Here in Boston, we’re lucky. While many American suburbanites are one slider away from chopping their tongues off with the edge of a Chili’s menu, our metropolitan area is replete with excellent, innovative restaurants. Which hamlets most reward intrepid eaters?
One urban ex-pat posed this question on Chowhound, and we’re having fun combing through the responses. After all, not everyone can afford to live next door to Toro. So which towns are ideal for demanding diners/budding surburbanites?
• Quincy gets a slew of votes for its breadth of options, from 15 Chinese places to seven sub shops to hot pot to Thai to bars aplenty to waterfront neighborhood Marina Bay. Hey, they even have a Chipotle!
• Some people would relocate to Salem for A&J; King’s almond croissants alone. 62 Restaurant and Wine Bar gets votes for its fine Northern Italian menu; other posters crow about the array of Brazilian offerings at the local Market Basket. (And we just love Market Basket!)
• Lowell (you know, where The Fighter was filmed) gets props for its vibrant downtown dining scene. We’ve sung Lowell’s praises before. There’s a myriad of Asian restaurants here; Cambodian is especially prevalent. And brasserie La Boniche, nestled on a cobblestone’d downtown lane, is downright sophisticated. Even Mexican restaurant Mr. Jalapeño (perhaps a long-lost relative of New York’s Señor Swanky’s?) is worth a trip.
• Arlington’s another favorite, what with Penzey’s Spices, Trader Joe’s (not exactly a restaurant, but c’mon, who doesn’t love their spunky newsletter?), Blue Ribbon BBQ, ‘Za, Toraya, Flora, Kathmandu Spice, Little Q Hot Pot, Tango…cuisines of every type, plus private drinking clubs! American Legion, anyone?
• But tell your realtor to avoid Concord. Poster CptBuck laments: "The MO for Concord restaurants is to get a new chef or come out with a new menu and then fire that chef and start making all of the items on that menu really badly." Aptly named OpinionatedChef considers Lincoln "sad sad sad," and deems downtown Malden "a pit." (That said, it’s home to one of the area’s finest Chinese restaurants, Fuloon.)
IrishNYC reprimands everyone thus: "As much as I love food, I cannot think of too many reasons worse for choosing a place to own a home." Oh Irish, we humbly disagree. Who cares about schools? Resale values? Trifling things like "safety"? We want respectable Chinese takeout, and we want it now. Our down payment’s stewing in the bank and our credit is just terrific! So, c’mon, tell us: Which towns have the best food scene?