Waltham open and closed restaurant reviews

Absolutely Asia $$ Chinese , Japanese , Korean , Thai - 864 Main Street - 781-891-1700
3 December 2002 review by Allan Telio

If you open up the Waltham phonebook to the restaurant listing you will see at least two dozen Chinese places. The names range from Chang's Kitchen to Chow's Chow. But how do you know which one to try? My girlfriend and I used a time-tested scientific method and selected the first one on the list, Absolutely Asia. In the end, this turned out to be a good choice.

As we walked into the restaurant, I was surprised by how small it was. Apparently, I was not the only one. The nine year old boy with the family behind me exclaimed, "Dad, this place is super tiny." The mother quickly quieted her child and told him not to judge by size. Wise woman. Lucky husband.

Even though it's on the smaller side, we were quickly seated after the host had dispensed of three take out orders. For most of the evening there was brisk take out business, which is always a good sign. The decor is an interesting blend of contemporary light fixtures, yellow-orange walls, a well stocked bar, and a drop ceiling. The owner's attempt at modernizing this slightly dated building has been mostly successful. However, the drop ceiling does little to absorb sound. We overheard the three college girls behind me discussing a recent dance and an older Asian lady seated behind my girlfriend discussing a past love affair. Who knew that dinner came with a free show?

However, we did not come here to eavesdrop, we came here to eat. We started with two appetizers, Vietnamese Spring Rolls ($3.95) and Scallion Pancakes ($3.50). It was a split decision on the appetizers. The Scallion Pancakes had a delightful golden crispy shell and a soft chewy inside. When topped with the dipping sauce they were the perfect, salty appetizer. The spring rolls, however were far from perfect. Instead of golden brown, they were just brown from over-frying. Also, the vegetarian stuffing of the spring rolls had a strange bitter flavor that could not be drowned out by spoonfuls of sweet and sour sauce. Spring rolls aside, the remainder of our meal was excellent.

Our two main dishes were Sechuan Chicken ($8.50) and Sauteed Spicy Green Beans ($7.95). My girlfriend has been fixated on and addicted to spicy green beans for the past two years. Absolutely Asia's green beans did not disappoint. They were mildly spicy and tangy with a hint of sweetness. The Sechuan Chicken was a mix of cubed chicken, green peppers, peanuts, and other assorted vegetables covered, but not drowned, in a not too spicy sauce. Both entrees were reasonably sized.

As I snapped open my fortune cookie at the end of the meal, I saw the family of the three with the wise cracking nine year old head for the door. The host asked the father how his meal had been and he responded, "Absolutely perfect. Do you deliver?"

Arcadia Restaurant $ Diner , American - 837 Main Street - 781-893-9747 Closed on 23-November-2014, to make room for Mulan expansion
13 January 2003 review by Mike Morrison

When TV sitcom writers are looking for the prototypical diner location, they come to the Arcadia Restaurant on Main Street in Waltham. It is everything you would expect a diner to be. Is that good? Bad? Well, that depends on what you're looking for. Me, I think it's mostly good.

Breakfast and brunch fare is tasty, hearty food. Eggs (Egg Beaters available), pancakes, buttered toast, hash, and French toast are all served up hot and fresh. The omelettes and hash are particularly good. The home fries are a little less tasty, but nothing that a healthy dose of ketchup can't fix. The coffee is decent, and you can expect a warm-up every time there's more than an inch of ceramic showing on the inside of the mug.

The service at Arcadia ranges from polite to downright friendly, depending on what you make of it. They are very efficient and usually just as busy. Prices are extremely affordable--you can get brunch, coffee, juice and tip for under $8.

If I could sum it up in one sentence: Arcadia Restaurant is the sort of place where you wouldn't be surprised if you heard Flo say, "Mel, kiss my grits!" before your meal was done. I give it three and a half stomach pumps (out of five).

Asian Grill $$ Japanese , Korean , Thai - 265 Moody Street - 781-398-1600 Closed as of October 2012, now In A Pickle. Formerly at this location: Tomato City
11 January 2002 review by Eric Salerno

Excellent Sushi, with Japanese beer available. We enjoy this restaurant when we want Sushi, but don't want to leave Waltham. The prices are reasonable, the service is excellent, the Sushi chefs are very talented, and the restaurant is located right on the corner of Moody and Crescent with full windows that give the place an open feel.

2 January 2005 review by LaJan Collins

My family and myself ate at this restaurant for the first time yesterday after hearing it was an excellent place to eat. We love Asian food, especially sushi. We had never been in an establishment where we were treated so badly! We didn't see eye to eye with our waitress on our food. After that, the service went down hill from there. We were never asked if everything else was ok, if she could bring us more to drink/ eat or anything else. We sat there with our glasses empty while we watched her tend to and serve everyone else around us. She never said another word or waited on us further for the remaining of the meal. Regardless, we still tipped appropriately but mentioned to her how we felt her service was rude and unnecessary. My husband and I go out to eat probably more than any other couple in the area. We will be sure not to spend our money in this establishment again.

Baan Thai $$ Thai - 659 Main Street - 781-893-7700 fax 893-7701 At this site until late in 2001: New House Restaurant
10 March 2002 review by Jennifer and Scott

Late in 2001, the long-lived New House Chinese restaurant closed, and Tumrubthai, featuring authentic Thai cuisine and a sushi bar, opened. The decor, based on blue and Chinese red, is deliciously exotic in a serene way. The framed color photos on the walls add interest to the surroundings. Appetizers range from $4.50 for a corn cake to $6.95 for a shrimp tempura. The chicken satay ($5.50) was 4 generous pieces with a surprisingly spicy peanut sauce, and cucumber salad. The Tom Yum soup with shrimp ($3.25) was seasoned with herbs, mushrooms, lemon grass, and daffir lime leaves. I thought this was one the best renditions of this soup available at many of the Waltham restaurants. The Tamarind Fish, one of the house specialties ($13.95), is topped with tamarind juice, yellow beans, shredded ginger, onions, pineapple, and scallions. This was a large, delicious piece of fish, well worth the price. A vegetarian pad thai is $8.50.

10 June 2004 review by Colin C. Ganley

Baan Thai is the best restaurant in Waltham! From the Fresh Sushi to the Red Curry Charlie knows Thai. Charlie is the proprietor of Baan Thai and his personal touch makes your experience spectacular. I order out mostly because the food is spectacular. The Crispy Pad Thai, Red Curry and Beef Fried Rice are some of my favorites but any order is a sure thing. He used to have a restaurant on Newbury Street where he served an author and lawyer who loved the restaurant so much, he featured it and its owner in one of his books. Charlie showed me that book the last time I was in. For spectacular food- order Baan Thai, to make it better, eat in. Mark this one Green.

Beijing Star $$ Chinese - 835 Main Street - ? closed in September of 2010
27 December 2002 review by Katie Flynn

I went to this restaurant with a family friend who's originally from China. She ordered in Chinese and we had a fantastic meal. The service was excellent. I went back by myself and the service was a bit spotty, but the food was still great. I had the Moo Shi Pork, which had the best pancakes I've ever had. I also tried the Scallion Pancakes for the first time and thought they were also very tasty, even cold later that night. The prices seemed average for a typical chinese restuarant ($7.50 - $15.00).

16 May 2007 review by Josh of Brandeis University

My three suitemates and I frequent Beijing Star, and love their authentic cuisine and menu. The Yu Hsiang anything is fantastic, and the tea served when you sit down adds to the atmosphere. I am graduating, and felt that I should pass on a bit off knowledge to show for the four years I spent in Waltham. Dinner at Beijing Star is optimal, and always fantastic. You cannot go wrong with a dinner at Beijing Star; the lunch specials, although a larger portion, did not seem to us as high quality as the dinners. This is probably due more to count for the delicious nature of the dinner than the failings of the lunch menu.

B & F Pizza $ Pizza , Subs - 227 Lake Street - 781-891-1020
6 January 2004 review by Timothy Hayes

If great Greek pizza is your thing, B&F is the only game in town. This fantastic little restaurant has been a fixture in North Waltham for over 20 years and is a favorite of the locals. The pizza at B&F is characterized by a sweet, tasty tomato sauce that is complemented perfectly by their blend of cheese. Even the crust, often tossed aside by pizza-eaters at other restaurants, is too good to pass up! (try dipping it in salsa ... perfect!) The pizza at B&F is also very consistent - from what I can tell, the taste hasn't deviated since I was a little kid (20 years ago) - and it is never over or under-cooked. Neither is it too greasy, a problem with some other Greek pizzas. And of course, they have a multitude of toppings from which to choose.

B&F also offers a wide array of sub sandwiches, pasta dinners, salads and other assorted goodies. The chicken kabobs are to die for. The portions are plentiful. Two sizes exist for sandwiches - large and small. A small is a normal, one-person job. A large might require enlisting a friend. For the longest time, they used to offer pizza in just one size, which was about a 12-inch pie. It was an unusual little quirk that just made the place even more endearing. Now B&F offers a large (about 18 inches, I would guess) and a small (slightly smaller than the original, probably 10 inches).

The prices are extremely reasonable, and the staff is very friendly. It's a no-frills, no-nonsense environment at B&F (three small tables, a wall-mounted TV in the corner, and the counter - they also do a very brisk take-out business which probably accounts for most of their sales). Also, if you're ordering take-out they'll toss in a few single-serve bags of chips along with your order for free.

For my money, there is no better pizza place in the city.

Biagio Ristorante & Bar $$$ Italian - 123 Moody Street - 781-891-0100
23 March 2007 review by Jennifer and Scott

Renovations to a narrow building between the railroad tracks and the river finally completed, Biagio opened late last month. We arrived a little past 6 on a Friday, and entered into the impressive marble floored lobby featuring a curved wooden staircase leading to a fresco ceilinged 2nd floor. Beyond the lobby is the bar, and to the left was the entrance to the long, narrow dining room. Promising to finish in time for someone with a 7:30 reservation, we were led to our polished wooden table. The wood floored room was bordered on two sides by large windows in the brick outter walls and tan stucco walls with wood trim, separated from the bar by large arches with plants. The menu featured antipasti from $9 to $12.50, insulata from $7 to $9, barragrezza (raw bar) from $9 to $26, and side dishes from $4.50 to $7.50. Pasta, classsics, and entrees run from $14 for an Angus sirloin burger to $34 for boullabaise a la Marsaille. Jennifer chose a caesar salad ($8), and chicken florentine ($22), while I ordered a glass of the sauvignon blanc ($7.25) and the grilled yellow fin tuna putanesca ($26). 3 pieces of foccacia were soon delivered, along with garlic olive oil and a red pepper tapinade. The bread and trimmings were just right. The salad was crisp, with just the right amount of dressing and cheese slivers, and would have been perfect if not for several pieces of overly brown romaine. The appetizers were removed, the crumbs removed from our table, and shortly thereafter the entrees arrived. The chicken was served over a layer of spinach, covered by the cheese sauce with capers. Orzo and a sauce with peas and bits of proscuitto surrounded the chicken. The dish was judged to be very good, though the orzo was a bit al dente for her taste. The other dish was centered by a polenta cake covered by spinach and broccoli rabe, and flanked by 2 generous hunks of tuna, with a tangy sauce containing several types of olives, and capers. The tuna was medium well, as ordered, without being overdone, and was complemented nicely by the reddish sauce. By the time we were well into our entrees, the room had filled with diners, and the noise level was pretty high with many people in the room. Ideally, the restaurant would be split into smaller rooms for noise control, but the narrow space with the kitchen at the back limited the possibilities. The portions were large enough that we declined any of the deserts, in the $6 to $12 range. The service was very attentive without being obtrusive. The meal, with one drink, came to $66.41 before the tip. We'd recommend this restaurant, but be sure to have a reservation if you come on a weekend night.

Bison County $$ Barbeque - 275 Moody Street - 781-642-9720 !
22 October 1999 review by Jennifer and Scott

Bison County occupies a prime location on Moody Street, near Jordan's Furniture. The entry opens onto the busy bar and some tables in view of the grill. A second room offers quieter dining. The decor features rustic brick walls, wood floors, booths, and wood topped tables, with classic advertising posters. A pint of draft or bottle of microbrew goes for 3.50, and regular beer for 3.00. An endlessly refilled soda is 1.50. The wagon train entree (13.25) features turkey, beef, and buffalo, nicely grilled to order. The baby back ribs (16.95) are an ample serving of meaty ribs, available with a Texas or southern sauce. The service on this visit was deemed brusque.

17 July 2006 review by New Jersey Mama

My daughter and I are visiting in Waltham for 5 weeks. We''ve eaten out at Bison Country twice now, once just us and again with another family with an infant. I wanted to say, having looked at the reviews, that we had a very good experience. We loved the food, considering ourselves BBQ-knowledgeable. The baby back ribs were excellent, as were the sweet potato fries -- and we think we know our SP fries, given our experience at the New Jersey shore boardwalk joints. We had the Steak Caesar, burgers, brisket sandwich and pulled pork sandwich. All recommended. The service both times was good (not brusque as someone else mentioned). The front room near the bar is cooler, since the rear room overlooks the open grill, but the latter is fun to watch for the fiery action there. So, all in all, way good chow there.

Bombay Mahal $$ Indian - 458 Moody Street - 781-893-9988 Closed in October 2014
26 October 2002 review by Michelle

Inspite of us being 4 and a baby, they still seated us on a small table which could barely fit 4 people. When we asked to be seated on a bigger table, the waiter (I think his name was Deepak - he is a buy guy with a moustache and a deep voice) said that those tables we reserved. For the entire 1 1/2 hour that we were there, nobody occupied any of the 3 bigger tables, and when we were about to leave, there were just 15 mins before the restaurant would close. I doubt anybody would have come and occupied those tables in that time. No sooner had we ordered appetizers than the waiter made us order the main course (without even the appetizers having come). When the main courses came, we found that they were far too spicy for our taste. Please stay away from the Bos Naan in particular. To give you an idea about how spicy the Boss Naan was, consider this : The couple with us were from Andhra Pradesh .. arguably the culture with the spiciest food in India. After eating the Boss Naan they too had tears in their eyes. Please note that we did NOT specify that the food be made spicy. You think this was it..but oh no!..My baby was causing a commotion so to distract her I took her over to an empty table, and Deepak immediately came over and sprayed disinfectant on the table right in my 11 month-old's face. So when we were all done, we asked them to pack up the food and give us a few mins to decide on dessert..But he didn't even give us 2 mins, as he came with a check. And guess what!! Inspite of there being 3 entrees and naans and rice leftover, all he packed was the rice and the so-spicy-you'll-die naan!!

Pros None

Cons Inhospitable waiter, very spicy food, most kid UNfriendly

The Bottom Line Stay away...the food and the service are both loathesome.

28 2012 review by Sudhanshu

Can you please add my experience at Bombay Mahal as well ..I agree 100% with your review. I had never heard any thing good about this place from any Indian friends; only BAD; when we lived in Waltham 12 years back. Being Indian I tried this restaurant once ..12 years back..food was horrible. After a Groupon deal I went again ..food and service was even worse. They also argued on groupon deal and did not give us the deal we bought ( We bought $35 for dinner of 4 worth $83.89 - The guy came with the Bill deducted only $35 ..then we said this is groupon deal and 4 specialty dinner are for this groupon value. He mocked at us and said he can only give us $70 back) So he took extra money from us. Really how come so many give even 2 star to this place ..I saw another family screaming at the waiter for water not being served for 15 minutes ..Same with us. Waiter came 3 times to check our soup order and then got the wrong ones ...one soup was smelling horrible. We returned all 3..as 4th never came. Please save your money and agony. Please check with your Indian friend before going to this place. this place is THE worst food I had in any Indian Joint ever. Stay away from Meat ..it is stale and old.

Brelundi $$ Italian - 16 Felton Street - 781-788-8805 Opened March 9, 2015

View down the counter to the back door

Frittatas

14 March 2015 review by Bonnie and Scott

Brelundi is conveniently located near the train station, opposite Felton Street, and has already become a populer stop for commuters. Brelundi is short for breakfast, lunch, dinner, but sounds like an Italian name that reflects the continental European menu. A step down from commuter parking (not free, pay for a stub to avoid the $25 parking ticket) leads to the small dining room with 12 seats at 2 tables and counter seating for 8. Tables have a granite appearance, and chairs are sturdy seating. Photographs of Italian landscapes adorn the light colored walls. A step up leads to the long gleaming counter with pastries behind glass displays, a row of food warmers, and an espresso machine. We stepped up to the register and ordered a couple of regular American coffees, a ham, cheese, and potato frittata, and a vegetable cheese frittata, and our coffees were delivered promptly to our seats. Unobtrusive jazz played on the sound system, adding to the relaxed atmosphere. The ham, cheese, and potato frittata was delicious with crisp potatoes and tangy cheese. The other fritatta was also just right, with vegetables cooked to perfection. The staff was very friendly and helpful on the quiet Saturday morning when we visited, and the whole meal for 2 came to less than $15. This is a terrific breakfast spot, and we look forward to checking out the lunch and dinner entrees.

Buckaroos $$ Mexican , American - 223 High Street - Closed as of May 2006
30 October 2005 review by A F

Looks like they transplanted this roadhouse straight from Austin. A wagon wheel out front, and cozy wooden booths inside. There's smoky ribs, messy pulled pork sandwiches, burgers, and student-friendly prices. Plenty of veggie and fish selections, too. Open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and after. Very good for kids. I liked the atmosphere, but the food was good, especially for the price.

