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May 27, 2014 11:39 AM

Lawrence-Andover-North Andover Eats

Starting a new thread, as this topic seems outdated. Got takeout at Garden House, a Korean restaurant in Lawrence last week, and it was fantastic Korean food with lots of panchan included. We tried the samsun gan ja-jang noodles (seafood version), Jap Chae, and BiBim Bap. All were excellent. I liked it better than what've I had at Woo Jung in Ayer.
Have also tried Sultan's Mediterranean Café in North Andover which was fine, but I am more enthusiastic about Garden House.

What are the chowhound favorites in this region nowadays?

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  1. For good Mediterranean, Shadi's on rte 125 in N. Andover. I enjoy the raw kibbee avail on Fri & Sat only.

    Good Mex at Café Azteca on Common St in Lawrence, excellent family run place.

    BBQ at 3 Dogz Diner on rte 28 where the falls and canal are.

    Pollo Tipico on Lawrence St, great Spanish/Puerto Rico Cuisine.

    PJ's in Methuen rte 28 on the Lawrence line, they make a nice Italian meat pie.

    Jaquelline's on rte 28 by St. Patricks Church, excellent empanadas and fried chicken.

    Thwaite's in Methuen, excellent English pork pies, hand size, and other variety of pies.

    Yokohama on rte 28 also has good Korean, although I haven't been in a while.

    21 Replies
    1. re: treb

      treb, unless you mean calzone, i have never heard of an Italian Meat Pie. Would you plse describe it?
      (Thwaite's is at the top of my list of intended food trips, along with Hong Cuc in Lowell- for banh mi etc. )

      1. re: opinionatedchef

        No, its not a calzone or a stromboli. Some Italians call it a Scachatta. They can be made round or square size, depending on what part of Italy you're from. A traditional Scachatta is made with a pork filling but, I've seen many varieties using different fillings. I usually make them with a combination of ground meats. So drive up to Methuen and try a piece on your way to Thwaite's. Both places offer some really good chow.

      2. re: treb

        treb, hoping to make a methuen/lowell chow trip soon but need some help.
        - would you think shadi's would let me take out the raw kibbeh, and/or do they serve it at lunch?(if they even do lunch)
        -jaqueline's-- the Emps are fried? is the meat filling seasoned or pretty plain? (the ground beef emps at La Fe, the Dominican place in Lynn, are greasy and pretty flavorless.)
        -- googling Strachatta brought up a whole tradition of it in Tampa! But theirs is really pizza topping pressed into a more bready (or pizza dough) base, eaten cold.

        They also mentioned Gidi- a swiss chard mixture sandwiched between pizza dough top and bottom. Have you seen that anywhere around here? I love Italian Escarole Pie but have never seen it offered anywhere.

        Knowing the layout in that area, and the various business hours/ likely to be sold out or too busy etc., how would you advise we tackle this chow route? I'd like to (leave after 12 noon from Winchester/at the 128/93 corner and) hit:
        Hong Cuc in Lowell for lunch
        and take out from
        Thwaite's, cl Wed.--- tourtiere, assorted meat pies
        PJ's--- meat pies, square pizza
        Jaqueline's--- empanadas, fr. chicken by $, not piece//cash
        Shadi's --- raw beef kibbeh,Mjadara, chicken hashwee, meat grape leaves, meat cabbage rolls/Lu to 3;D, cl Sun

        I can google map it but i wanted to hear your advice first. thx alot!

        1. re: opinionatedchef

          Shadi's opens at 11am, you can get it as take out but, I strongly recommend eating it freshly prepared at the restaurant with warm pita bread and maybe a side of hummus and tabbouleh. Remember, they only do raw kibbee on Fri & Sat. They also offer an Arabic assortment which includes items like grape leaves, stuffed cabbage, a stewed lamb and large lima beans in a tomato based sauce etc.

          Jaqueline's emp's are fried about a dollar each, I've had the chicken, they make a nice bite. Her fried chicken is da bomb!

