offered as a Plate is also offered as a sub. My Love really enjoyed his
Veal Parm plate but i didn't denote much veal flavor myself. On the other hand, my Shrimp Marsala over Linguini was really super. All plates were generous and inexpensive (around $15 for each of our 2 entrees.) They have an unusual technique for their Eggplant Parm. They batter fry it and then put it on an oval platter in a single layer; top it with spoons of marinara and mozzarella, and heat it in the oven. Flavors were excellent but i def prefer a flour dredging for the desired crispy exterior I love. At any rate, the whole atmosphere there was very happy and convivial and everyone we saw at Victor's Italian Kitchen- left smiling.
Next up will be MCSlim's guy at his new digs.
we eat a lot of eggplant parm, so if you describe your perfect type, maybe I can suggest some places.. I did once start a post on what type of eggplant parm do you like and if I recall, a lot of opinions and recs were made there... Our fave one we had recently was at Luigis in Bedford. It was piled high, extremely thin slices, probably coated with flour or fine crumb and fried, covered with a sweetish fresh tasting sauce and whole milk not chewy mozz. The thing that made it stand out was the edges. I tend to prefer no skin on it, but they made the skin on edges in such a way that it was so light and crispy with a touch of carmelized slight chewiness that it was almost like a potato chip on the edges and gooey on the inside. Also we go a lot to Sony Notos in Wakefield which is like a big soft stack/ casserole of thin layers of coated fried eggplant and cheese with great flavor, a not sweet and slightly peppery sauce over linguine for 10 bucks and more food than 2 people should eat. Nice homemade salad dressings too and for a real pig out, add steak fries..
oh boy, chompie! well, the way i prefer it is :
thin slices of skin-on eggplant, dredged in flour (not batter or thick crumb coating) and sauteed in oil to crispy outside. Maybe 2 layers high with dollops of light marinara and cheese, baked til blackened spots. Enough marinara for lots of tomatoey goodness but not enough to make the eggplant soggy. it is critical for the marinara to be like i described above in my OP.
(wow, homemade vinaigrettes at an Italo-American restnt-- that's a miracle in and of itself!!) Thx much!