La Campania $$$ Italian - 504 Main Street - 781-894-4280 Handicapped accessible
8 February 2002 review by Peter Endicott

Campania - I've had two delicious meals there. Very expensive, but worth it. Tough competition for Il Capriccio.

Casa Mia $$ Italian - 203 Newton St - 781-893-9584 A Brazilian restaurant called Vitoria's Grill opened at this address in December of 2006.
29 March 2002 review by unknown

Some distance from the Moody Street restaurant area, and nearby parking is scarce. Open since the summer of 2001, tasteful but not ostentatious, with an upscale feel. 3 separate levels of dining rooms for a quiet dining experience. Antipasti $5 - $10, Insulate $7, Pasta entrees $10-18, Other entrees, Carne e Pasce, $14 to veal for $28. Bruschetta, $5, simple and good. Caesar Salad ($7) with a creamy dressing and a single anchovie atop. House Chardonnay, $5. Special of the night swordfish $22 with a chopped tomato sauce similar to that on the bruschetta. Veal Parmigiana, $15.

20 March 2004 review by unknown

A recent visit to Casa Mia was disappointing. The rooms were more crowded than expected, service was spotty, and meal quality was not what we anticipated. The wait of about 20 minutes was reasonable, considering that we visited on a Saturday night without a reservation. We were seated at a table in the upper room. All wines by the glass are now $6, and we ordered the Pino Grigio and a Chianti, both of which were reasonable. A caesar salad was crisp, with a nice dressing, but it would have been better if we didn't have to flag down our waitress to get some fresh pepper for it. A chicken breast with pasta was well-cooked, but could have had a bit more spice. A rack of New Zealand lamb with mashed potato and green beans ($24) was cooked as ordered, but the chops were fatty. The once airy rooms now seem a bit claustrophobic; the wait staff actually had to take circuitous routes to reach some of the tables. The service was friendly, but our waitress did not get to our table very often. A long delay in receiving ordered entrees was attributed to a new chef. All in all, we felt that the quality of our dining experience did not equal the $60 before tip tab. We'd be happy if the crowding were reduced, and we hope the new chef gets up to speed.

Chateau Restaurant $$ Italian - 195 School Street - 781-894-3339
September 2002 review by unknown

The Chateau has been a family tradition for years in Waltham. They serve a huge number of diners, and the Nocera family has done a lot for the city. But how is the food, really? On the positive side, the bread served with every meal is incredibly delicious (and loaves are available for purchase for only $1.50). The prices are very reasonable, and the portions large. The salads were crisp and tasty. But neither of our entrees, the calimari listed as a house specialty, nor the veal parmigiana, was exceptional. This is decent Italian food, at a family friendly price and location, but doesn't measure up to the quality offered at the several smaller restaurants in town. But in terms of value and dependability, I have to give them a good rating.

Ciros $$ Italian - 227 Moody Street - In January, 2003, the Waltham location closed, and a few months later, all of the sites of this small local chain were empty.
3 July 1999 review by Jennifer and Scott

Ciro's is a large restaurant on the first floor of the Cronin's Landing building on Moody Street. The decor is black and white with red trim on the chairs and lights. Jennifer started with the Salad Insulata de Ciro ($2.50), which she generally enjoyed, but could have done with a little less of the mushrooms, and more lettuce. I had a glass of the house wine, a nice Trebbiano d'a Bruzzo ($3.50). For dinner Jennifer had the grilled chicken with white wine sauce and lemon, with mushrooms, scallions, tomatoes, and peppers over fetuccini ($11.95). This proved to be delicious. I had salmon with pesto and plum tomatoes over linguini ($13.95). The salmon was cooked just right, and the sauce was good, but I could have stood a little less pesto. I'd recommend this, however. We've heard reports of sporadic service at Ciro's, but we've been seated promptly on several visits, and the staff has been attentive. This summer the outside patio opened, where you can dine overlooking the Charles River.

13 September 2002 review by Christy Santos

I'd like to make a brief remark about Ciro's. I have been to the location in Waltham as well as the one in Maynard. While their food is tasty, they are not very sanitary. In Maynard, my Mother had a fly in her drink. In Waltham, I had chipped pieces of glass in my drink. I have been turned off of them every since. Just thought it might be useful information.

The Coffee Ring $$ Diner - Main Street - 781-899-2244 Sam's Deli occupied this spot, with several different proprietors, until March 2003, when it reopened as The Coffee Ring. In 2004, the name was changed to In A Pickle
12 2003 review by Jennifer and Scott

Except for the decoupaged tables, the decor of this new breakfast and lunch venue is much the same as when it was "Sam's Deli". It is open 7 days a week, and the menu features breakfasts from $2.50 to $6.95 and lunches from $2.50 to $7.95. One of us had the stack of pancakes, home fries, and bacon, and the other a western omelette with home fries and toast. The pancakes and home fries were rated good, but the bacon could have been better. The omelette was just right, but the toast was overdone. This is a new place, and we suspect the meals will become more consistent in time. The coffee was very good, and refilled frequently. Service was very attentive, but there were only a few diners present.

The Copper House Tavern $$ American - 380 Winter Street - 781-890-8989
8 May 2015 review by Jennifer and Scott

The Copper House Tavern, at the Best Western Hotel on Totten Pond Road, is in an area that has hosted a number of different restaurants over the years. This has been the go to place for area workers. mostly in the high tech industries, to unwind at the end of the work day. We arrived for dinner early on a Friday evening in Spring, and many patrons on the patio were enjoying drinks, but not many were ready for dinner yet. The outdoor seating area was pleasant and quieter than the crowded bar area indoors. It was nice to be outdoors, but the view was of an interstate highway exit area that could have been part of Any City, USA. We were seated on metal chairs with typical metal patio tables. We got a specials menu, a drinks menu, and a food menu. The drinks menu featured an impressive list of beer on the front, and an equally impressive wine and mixed drinks list on the back. Beers included German and Belgian specialties such as Hefewizen and Whitte beer, as well as American IPA and other styles. I ordered Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale from the specials menu, for $6.75. The dinner menu includes typical bar fare: appetizer and salads from $5 to $16, pizza, sandwiches, and burgers from $11 to $14.50, and entrees from $16 to $24. Jennifer picked the steak and cheese eggrolls for $11, and the $8 classic Caesar salad. I got the fish and chips for $19. The salad was disappointing: it had brown bits of lettuce, but contained a generous amount of cheese and dressing. The eggrolls were very nice, with tender beef and a nice crust, though the garlic aoili it was served with was not as tangy as we would have liked. The fish and chips came with very nice thick fries, and a good tartar sauce on the crispy crusted fish. The beer, which has a whisky-like flavor from the barrels it was aged in, was a nice complement to the entree. All in all, this was a good experience. I would not put this on my list of the best places for gourmet dining, but it is an okay establishment for drinks and munchies at the end of the day with a convenient location and ample parking.

Demos Restaurant $$ Ethnic - 146 Lexington Street - 781-893-8359 Greek, Formerly at this location: Kenny Rogers Chicken Roasters
August 1999 review by Jennifer and Scott

Demos, at the corner of Lexington and Emerson Streets, is a large restaurant modeled after the original Demos in Watertown. The inside decor is airy, with pillars and photographs of Greece on the walls. Seating is a combination of booths and tables for 2 or 4 people. All items are ordered and paid for from a counter at the front. During the peak dinner hours, the orders are delivered to the tables; at other times you need to pick it up. Jennifer had the lamb shishkabob dinner which comes with Greek bread, a large Greek salad, 2 skewers, and fries, for $7.95. A bottled water was $1.00. The shishkabob is always done just right, with a pleasant marinade, and peppers and onions. I had the lamb shishkabob "sandwich", which is similar, but with only one skewer, a smaller salad, and no fries, for $4.95. A Canadien beer was $2.30. We've been satisfied with other orders as well in the past, such as chicken, and sausage, all reasonably priced. Demos is a great place to get a satisfying meal at a good price.

Erawan of Siam $$ Thai - 469 Moody Street - 781-899-3399 Closed in March of 2015
19 February 2002 review by Allan Telio

It's difficult not to be impressed with Erawan of Siam as soon you enter. We were greeted by two elegantly dressed waiters, a multi-armed, brightly colored religious statue, and beautiful Thai wood carvings. As the waiter showed us to our table, I thought to myself, "How much money do I have in wallet? Can I afford this place?"

My worries vanished as soon as I opened the menu. The majority of the entrees are reasonably priced between $10 and $14. Judging on the just the price of the food and the fantastic ambiance, I knew that I found a great date location. Good thing too, because it was Valentines Day. It also seemed that ever other cheap romantic had had the same idea. The place was packed.

Fortunately, I had reserved special seats located in the middle of the restaurant. These seats are perfect for a quiet intimate meal. Before I entered the area were I would be eating dinner, I was asked to take off my shoes. Luckily, my socks didn't have any holes.

For appetizers we had, Thai roles, E.T, and Silver soup. The Thai roles ($4.75), are thin crispy spring rolls filled with meat and vegetables. They are fried until golden brown and served with spicy sweet and sour sauce. Our second appetizer, E.T.($4.75), was my favorite. It seemed to be Thai cuisine's answer to the Indian Samosa, except smaller. The dish has seven small triangles, that are stuffed with potato and other assorted vegetables and Thai herbs. It is crispy and lightly delicately spicy. I think that E.T. stands for extra tasty. Finally, we washed down our appetizers with a bowl of silver soup ($2.95), a shrimp broth with snow peas, and glass noodles. The broth was a little bland for my liking by my girlfriend enjoyed it.

Our main course, however, was far from bland. I had Ginger Chicken ($8.95) with mushrooms, peppers, onions, carrots and scallions. The chicken was tender and spicy and the vegetables were perfectly cooked, crispy but not raw. My girlfriend, started with two dishes, Rama Garden ($8.95) and Shrimp with pineapple. Rama Garden is assorted steam vegetables, with a peanut sauce served on the side. Neither my girlfriend or I liked the Rama Garden. The vegetables had no seasoning, and the peanut sauce tasted like melted peanut butter. Who goes to a restaurant for plain steamed vegetables and peanut butter? Not me. The Shrimp with Pineapple, however, more than made up for the Rama Garden. The shrimp were perfectly cooked and the pineapple was sweet and tender.

As we polished off the last of our generous portions, the bill arrived. I opened it up and smiled because inside was my perfect valentine, an cheap check.

Food Express Pizza & Deli $ Deli , Pizza , Subs - 573 Main Street (at Via Latina Market) - 781-894-4200
1 May 2014 review by Bonnie and Scott

I was interested in trying a new pizza place near Waltham, so I searched and was surprised to find a couple of good reviews of this place on Yelp. I have driven by this store hundreds of times, but didn't know they had a deli or that they made pizzas. The woman who served our pizza said that they just started making pizzas a couple of months ago at this store she owns with her husband. Seating is very limited (there was a table to sit at while waiting) so it really is a take out operation. We ordered a large Gorgonzola pizza, for 18.14 with tax, and it was done in about 15 minutes. This was a sizeable pie, with the classic crispy thin Italian crust. It was very tasty, with mozzarella, homemade tomato sauce, caramelized onions, mushrooms, and finished with imported gorgonzola cheese. The crust was just right. I look forward to trying some of their other pizzas and subs. Salads and wraps are also available, as well as deli meats and cheeses.

Franca's $$ Italian , Pizza - 16 Felton Street - Was closed as of December 2009. The story I heard was that the former owner of Sal's was going to reopen at this location. As of 2014, the Waltham Day Center was planning to move to this location.
14 2002 review by Allan Telio

Pizza. What do you think of when you hear that word? Do you think gourmet treat or greasy, cheap, fast-food ? Unfortunately, most of us probably think the latter. There is one place, however, that takes the time to remind us, that when done correctly, pizza is one of the greatest foods ever. The place is Franca's.

Located off of Moody Street in Waltham, next to the Charles River, is the small brick oven pizzeria known as Franca's. I first went there three years ago on my brother's recommendation. It was love at first bite. The pizza was greaseless, crispy and covered in a rich tomato sauce and stringy mozzarella. It was perfection. Mysteriously, however, about a year ago, Franca's closed down. It seemed as if my dream pizza shop was out of business. How could of this happened? I blamed myself. I should have eaten there at least 3 times a week. It was all my fault. "Please don't leave me Franca! Come back," I thought to myself. Alas, it seemed as if Franca's was out of my life forever.

However, a few months ago, I heard that Franca's was open again, but this time under different ownership. "Is it really true? Is Franca's back?", and more importantly I pondered, "Would it be the same as before?" I rounded up five of my friends to investigate if the rumors were really true.

We drove up to the restaurant at eight o'clock on a Friday evening and were greeted by a large glowing red F at the top of the brick building. (Apparently, the "anca's" section of the Franca's sign had burnt out.) As I entered the room, I was greeted by the familiar brick walls, faux Italian frescos, orange benches, and the smell of pizza coming from the wood heated brick oven. So far, things seemed to be as I remember them.

The new owner, David Rosenberg, seated us at our table. He recommended that we start with the Hot Antipasto ($6.95) and claimed, "If you don't like it, I will pay for it. It is that good." He was right. The Hot Antipasto is a salad served with sautéed mushrooms, pepper, onions, pepperoni, eggplant, prosciutto and more. The fried eggplant was thinly sliced, breaded, and lightly fried. It was perfectly crispy and grease free. The entire antipasto was sucked down by our group in seconds flat.

We were here, however, for pizza, not appetizers. I crossed my fingers and ordered my old favorite, a large pizza with fried eggplant ($11.00). My friends looked disgusted at the thought of eggplant on top of pizza. I will say to you what I said to them, "Trust me. It is the best thing you will ever have." They agreed with me after their first bite. Just as I had remembered, the pizza was crispy and greaseless. The eggplant was perfectly seasoned with breadcrumbs and Italian seasoning. This is what pizza should always taste like.

We ordered three other pizzas during the evening, a large mushroom ($11.00), a medium pineapple ($8.00), and a large eggplant and roasted red pepper ($12.00). Each pizza was as perfect as the one before. It is food like this that makes me wish I had four stomachs like a cow, allowing me to eat forever.

Franca's is back in my life and should become part of yours too. Next time you drive down Moody Street and see the giant red F in the sky, pull over and order a pizza. After your first bite you will remember that pizza is not supposed to be fast and greasy, but instead a gourmet treat.

5 May 2002 review by rebuttal by Lois Berkowitz

I, too, thought Franco's before it was sold had great pizza. However, we went there about a month after it reopened and the pizza was terrible. The pizza maker didn't seem to have a clue about what he was doing, and the pizza suffered for his lack of training. I haven't been back since. So, my question is, have they really gotten back to their former level of quality and taste, or was the reviewer so enamoured of his fried eggplant that he wasn't paying attention to the wood-fired crust?

13 September 2002 review by Jennifer and Scott

Early on a Friday night, mostly families are seated in the booths in the wood smoke scented interior of Franca's. The giant wood fired brick oven dominates the center of the restaurant, which is split into a front room with a door on Charles Street, and a back room facing the commuter rail stop. Once we were seated in a small booth with a view of the trains, we ordered a glass of Blackstone Merlot for 4.50, and a refillable soda for 1.50. Several selections of wine are available by the glass to 6.50, and bottles range from 14 to 24. A variety of beers were available by the glass for 2.50 - 3.50, pitchers 7.50 & 10.50. A garden salad is included with most entrees, but a range of salads are available a la carte for 3.75 to 10.95 for shrimp caesar. Medium and large pizzas are from 8.50 to 13.50. Jennifer ordered the Chicken Broccoli, sauteed in white wine & garlic, with ziti and salad, 11.95. I tried the Veal Parmigean, ziti and salad, 12.95. The salads arrived first, and were crisp mixed greens with onion & tomato, available with the house dressing, a creamy italian. A loaf of warm, tasty bread arrived as we were finishing the salads. Both entrees were well prepared, and were of sufficient proportions that we had extra to take home. Desserts, choice of 3 (4.95). The service was well-intentioned but chaotic, possibly due to a positive review in a Boston newspaper earlier in the week, and a larger than usual crowd.

30 June 2003 review by Joyce

This restaurant is a wonderful find! Owner David Rosenberg is welcoming and helpful. The menu runs the gamut from pizza to terrific pasta dishes (shrimp scampi and spaghetti carbonara are among our favorites) at very reasonable prices. Wine and beer are available. Relaxed atmosphere great for families, couples, large parties, just about anyone.

2 December 2004 review by KC

We used to get pizzas from Franca's all the time and loved them. Then I think they closed briefly and we tried it once after they reopened but were disappointed. It's been a few years since then and we had a longing for a brick oven pizza so we ordered up one. Sorry to say though the pizza crust was good the toppings were sparse. Hardly any sauce even! One piece was completely bare ( no sauce, nada ) except for a slice of sausage on the end. Hopefully it's just an off night but we might not bother with another try.

10 January 2005 review by Daniel Greener

Franca's Pizza makes great pizza...not too thick, not too thin, not too much cheese, not too greasy, and with just the right amount of sauce. I have also ordered their garlic bread and found that to be equally tasty. In my honest opinion, this may be the best pizza I've had since I last had real NYC pizza in Brooklyn. However, on two occasions that I have ordered from them, their drivers did not have enough change. I strongly recommend either having the exact change on hand, picking up your order yourself, or just avoiding this place all together if you want to save yourself from being scammed.

