Archive for the ‘Watertown’ category

The best hidden secret in Watertown’s Arsenal Mall…

September 5, 2011

…is definitely Coffee Traders, a family-owned coffee and wrap/sandwich/salad business. Every time I go to the mall or am in the vicinity of the mall, I stop there for a mozzarella and basil wrap.

The mozzarella and basil are always super-fresh, and so are the tomatoes that are also included in the soft pita. I like how the pita is nice and thin, so you don’t feel too full after eating it. You can have them add whatever sauce you’d like (including ranch and blue cheese), but I always go for their staple sauce: olive oil, salt and pepper. Perfecto. Today I introduced my sister to this hidden gem.

I got my usual mozzarella and basil wrap:

And she got a buffalo chicken salad:

She got her salad with ranch dressing (and buffalo sauce of course), and loved it. According to her, it was nice having grilled chicken instead of the usual fried chicken. She felt nice and healthy, which is a big reason why I love this little joint. It’s definitely much healthier than the other eateries in this food court (including Regina Pizzeria, a Mexican place and Burger King). She also liked how the buffalo sauce was less spicy than what she’s accustomed to.

If you can, try to support this business! It’s nice knowing the money goes to a family versus a big corporation. And they have ice cream and a wide variety of coffee drinks.

Super Fitness in Watertown doesn’t put customers first

August 27, 2010

I keep complaining about companies, but this complaint is truly merited. Up until a couple of weeks ago I belonged to the Super Fitness gym in Watertown. I decided to end my membership as I was moving to Somerville, about a 20-minute drive from the gym.

I looked at a copy of my contract to make sure I could end my membership. Turns out toward the bottom of the contract there was a note about it being for two years. The only way I could get out of the contract is if I moved something like 25 miles away, or had proof I couldn’t exercise.

Neither of these conditions applied to me, unfortunately. I was angry at myself for having signed the contract, but also at my gym for the way it had represented the contract. I remember meeting with one of the gym’s employees, and telling him I would only sign up if my membership was a month-to-month commitment. He said it was, and that whenever I wanted to end it I could with no penalty.

Well, so much for that. Looking at my contract I realized he had lied. I went to my gym to see if I could end my membership anyway. I was given a phone number, and told to call “Shelly” in Quincy. I called her, left a message. and waited. She didn’t get back to me so I left another message and sent an email detailing my situation.

She finally called me back, and said I could end my membership early for $50. Normally she’d charge $100, she said, but because I had attended the gym for so long (a year and a half) she would give me the discount. I appreciated her offer, though I was disappointed she hadn’t apologized for her colleague’s misleading words the day I signed up for the gym.

I ended up sending Shelly my $50 check. I called and emailed her numerous times to make sure she had received it. No response. I ended up confirming she’d received my check by looking at my bank account.

Shelly had told me my membership would last until the end of August, as I had paid my monthly membership fee for all of August.

I went to the gym toward the beginning of August, and my card was rejected. The girl at the counter told me my membership was over. She said I’d have to call Shelly. I called her but received no call back (surprise, surprise). It’s like as soon as she had all of my money she didn’t care about helping me anymore.

I don’t know if any of this conduct merits a Better Business Bureau complaint. But at least I can use this blog to spread the word about the gym’s practices.

It looks I’m not the only one who’s experienced their poor customer service/was lied to about what I was signing.

Photo credit: www.flickr.com/photos/34909987@N07/3265269814

Power in Watertown shut off at an inopportune time

July 12, 2010

My boyfriend and I were watching the World Cup final yesterday. The game was starting to get pretty good, with around 20 minutes left. And then, what do you know? The power shuts off! This was sometime between 4 and 4: 30 p.m.

I immediately called NSTAR to report the outage. Initially we were told the power would be back on around 5:30. But it didn’t end up being restored until 8 p.m. or so! According to an automated message from NSTAR, the outage was caused by “damage to high voltage equipment.”

Around 7:30 p.m. or so we took a walk to get some more information about the outage. We headed from my apartment on Mount Auburn Street beside the Cambridge border toward Coolidge Square. Lots and lots of people were on their porches, preferring the cool air outside to the stuffiness of their homes (resulting from no working air conditioning or fans).

We saw a crew working on a telephone pole in front of the Collins Gallery:

Power appeared to be out up until the intersection at Arlington Street. We ended up eating dinner at the Mount Auburn Grill, where our waitress told us she hadn’t heard the power was out down the street. On a side note, my beef shish kebab (served with onions, green peppers and rice) was very good. Strangely, though, no one else was taking advantage of the restaurant’s good food. We were the only ones there!

Luckily, my boyfriend and I ended up getting to see the rest of the World Cup game once power was restored. It was being shown again on a Spanish language channel:-)!

A walk down Belmont Street

April 2, 2010

Today I got my hair permed at the Belmont Beauty Salon at 195 Belmont St. The owner, Nahrein Zavaro, did a fabulous job.

Before, my hair was dry, dead (well I know hair is already dead, but let’s say it was especially dead), and colored at the bottom.

Now my hair is curly, healthy, and all one color.

Me after the perm

I HIGHLY advise people living in the Watertown/Belmont area to check out Nahrein’s place.

