Modeled after one of Malden's most comforting symbols—its collection of red-brick firehouses–District 7 is a place where patrons can instantly feel at ease, whether ordering a filling meal or just grabbing a beer and watching a game. Today, the restaurant's red-and-black interior envelops guests in a firehouse theme right in Malden Square, where they savor plates of wings or marinated steak tips and sip a selection of conventional and specialty beers poured straight from bar taps—including a Guinness handle atop a miniature fire hydrant. As sports games roll on flat-panel televisions, guests share stories from high-backed booths or toast to the legacy of Smokey the Bear beside a cozy stone fireplace.
Once they open the shop in the early morning, Jitters Cafe's sandwich makers stop looking at the clock. They prepare their slate of breakfast paninis any time of the day, giving patrons the ability to bite into hot ham-and-egg sandwiches or scarf down grilled-cheese sandwiches whenever the mood strikes. The lunch hour unlocks another list of paninis and salads that join in the hunger-fighting mission throughout the rest of the day. Each sandwich is made with bread freshly delivered that morning from local sources and pairs well with the shop’s brewed coffee.
Since 1952, the cuisine designers at DiBlasi’s have prepared a menu of cold cuts, hot subs, and pizza. Two football-starting-lineups' worth of signature cold cuts wear culinary jerseys, such as the steak and cheese (up to $6.25) and the Steak Bomb—which binds together a tasty amalgam of pepper, mushroom, onion, salami, and cheese (up to $6.75). Hot subs, such as the meaty bacon-cheeseburger sandwich (up to $6.75), warm hands then stomachs like an edible pair of electric gloves, and a slice of Sicilian-style pizza ($2) presents a mealtime geometry lesson. DiBlasi’s also assembles a variety of wraps ($5.50–$6.75), which encase tasty blends of meat and vegetables.
Pastalina's Restaurant serves hearty baked pastas and chicken and veal dishes inspired by the Avellino region of southern Italy. Chef and owner Rocco Ciccone whips up a menu full of flavorful dishes such as a zesty puttanesca peppered with capers and olives, and rich pasta alla matriciana, filled with bacon, onions, and plum tomatoes. The restaurant’s catering packages, which can be tailored to huge wedding parties as well as intimate get-togethers, feature homemade fusilli, caprese salad, fruit platters, chicken cacciatore, and other offerings.
Chinese and Japanese culinary traditions unite inside the walls of Asia Palace, appeasing polar cravings with meals ranging from spicy General Tso’s chicken, scorched with red peppers, to sushi hand rolls with cooling ingredients such as cucumber, raw salmon, and creamy avocado. The sushi bar also churns out specialty sushi rolls with some heat, including the wasabi roll with tuna and yellowtail as well as the lobster roll topped with crunchy spicy tuna. Classic dishes from other areas of Asia include pad thai with peanuts and egg; singapore rice noodles with wok-fried shrimp, pork, and chicken in a curry sauce; and lychee nuts—which are played with in place of marbles in Korea.