Franco's Italian Pizzeria $ Pizza , Subs - 714 Moody Street - 781-893-7775
11 January 2002 review by Eric Salerno

This place also makes an EXCELLENT Veal Parmesan (better than Watch City Diner), however, I would recommend taking it home to eat, since there isn't much for atmosphere here. They don't have the bread triangles that are so tasty at the Watch City Diner though. We once ordered some sandwiches to go, and their ingredients are high quality, fresh, and the Italian-family run restaurant has pride and authenticity.

Garcia Brogan's Cantina Pub & Restaurant $$ American , Mexican - 240 Moody Street - 781-790-8133 Mexican/Irish, Opened May 21, 2015
15 June 2015 review by Bonnie and Scott

The former site of The Skellig has been transformed into the bustling merger of an Irish Pub and Mexican Cantina known as Garcia Brogan's. Approaching early on a Friday night from Embassy Park, the first thing we see are diners at tables in front of large windows open to the air, to the left and right of the entry. A large booth for the hostess visually separates the large bar area on the right from the seating area covering the rest of the space. Signposts pointing to Mexican and Irish locations punctuate the shining floor area with scattered high and regular height tables. 5 TV screens glow behind the bar, and several more are visible from the other seating areas. The casual but efficient waiter appeared soon after we started looking at the the 2 pages of menus, one for the drinks and another for the food. A variety of beers on draft and in bottles, and selections of wine were featured. We overheard the waiter tell nearby diners interested in margaritas that 90 brands of tequila were available. To get into the Irish atmosphere, I ordered a Guinness. The food menu was mostly Mexican items, with Shephards Pie the only Irish meal I saw, but it did say that a more complete menu would be available soon. We placed our orders and the waiter promptly delivered a bowl of tasty though not totally crisp chips with a mild salsa. We got an order of guacamole ($2) as an additional appetizer. We both found this to be a bit on the bland side. Bonnie ordered a veggie burrito ($9) and I got the plate of 3 tacos ($11). The veggie burrito plate included a small lettuce salad that included chunks of extremely hot peppers, and some good salsa verde, but a chunk of beef was included in the burrito. The tacos (I got one each of beef, pork, and chicken) were ok, in soft taco shells, but were a bit on the bland side. A few drops of hot sauce from one of the 3 choices included on the table spiced them up a bit. That plate came with black beans and rice. No complaints about the service, which was efficient and attentive. The noise level was kind of high, but we were able to speak comfortably since the tables were not placed too close to one another. As a Mexican restaurant, I would say this was not a gourmet experience. I would like to try again once they have a bigger menu with more choices.

Gemelli $$ Italian - 560 Moody Street - Ritcey's Sea Food Kitchen was at this location until it closed in August of 2006
6 October 2006 review by Jennifer and Scott

Gemelli's opened earlier this year at the site of Ritcey's Seafood Kitchen, a long time local favorite. On a Friday night the new restaurant was about one third occupied when we arrived. The place features a small, irregularly shaped, but comfortable dining room. Wood trim and muted red walls add a touch of class. Jennifer ordered a caesar salad for 5.95, and the Pollo y Broccoli for 12.99. I ordered Cappelini Al Giorgio, 14.99 from the menu with entrees from 8.99 to 17.99. Pieces of warm bread were soon delivered along with a dish of olive oil with pesto and tomato sauce. The salad arrived with a plate of anchovies on the side, and was large enough for both of us. Both of our entrees were as described on the menu. We each rated our meal as good but not exceptional. While we were unimpressed by the pasta selections, we would like to try the Neapoliton style brick oven pizza. The service was very attentive throughout our meal. The two person table was a bit on the small side, and dishes needed to be removed when our entrees arrived. Give this place a try, but give it some time to catch up to the other moderately priced Italian restaurants in the area.

15 2007 review by Norma

Assigned to identify a good Italian restaurant for a special small group, we have been eating our way around Waltham's Italian restaurants for several weeks now. I know good Italian food. There is a lot of it in the town, but none better than at Gemelli's. To be sure the place is not pretentious -- no tablecloths, no flowers, no cushions on the chairs -- but charming all the same. We've eaten there twice now, the first time the place was so packed with families that we had to wait. Each time I've been impressed by the high quality of the marinara sauce, the delicate, homemade baked zucchini appetizer, the eggplant dishes, and last time the exceptional ravioli in a butter and onion sauce. And it's a long time since I've had a canoli as fresh and lovingly filled as we found there [even in the North End!]. The service was also outstanding, both times. I am looking forward to going back as soon as I can to sample more of these truly homemade delicacies. They deserve some limelight!

22 July 2007 review by unknown

Tried another one of Gemelli's pizzas, and this one was even better than the last one I tried. The Bianca pizza featured a crisp, thin crust, with just the right amount of sauce and season, and paired nicely with a Sam Adams summer ale. This place has become my new favorite pizza vendor.

Grassfields Food & Spirit $$ American - 878 Lexington Street - 781-647-0844
28 October 2003 review by Nicole

On October 28th, I took my Mom for lunch at Grassfields. The large lunch crowd there (we had to wait for a table) is mostly made up of senior citizens, many of whom seem to know the servers on a first name basis. The food is consistent, and reasonably priced. The service is reasonable. Dinner entrees include a salad and fresh bread, lunch menu items generally only include bread. Mom had the stuffed scallops and steak tips, and she said the stuffing was rather dry, but the scallops were quite good. I had, yet again, a burger. Very good, cooked to my request, and the fries were okay. Not spectacular, but this place can be relied upon for a decent meal out.

Grille at Hobbs Brook $$$ American - 550 Winter Street (at Doubletree Guest Suites Hotel) - 781-890-6767 Traditional American
1 October 1999 review by Jennifer and Scott

The Grille is a spacious restaurant, with abundant natural lighting through windows and a skylight. The seating includes curved booths, and tables, tastefully accentedby plants. We had a 1998 Tommasi Pinot Grigio ($4.75) with our meal. Jennifer ordered the 20 oz Porterhouse steak ($25) with rosemary onion potatoes and broiled balsamic mushrooms. I tried, from the chef's signature entrees, the Mixed Ocean Grill ($20), with grilled scallops, shrimp, salmon and swordfish with sauteed peppers, asparagus over lemon vermicelli, and a chardonney cream sauce. The caesar salad ($2.50) featured crisp croutons and a nicereamy dressing. The steak was competently prepared, but the mushrooms and potatoes were more noteable. The grilled vegetables with the fish entree were just right. The shrimp and scallops were the best part of the dish, served over pasta with an unusual sauce. For desert we had the chocolate cheesecake, served on a large plate with cherry and chocolate dots. Jennifer rated the service as polite, but unhurried. All in all I would recommend this restaurant.

Guanachapi's Restaurant $$ Mexican , American - 273 Moody Street - 781-788-8591, 781-788-8590 Guatamalteca, Salvadorena
26 June 2006 review by Michael

Although I'm a gringo, I've enjoyed Latin-American food for many years, and have traveled several times to Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, and have enjoyed many meals at Mi Tierra further up Moody st., so was looking forward to this new restaurant. I ordered a la carte: two pupusas (Salvadoran specialty; I got one with cheese, one with meat), rice, beans, and maduros (sweet plantains). Chips and salsa are complimentary and good. I found all the dishes to be quite good, authentic, and satisfying, and would defintely go back. Service and decor also quite nice, without being pretentious or fancy. My only complaint is that the papaya batido (milkshake) was a wee bit more expensive than most places. At $3.50 for 16 or 20 ounces, it's not outrageous, but more than the $2-2.50 at Taqueria Mexico and other Latin places in Jamaica Plain I go to often. Total meal price was about $13 for me, not including tip. I was there fairly early ( 5 p.m. or so) on a rainy Friday, and was about the only gringo there, but there were several Latinos/latinas also eating, always a good sign. Definitely a positive experience for me.

Gustazo Cuban Cafe $$ Ethnic - 663 Main Street - 855-487-8296 Cuban, Opened November 11, 2014
21 December 2014 review by Jennifer and Scott

I attended a dinner party with 10 other guests at Gustazo Cuban Restaurant & Cafe on a Sunday evening. We were seated on a row of tables with a view of the holiday lights on Waltham Common across Main Street. A large poster of Cuban architecture covers one wall, and another features a chalkboard with a list of coffee options. The one page dinner menu features 11 Small Plates, priced at $6 to $14, 5 Vegetarian Small Plates, $6.50 to $8, and 5 Large Plates at $21 to $25. Also available are Sides, Salads, Desserts, Coffees, Beverages and Teas. Gustazo does not have a license to serve alcohol. We ordered 2 each of every item on the Small Plates lists and 2 each of Remolacha and Mimosa salads. They were out of the Queso Frito, but the pairs of other selections started arriving shortly after we ordered. It was all good, but most agreed that there were a few plates that really stood out. Tamal en Cazuela is Cuban style polenta, mojo glazed pork tips and caramelized onions. Empanadas de Carne feature ground beef with sofrito, olives, capers and raisins, served with sour cream. Pulpo a la Gallega (olive oil poached octopus) and Chuletas de Cordero (grilled lamb chops with housemade Romesco sauce) were also delicious. From the Vegetarian Small Plates, we all enjoyed the Tortilla Espanola, a thick Spanish frittata with potatoes, caramelized onions, and sour cream. Both salads were fresh, with an interesting variety of ingredients. Service was friendly and prompt, as plates were taken away and replaced with new items until everything was served. Of the desserts, the Flan was just right, but I really enjoyed Churros con Chocolate, long sugared fritters with a warm, subtly spicy chocolate sauce. The Large Plates sound appealing, but I think the way to go here is to enjoy the varied flavors and textures of several of the small items. I cannot think of any negatives for this dining experience, so I think they are off to a good start.

Hon Dynasty $$ Chinese - 922 Main Street - 781-893-6663 fax: 781-893-0338 Closed in July of 2015
19 November 2000 review by Jennifer and Scott

The Hon Dynasty is a small restaurant on Main Street featuring Cantonese and Szechuan Cuisine available eat in or take out. The upper parts of the walls are white, with large paintings of Chinese landscapes. The lower parts are a green marbled look, which matches the insets on the tables. The green carpet and black and green lacquered tables create a contemporary, informal atmosphere. Rock music played in the background, but at a low enough level not to detract from conversation. Our party of 4 ordered Pork Strip Wonton Soup ($1.75 for small) and Hot & Sour Soup ($1.90 small, $2.75 large) to start. Both of the soups were good, but could have been spicier. The wonton included lots of vegetables, and the hot & sour featured a thick broth. For entrees, we ordered Roast Pork Lo Mein ($6.25 for large), Yu Hsiang Broccoli ($5.75), and the chef's specialty Orange Chicken ($8.25). The entrees were served with white rice, with free refills. We judged the dishes to be good, with fresh ingredients, but they all could have had a little more spice in them. Our waiter was courteous and chatty, and both the soups and main courses were served quite promptly. The casual atmosphere, very reasonable pricing, and modestly spiced food made us think that this could be an ideal family restaurant.

Il Capriccio $$$ Italian - 888 Main Street - 781-894-2234
28 December 2001 review by Lincoln Ross

We went to Il Capriccio early in 2001. The food was incredibly tasty, the service was very good, and the bill was enormous. I think we spent something like $140 for two people. Never would have done it except that we had a $100 gift certificate.

8 February 2002 review by Peter Endicott

Il Capriccio - Been there more times than I can count, but not as much as I'd like. Sure, it's expensive, but the food is outstanding. Absolutely top tier with a relaxed atmosphere.

Jake's Dixie Roadhouse $$ Barbeque - 220 Moody Street - 781-894-4227 !, Closed as of May 2010
31 May 2002 review by Allan Telio

Like peanut butter and jelly, Nomar (Nomaaaaah) and the Red Sox, and Elvis and polyester jumpsuits, blues music and barbecue are meant to be together. Jake and Earl's Dixie Roadhouse does its best to combine good music with good barbecue. Of course, since we do live north of the Mason Dixon line, it is unreasonable to expect Jake's to get every detail correct. For the North, however, they do a pretty damn good job.

The giant neon "Jake's" sign and B.B. King's mellow music greeted us as we walked into the restaurant and bar. The walls are painted yellow and lined with 100 bottles of hot sauce. The bar to our right had a few people drinking beers and watching the Red Sox game on one of the overhead TVs. We, however, did not come here to drink, be social, or watch the game. We came here to eat.

Fortunately for us, Jake's was ready to feed us. As the waitress showed us to our seats, we passed by a couple that had just received their plates of food. At first I was in shock; "Did those people order three entrees each? How on earth are they going to eat all of that food?" I was convinced that there was some sort of mix up in the kitchen or that those people had tapeworms. It is not possible for people to eat that much food.

We sat down, perused the menu and after a brief debate, my girlfriend Katie, my friend Dan, and I decided what to order. Dan and I started out with an order of Kings' Wings($7.95). Living in the North, I have grown accustomed to buffalo wings that are small and spicy. The King's wings are spicy, but by no means small. Each wing was about the size of my fist. The wings were smoky and covered with moist tender chicken that falls off the bone. Simply fantastic.

For dinner, I had the Texas brisket($12.95). The plate was piled high with tender brisket, three kinds of BBQ sauce, Cole slaw, baked beans, a brick of corn bread and slice of watermelon. The cornbread was a little dry and not very flavorful. The rest of the food, however, was fantastic. The brisket was tender and irresistible once it had been drowned in BBQ sauce.

Dan ordered the Delta Double (ribs and chicken, ($15.95). This entrée is aptly named because only Delta Burke could eat the whole plate. The ribs were tender, juicy, and perfectly cooked. In most restaurants, a piece of lettuce is used to garnish a plate. Not at Jake and Earl's. Instead, they use half of a chicken. Like all of the other meat, the roasted chicken was perfectly cooked, tender, and delicious. The only problem was that Dan was so full that he did not have room to eat it and had to take it home for lunch. The Delta Double could easily feed two or three people.

Katie, who doesn't east most types of meat, ordered the Deep Fried Jumbo Shrimp($13.95). Once again, Jake and Earl's did not disappoint, serving great tasting food, and plenty of it. The ten or so jumbo shrimp were covered with a slightly spicy batter, fried to perfection, and served with a tangy dipping sauce that expertly balanced the spiciness of the batter. The shoestring fries served on the side were also good, but got a little greasy after a while. Except for the lack of sweetened ice tea (if you are from the South, you will understand that sugar mixed in to ice cold tea does not compare), she left satisfied and stuffed.

After eating all of these wonderful oversized plates of food I had only one question, "How on earth can anyone be blue after eating here?" I paused and thought for a minute and answered my question, "They are singing the blues because they no longer fit through a doorway, let alone into their own pants." Good thing I was born a northerner.

21 January 2004 review by Rachel Present

Just wanted to let you know, I recently visited Jake's Dixie Roadhouse with several friends. The service was horrendous; it took an hour to get our food, the food was mediocre at best, and when we complained, the management was rude and unaccomadating. I would NOT reccomend visitng the restaurant, and wanted you to be aware of our experience.

Josephs II Family Restaurant $$ American - 805 Main Street - 781-899-4754
28 March 2004 review by Ariel Berman

This restaurant is amazing. I've been about 5 times in the past 3 months and will continue to go because it's the best little American restaurant in Waltham. My boyfriend is a huge breakfast fan and we stopped by while looking for a diner one morning. EVERYTHING was delicious, the fresh squeezed orange juice, the toast, the omelet, the hash browns, the chocolate-chip pancakes are especially amazing. I went back for dinner another time and got a cup of clam chowder, some pasta and a cannoli for dessert for under 8 dollars. A great deal and delicious food, the only thing that tops it off is the great service by your typical New England 60+ waitress. Everything is quick, hot, fresh and delicious! Enjoy!

Kentucky Fried Chicken $ American - 501 Main Street - 781-891-8472
9 January 2002 review by Mike Morrison

KFC is a fast-food restaurant. Let's consider that a minute: its role as a restaurant is to provide you with food, and do it quickly. That's it. If the food turns out to be more edible than a typical McDonald's (generally agreed to be the benchmark by which all other fast-food restaurants are judged), that's a bonus.

In this regard, then, the Main Street KFC succeeds admirably. The cash register is the first place you stop at upon entering the restaurant. Your order is taken quickly and efficiently, and you move on down the counter to receive your food. If you purchased a drink, your order is usually ready by the time you've filled your cup at the self-service soda fountain. Fast? You betcha.

The service is always cordial and usually downright friendly. Though they work quickly, the employees give off none of the harried, hurried, here' s-your-food-get-out vibe that you often see in a fast-food chain. It's not unusual for the manager to be taking or filling orders, or both, and on a slow day he might shoot the breeze with you for a minute or two before you leave. It's enough to make you wish they were a little slower with your order, so you could hang out longer and enjoy the ambience. OK, probably not, but I can't think of another fast-food restaurant that I've visited with any regularity that doesn't bring to mind at least one bad service experience. KFC still has a clean page in my diary of fast-food horror stories.

If there is one Achilles' heel to the place, it's the parking lot. The tiny little square of pavement that they've got is woefully inadequate for the amount of traffic they receive, particularly during peak hours, and the flow is somewhat difficult to manage, particularly when you factor in the usual jam on Main Street near mealtimes. It's worth the extra effort to park on Lyman Street and simply walk over. In the end, it's probably quicker.