It’s only been around a month or so, but she has years of experience. She is very sweet, and not afraid to be honest about your hair and its needs.

Since today is gorgeous out, I walked to the hair salon. I took a few pics on the way.

Here is a sign my bf and I have long joked about. It’s hanging up in the window of the Olympic House of Pizza.

Does spag sauce and M. balls sound appetizing to you?

We think that the House of Pizza couldn’t have done a better job making spaghetti and meatballs sound less appetizing. But maybe you disagree.

Also, I didn’t realize eggplant was in fact two words. Is this not eggplant in the traditional sense, but rather a plant made of eggs?

Next is a picture of Guido’s, an Italian restaurant/bar I recently checked out.

Guido's

It definitely caters to the older crowd at night (mostly people in their 40s, 50s and 60s), but that’s all good. They were rocking the oldies classics on the electronic jukebox machine, and gossiping about west-side Cambridge happenings. One man had met WCVB’s Bianca de la Garza in Harvard Square the previous day and was proud. My Smithwicks tasted like it had been on tap a little too long, but besides that it was a fun experience. Oh yeah, the joint also has cool Red Sox photos on the walls.

Here’s a generic shot of Belmont Street:

Belmont Street

Not too exciting, I know, but I keep it real.

Next we have a photo of the Eastern Lamejun Bakers. For those of you who don’t know, Lamejun is Armenian pizza. it’s a pita crust with meat, peppers and spices on top. I had one from this place a few weeks ago, and thought it was quite tasty. You can get it with lamb, beef or chicken, or vegetarian-style.

This bakery has a variety of other Armenian products, including cheese, breads and coffee.

Eastern Lamejun Bakers

The next two pictures are of places I want to try out. One is Conley’s Pub & Grill, and the other is Michael’s Pizza. Michael’s Pizza apparently sells calzones, something a few friends and I have every Thursday for “calzone night.” Calzone night is a longstanding tradition for several members of the group, who have been regularly gathering for the tasty treat for more than six years now. My favorite calzone is the Christinezone (named it after myself since I discovered it). It’s spinach, sausage, ricotta cheese and mozzarella cheese.

Michael's Pizza

Conley's

Moving on, here’s a picture of Belmont Street Gas.

Nothing too exciting, but I thought I would credit them for their relatively low gas prices. Of the various gas stations I passed by today, their gas was the cheapest.

Belmont Street Gas

My last photo was taken on the way back from the hair salon. I was admiring my perm in storefront windows when I heard “Miss, would you like to buy some lemonade or iced tea?”

I turned my head and saw three children behind a lemonade stand. They were so cute, maybe about 6 or 7 years old. I think they were home early from school because it’s Good Friday.

Anyway, I bought a cup of lemonade for 75 cents (How could I say no?). They were very happy. I asked them how much they had earned so far, and they told me $4. But they had just started, so they hoped to earn a lot more.

Their plan was to later spend their money on slushies at Belmont Variety. Sounds good to me!

Here’s a pic of the yummy lemonade:

My cup of lemonade

My cup of lemonade

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Boston Globe to soon unveil Watertown site

March 22, 2010

I was surprised to see that the Boston Globe will soon be covering my town of Watertown, Massachusetts.

The Globe began rolling out its “Your Town” sites more than a year ago, and each time a new round of sites were unveiled, Watertown was missing from the mix.

I regularly read the Watertown TAB & Press (where I used to work) online for news about Watertown.

It”ll be cool to have another source for Watertown news, as I find the Globe doesn’t cover Watertown much now. And even if the Globe won’t be covering Watertown much more than it does now, at least its Watertown news will all be in once place.

Oh how I love The Danish Pastry House

March 1, 2010

This post is to recognize my favorite breakfast place in the greater Boston area. I have to hand it to The Danish Pastry House, which specializes in pastries, cakes, and breads, among other items.

I go to the bakery’s Medford location a couple of times a month on the weekend. I pick out a croissant, muffin, or scone, get some of their coffee, and read the Boston Globe.

Never am I disappointed. The pastries are delicious and so is the coffee. The staff is always friendly and the café itself is cute and comfortable.

If you want something different try their signature Danish pastry, the marzipan-filled kringle. It’s my favorite, though I generally opt for a healthier option. You should also try their spandauer (cheese Danish), their cinnamon puff pastry snails, and their almond croissants.

They sell a host of other products, like hearty sandwiches on baguette rolls, chocolates and pies. They cater events, and have a location in Watertown that primarily serves as a retail bakery. They have someone at the counter so you can stop by there to get a meal.

When I was still working for the Watertown TAB & Press, I made a YouTube video of the Danish Pastry Shop making pies for Thanksgiving at their Watertown location. Check it out if you’d like:

Cool ambiance at Asiana Fusion in Watertown

October 7, 2009

I checked out Asiana Fusion on Main Street in Watertown the other night.  According to the restaurant’s Web site, it combines “the best elements of Korean, Japanese, Chinese and Thai” favorites.

While my Kung Pao chicken was good, and so was the Pu pu platter my friends and I ordered for an appetizer, my favorite thing about the restaurant was its soothing ambiance. The lighting is low with the exception of candles and a few lamps. (more…)


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