So my fiancée and I are starting to consider where we might eventually buy a house. We're serious foodies - you may have been following our quest for various morsels for our reception - and currently loving life in Cambridge/Somerville, but buying a house here is very, very tough.
So we're looking at mass-transit-accessible suburbs where we might be able to afford a small single-family house and still eat well. We tend to gravitate towards cheap eats rather than upscale - especially good international food (the kind served by immigrants for immigrants) and to some extent classic American bad-for-you food (BBQ, deep fried horrors, diner food/road food in general). We don't know most of the suburbs that well, though, and are looking for suggestions. We were thinking maybe Salem, Lowell or possibly Watertown (though the latter is tough to afford). Any suggestions? Good grocery stores nearby and a town centre with a walkable/village feel (especially with an arts community) would be great things to have as well. We're not going to have kids, so schools are not an issue, and while we're not wusses about crime, we would like to be able to walk home alone after dark and feel reasonably safe. (We considered Dorchester very seriously and spent a lot of time looking there, but the neighbourhoods we liked most, especially Fields Corner, tended to be a little on the stabby side - plus the houses tended to be so large that they were either unaffordable, falling apart, or subdivided into condos, which we don't want.)