Oh, and the food? Well, c'mon, it's a KFC. If you're looking for a burger, you've come to the wrong place. But if it's chicken you want, well, belly up to the bucket, boys. I usually go for the crispy strips, myself, and I' ve found that they've very conscientious about making sure you always get roughly the same amount of chicken-if I order the three strips meal, for instance, and one of the strips is a deformed, misshapen lump of a strip whose growth was horribly stunted (probably by drinking too much coffee when it was growing up), I usually find a bonus strip of similar proportions in there just to make sure that I get the same amount of meat as I would with three normal, robust, juicy, finger-lickin' good crispy strips.

Actually, if I do have a real problem with Kentucky Fried, that's where it lies. The crispy strip meals come in two sizes: three strips or six, along with two sides (all of which are good-the potato wedges, mac 'n' cheez, and mashed potatoes are all especially popular 'round here) and a biscuit. Now, these are healthy portions, and when you throw in some honey-mustard sauce (easily the best combination of sweet and spicy since Mary Ann and Ginger), you're almost guaranteed to be satisfied. Almost. You see, three strips leaves you feeling exactly satisfied, while six strips makes you look for a nice quiet place to explode. I don't want either of those feelings; I want happiness. Pure, unadulterated, Kentucky Fried bliss. And I think the only way to get that would be with a four (or, really, four and a half, but I'll make some concession here) crispy strip meal. Until that appears on the menu, KFC will remain, in my opinion, just a crispy strip short of Nirvana.

The KnowFat! Lifestyle Grille $ American , Subs - 411 Waverly Oaks Road - Opened on April 7 2006. They were closed as of December 4, 2008.
15 2006 review by Jennifer and Scotts

A new franchise of the KnowFat Lifestyle Grill opened in Waltham on April 7, with an official grand opening slated for early May. A former printing shop at the end of the strip mall at 411 Waverly Oaks Road was gutted and transformed into this spacious restaurant. The original KnowFat in Watertown was based on the idea of providing healthy, low-fat meals. New outlets are being opened, mainly in Massachusetts, but as far away as Minnesota, Dallas, and south Florida. The front part of the space is devoted to the sale of nutritional supplements and fitness products, while the remaining portion contains tables and a counter fronting the kitchen. Orders are placed, and payment made at the counter, and the food is brought to your table when it is ready. The menu includes nutritional information for all items. For lunch I ordered the fajita burrito with steak (Cal 804 Pro 53 Crb 91 Fib 13 Gfat 17 Sfat 6) and my partner ordered Smart Meal #2, including a chicken meatball burro (Cal 716 Pro 61 Crb 71 Fib 3 Gfat 12 Sfat 7) and KnowFat! AirFries (Cal 275 Pro 4 Crb 40 Fib 4 Gfat 9 Sfat 2). The entire order, including 2 bottled waters, came to 16.87. The items were delivered to our table quickly, no more than 5 minutes after we ordered. The chicken meatball burro (5.99 if ordered a la carte) is described in the menu as chicken meatballs, marinara and reduced fat parmarella blend in a tomato basil tortilla. It was warm and just spicy enough, and I could not tell from the taste that it was a low fat item. The fajita burrito (6.49) is made of chili-lime peppers & onions, brown rice, seasoned black beans, reduced fat cheddar and KnowFat! jalapeno salsa in a cilantro tortilla. Like the other item, this was very good and did not taste low fat. The fries, cooked with a special technique that does not use oil, were every bit as good as the high fat item you would get with typical fast food. The concept of good food that is good for you, at a reasonable price, is a winner.

19 2006 review by JK

Hi, I noticed that SoCal had closed (it wasn't very good in the first place) but KnowFat! has opened a location in Waltham! It's really very delicious. I love their wraps especially the Chicken Buffalo Wrap. Their burgers are amazing with a ridic low calorie count. I would recommend the Turkey Burger. Amazing. The absolute best thing about my visits to KnowFat! are the chocolate peanut butter brownies which are sugar free but taste so good. Their very moist and rich. I usually get a side of broccoli which may not sound delicious but the way they make it with just a pinch of salt and pepper is great. Another recommendation is the grilled cheese on the kid's menu. I'm in college and definitely miss a good grilled cheese sandwich. KnowFat's is low fat cheese on yummy whole wheat bread with the cheese perfectly melted and gooey on the inside. It's perfection. I highly recommend this place especially since they have a Free 3% Cash Back program.

Leo's Place Diner $$ Diner - 655 Main Street - 781-790-1307 Opened early December 2014
13 December 2014 review by Jennifer and Scott

655 Main Street has been the home of a series of diners over the years. Sam's Deli occupied this spot, with several different proprietors, until March 2003, when it reopened as The Coffee Ring. In 2004, the name was changed to In A Pickle. More than a year after In A Pickle moved to Moody Street, new co-owners Raffi and Richie Bezjian, whose lease on their diner of the same name in Harvard Square ended in late 2013, re-opened in Waltham. The white painted walls make the narrow room look larger, and signed photos of local and visiting musical and political figures add an interesting touch. Tall tables fill the area near the front window, and smaller tables line the wall opposite the open kitchen with bar stool counter seating. We started out with endlessly refilled cups of good, hot coffee ($1.50 each). Jennifer ordered eggs with sausage, toast and home fries ($5.50) and, at the recommendation of another diner, I got the Tuscan Diva Omelet, with prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, basil and tomato ($9.95). Signature breakfast items include a variety of unique omelets, french toast and pancakes, and combination meals, as well as breakfast sandwiches. Our orders were carefully prepared, and took a few minutes to arrive, but proved to be excellent choices. The potatoes were tasty and not at all greasy, and Jennifer was impressed that her order included 3 and not the usual 2 sausages many diners provide. She thought the toast could have used more butter. My omelete was delicious. Raffi and the rest of the staff are very friendly, and greeted us by name on subsequent visits. We haven't visited for lunch yet, but this has become our new regular weekend breakfast spot. We've run into some of the old regulars from the restaurant's Harvard Square days, so that speaks well to the reputation of this establishment.

Little India $$ Indian - 475 Moody Street - 781-894-8755
12 September 1999 review by Jennifer and Scott

Little India is a small Indian restaurant on Moody Street. There are 10 tables in the front room looking out on the street, and a back room with larger tables for gatherings. It was recently redecorated, and features pink walls, wooden tables and chairs with cloth inlays, and wrought iron candalabra. Meals begin with a plate of papadam served with chutney and 2 other sauces, one brown and the other green. We started with the Vegetarian Platter ($5.50) of appetizers, which included 2 large samosas, vegetable pakora, panir pakora, and aloo tikki. We liked the spinach pakora the best, as well as the other with homemade panir. I had a glass of white zinfandel ($2.95) which was very good. For the entrees we shared 2 dishes. The Chicken Spinach ($9.50) was cooked in a blend of mushroom sauce and spices. Panir-do-piaza ($9.50) was cubes of fresh homemade cheese cooked with chunks of onions, tomato, green peppers and spices. Both were good, but we enjoyed the Chicken Spinach most. We had an order of Puri ($2.75) with 2 large pieces of the puffy bread. Service was prompt and attentive throughout the meal. The prices at Little India have increased slightly from what they were, but the restaurant still features quality food at a reasonable rate.

4 November 2002 review by Jaes Easo

I've been there 5 times now for their lunch buffet. It's all you can for around $7. The place has a nice peaceful ambience, reasonable service and great food. The food is just perfect, not too spicy not too bland. They have 2 rooms and I've been to both, though my personal preference is the outer room. I've been to Bombay Mahal too and quite frankly once was enough. Whenever we feel like having Indian food while in Waltham, Little India is the only preferred option.

13 January 2005 review by D. Lee

$35 for two including two domestic beers, but not including tip. Overall opinion: Mediocre by my standards for Indian food. I would consider it like a whitebread version of Indian food. Not that great, not that spicy, but not awful. This is my first visit to an Indian restaurant in Waltham. I've been to plenty of other good Indian restaurants in Cambridge, Framingham/Natick, and Arlington. I always judge an Indian restaurant by the quality of their chutney. The tomato-onion chutney at Little India was very disappointing - no flavor, and no heat. For an appetizer, we ordered vegetable pakoras. They came out with two pakoras. The dough skin wrapper of the pakora was very thick and made the texture of the pakorah a bit tough and not to mention that the ratio of filling to dough wasn't that great. Very weak pakoras compared to other Indian restaurants that I go to. At little India, an order of Garlic Naan was one piece of naan, it had a slight raised yeast bread aspect to it instead of the normal unleavened flatbread oozing of garlic flavor that I get at other Indian restaurants. We ordered two vegetarian dishes which I can't spell correctly. We specifically asked them to make one of the dishes very spicy. Both dishes were barely spicey at all; very disappointing when we specifically asked for one of the dishes to be very spicy. The entrees were served with plain white basmati rice - nothing special. Service was okay. Would I go there again? Probably not.

The Mad Raven $$ American - 841 Main Street - 781-894-8188
18 December 2002 review by J Griffin

The Mad Raven on Main Street is a welcome change to the typical Waltham bar scene. I moved here about 2 years ago and have found it a very comfortable place to relax after work, watch the game on the big screen, or stay late-night with friends and music. They are open 7 days a week. The Mad Raven offers a welcoming, casual pub atmosphere with a friendly staff and an ever-changing collection of eclectic art and trinkets. There is always something new to look at. And for sports fans, the big screen almost always has a game on. There is a good mix of college kids, locals, and young professionals occupying bar stools and tables alike.

They serve dinner nightly, between 5 and 9 usually. It's basic pub fare, but always cooked fresh and delicious! The menu changes quite a bit, but there are a few staple items: Buffalo wings, quesadillas, Pizza, burgers, steak tips and fish and chips. I highly recommend the pizza. It's definitely one of the best pizzas in Waltham! The 25-cent buffalo wings are great for a group watching the games. Grilled sandwiches are always a treat, served with a hearty serving of fries or onion rings, depending on the week. It's definitely not a dieter's delight, but the food is excellent! I've never had a bad meal there and most meals are under 10 bucks. You can't beat it!

The later crowd can enjoy good drinks from some really good bartenders. Music is always on and always pretty good. Something for everyone. Darts and even chess are available for the game players.

The only negatives of the place are that there is not enough parking around and there is almost always a wait for the bathrooms!

In my humble opinion, I'd say this is the best bar in Waltham!

5 January 2005 review by Nancy from Waltham

The atmosphere at the Mad Raven was its best feature. I went with my family in the early evening and it was quiet and relaxing. We ordered two pizzas, one tomato and cheese and one with a lot of toppings. The tomato and cheese came loaded with more cheese than tomato if that is what you like. The other pizza came eventually but missing several toppings. I learned later the kitchen had run out of the toppings. The wait for food was long as they had a "small kitchen". My husband had a burger and fries and said it was good. The other good dish was a salad & cheese appetizer. We both ordered mixed drinks which were several $ more than most places in Waltham, more like the prices charged in hotels. Perhaps the beer is more reasonable. There are no refills if you order sodas. Service was C- but the reason could be that there was one waitperson who also served at the bar. Overall, there are better dining experiences in Waltham.

Ristorante Marcellino $$$ Italian - 11 Cooper Street - 781-647-5458 At this location until March 2002: C. P. Nutting's. Marcellino closed again as of July 2015
27 August 1999 review by Jennifer and Scott

Ristorante Marcellino occupies two floors of a building near the Charles River, adjacent to the Embassy lot off of Pine Street. Downstairs is a large open dining room in view of the kitchen, and there is a seasonal, open air dining room and bar upstairs. The featured appetizer was mixed salad greens with grilled lamb, goat cheese, roasted peppers and tomato vinaigrette ($11.95) as an appetizer. The Pinot Grigiot wine ($5.50 a glass) was served in a stylish rippled glass, and was promptly delivered with a crispy thick crusted bread served with a small bowl of olives and oil. We had a well prepared Insulata Mista ($5.95) as our salad. We both had a special of the day. Jennifer had the filet mignon with mashed potatoes and a treacle sauce with steamed spinach ($21.95), and reported that the meat was prepared just as ordered, with ample portions of the other ingredients. I had the swordfish with vinaigrette, mashed potatoes, and green beans ($22.95). The swordfish was just right, and the green beans were fresh and delicious. The service was prompt and attentive for the entire meal. Reservations are highly recommended, particularly for busy weekend evenings.

Margaritas $$ Mexican - 227 Moody Street - 781-893-9990 fax: 781-893-8672
21 July 2003 review by Jennifer and Scott

Margaritas (Mexican Restaurant & Watering Hole) opened it's 16th location (the first in Massachusetts) at a prime site in the Cronin's Landing building at 227 Moody Street on July 22. Now headquartered in New Hampshire, the chain opened its first restaurant in Orono, ME in 1984. The restaurants feature the decor of the Guadalajara area of Mexico, and serve a wide range of Mexican specialties. The renovations since Ciros closed early this year include enclosing the bar and addition of walls to create smaller, quieter rooms. Brightly colored cushions on the benches in the booths, colorful tiles on the tables, and an eclectic blend of Mexican artifacts create a comfortable, festive atmosphere.

A full range of Mexican specialties are available, including margaritas from 5.25 to 6.25, appetizers from 3.99 to 8.29, salads from 4.29 to 9.99, fajitas from 12.49 to 15.49, grilled entrees from 12.49 to 16.79, favorites, 10.49 to 14.99, vegetarian from 9.49 to 11.29, and burritos priced at 8.29 to 9.99. A regular Margarita was large, and mixed just right. The Queso Fundido appetizer (6.99) was an artfully arranged plate of nachos, chopped tomatoes, cheese, a green sauce with a little touch of brown mole.

We had the Original Steak and Chicken Combo fajitas (13.99) and the Margaritas Famous Tester (Combinacion de la Casa) of a chicken burrito, cheese enchilada, and a beef taco with Mexican rice & beans (12.29). Entree portions were generous, and delicious. The service was very attentive and quick, but this was a pre-opening party. If they can keep up with a Friday or Saturday night crowd, this could become a very popular spot.

14 November 2003 review by Nicole and Shelley

On Nov. 14th, we went to Margarita's for an early dinner. Very good service, complementary tortilla chips and salsa, large portions. Prices in the $$ range. Lots of variety on the menu. The place seems busy most nights (we've been there before), but they have a call ahead seating service and they offer takeout. Not open for lunch. They have events scheduled every night there's a full moon. If there's a long wait, there are a number of tables available on a first-come-first-serve basis at the back of the bar area (not available to anyone under 21 if not accompanied by an adult). We split the Beef and Chicken Combo Fajitas ($13.99) which was more than enough for 3 fajitas each. Very good. On previous visits I've had their Tijuana Chicken and the Tequila-Lime Chicken, and they tasted reheated. Stick with the Tex-Mex fare if you can.

29 November 2004 review by John Connelly

I visited Margarita's twice in the fall of 2003, both without anything good to say. The first time was about a month after it opened. We were seated right away, and it was crowded, so I had some pity when no one came over and greeted us. After about 10 minutes of no one greeting us, I grabbed the first person I could find (who worked there) and told them we hadn't been seen by a waiter. That server brought over the chips and salsa (good salsa) and told us someone would be with us shortly. After another 15 or so minutes, I finally got up and went to the hostess station to ask for assistance. Someone eventually came over, took our order, apologized for the delay, and disappeared. The food showed up after another 20 minutes, and the server came back to drop the check, but not to check on us, and get more drinks for us. I asked to speak to the manager, who apologized and gave us his card, telling us to come back and try another night (no gift certificate, no coupon) because it was just a very busy night.

Two months later, my friend and I went back and tried again. This time it was late on a weeknight, and it was slow. Very slow. Service was once again non-existent (the server wandered out of the section to chat with the receptionist is my guess.) On top of that, the shredded lettuce that came with my friend's taco platter had sand in it (not a few grains, it was gritty!) I'm in the food business, so I try to give people leeway (which is why I came back again in the first place), however it will be a cold day in Hell before I enter the doors of that establishment again, especially when there are two other Mexican restaurants within 3 blocks.

21 November 2006 review by Karen

They say, the further you are from the boarder of any ethnic food, the worse it will be. As a transplanted Californian, I crave good Mexican food. In my native Santa Barbara, there are hidden gems of small restaurants with platters of great food served on simple Formica tables and old chairs. The Taqueria in Waltham is great for this old style authentic Mexican food, but sometimes I crave a good margarita too and something a little more north of the border. Margaritas used to fill the bill nicely as a place you could take friends who could barely stand the heat from buttered toast and whose idea of ethnic food was Taco Bell. However, something delightful has entered the kitchens at Margaritas and it is called spice. Somewhere the taste-buds of chili busting college students have entered the fray of Moody St. restaurants and as Emeril says, have kicked up a notch. As one begins their meal munching on fresh tortilla chips while sucking a nice Cuervo Margarita on the rocks, I plunged my chip into a chunky tomato salsa, complete with visible onions, cilantro and spicy jalapeno seeds. Ahhh. There is some notable heat here. Vastly improved from the older menu of watery and flat salsa with no taste, except of preservatives. Spicy salsa was a good sign of things to come.

Imagine my surprise in seeing authentic fish tacos on the menu. Once I tried them, I was hooked. Two corn tortillas stuffed perfectly with a blend of crunchy on the outside, tender on the inside Talipia fish. Added to the fish were corn kernels, fresh purple cabbage slaw, onions and cilantro. One bite and I was in heaven. I later have substituted this with their fresher flour tortillas which stand up to the mounds of crunchy goodness, rather than the ones made of corn which collapse with the bulk of ingredients. If you arrive and there is a wait for a table, amble back to the bar. There is a whole room which is annexed to the bar and serves regular restaurant food, perfect if you are in rush for a movie. Service was prompt, the waiter was pleasant and the food arrived quickly and hot. So, a green light for my review. The fish tacos are a bargain at only 10 bucks and the margaritas are perfect after long hours at the day job.

