I still miss the inclusive menus, unpretentious cooking, and all-hours convenience of the diners and delis in metropolitan New York. We occasionally ate breakfast or brunch at Fresco Café in Needham, and there is a Friendly’s near our new apartment. I’ve been to Wilson’s Diner, and I look forward to eventually checking out In a Pickle and Arcadia in downtown Waltham.
Carl’s Subs, also in Waltham, makes a very good cheesesteak — if not at the level of Talarico’s Sandwich Shop in Pennsylvania — as does Charley’s Grilled Subs in the Burlington Mall. I’m also looking for a hamburger to rival Mr. Bartley’s Burger Cottage in Harvard Square, Wild Willy’s in Needham, or Four Burgers in Central Square, Cambridge, all of which I’ve eaten at recently.
On a related note, since there is no Chipotle nearby, I’ll be checking out the various Latin American eateries on Waltham’s Moody Street for tasty, filling, and cheap burritos. Ixtapa Mexican Cantina in Lexington, Mass., is similar to Acapulco’s in quality, and I saw that there is a Border Café near the Burlington Mall. I found that the drinks at Margarita’s were better than the food.
For pub grub, Watch City Brewing Co. is pretty good, although I think I like the British Beer Co. a bit more. I’ve had drinks a few times after work at Boxx 109 in the fancy Hotel Indigo. We have yet to eat and drink at Grassfield’s, City Streets, John Brewer’s Tavern, or Skellig. For Southern food, Bison County joins Firefly’s, Blue Ribbon Barbeque, and Midtown Smokehouse and Grill. For steak, we recently found Texas Roadhouse in Walpole, Mass.
Speaking of steak, we’ve celebrated many birthdays at Fuji in Needham, and I’ll have to look for another sushi/hibachi place. I tried to go to Takara Sushi in Newton with some co-workers last week, but we ended up at Bread & Chocolate instead. Speaking of cafés, in addition to the ubiquitous Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbuck’s, I’ll have to try Panera and Café on the Common.
I’ll also have to find a decent Chinese restaurant, hopefully one that delivers. There is no shortage of promising Indian restaurants in the area, including Waltham India Market, which has a small food court in its basement. I’ve enjoyed “fusion” Asian cuisine at Tom Can Cook, Elephant Walk, and Ponzu (I ate at the last of these yesterday with Beruk A.).
I also hope to find a good local pizza joint similar to Stone Hearth Pizza, in addition to reliable chains Papa Gino’s, Bertucci’s, Uno Chicago Grill, and The Upper Crust (which had labor problems). An economical Italian family restaurant is also on my “to find” list.
For groceries, we miss having a Trader Joe’s in walking distance, as we did in Needham, Mass. Still, the Shaw’s is close, and I’ve ogled the fresh produce at the Wagon Wheel Nursery & Farmstand and Wilson Farm in Lexington. Finding locally produced bleu cheese isn’t always easy, but it’s important to me.
Speaking of dairy, I look forward to stopping by Lizzy’s Ice Cream as the weather gets warmer. Every town in New England has an ice cream parlor. I prefer gelato, sherbet, or frozen yogurt, however, because of my lactose intolerance. Janice and I will also have to find a decent bakery. So much to eat, so little time!