Recently my wife's company moved to the Silver "Lake" neighborhood of Newton. It's in that hardest to get to part of the Garden City over by Watertown. While the commute leaves a lot to be desired it does have some shops and kitchens worth getting close to. Russo's (produce wonderland) is not far across the Charles. Others nearby include DePasquale's Sausage (super high quality sweet and hot italian links and the basics to cook Italian), Chung Shin Yuan's extraordinary dim sum on the weekend (and hyper ordinary weekdays), Maria di Napoli's real deal osteria (a friend's Nonna is in the cucina) and a certain unassuming sub shop that's been a popular lunch counter since 1958.
Here's the Friends part: http://www.bostonmagazine.com/article...
"I love Boston, but it’s tough to get a good sandwich here. Go to Giuseppe’s down in Nonantum. There’s a line out the door at lunchtime." Matt LeBlanc, actor and local son sent me.
Matt "Joey" LeBlanc hails from just round the cahner and has apparently eaten enough of Guiseppe's Subs to reach to Hollywood if put end to end. The star of Showtime's "Episodes" noted "Cheap, too. Well, not as cheap as it was — ". When Matt was a kid they were 85¢ a throw and still a good deal at $4.75 for a substantial small. There are tons of daily specials like chicken parm and pasta but I'd heard the meatball sub and the burger sub w/onions n' gravy were the things to get. Thursday is hot dog day (3/3.75) and on Saturday baked sausage can be had. Chowhounds had recently sighted it as one of the least romantic spots. My better half had scouted the shop and quickly got hers to go when she became somewhat frighted of a toothless homeless guy eating american chop suey. Must've been a Tuesday. Her story goes on to tell how a non verbal non glove wearing proprietor disappeared out back and quick as a creepy wink, returned, sub in a bag proffered. Whisked back to the office she proclaimed it however subalicious! A superior meatball on fresh bread that did not overpower the meaty melty provoloney red saucy spucky. It disintegrated or was otherwise vaporized. Really?
I'd driven by the place untold times and never heard of it or noticed the very plan red brick store front. It seems a little scary like a front for some nefarious activity. So today I descended to see for myself, with a wing man. I was met by a lovely proprietress who knew Le Blanc back when, even had his autographed 8x10 on the wall although she was surprised to hear about his pitch for the place. (Paparazzi note: "He comes in all the time..."). The subs were real. Real good. A sign warns "No Lettuce" in this very local everybody knows your name lunch only type spa. Homemade pickled peppers were choice. Had to get an Italian cold cuts with their pickled veggies. Bingo. Just sayin'. The spartan but neat shop was adorned with bit of sports memorabilia and "Joey's" glossy. The spinning diner style stools reminded me of a thousand lunch counters and breakfast boîtes where I've clanked heavy coffee mugs with the local crowd. While the place was clearly not romantic one CH noted that "even fear is part of romance". I personally love the places that don't change. Maybe bright and clean or otherwise, busy or past their hey day, but firmly mired in the past. Like the White Hut in Springfield. Happy memories of lunch, breakfast and lunchtime repartee, calories, caffeine...harmless old headlines we've solved or survived. They transport me to other decades, and let's face it, the sixties are looking pretty good right about now. Back then I did not know the words cholesterol or triglyceride.
Chung Shin Yuan
183 California St, Newtonville, MA 02458
A. Russo and Sons
Watertown, MA, Watertown, MA
DePasquale's Sausage Co.
325 Watertown St, Newton, MA 02458-1322
Giuseppe's Sub Shop
309 Watertown St, Newtonville, MA 02458
Ristorante Maria Dinapoli
344 Watertown St, Newtonville, MA 02458