Mediterranean Breeze $$ Greek , American - 137-139 Prospect Street - Opened in November of 2003, but closed again early in 2004.
11 December 2003 review by Jennifer and Scott

Our first visit to Mediterranean Breeze, shortly after opening at the site of several former restaurants, was for breakfast. We were pleasantly surprised by the relaxed, comfortable atmosphere of the 2 rooms that make up the place. The radio was up a little high and tuned to a station with a somewhat abrasive repertoire, but the service wasprompt and attentive. Eggs and sausage were nicely done, but the western omelet was relatively bland. We were eager to return for dinner to try the Mediterranean specialties. The service was as before, but we were disappointed by both of our meals. Jennifer had the $8.50 Pastichio, baked casserole with layers of pasta, ground beef, grated cheese, seasonings and a white Bechamel sauce. Unfortunately, the ground beef was thinly apportioned, and seasonings were barely detectable. A rather bland choice. Instead of the Mediterranean Broiled Haddock Dinner, $10.25, which I ordered, I received the Fried Haddock Plate, $8.99. The breaded pieces of haddock were tough and not particularly flavorful, and the generous portion of fries they were served over were greasy. With the tartar sauce that accompanied this, it was a mediocre fish and chips. On the plus side, the salad that came with the Plate was fresh and crisp, though the Greek dressing was not particularly zesty. I'd like to see this restaurant succeed, but in this difficult location with limited parking and several other nearby eateries, it will be tough unless the quality improves dramatically. They need to spice up the entrees, and be more generous with the other essential ingredients.

Michael's Italian Grill $$ Italian - 380 Winter Street - On April 29, 2005, Piccadilly Pub opened at this location
17 September 1999 review by Jennifer and Scott

Michael's Italian Grille is downstairs at the Best Western TLC. The medium size dining room and bar feature a ceramic tile floor, booths and tables with red leather seating, and artwork depicting the old country. The atmosphere would be improved with windows in the restaurant. The menu includes 7 seafood entrees, several beef and chicken, and pork, in the $10 to $15 range. A caesar salad is $2.95. The complementary bread and roll were both tasty and warm. Jennifer had the Pollo Con Broccoli Pasta E Pomodoro ($12.95), served with a choice of pasta, chicken with fresh broccoli, herb dried tomatoes and marsala wine, garnished with fresh rosemary. My Salmone Grigilia ($14.95) was a salmon fillet with olive oil, a balsamic viniger lemon reduction, and herb garnish. The fish was cooked properly, but I thought the sauce could have been more subtly flavored. It was a little much. The servers were attentive, but had some problems with explaining the menu and understanding our orders. All in all, I thought the food was good, but not exceptional. On the other hand, the prices are reasonable, and I'm sure there are better choices on the menu.

Moody Street Pizzeria $ Pizza - 934 Moody Street - 781-899-7747 Replaced in June 2011 by NY Pie
10 January 2004 review by Amanda

My name is Amanda, and me and my family all go to Moody street pizza. This place is located at the end of Moody on the Newton line, and wow!!!! Is their food to die for! Their pizza is the best Greek pizza i have ever had, no grease nor too much oil. They have the most friendly staff and the store is spotless at all times. Their steak tips and chicken kabob are the best and the prices are generous but the food is sooo good and their wraps, there is too much to list, you would have to try it and you will see. Their delivery service is quick. They have the biggest menu that I have ever seen in a pizza place. I have been going to them for about 4 years now. and I don't think that I can go to another pizza place. The owners are very nice and sweet. This is the best pizza place in Waltham. Not too many people give them reviews, maybe because some people think that they are located in Newton, but try this place; it is very good. I have never heard of any one talking bad or complaining about the food or service.

Naked Fish Restaurant $$ American - 455 Totten Pond Road - 781-684-0500
21 March 2002 review by Laura J Shaz

I give The Naked Fish two thumbs up! It provides a more upscale night out than the usual Main or Moody Street Waltham restaurants. It is a pleasant 10 minute drive from campus (your own transportation is necessary) and is worth the extra distance. There is a large array of seafood options, delicious vegetarian sides to go with the main courses, hearty soups, fresh salads and a few meat options. The food is slightly on the salty side (ofcourse not as salty as the food in the dining halls), but still quite tasty. The portions are large and filling... definitely worth the money. The wine and fancy Cuban cocktail selection is quite extensive. And the desserts looked yummy, as well. The music and atmosphere are fun and up-beat. The Naked Fish is a good decision for a nice night out with friends or even parents coming to visit.

11 November 2003 review by Nicole and Shelley

On Nov. 11th, we had lunch at the Naked Fish. I have been there before for supper, but never at lunch time and expected it to be crowded from all the folks employed on the other side of 128. It was pretty much empty when we arrived, and only half full when we left at 12:30. At suppertime it's much harder to get a table. The lunch menu is different as well. Shelley had the crab cake sandwich and I had a cheeseburger, and we both had soft drinks. The total bill was $25 (sorry, didn't note the individual prices). The burger was a weird freeform shape that was overly large for the bun and undercooked in spots. The crab cake kept falling apart and out of the bun, but was good. The wait staff was friendly and attentive.

14 June 2004 review by Pat W.

I just thought I would put my two-cents worth in about the Naked Fish on Totten Pond that we visited based on your review. We were expecting better. What really put us off was the fast-food restaurant style seating (benches with tables in front of them). We were squeezed in so close to the tables on either side of us that you really couldn't carry on any kind of a private conversation. The woodwork and fabric looks like it really needs a good scrubbing-down, too. Food was ok, but not special enough to put up with the seating arrangement. Not a place we'll be returning to even though we have a son starting at Bentley this fall.

New Mother India $$ Indian - 336 Moody Street - 781-893-3311 Closed in September 2014
16 May 2007 review by Josh of Brandeis University

My three suitemates and I often purvey the Indian food buffets around Brandeis - one day (in April of '07) we went to New Mother India at around 1:30. The buffet was reasonably priced, yet the selection of Indian dishes actually on the buffet were poor. There were no mainstream dishes, such as Tikka Masala, Korma, Paneer, or Vindaloo. The dishes were somewhat cold and the pakoras were not crisp. It seemed like very poor fare to me. Resistant service + poor selection + mediocre quality food = poor buffet. As to the quality of their dinner menu, I cannot attest.

New York Deli & Pizzeria $ Deli , Subs , Pizza - 47 Lexington Street - 781-894-1228
30 June 2005 review by unknown

The New York Deli Pizzeria does a bustling business on the corner of Lexington and School Streets. The 8 tables inside are often sparsely populated, but there is a constant stream of customers picking up orders, and the delivery service hurrying items out the door. We walked in on a Thursday evening to choose from the large menu posted behind the counter. They have cold sandwiches from 5.00 to 6.25, specialty salads from 5.25 to 8.25, hot sandwhiches (including steak), 5.00 to 6.75, burritos for 5.75, specialty wraps and sandwhiches for 5.50 to 6.50, small and large pizzas from 6.00 to 15.25, and char-broiled dinners and pasta specialties from 7.50 to 9.00. Side orders and a large selection of drinks are available from a refrigerator along the side. We ordered a Grilled Chicken Kabob in a wrap, a small Roasted Peppers and Pepperoni Pizza, and a couple of drinks, for 16.40. The kabob, featuring marinated chicken pieces, included feta cheese, lettuce, tomato and greek dressing, and was immediately delivered over the counter. The pizza was delivered to our table in about 10 minutes. As usual, the ingredients were fresh and tasty. The pizza was a bit greasy, but I blame that on the pepperoni. Other types of the medium-thick crusted pizza that I've had in the past were better in that respect. I recommend this place for their large variety of offerings and dependable service.

Ninety-Nine Restaurant $$ American - 110 South Street - 781-893-4999
3 September 1999 review by Jennifer and Scott

The 99 is a large restaurant featuring reasonably priced food. We were prompty served the complementary free crackers and soft cheese appetizer. A garden salad ($1.99) was big, crisp and fresh. Alternatives include the Caesar salad ($3.99, $6.79 with chicken). I had the 8 oz. baked schrod ($7.99), which was tender, with herb seasoned bread crumbs. It came with a choice of potato; I chose the garlic mashed, which was very good, and a garden medley of vegetables. Jennifer had the chicken Teriyaki ($7.99). This came with 2 tasty, good sized chicken breasts, carrots, squash, zucchini, and onion, and rice pilaf which was rated as ok but not great. A fresh brewed iced tea was $3.18. The service was prompt and friendly throughout our meal. All in all, we recommend the 99 for the consistent quality of food and service at a reasonable price.

Nonna's Italian Bar & Grill $$ Italian - 469 Moody Street - 781-899-3399 Opened August 2015 at site of Erewan of Siam, which closed in March 2015. Closed on July 1, 2016

Linguini Pescatore

Exterior

Bar

24 September 2015 review by Jennnifer & Scott

We decided to check out Nonna's on a Thursday night, after hearing positive remarks from friends who had dined there. This restaurant is near the Maple street intersection with Moody Street. Stepping inside, we could see the wood trim and area above what used to be the lower seating area of Erewan of Siam, but otherwise the space was totally transformed. A white fountain flows near the entrance, a subtly blue lit bar occupies the left side, and white walls with paintings and dark floors give the room a relaxing open atmosphere. A bowl of small bread slices was delivered, and I ordered a glass of Canyon Road Pino Noir (7.00) and Jennifer got a small bottle of presecco (7.00). We enjoyed the bread as we checked out the menu. Jennifer ordered a House Salad (5.00) and Chicken Francese, an egg battered chicken breast in white wine lemon butter sauce (16.00) and I ordered the Linguini Pescatore, with clams, calamari, and shrimp, with white (which I chose) or red sauce (18.00). The house salad was quite large, with a nice variety of ingredients. The sauce was just right on the chicken, and the seafood was nicely prepared, with lots of tender calamari, 4 clams, and 5 shrimp. The waitstaff was friendly and helpful, and we were pleased that the owner came out to check on us and answer our questions about starting up this new restaurant. We really enjoyed this meal. The prices are very reasonable, and all the food was excellent. This is a great place to get a nice Italian meal on a budget.

Not Your Average Joe's $$ American - 56 Market Place Drive (1265 Main Street) - 781-966-5637 Opened August 25, 2015

Patio

Korean pork

27 August 2015 review by Jennifer & Scott

The parking lot surrounding Not Your Average Joe's and Jake n Joe's was nearly full at 6:30 on Thursday evening, 2 days after this new restaurant opened. We got one of the last outside tables near the blazing fire pit outside on the patio. A singing guitar player at a party at Jake n Joe's next door provided an interesting soundtrack for our dinner. I ordered a Pretty Things Jack D'or (6.99) from the diverse drink menu, and Jennifer got a Fresh Fruit Sangria (6.99). The bowl of bread with an oil and cheese dip, familiar to diners from other branches of this local chain, appeared shortly before the drinks. We sipped, and learned that a bocce court was under construction outside the patio, and would be accompanied by a cabana. The regular menu was accompanied by a list of Seasonal Selections, which we both ordered from. Jennifer ordered Joe's Picnic Chicken, with sweet-corn relish, cole slaw and classic potato salad (16.50), and I asked for Korean Style BBQ Pork Tenderloin, grilled and lacquered with a sesame hoisin glaze, accompanied by house-kimchi cucumbers and chilled lo mein noodle salad (17.50). Both entrees were delicious. The chicken had a smoky barbecue flavor, and the pork and kimchi cucumbers were nicely spicy, a good complement to the beer. Service was friendly and attentive throughout our meal. The entrees did take a little longer than expected to arrive, but it could very well be that this new restaurant is still working on their staffing, and we expect that this will improve as they go along. This was a delightful dining experience.

C. P. Nutting's $$$ American - 16 Cooper Street - Ristorante Marcellino was at this location until March 2002. When Nuttings closed, it reopened as Marcellino's

Side door

Front door

5 January 2000 review by Jennifer and Scott

Joe Malone and his partners recently opened an upscale steak house on the site of a former Italian restaurant. Portions of the new restaurant are still under construction, but the bar and a small dining room, separated by glass windows, was open when we visited. The atmosphere is relaxing, with a muted cream, grey and brown theme. On the brick walls are historic photographs of Waltham, and tiffany lamps light each table. Entrees include a number of steak options, at 29.95, the special steak tips, grilled over oak with garlic rosemary au jus and steak fries, 14.95, and atlantic salmon Filet, available grilled or roasted, for 18.95. Most entrees do not include potato or vegetable, which are 4.50 each. Appetizers range from 6.95 to 8.95 and salads list for 6.75 and 6.95. The waiter served a bowl of warm bread and rolls, and Jennifer had the winter lettuce salad, with radishes, roasted pistachos & bleu cheese, which was delicious. The steak tips arrived cooked as ordered. The salmon was a respectable chunk, nicely cooked. The side order of garlic spinach was a good, not-overcooked, plate full. The mountain of steak fries were crispy, cooked with their skins. Piano instrumentals were played on the grand piano at the end of the room from 6:30 on. The service was plentiful, and mostly efficient. All in all, this was a pricy dining experience, but on the other hand, every thing we ordered was perfectly prepared, and delicious.

Paisano Restaurant and Bar $$ Mexican - 223 High Street - 781-899-4505 fax: 781-899-1093 & Guatamalan
8 July 2006 review by Jennifer and Scott

Paisano opened up last week, so we drove by to check it out. The new owners moved the focus further south of the border, replacing the barbeque and Tex-Mex food with Mexican and Guatamalan dishes. Parking in the restaurant's lot is still limited, as it was when this was Buckaroos, but there was plenty of space across High Street. The exterior is now a cheerful yellow, and the tables outside in the front are now topped with umbrellas, giving an brighter appearance. We were seated immediately in a booth on a busy Saturday night. The salsa was brought to our table after a very short wait, and I ordered the El Presidente margarita ($8). The salsa came in a small carafe accompanied by a bowl, into which I decanted the contents with some difficulty. The salsa itself was watery, with a medium spice level. The waitress returned in a little while with the drink, and took our orders. Jennifer ordered the Pollo Asado ($10.99) from the selection of Guatamalan plates, and I had the Enchiladas Mexicanas with mole sauce ($8.99). Mexican selections range from $6.99 to $8.99, and Guatamalan dishes from $4.99 to $19.99 for the large Guatamala grill. I noticed orders of Churrasco ($13.99) on the tables of several nearby diners. As I sipped my very good margarita, we noticed that the interior had been spruced up by flower boxes and other bright touches. Our waitress did stop by several times, but no food appeared. Finally the hostess showed up, and apparently had to replace our lost order. The servers were trying, but it is clear that they are still gearing up, so I expect this will get better with time. Our entrees finally arrived with small tortillas on the side, and rice and refried beans on the plates. The enchiladas had just the right amount of spice, and were tasty, as were the sauce covered pieces of chicken in the Pollo Asado. All in all, I would say this is a promising establishment, but I'd like to check it out on a weekday night, and try the Currasco.

10 July 2006 review by Dorothy D

New restauarant -- on the site of the former "Buckaroos" -- and really really REALLY bad. "Nachos" -- plate of cold tortilla chips, doused with liquified beans (yes, you heard that right) and that yellow tasteless almost-completely-fails-to-resemble-cheese stuff which adorns "nachos" in movie theaters. Chicken enchiladas -- rice, beans, and two folded-over tortillas. On top of the tortillas, a handful of shredded chicken. Barely inedible. A few bites were consumed. Chile rellenos -- fried chili, including cubes of (unmelted) white cheese. rice and beans. Whole platter covered with some watery liquid, so the chile rellanos was horribly soggy. Even less edible than the "enchiladas." If you can save other diners from this dreadful exerience, please do!!!!

19 July 2006 review by Jen

Paisanos, alas, is not a restaurant for vegetarians. I checked their online menu before going, and was reassured by the "burrito vegetariano," but when I got there, I was informed that it wasn't actually vegetarian, as there was lard in their refried beans. When I inquired as to whether the rice was vegetarian, they also shook their heads sadly. The only items on the menu that I could find that were vegetarian were the quesadillas, which normally come with meat, but they'll server them without, and the nachos. Steer clear of the nachos. All they are is a plate of tortilla chips with some gloppy melted cheese poured on them, then a little more cold cheese sprinkled on top of that, along with some tomatoes, onions, and jalapenos. The quesadillas weren't bad, but if you don't like sour cream or guacamole, be sure to ask for them without, as they put both inside the actual quesadillas. But their drinks are both cheap and good, and the chips and salsa were fine, so I didn't come away feeling terribly cheated. My carnivore husband enjoyed his entree, but they forgot to bring his appetizer, which we only realized after leaving the restaurant, so the service leaves something to be desired.

5 March 2010 review by Bob M

I have now been to Paisanos many times. At its best, Paisanos serves great Mexican food with nice ambience (a serviceable Mariachi band on the weekends). But things are very uneven-- it's really geared up for the weekends (Fri-& Sat) and struts its best stuff then: Hot food and good sevice, and great ambience. But, (and this es muy importa! on "off" days-- Sun thru Thurs. it's slow and reverts to a hangout for regulars and staff with awful service by very young chicas, and meals that need to be reheated, in my own experience. If you pick your days (see above) Paisanos is an authentic Mexican restaraunt with excellent food, an attentive and friendly staff, and very Latino atmosphere (unlike the "gringo tacky" Margheritas on Moody Street. On off days, if you know some converstaional Spanish you can still get their best stuff: (i.e.) "Este comida es muy fresco!!!!! Puedo tener lo mas caliente por favor?" And it will be muy bien!!