          Scachatta can be made with many ingredients. At most pizza places in the area you'll find a choice of meat or spinach filled Scachatta. I like both. You won't find escarole, which is my favorite ingredient, in addition to oil cured Sicilian lives, to use when make it. Escarole is not for the masses, nor are the Sicilian oil cured olives.

          I might suggest a meat pie crawl for your adventure.

          Start out at Korbani's Bakery, in Methuen, for some Lebanese style hand held meat and spinach pies. They open at 6am. Bring home some of the best oven fresh pita in the area.

          Next, Thwaite's for some English pork pies and other delights. They open at 8am. Careful, you'll be tempted to choose and eat a lot of different pie offerings.

          Then, PJ's for some slices of Italian meat/spinach pie. I believe they open in the afternoon. If you have time, between Thwaite's and waiting for PJ's to open, go to Trippoli's Bakery in Lawrence or Piro's Bakery in Methuen and sample some of their fine goods.

          Hope this helps.

          1. re: treb

            wow, what a great plan for a meat pie crawl!

            thanks, Treb!

            1. re: treb

              treb, thanks to you, we had a very successful 5 hour crawl this afternoon (but we are exhausted!!). I am so glad you advised Korbani's- we started there and that place is terrific. Anyway, i'll write details tomorrow. Thx so much.

              1. re: opinionatedchef

                Here's what we did, treb! Thx so much again; never would have known about any of these spots otherwise!


                p.s. what do you like at Trippoli's Bakery in Lawrence and Piro's Bakery in Methuen ?

                1. re: opinionatedchef

                  Both are good old school Italian bakeries. They make excellent breads and lots of pastries. All the classics such as sfogliatelle, lobster tails, rum ba ba''s, ricotta pies, fresh filled cannoli, cassatta cakes, guanti's and a large assortment of cookies.

          2. re: treb

            Salvatore's in Lawrence has a nice outdoor seating area and a lively bar on weekend nights. The food rarely disappoints and it is priced right, in my opinion.

            Yella in Andover is awful. Cramped tables and heavily, way oversalted food.

            Joe Fish is always reliable, though admittedly, I always order the exact same dish- Kadzu Tuna (panko crusted and lightly pan fried, very rare inside)

            The Loft is OK but only for lobster mac and cheese and lots of draft beer.

            Santana Rae's in the Loop is terrible. Giant platters of generic 'mexican' food with the obligatory dry spanish rice and a large puddle of refried beans.

            1. re: Frank Enbean

              I'll pass on Salvador's. Outdoor deck or not!

              1. re: treb

                Why is that?

                It rates highly on my list due to the location, ease of parking and friendly service.

                Have a couple martinis, polish off an eggplant parm, have a few laughs with friends....

                1. re: Frank Enbean

                  Yes, I guess to location, to parking, good service, IMO the food, especially the bland dry pizza, is really unremarkable. That's just me I guess!

                  I think the area on a whole lacks a good Italian restaurant. Even Joseph's in Bradford and Orzo in N. Andover are just average.

                  1. re: treb

                    treb, what do you think of Stachey's Pizza on High St. in North Andover? It's right down the street from where I work, so it's a regular stop for my coworkers, and we sometimes order company lunches from there.

                    1. re: LindaWhit

                      I haven't had a chance to try it but, there is a lot of foot traffic going in specially from the office building across the street. Glad this thread is gaining steam, there are a lot of interesting places in the area. Also, if you're around try Mad Maggie's for some rich ice cream.

                      1. re: treb

                        I haven't been to that particular Mad Maggie's, but I'm definitely envisioning an ice cream "social" for the workplace one Friday afternoon whenever it finally warms up. :-)

                        1. re: phatchris

                          I've had that once, and loved it. And grumpyspatient, that Syrian bread (which you also get with a salad) is amazingly good!

                          1. re: phatchris

                            Three steak and cheese subs were purchased by the CEO, myself, and a VP today for lunch. Lord, that's good! And while my tastebuds would prefer just a *smidge* more cheese, my gut and hips are telling me it was good as is. :-)

                          2. re: LindaWhit

                            I find the sauce on the pizza sweet, like beach pizza.
                            But I like the Syrian bread they use for sandwiches. especially the steak tip sandwich.