Papa George's Pizza $$ Pizza - 897 Main Street - Opened February 8, 2004. Reopened on May 1, 2006 as the new site of Sabatino's
18 February 2004 review by unknown

Papa George's Pizza opened early in 2004 at a storefront vacated by Mama Josie's more than a year before. Like the establishments that came before, Papa George's is a large restaurant geared to a takeout and casual dining audience. They are open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We arrived for dinner early on a Wednesday night, and were the only ones seated, but there was a steady stream of people coming in for takeout. We sampled a variety of items, including a gyro chicken sandwhich (6.00), small onion rings (2.50), garden salad (4.25), large grilled garlic chicken pizza (13.75) and diet cola (1.43). Also on the menu are breakfast specials from 4.76 to 5.95, sandwhiches from 4.25 to 6.75, salads from 4.25 to 6.75, dinners at 7.25 and 7.50, seafood plates from 8.99 to 14.25, and pasta dishes from 6.25 to 9.75. None of the choices we had were bad, but none were outstanding either. The onion rings apparently had been the frozen variety, served with catsup packets. The garden salad was large and crisp, but was served with a packet of Italian dressing. The grilled garlic chicken pizza was surprisingly bland. In fact, all of the items were on the bland side. The price was right, but I was hoping for a little more of a home style sit down meal. I'm sure there are specialties of the house, but we were not fortunate enough to have ordered any of them. The service in the large section of tables was good, but we hope the quality of the cuisine improves.

Pete's Pizza & Wings $ Pizza , Subs - 912 Main Street - Formerly Johnnie's Pizza Shop. Became Hall Of Fame Pizzeria & Wings in March of 2010.
18 October 2001 review by Mike Morrison

You may know this restaurant better by its old name of Pete's Pizza and Subs, or even by its classic name of Johnnies Pizza. Or you may know it by the innovative marketing slogans that appear in the window from time to time, including "Bar and Cockfighting in the Basement" and "The French Revolution had nothing to do with us", that show the same creativity with otherwise standard tools that Pete's menu exhibits. Or you may simply know it as Pete himself would wish it to be known, as your local dysfunctional family restaurant.

Regardless of the manner in which Pete's (nee Johnnies) finds its way into the radar screen of your consciousness, it should most definitely find its way into the cockles of your heart. And with menu items like the Steak and Cheese Calzone and the aptly named Dick's Heart Attack, it may find its way into more areas of your heart than just the cockles.

But simply put, this is the finest sandwich shop in all of Waltham. But to call it simply a "sandwich shop" is misleading, for the finest items on the menu are not sandwiches at all. The aforementioned Dick's Heart Attack, filled with mozzarella sticks and bacon, is something that must be tried if you pass the strict physical fitness test that Pete's insurance company requires before ordering. The steak and cheese calzone (known in these parts as simply "The Usual") is a delightful combination of grilled steak and melted cheese, wrapped in a soft pizza crust and baked to perfection. The crust, indeed, is one of the best parts of Pete's calzones, and perfectly complements the pinnacle of Pete's original calzone creations: the Crossover. Boneless wings in one of nine different flavors are covered with cheese and baked into a mouth-watering feast that I can't really go into any further for fear of drooling on my keyboard. It's served with a side of bleu cheese.

And I haven't even mentioned Pete's signature item: the wraps. Fully a baker's dozen of these little pockets of deliciousness grace the menu, ready to satisfy your craving for meat or vegetarian, hot or cold, dry or juicy. Pete himself claims that the king of the bunch is the Zesty Chicken, with its lemon-flavored chicken, steak tomatoes, Bermuda onions and cilantro pesto, but I think he underestimates his own Steak and Potato Wrap. Cajun-seared shaved beef sirloin and country-style home fries wrapped up with cheddar cheese and sour cream? It doesn't get much better than that.

Service is friendly, parking is plentiful, and the ambience truly has to be experienced to be understood. Delivery is also available, and Pete himself has been known to take time out of the kitchen to personally bring his latest creations to your door. Be sure to compliment the tzagiki - he makes it himself.

Pho 1 $$ Chinese , Thai - 374 Moody Street - 781-891-6977 At this location up to 25 February 2001: Heritage Restaurant. In December, 2015, name was changed from Tom Can Cook
26 August 2001 review by Jennifer and Scott

Tom Can Cook, at the site of 20th century Waltham landmark the Heritage Restaurant, shares a Thai menu with its sister restaurant Erewhon of Siam, also on Moody Street. The decor is clean and simple, with natural wood and soft lighting, reminiscent of Chinese lanterns. There are 2 seating sections, with new seating where the diner stools used to be. Purple curtains cover the passages to the kitchen. We had Tom Yam soup ($2.95) and Scallion Pancakes with Peanut Sauce ($4.95) as appetizers. The soup (2 out of a maximum 3 star heat rating) was served in a small bowl, topped with mushrooms and scallions. It was spicy, but not excessive, with generous chunks of chicken (it is also available with shrimp instead). The scallion pancakes were crispy and light, sprinkled with more fresh scallions. They were served with lettuce and cabbage leaves, and peanut sauce in a small glass bowl. We had the Pad Thai, available with chicken, shrimp, vegetable or our choice, tofu ($7.95) and Grilled Jumbo Sizzling Shrimp, rated with one star ($14.95). The large plate of Pad Thai was served with cucumbers, cabbage, sprouts, and broccolli. It was very good, with plump crispy tofu cubes. The 5 large shrimp were nicely cooked, and came with fresh, crispy asparagus, peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, yellow squash, brocolli, and onions. They were topped by a zesty red-brown sauce and spicy basil leaves. The service was low-key but very attentive, adding to a pleasant dining experience.

Uno Chicago Grill $ Pizza , American - 155 Bear Hill Road - 781-487-7177 Closed 25 March, 2017
13 August 1999 review by Jennifer and Scott

What I like about Unos is that you can count on quality pizza and reasonable service any time. They feature frequent specials so that you can get a good meal at a decent price. We had the 2 house salads and medium size deep-dish pizza special which came to only $12. The salads, though not huge, are reasonably sized and can be ordered with the house dressing, an Italian style vinegrette delivered in a Grolsh beer bottle. We chose the Unos Classic pizza, with the unique Chicago-style sausage that is the trademark of this chain. This is usually no wait to get seats, except during very peak hours such as Friday or Saturday night. Once seated, the wait staff is attentive and the food is delivered promptly. In addition to the deep-dish pizza, we recommend the new thin crust pizza, and the Caesar salad is always good. The bar has a selection of mixed drinks, wine, and most of the popular and a few custom beers on tap.

Ponzu $$ Ethnic - 286 Moody Street - 781-736-9188 fax: 781-736-9014 Far east and the rest, Formerly at this site - La Piazza
12 June 2006 review by Pam B

Ponzu is the latest of the internationally-themed restaurants on Waltham's Moody Street. Just opened in May at the site of the former La Piazza Italian cafe, the Ponzu team have done an excellent job with the location. An inviting exterior, nice lighting, a waterfall and warm paint colors. A sizable sushi bar is a focal point, but there is still plenty of room for tables. The menu is an interesting mix of Asian and Asian-inspired dishes. We stayed with the Asian Tapas -- a nice mix of appetizers. The sushi rolls were all fresh and beautifully presented. One of the most interesting appetizers was the Sushi Pizza -- tempura rice with crab meat and shrimp topping along with a light sauce. A tasty and unique dish! The staff was extremely attentive -- they answered all of our questions and certainly wanted to be sure we enjoyed the meal. A great option for a big group of family or friends who want to share lots of tastes of different dishes. Asian tapas -- you heard it here first!

Prospect Cafe $ Pizza - 137 Prospect Street - 781-736-0101 fax: 781-736-0110
22 October 2006 review by unknown

This small shop, open 7 days a week, offers appetizers, salads, pizzas and calzones, and a variety of hot grilled sandwiches and rollups. We ordered a Bacon Cheeseburger, a small order of onion rings, a Margherita calzone, and a drink, for a total of $14.79. The restaurant includes 2 rooms with 6 tables in each. The back room has a TV, and the front one opens to the counter for ordering. The decor was austere, and the facility is clearly geared toward take-out. The onion rings were fine, but the burger was disappointing. It was over-cooked, the bacon did not taste fresh, was overloaded with too much mustard, and was in a stale bun. Clearly this is not the specialty of the house. The calzone, on the other hand, was amply filled with mozzarella, sliced tomato, basil and parmesan, in a nicely baked crust and served with a mild tomato sauce. The hot grilled sandwiches that I saw on other tables (such as the eggplant sandwich) looked very good, between thick slices of bread. We'll try other menu choices next time, but steer clear of the burger.

Red Bird $$ American - 361 Moody Street - 781-891-5486 Opened July 15, 2014
7 November 2014 review by Jennifer and Scott

There was a waiting list when we tried to reserve a table at Red Bird earlier in the week, but I was pleased to receive a text that a space had opened up for Friday. We stepped in under the red cardinal logo and were promptly seated at one of the booths on the right side of a tall partition that separated that area from the bar and high-top tables on the other side. Our waitress announced the wine of the day, a Cote de Rhone, at $12 a glass, which I ordered, while Jennifer chose a Reisling. We checked out the limited menu featuring entrees for $21-28. Jennifer picked the pork loin schnitzel with bacon braised cabbage, spaetzle and gravy, for $26. I chose seared scallops with crispy pork belly, parsnip puree, wild mushrooms and watercress, for $28. A basket of bread with herbed butter was served with our drinks. The herb butter was subtle but delicious on the bread. Jennifer ordered onion soup, an $8 appetizer. It was a generous portion, which we both enjoyed. The decor is modern, with large metal lights overhead, and Edison bulbs over the bar, giving it sort of a steampunk atmosphere. Jennifer thought it was too dark, but I didn't mind it. We were well taken care of by our server. The main dishes came promptly. The schnitzel plate was a pyramid of pork, cabbage and spaetzle. It was tender, and the cabbage and spaetzle were just right. The scallops came out nicely browned, alongside the pleasantly salty pork belly (essentially uncured bacon) and the creamy parsnip puree. The flavors blended to make a very nice combination. The portions were just right. We would have been satisfied with this even without the soup. We were comfortably full, so did not partake of the tempting desert menu. The service was prompt and efficient throughout, and the manager came by twice to check on us, and left us his card as we were finishing up. All in all this was a delightful dining experience, with no complaints whatsoever. I'm looking forward to another visit to try out their other choices.

Rendezvous Restaurant & Music Club $$ American - 596 Moody Street - Club: 781-893-7171, Restaurant: 508-494-1000
8 November 2000 review by R. Bailey of Waltham, MA

What a pleasure and a huge surprise it was to have my palette tantalized with the taste of the American & Italian cuisine by the new Chef Mike at the Rendezvous Restaurant on Moody St. in Waltham. In the past month I've eaten stuffed lobster, steamers, old fashioned meatloaf & real mashed potatoes like what mom used to make and steak tips to die for and fresh zucchini & squash vegetables. The food has the quality and taste of fine dining with a home-cooked style. It's really nice to have a cocktail, listen to a band perform, sit with some friends and nibble on an appetizer or even have a full meal that is delicious.

The Rendezvous certainly isn't the fanciest place in town to visit but the awesome musical talent performing every weekend along with Chef Mike's wicked-tasty meals, more than makes up for the lack of stylish decor. I highly recommend ordering something from Chef Mike's menu because the food is awesome!

Ritcey's Sea Food Kitchen $$ American - 560 Moody Street - Began in 1911 as a fish market opened by Ernest Ritcey, whose portrait wa above the front counter. The market was turned into a restaurant by his son Harry in the 1940s. After several more succesions of family members, the restaurant closed in January of 2004. It re-opened on April 1, under the direction of Kim Collins, Kevin Ritcey's daughter. The new business failed, and was closed for good by February of 2006. An Italian restaurant, Ristorante Gemelli opened there in August of 2006.
26 February 2001 review by MoonieTwin@aol.com

Ritcey's on Moody Street - Their clams are always tastey with no extra grease and are always nice crispy. The broiled scallops are tender and sweet. I have lived in the area for over 50 years and have not had any better. My sister lives in NJ and when she comes up here the first place she wants to go is there.

Sabatino's Italian Kitchen $ Italian , Pizza - 897 Main Street - 781-547-5888, 781-547-5885 Closed in November of 2016, opened under new owners as Marsala's Italian Kitchen
24 November 2003 review by Jennifer and Scott

We first visited Sabatino's in mid-November. The first thing we noticed is that the dining area had been reduced in size, and the large pizza oven was visible behind the counter and cash register. The casual service was walk-up order and pick-up, and it appears that they are anticipating a large take-out business. With the specials of the night, we each had 2 large slices of pizza and a 24-ounce soda, all for only $7.25. Our 4 slices included Traditional, Garden (vegetarian), and Pepperoni. All were traditional Italian-style thin-crust pizzas that reminded us of the excellent pizza from the small shops in Florence. The staff were very friendly, and the tables and chairs retained from the previous restaurant were comfortable. Our next experience with Sabatino's was take-out delivery, recommended since parking can be hard to find in the area. The meal arrived hot in a surprisingly small amount of time. A large Al Pacino pizza, $12.99, was topped with prosciutto, roasted peppers, fresh tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. This was also delicious, but difficult to eat due to the large pieces of prosciutto on top. Waltham has a number of restaurants that make a good authentic Italian pizza, but we think Sabatino's makes the best.

June 2007 review by Jennifer and Scott

We've found that the quality of Sabatinos pizzas has suffered since the move from the Prospect Street location to Main Street. The long time site of Mama Josie's is more pleasant and seats many more than the old site, but the pizza is just not quite as good. We've had unevenly cooked pizzas on several occasions. There are now several new places in town that make very good pizzas, so I hope this shop can get back to producing the quality pizzas they are known for.

Sadie's Saloon $ Barbeque - 5 Pine Street - 781-893-5555 Closed on October 19, 2012
22 October 2001 review by Mike Morrison

Entering Sadie's Saloon is sort of like starting a choose-your-own-adventure book. Stepping through the front door, you find yourself in a tiny foyer with two doors. If you turn left, you walk into the bar; right, and you're in the dining area. The two are separated by a half-wall that does a good job of separating the drinking crowd from the eating crowd and vice versa, but you can always look over to the other side and see what would've happened if you'd chosen the other path, sort of like when you mark your page with a finger and read both options before continuing.

Like most choose-your-own-adventure books, though, the path you should take is completely obvious. If you're eating at Sadie's, you should be getting one thing and one thing only: the steak tips. There are plenty of other good items on the menu: the pulled pork sandwich is excellent, as is the buffalo chicken salad, and the onion rings are very, very good. But going to Sadie's and not getting any sort of tips is like going to Ben & Jerry's and ordering plain vanilla, waffle cone, no jimmies. Nothing wrong with it, but you're missing the point.

The meat, the original marinade, the cooking process...all have been perfected at Sadie's to a level beyond the reach of ordinary mortals. The turkey tips and teriyaki steak tips are delicious, but they are only shadows of the original, mere prints of a Monet. The steak tips are a transcendental experience that must be sampled to be appreciated. I cannot say enough to do them justice, and it pains me to know that my poor words paint such an inadequate picture, so I will say no more.

Most of the sides are excellent--the aforementioned onion rings, the above-average french fries, and the garlic mashed potatoes particularly stand out, and the salads are very good if you're looking for something cool. Service is always friendly and fairly efficient. TVs of various sizes are tuned to sports channels to provide entertainment should you find the conversation flagging. The beer selection is adequate, if unoriginal. But then, if you want beer, you should really be across the street at Watch City or Bison County. You're at Sadie's for the tips, remember?

Sakura Japanese Restaurant $$ Japanese - 5 Pine Street - 781-216-8926 Opened early December, 2014

Oranges

10 June 2015 review by Bonnie & Scott

We arrived at Sakura early on a Wednesday evening, before the usual dinner hour. A seven seat sushi bar was visible from the door, and the small dining room with 11 tables was on the right. Light wood floors and dark topped tables, with mirrors on the side to make it look larger, made for a tranquil atmosphere with classic Japanese decor. I ordered the $7 sushi plate and Bonnie opted for the seaweed salad, and an order of vegetable tempura. The sushi plate came with miso soup and an ample salad, with the delicious orange colored house ginger dressing. The sushi plate featured 6 crab sushi, as well as tuna, salmon, and white fish. All were fresh. The seawood salad had a touch of spice, and was elegantly served in a sorbet glass. It was not totally vegetarian though, as it was topped with a dollop of orange roe. The vegetables were all hot and crispy, and came with a hot dipping sauce. The meal ended with a small bowl with a couple of artfully arranged oranges. Service was polite and efficient. All in all, this was a very pleasant dining experience.