                      2. re: treb

                        Santana Rae's has an empty parking lot and a note on the door saying it is closed

                  2. For takeout:

                    Thwaites, Methuen (meat pies, tourtiere, cretons, excellent little butcher shop, too)

                    Borelli's Deli, Methuen (my fave Italian deli; also, excellent prepared foods)

                    Korbani's Bakery, Methuen (a slight misnomer--not just super pita bread, but great dolmades, kibbee, stuffed cousa, etc, to go, and Middle Eastern groceries)

                    Tacos Lupita (the one in Haverhill) ...the beef tongue taco is the best one I have ever had. Cheap and good.


                    Ralphie's on Rt 28 Salem (red sauce Italian)--don't know how long they'll be in that location

                    The Fireside Methuen (for Friday night prime rib)

                    Ditto on Café Azteca for reliable Mexican

                    Ditto on Garden House

                    10 Replies
                    1. re: pinehurst

                      Going to miss Borelli's when they close. Korbani's bakery has, IMO, the best pita bread in the area, plus all their other sweet treats.

                        1. re: Infomaniac

                          There is a rumor swirling (can't remember who posted it a couple months ago) that they're being bought out by the Tuscan Kitchen/Market people. If so, I'm bereft.

                          1. re: pinehurst

                            I think that's just a rumor, but I could be wrong.

                            1. re: Infomaniac

                              I hope you're right. Smeriglio does a brisk business; he has family working there... and the food offerings are diff. from what Tuscan has.

                              1. re: pinehurst

                                I saw this as well on CH, did not have the chance to verify when I last went to Borelli's.

                              2. re: Infomaniac

                                I hope so, it's a wonderful place. They make great sausage.

                              3. re: pinehurst

                                I get the newsletter for Tuscan Kitchen and during the last few weeks, they held a couple of job fairs and are hiring all positions. They're holding the interviews at an office park on Burlington, MA. I was hoping they were opening a second location closer to Boston. I like their bread.

                            2. re: treb

                              I went to Borellli's yesterday and asked about these closing/take-over rumors and was assured both are false.

                              1. re: ScubaSteve

                                Ii spoke to one of the Faro's from Tuscan Kitchen this afternoon confirmed what I thought....just a rumor.

                          2. Joseph's in Bradford, Krugers and Keon's in Haverhill. Tripoli and Pizza King for pizza. Yella for upscale Mediterranean.

                            1. anybody been to brasserie 28 in andover? i drive by several times a week and keep wondering...

                              7 Replies
                              1. re: hotoynoodle

                                I've been for drinks and had a few appetizers. The atmosphere is good and the bartenders were good with a solid drink and wine list. I can't remember what we got for appetizers but they were good. It's on my list of places to go back to. The only downside with the bar is when they have live music it gets very loud, especially at the bar where the musician is three feet away from some stools. It's also a bit pricey but that was last summer so maybe things have changed.

                                1. re: hotoynoodle

                                  I've been a few times a couple of years ago, not bad for the area, but I wouldn't go out of my way for it.

                                  1. re: hotoynoodle

                                    Agree with Karl and phatchris. I went when they were called Bin 28 several years ago; a relatively small group of us (maybe 7-8 people?) from work. They're not cheap; the wine system thingie is ... well, there. And it got pretty loud.

                                      1. re: hotoynoodle

                                        Yeah, but I think my technical term is way better. :-P

                                        1. re: LindaWhit

                                          as a sommelier, i bow down to your jargon. ;)

                                          1. re: hotoynoodle

                                            LOL! At least I didn't call it a "wine thingamabob". THAT is definitely crass terminology. ;-)

                                  2. Strongly agree on the Garden House. It's become a family favorite over Rega's Grill (which replaced the Hin Be). Their kimchee pancakes are excellent and the family that runs it is very sweet.

                                    Don't forget the great gelato at Dolce Freddo in Methuen, down the street from Borelli's. The pan-Asian place across the street, Fusion House, is okay.