Shoppers Cafe $ American - 731 Moody Street - 781-893-1180
2 May 2009 review by unknown

Driving up Moody Street we realized we had never visited this popular restaurant and sports bar, before or after the fire. Smokers lined up along the entrance did not make for a pleasant approach. The bar spans the right side of the large room, and several tv's populate each of the walls. To the left of a seating area are some booths on the other side of an open dance floor. We were surprised to see so many people there at quarter to 7 on a Saturday. Maybe because both the Celtics and Red Sox were playing? First impression was how loud it was in the room, both from patrons and the PA blasting country music. We were greeted promptly and served an imported beer on tap and a diet cola. Jennifer ordered a chicken breast sandwich, with optional sweet potato fries (7.50 with upgrade) and I got the fish and chips (9.95). The order arrived before too long; wait service was prompt and attentive. A large slab of fish came with lemon, tartar sauce, cole slaw, and some frozen fries. The sweet potato fries with the sandwich seemed to be home made. Both entrees were cooked as expected, and were quite satisfying. As we finished our meals and drinks, the country music dance instructor greeted the crowd, and the lessons began. The abundance of older patrons and cowboy hats had become clear. So this is where the C&W fans hang out on Saturday nights. I'd like to visit again on a slower, and hopefully quieter night.

Sichuan's Garden $$ Chinese - 411 Waverley Oaks Road - 781-899-9991
25 November 2009 review by Henry

Sichuan's Garden was a very good choice. Their food is terrific, the buffet has great tastes. A fine place to take your aunt or visiting relatives. It is a large place with plenty of seating and lots of parking, and everyone is helpful and friendly.

The Skellig $ Ethnic - 240 Moody Street - 781-647-0679 Irish pub, Closed in the end of July, 2014, with plans to reopen as Garcia Brogan's, a Mexican-Irish restaurant and bar
8 November 2003 review by Nicole and Shelley

On Nov. 8th, Shelley and I had lunch at the Skellig. Seems like a good pub environment. Relaxed atmosphere, friendly service, very good pub-style food. Apparently home to live Celtic music on a regular basis (not at lunch on a Saturday, however). Food in the $ range (total came to less than $15 for two meals and a softdrink). She had the Guinness Beef Stew and heartily recommends it. I had a perfect hamburger and excellent fries. Don't know about the brew, it was a bit early for us.

26 February 2004 review by Eric Salerno

Don't be too timid to try the mussels, I watched a friend enjoy a whole bowl! I have had the Fish and Chips several times, and was always very pleased. Their website menu doesn't have it listed, but the best meal I had here was a very traditional Corned Beef and Cabbage. If you like Guiness, but have never had a Murphy's Irish Stout, I recommend you try one while you're here. Your Irish Brew will undoubtedly taste better with the sounds of the emerald isle behind you- the musicians play right in the middle of the room at one of the tables. Parking is easy, with the Public Waltham Lot right around the corner, behind the restaurant. The prices are very reasonable: Apps: $5-7 Entrees: $8-11.

So-Cal Restaurant $ American , Subs - 484 Moody Street - Opened in March 2004 at the former storefront of Hanlon's Men's Shoes. It was closed by February 2006.
16 March 2004 review by Greg Jones

The So Cal Restaurant opened in March of 2004 at the long-time site of Hanlon's Men's Shoes, which closed in 2003.

I had a chance to check out the new restaurant called "So Cal" on Moody. What was most memorable about the experience is that it is an identical replica of one of my favorite restaurants in the Boston area, "Lo Fat Know Fat" (there is one in Watertown on Arsenal St. and one in Shrewsbury. I guess the third one is opening in Woburn next month), although the food was not even in the same ballpark in terms of taste. The steak tips and turkey tips were terrible (dry, no taste, overcooked) and their version of Lo Fat Know Fat's air fries tasted like Ore Ida's frozen fries. The chicken meatball wrap was OK.

Anyway, I travel around Boston a lot so I was psyched to see this new restaurant called So Cal. I was so disappointed with the food and that all this guy did was try and steal Lo Fat Know Fat's concept, and he couldn't even to that right. Bummer. I really thought I had found another hidden gem of a healthy restaurant but that was not the case.

Oh well, back to Lo Fat Know Fat.

31 March 2004 review by Michael Davis

It's about time! Finally a restaurant with healthy food, a great atmosphere, and all at a good price. My wife and I ate there last night for the first time and were truly impressed. At the recommendation of the counter girl I had the Turkey Gyro wrap with fries and my wife had the Tex-Mex Burrito with a salad. The food was fresh, and tasty. I loved the fries - crinkle cut and low in fat! I was told that the turkey and chicken are ground on the premises which is probably why my turkey meatballs tasted so good. Perfect! We're going back tonight!

2 2004 review by Jennifer and Scott

I had to try it out and see for myself. The restaurant is in a corner storefront, and is uncluttered, with just a few tables along the side. I ordered a small Tex-Mex Burrito (33g pro, 1g sat fat, 8g good fat, 54g carb, 448 cal, 3g fiber) $5.49 plus the $1.00 Side Salad option. Most of the items on the menu are available in Sm or Lg size. Entrees, with mixed veggies, rice potato ziti or fries, range from $5.99 to $10.49. Also available are Gourmet Wraps, Hot Sandwiches, Salads, Sides, Hi-Pro Shakes and Fruit Smoothies. After a 10 minute or so wait, the order was delivered. The salad, with no fat blue cheese dressing, was good. The spinach wrap (plain, whole wheat and tomato basil are also available) was nicely spiced, but the steak tips were chewy. Good value for $6.81 including tax, but I'm going to try a turkey or chicken based meal next time I visit the So Cal.

31 August 2004 review by T. Cyr

I have eaten at So Cal now three times. I have to say that the Chicken Parm wrap is absolutely delicious and the low fat fries are in fact "low fat". I read a review on how this restaurant is simply a rip off from Low Fat Know Fat. While the concept may be the same which is true of any restaurants set up to compete with each other - this is like the McDonalds vs Burger King of todays era. The thing I liked best about So Cal are the additional perks - the free wireless internet connectivity for people who want to work through lunch be it an i-meeting or checking email while they eat. The location is great and I never had trouble getting parking. I'd definitely recommend it to anyone who is looking for delicious food that is healthy, quick and a very clean and open environment to eat in. I look forward to checking out some of the breakfast wraps and enjoying a Starbucks coffee one morning soon now that they have breakfast.

19 February 2005 review by Jennifer and Scott

We decided to try the So Cal again, and try out some of the sandwiches recommended by other reviewers. Jennifer had the turkey gyro in a wheat wrap with the fries, and I had a spicy buffalo chicken meatball wrap with the tomato/basil wrap. The chicken wrap had an interesting flavor as of the first bite. The texture of the meatballs was unpleasant, as if the meat had been spun in a blender before being made into meatballs. The odd steamed vegetables and sauce flavor that quickly turned cloying made it difficult to finish the first half of the sandwich. The turkey gyro was similarly unimpressive, with turkey that had the consistency of egg salad. The fries were acceptable, but nothing special. This food may be healthy, but consuming it was not a pleasure. 2 bottled waters and 2 lunches came to $15.85. Jennifer says the water was the best part of the meal. Maybe we'd return for some Starbucks coffee and wi-fi time, but we won't be having lunch here again.

Solea Restaurant & Tapas Bar $$ Ethnic - 388 Moody Street - 781-894-1805 Spanish & South American
13 February 2002 review by Peter Endicott

Solea - ate there as a party of four on 2/13/02. We tried 20 out or 24 of the hot tapas. It's a fun way to eat: sufficient portion size to share, and small enough to allow for lots of "courses". Nice variety of items, but, on the whole, I found the spicing a bit bland. Nothing really grabbed me (the way some of the appetizers at Blue Ginger in Wellesley do, for example). Not having much experience with "Spanish" food, I figured there would be some tastes that would be really novel.

Nevertheless, I would happily eat there again because I love having the variety. The concept of tapas matches my preferred dining experience. And the sangria was very tasty.

Pricing was moderate: $100 for all of us. This included wine by the glass and some beer.

Easy parking. Friendly, experienced service. Smoky bar (not my scene - it's amazing how sensitive I've become to the polluting effects of cig smoke now that so many places don't allow smoking. And there were only about 4 couples in the bar.).

12 2002 review by Jim and Sue Salem

Sue and I fell in love with tapas after a trip to southern Spain several years ago. We've enjoyed excellent tapas meals at the Dali Restaurant (branches in both Cambridge/Somerville and Boston).

Solea was disappointing. I first noticed this in the quality of the ingredients. Some vegetables did not seem fresh. The shrimp were very small. Overall, the food was saltier than needed.

We tried a variety of the tapas. None excelled, especially considering the price. A glass of the Sangria was surprisingly bland. If you're looking for good tapas go to Dali.

My favorite part of the restaurant was the ambience, especially the large windows in front.

16 May 2002 review by Chris Murphy

I took a business partner and two collegues to dine at Solea in Waltham in May 2002. I had been to Dali a couple of times and really liked it, so I thought Solea might be a good bet for something different. We ordered about 8-10 tapas dishes ranging from the marinated octopus to the suateed greens. I was thoroughly dissappointed in the food. The octopus was tasteless (as was most of the food we had there that night) and the greens were mushy. We also had the potatoes that were supposed to be spicy, but were bland. The duck leg was OK as was the beef tenderloin. The service when we arrived was pleasant enough, although the lines out of the waiter's mouth were scripted. Unfortunately, after our food came there was only one other visit by him until we were ready to order dessert. Consequently, our numerous empty plates remained on our small table for most of our meal, and we did not get a bread refill.

In short, my recommendation is if you like bland, expensive food and inattentive service, be sure to visit Solea. You won't see me there anytime soon.

13 September 2002 review by Carol of Newton

We've been to Solea in Waltham several times in the past year, largely because the ambience is very nice--especially in the bar and front dining room--and we enjoy the Tapas concept and found the food fine. However, we have been there three times in the last month because we noted a definite improvement in the food and service. We found out they have a new chef who offers many of the same tapas from before, such as the scallops in saffron cream, duckling in berry sauce and the plato mixto, that we've always liked and does them even better. But there are also a few new items, most especially the Boccarones (white anchovies and salmon roe on toast with creme fraiche) which are excellent. We have also taken to ordering from the full dinner side and sharing that as we would a Tapas. We have liked the paella, Argentine steak and Pescado a la sal. While the wait staff is often busy and there may be waits between visits, we tend to chalk that up to the larger number of trips necessary to deliver tapas, but we find them friendly and helpful. Not being fans of Sangria, we have also discovered Solea has an excellent bar and decent wine list, including Cava, the Spanish sparkling wine. We also like it because diners almost always seem to be having a good time. One final note: Solea has the nicest bathrooms in Waltham and possibly in Metro West.

30 March 2003 review by Grant & Deb of Lexington

We hadn't been back to Solea for over a year (about the time of the currently posted reviews), but we liked the quality then and we liked it again this time. We had none of the unsatisfactory experiences cited in the reviews. Although we only had four tapas plates this time around (one a sample plate), all were excellent. The cheeses on the Plato Mixto were particularly sharp and smooth. The pork tenderloin in the Lomito al Cabrales was tender and the blue goat cheese sausce was very tangy. The tostadas were also very tasty as was the tuna dish. Service was swift and impeccable and even though it was quite crowded, they seated us in the dining room in under 15 minutes. Since we ordered all four of our tapas at once, we didn't need to keep getting service for each one. Nevertheless, the staff brought the tapas frias (cold) out first and allowed us a pause to enjoy those before bringing out the tapas calientes (hot). The tapas here are quite different than those we had in a number of Spanish locales, so we don't think a direct comparison is entirely fair. Overall, except for the high noise level (probably due to non-sound-absorbant walls, floor and furnishings) we really liked Solea last year and we liked it again!

26 June 2008 review by Rob Finn

What strikes one first about Solea Restaurant is the outdoor cafe style area filled with laughing patrons, who seem to be oblivious of the day to day rush hour traffic nearby. This area leads into an emaculate foyer. You can see that the owners went out of their way to decorate the inside with a higher lifestyle in mind. I was waited on immediately by an efficient hostess and wait staff, who were more than willing to assist with the menu selection. I ordered the Poblano Relleno and the Pimiento de Piquillo along with a glass of Pinot Gris, Bodegas Lurton, 2007, Mendoza. The meal was served hot and provided a sophisticated experience, honest. I took my time eating it. The wine, meal and check were delivered in an appropriately fashion. The service was excellent. Enjoy.

Sushi Box $$ Japanese , Korean , Thai - 617 Main Street - 781-894-9783 781-894-2120 Apparently name was changed from Sushi Yasu in 2009. Before that it was JTK Grille and Sushi Bar
7 June 2002 review by Christopher S. Penn

Restaurant Yasu - now Sushi Yasu - offers very fresh sushi at reasonable prices, certainly beating the prices in Boston. The staff are very attentive and friendly, but English is definitely not their strong suit. Regulars are given extra attention, and the cooked food is excellent as well. The atmosphere is a bit spartan, but fitting for a sushi restaurant. The only caveat is to never place an order by telephone unless you speak fluent Korean; the staff rarely gets telephone orders correct.

Taqueria El Amigo $$ Mexican - 196 Willow Street - 781-642-7410
16 October 2008 review by Scott

I saw a newspaper article claiming this small establishment had some of the best tacos in the area, so I checked them out. They're near the River Street end of Willow Street, with an entrance next to a biker bar. A small front room has 4 or 5 tables packed in, and the rest of the place is the kitchen. The menu features tacos from 2.00 each, burrito breakfasts, chimichangas, and more specialties. Platillos (Plates) range from 2.50 for tostadas to 11.50 for Fajitas De Camarones featuring grilled shrimp. I tried the recommended Cabeza taco, and the Al Pastor. The Cabeza was a little on the bland side, but the other was delicious. Picco De Gallo, 2.00, was excellent, good and spicy. I'm looking forward to trying some more of their dishes. They open at 10am every day, but are closed on Tuesday.

Tara Restaurant Pizza & More $ Pizza , American - 288 Moody Street - 781-647-0355
22 October 2001 review by Mike Morrison

It's tough to find the perfect words to describe Tara's Restaurant, but I'll try. Mediocre. Average. Typical. Normal. Ordinary. Middle-of-the-road. Nothing special. Not bad. Not exactly life-altering. Completely, totally whelming. Food. You go there, and you get food. It's not particularly bad food, nor is it particularly good food. It fills you up while leaving you vaguely unsatisfied. The service is neither slow nor fast, gregarious nor unfriendly. The employees speak English, but not to excess. The restaurant is not spotless, nor is it filthy. You could eat there without fear of having your meal interrupted by the Board of Health, but you wouldn't stick around just for the ambiance. Nor, for that matter, would you drive there specifically for the food. Tara's is the type of place that you would stop at if you were working in the area or suffering from an attack of the munchies while walking down Moody Street. You shouldn't go out of your way to get there, but you shouldn't go out of your way to avoid it, either. It is the foam peanuts of dining establishments, the movie-drink ice, the plain potato chips. It's filler. It exists. It's a pizza place. It's there. That's about it.

14 May 2004 review by Johnny Five

I was on the internet today to see if Tara Pizza in Waltham had a website. They don't, so instead I found yours. I was shocked by the review given here. This is absolutely the best Italian New York Style Pizza I have had in Waltham or the sorrounding areas. I am originially from Brooklyn so that is saying a lot. The other reviewer on this site must be a big fan of Greek style pizza which I despise and have been tormented by since I moved to the Boston area. Tara is an interesting place.. they have a greek name and serve Italian and Spanish food.. Anyway.. Two thumbs way up for Tara NEOPOLITAN STYLE(wow never thought I would say that again outside of NY) PIZZA!!

9 December 2004 review by Chris Barnett

Your review of Tara does the place a disservice. The pizza may be "mediocre" to your reviewer (my kids have had it and thought it was great!). Under the surface (actually just under the counter) lies the real secret of this place - absolutely the best empanadas in the metro area - beef, chicken and cheese. You don't know what an empanada is? Time to learn! They have caught on in California for some years, but these are the real thing - a fried (not baked) Chilean pastry turnover, filled with - my favorite - minced beef, onion, raisins and black olives, and boiled egg. My brother's favorite (and my son's) are the cheese empanadas, my wife likes the chicken. Where else in Waltham can you get something for everyone, at just $1.75 each. Yes, $1.75 each, and with one of their salads it's a meal, for about $3.50. Can you beat that? We order them by the dozen ($1.50 each by the dozen). Got to go - I have to order 4 dozen for a party tomorrow night.

31 January 2015 review by Anonymous

Here is my review of Tara Restaurant, on Moody. These people are thieves, and they are rude as can be. I have ordered from them at least a dozen times over the years, but my last two encounters will be the last two I ever have. I ordered via Foodler both times. The first time they didn't have what I'd ordered, so when the guy called I gave him a replacement order. It was a dollar more than the original order, and I told him I would give the difference to the driver in cash. He agreed. Five minutes later some other guy calls back, starts yelling at me that I was trying to cheat them, abruptly cancels my order and hangs up. I should have quit then. Fast forward a year or so, I give them another chance. Again, this time, they were out of one of the things I ordered. I missed their phone call, and didn't see an email from Foodler until about an hour later when I was wondering where the food was. The email said they were out of the dish, so I called them. Gave my name, and the guy says "your order will be there in a few minutes." Okay, great. When it shows up it's missing half the order. They knocked ten bucks off the cost, but what am I supposed to do, feed only half my crew? I declined the order and sent it back with the driver, who by the way agreed with me 100%. Now, Tara refuses to refund the order. Not only have they lost my business forever, but I'm now going to have to fight them over $30. I would suggest that you avoid these unscrupulous, angry people and deal with someone who actually wants your business.

Tempo $$$ American - 474 Moody Street - 781-891-9000 American-style bistro
23 February 2005 review by Jennifer and Scott

Less than a week after it's opening, this new restaurant on Moody Street was bustling at 6:30 on a Wednesday night. The dark wood tables and leather seating reminded us of the steakhouse decor at the former C.P. Nuttings. Wait staff were friendly and plentiful at our booth next to the kitchen. A wine list of several pages includes bottles ranging from $24 to $170, and glasses from $6 to $12. The menu itself was a single page, with appetizers, salads, and entrees. We ordered a Baby Spinach Salad ($7) to share, the Panko Encrusted Chicken Breast ($16), and Crispy-Skinned Wild Salmon ($22). The Spinach Salad was a large portion, with a novel mix of carmelized onions, dried tomatoes, and Great Hill blue cheese. Both entrees were artfully presented, and well prepared. 2 chicken breasts came with pears, almonds, and plain mashed potatoes that might have had more spice. A generous piece of salmon was served over a polenta cake and some nicely spiced mixed greens. The meal was pleasant, but the seats in the booth are a tight fit. We didn't get a chance to try one of the 5 desserts priced from $6 to $8. Tempo is promising, but we'd like to see a larger menu to complement the impressive wine list.

11 March 2005 review by Amanda Song

A friend and I decided to check out Tempo, 3 weeks after they had been open on a Thursday night. The place was fairly full and we were told that there would be a 15 minute wait for a table. But there was room in the bar area, and they serve the full menu at the bar, so we decided to eat there. We started out with drinks, a Cosmo for me and a Vodka tonic with just a splash of cranberry for my friend. She is picky that it only be a splash, and the drink came out "the perfect color", so far so good. For dinner my friend ordered the crab cakes and the spinach salad (caramelized onion, gorgonzola, oven dried tomatoes with a vinaigrette), I ordered the Kobe beef burger with apple smoked bacon, caramelized onions, cheddar cheese, and I also remember mushrooms being there as well. The burger came with a side of fries that were perfectly crispy on the outside and soft in the inside. They were also served with a side of homemade ketchup which was wonderful (you can get Heinz 57 on request if you prefer). My burger was done perfectly well all the way through, the tomato was red (the right color for a tomato) and the lettuce was fresh and crisp (no evidence of sitting under a heat lamp for a prolonged period of time) My friend said her crab cakes were excellent and the salad was perfect, not too heavy on the dressing. For dessert I had ordered a decaf coffee and the frozen chocolate mouse with coconut macaroon and passion fruit sorbet. The mousse set atop a little brownie like crust and was placed in a pool of coconut creme. Even though I was full from the burger, I ate every last bite of this wonderful dessert. In summary, the service was excellent, the food was very good, and the atmosphere was trendy and fun. A great addition to Moody Street. Bon Appetite!

28 October 2005 review by A F

This place is more like $$$. Upscale atmosphere, but noisy. Great kobe burgers ($14) served with their own ketchup and very crispy fries. Unless you stick with the burger, the check can add up pretty quickly. Also good for after dinner for their creative desserts, especially on the weekends when there is live music.

Tree Top Thai Cuisine $$ Thai - 53 Prospect Street - 781-894-3444
11 January 2002 review by Eric Salerno

My fiance' and I have had Tree Top's food twice, once in the restaurant, and more recently, I called in my order from work, and they had it ready (cooked only minutes ago) when I got there.

While their Shrimp Pad Thai had a few too many sprouts, and only a few shrimp, the noodles and flavor made up for it. We started eating, figuring on left overs, and when all was said and done, the container was empty.

The Chicken Pineapple says it's made with Curry, but it isn't very strong. Plenty of chicken and veggies in there. Flavor wasn't quite as impressive as the Pad Thai.

The Mango Curry and Chicken Yellow Curry are both excellent, and I am sure anyone who orders won't be disappointed.

The atmosphere is cozy, since the restaurant is small, (this is a plus in my book), excellent colors ( I remember a lot of red)- very friendly service as well. Plan on spending approx. $30 for two, if you get an appetizer or two.

Umi $$ Japanese - 475 Winter Street - 781-890-0089, 781-890-9645 fax: 781-890-2139 Asian, Opened in August 2015. Sato closed in February of 2015
21 August 2015 review by Bonnie & Scott

I was looking forward to dining at Umi after an old favorite, Sato was closed down and remodeled. We arrived early on a Friday evening, with only a few diners, but staff waiting near the register to serve new diners. I ordered a 9.00 glass of wine, and a Sushi Regular entree normally 17.95 but with an extra dollar for a substitute. Bonnie asked for the Dried Sauteed String Beans for 10.95. The new decor was angular and clean looking. Blue lights around the sushi bar somehow made me feel I was on the deck of a starship. A 10.00 glass of Clean Slate Riesling was soon delivered instead of the wine I ordered. The miso soup that came with the sushi entree, along with a salad, was very good, not overly salty like it is at some places. The sushi came on a long white tray with 6 tuna rolls on one end, and 6 other pieces on the other end, 1 tuna, 2 salmon, shrimp, octopus, and the substituted eel. A small pile of pickled ginger, and a large lump of wasabi with a cucumber fan occupied the center. Most were fresh and good, but the slice of octopus was too large, and hard to eat. The beans were pretty good, though a little greasy, but the ones on one end of the bowl were spicier than the ones on the other side. One thing that detracted from the meal was the over frequent visits from the wait staff asking if everything was alright. It was also surprising that nothing was served at the end of the Japanese meal, as is traditional at many restaurants. It may be that they are still gearing up with the new menu and staff, but all in all this was not an exceptional meal. For Japanese, at least, you can get a better meal and more pleasant service for less at other places in Waltham. Perhaps next time we will try some of the Asian entrees.

The Upper Crust $$ Pizza - 435 Moody Street - 781-736-0044 Closed as of October, 2012
17 August 2006 review by Jennifer and Scott

The Upper Crust, billed as "Not Your Average Pizza", opened in the summer of 2007 in half of what used to be the Panopticon Gallery on Moody Street. Their pizza is excellent, but the dine-in experience is not their forte. They offer a full range of thin crust Neapolitan style pizzas, with a basic cheese pizza ($11.75 for a small 14 inch), meat and vegetarian pizzas for 13.75 to 16.10, and Seafood Specialties from 14.75 to 19.75 for the small Lobster Fra Diavlo. We ordered a small prosciutto and roasted red peppers pie (1.25 per topping), a small garden salad (3.58), an endlessly refillable soda and a Harpoon summer ale. The decor is modernistic with high and low tables and bar in the middle of the narrow room. The trademark reflective disks suspended from the ceiling helped to bring in light from the storefront. The beer and an unremarkable salad were soon delivered waiter who was doing double duty as cashier. When the take-out traffic picked up, our waiter was occupied. The pizza proved to be delicious, with a crust crisp enough to stand up to the sauce and toppings. It doesn't look like they take credit cards yet. As pizza places go, the prices are upper crust, but your cash buys you one of the best pizzas in town.

Victoria's Cafe Restaurant $ Diner , Ethnic - 241 Crescent Street - Opened in January of 2003, serving American breakfasts and Peruvian the rest of the day. They closed in February of 2012, due to Waltham Watch Factory's termination of their lease.
29 February 2004 review by Eric Salerno

Run by friendly staff, this small cafe with very reasonable prices is attached to the Waltham Watch Factory building. The menu includes an excellent variety of breakfast and brunch specialties. Their eggs benedict is done very well, and omelets and egg sandwiches are prepared with care. In the summer time a choice between flavored and regular iced coffees is especially nice. The interior isn't huge, but most tables are near a window. In the summer time, there is seating outside. So take a walk on the bicycle path that connects Moody and Prospect Streets (at the bridge over the Charles) and visit Victoria's for a relaxed weekend breakfast off the main restaurant rows of Waltham!

7 March 2004 review by Dave Ventura

Victoria's is a cozy, clean, and brightly colored (red and white) cafe that is serviced by the most polite staff and able cook. Besides offering the usual breakfast fare common at any breakfast restaurant you are offered some interesting choices. For instance, you have 3 choices of French toast, Texas, California, and Crunchy. My wife had the crunchy which consists of wheat bread crusted with corn flakes with very fresh and large strawberries and bananas. I got to try some and it was very good. I had the everything omelet with tomatoes, peppers, onions, mushrooms, bacon, ham and cheese. It was large, moist, flavorful with very fresh ingredients and definitely not greasy. The home fries were mixed with sauteed onions and peppers to give them a little flavor. The coffee was excellent. My wife had the decaf which had a slightly nutty taste that I too got to sample and enjoyed. I had the regular coffee which was very rich tasting. For a small operation only serving breakfast and lunch they had a very large menu selection. We are looking forward to going back!

Waltham Pizza $ Pizza - 168 Lexington Street - 781-891-3744
20 June 2002 review by Haryanto Hokianto

Nice, casual place opposite the Waltham Police Station (Makes you feel safe always). This place has the best chicken wings!! I've had chicken wings from around the world: Asia, Europe, Australia, America and this place is the champion! Other subs and pizza taste good as well, but if anyone ever goes there, order a large pack of chicken wings, you'll never want to eat wings from other places.

16 August 2009 review by Greg

I went to Waltham Pizza today for carryout. I phoned in an order of 2 large cheese pizzas for 11.99 as advertised on the website. After picking up and paying for the pizza, I noticed that they charged me 18.04 for the two large cheese pizzas. I told them that it was only 11.99, as anybody can see on their website or menu. They said that since I did not specify that I wanted the deal that it was not valid. I spoke to the owner while in the store and she said she could not change it. When I got home, the pizzas were over cooked and the cheese was burnt. I told the owner I would never go back since she did not follow her advertised price. Do yourself a favor and stay away from Waltham Pizza and go somewhere else for better service and better quailty food. DO NOT GO TO WALTHAM PIZZA.

31 October 2009 review by Sevan

If you like Greek style pizza Waltham Pizza is the place to go! Everyday they have freshmade pizzas..My family and I love it there and we eat from there once a week!! We love their PIZZA, hot/cold subs, their calzones and their WINGS are the BEST IN TOWN!!! As for Greg who didn't get his pizza for $11.99 and wrote a bad review is just uncalled for! Give them a shot again, i'm sure you & the owner had a misunderstanding,because they are really really friendly & nice & do anything to satisfy their customers! I recommend this place to everyone in Waltham, its been there for 16 years with good food for a great price! Can't get that anywhere!

8 November 2011 review by Ryan

After traveling to Boston from Rochester, NY my wife and I decided to get pizza delivered to our hotel room. We asked the people at the front desk and they suggested Waltham Pizza. We ordered a cheese pizza and mild wings. The price was a little much, but we figured it would be worth it. The pizza tasted like cardboard and the wings were over cooked with something like Franks Red Hot Sauce on them. When I called them back a woman, who claimed she was the manager, stated that she didn't even know what mild wings were and mocked me for saying they were too hot. She was very rude. This was the worst pizza and wings I have ever had and not very good customer service.

Watch City Brewing Company $$ American - 256 Moody Street - 781-647-4000 Brew pub, Closed as of June 29, 2014
17 July 1999 review by Jennifer and Scott

The Brewing Company is on the corner of Moody and Pine Street, near to the Embassy Theater and parking lot, and shopping on Moody Street. The brewery can be seen behind glass walls on the left of the entry to the restaurant, which features a large bar right in the center surrounded by tables and booths. We found it to be quieter in the smaller front section opposite from the brewery.

This brew pub features several beers brewed on the premises all year round, and a selection of seasonal offerings. I had a pint of Wheatweisser ($3.50) which I found to be a refreshing example of German style wheat beer. The food offerings have evolved in the several years since the establishment opened.

Jennifer had the chicken burger with ham and swiss cheese ($7.95) which she rated as "much improved" with a nice smoky flavor. I had the grilled salmon with summer squash and zucchini over rice ($12.95). I thought this salmon garnished with orange and lemon slices and grilled red pepper was great.

Watch City Diner $ Diner , Italian - 136 Prospect Street - Closed during the summer of 2003. It was later open as Sabatino's Italian Kitchen
11 January 2002 review by Eric Salerno

When I am pressed for time, and want to stop in some place for quick, high quality Italian food, I stop here. The first time I ate here (Fall 2000), the sauce smelled like my Grandmothers (really- and she's Italian!). Since then, things have changed a little, but I still frequent the place since they really care about the food they prepare, and put the time into their sauce. I enjoy their Veal Parmesan, and their perfectly cooked Ravioli. (usually on special for about $9). They also serve these bread triangles that I can't get enough of - I am sure you will see what I mean if you visit. They are also an excellent choice for a late morning breakfast on the weekend.

4 September 2001 review by Rita Long

I actually don't think of Watch City Diner as a diner, but as a take-out/delivery Italian restaurant. The food is great, I usually get two meals out of every entree, it comes fast (even though I don't live near the diner), and it comes hot. A great choice for family or casual company at home.

Wendy's Restaurant $ American - 806 Main Street - Formerly at this location: Arbys, torn down in 2001
1 January 2002 review by Jennifer and Scott

A fast food restaurant is judged differently than a place where you are expected to take your time with a meal. A good fast food joint will deliver consistent food quickly, be it to eat in or to take to go. This Wendy's opened a week ago, at a site formerly occupied by a usually empty Arbys. This night the food was consistent, but the wait was not what you'd expect at Wendy's. A single entrance for both parking and drive-thru, located right at the traffic light at Bacon Street, was a severe bottleneck for both types of diners. There are 2 exits on the other side of the building, one for the drive-thru, and another for the parkers. Maybe zoning restrictions had something to do with this, but this would have worked a lot better with 2 entrances, and a single exit for everybody. Once we got in, there was a line almost to the door, waiting for the 2 struggling cashiers. There's lots of seating (maybe too much, making it more crowded than necessary), and a busy carpet pattern. No salad bar in this one. The twenty minute wait (6:30 pm on a holiday) could be explained by staff still learning how to run a fast food restaurant. Hopefully this operation will become more streamlined as it goes along. Our single burger and double burger were hot, with the usual Wendy's flavor. The fries were good, but they mixed up our drink orders. All in all, this would be better if they addressed the traffic flow, and worked on their efficiency.

Winter Street Cafe $$ Japanese , Chinese - 475 Winter Street - Changed its name to Sato but still serves Japanese and Chinese meals. There was once a Chinese restaurant at this location. Lanai Island?
13 February 2001 review by Jennifer and Scott

The Winter Street Cafe serves Japanese and Chinese cuisine at a busy plaza which also hosts a Thai restaurant, and a pizza bistro. It's a long, narrow room fronted by windows, split by a long counter for takeout and a sushi bar. The Cafe does not serve alcohol, but the store next door sells wine and beer which can be brought in. The walls are lightly colored, with soft fabric panels opposite the counter, and light wood trim. Asian pop music plays in the background. The menu starts with general appetizers, the middle section features popular Chinese entrees, and the last lists sushi specials and other Japanese entrees. The Chinese chef's specialties range from $9.75 (Sesame Chicken/Beef) to $12.50 (Peppery Crispy Shrimp). Sushi specials, served with miso soup, range from $13.95 to $23.95, and Japanese entrees, served with rice and soup, are between $10.95 and $14.95. We had Scallion Pancakes ($3.95) as an appetizer, and they were crisp, light, and flavorful. Jennifer had the Chinese entree of Chicken in Garlic Sauce ($8.75) and white rice ($1.25). This featured good vegetables, a spicy sauce, and lots of chicken. I had the Nigiri and Maki special ($16.95) served with a nice miso soup. This contained 6 slices each of salmon roll, Naruto cucumber roll, and 4 kinds of Maki. The ingredients were all very fresh, and tasty. Service throughout the meal was efficient, and the staff was very friendly and attentive.

Wright Seafood $$ American - 33 Lexington Street - In February, 2012 Kabob & Tandoor opened at this address, but has since moved again.
26 March 2004 review by Jennifer and Scotts

In the beginning of 2004, both of Waltham's long lived seafood restaurants were closed. Just in time for Lent, Wright Seafood & Italian Restaurant opened at the site of the former Waltham Seafood on March 19, 2004. The decor is much the same inside and out as it had been; it has a cozy kitchen atmosphere. On a Friday night there was a line to the doors by 5:45, but we were seated at one of the booths in the modestly sized dining room within 20 minutes. The largest part of the menu is the fish and shellfish: fried, baked, broiled, grilled or blackened, from $8.95 for Fish & Chips (regular or spicy) to $16.95 for the Fisherman's Platter. Twin market price lobsters were available for $29.95 on the day we visited. I ordered the Chef's Choice Assorted Platter broiled for $15.95. An assortment of Italian Specialties includes pasta, veal & chicken dinners. They prices range from $7.95 for Pasta with sauce to $18.95 for Shrimp & Lobster Fra Diablo. Jennifer ordered the Chicken Kabob for $10.95. Water and diet cola were delivered along with 4 warmed rolls with butter. A cup of clam chowder ($3.25) was creamy, with clams and small chunks of potato. The fish platter came with a baked potato and crisp, cold cole slaw. The 3 large shrimp and 4 scallops were very good. A good sized piece of salmon and a fillet of fish were also nicely prepared. It was more than I could eat on the spot. The kebab was served over a bed of rice pilaf and mixed vegetables. One also had the choice of potato, french fries and cole slaw. The chicken was very good, except for the stray bit of swordfish mixed in. There was an even longer line at the door by the time we headed home. Wright's is a good choice for good seafood on a budget.

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