Visitors to Tabrizi Bakery are in for a rare treat, or treats, as the case may be. Owner Mohammad Tahmili was born in Tabriz, and grew up in Tehran, all the while immersed in the family business: baking. Today at his own bakery, Mohammad sticks to family recipes passed down through many generations, giving visitors a chance to try Iranian baked goods they may never have heard of before. For example, clover-shaped cookies––called "nokodi"––owe their melt-in-your-mouth texture to chic pea flour, while baklava gets a Persian-style twist with a filling made of pistachios, honey syrup, and rosewater. There's traditional Greek baklava too, alongside small, soft, honey-dipped pastries known as "bami" and decadent pastries such as cream puffs, napoleons, and feather-light sponge cakes. Also on display is a selection of imported groceries, from specialty oils and nuts, to packages of Turkish delight candy. The bakery also uses fresh cream to create from-scratch cakes, perfect those celebrating a special event, whether it be a birthday, an anniversary, a wedding, or a forgiven library fine.
Uncommon Grounds is more than just a gathering place for Watertown’s residents—it’s also a place where Watertown’s locally produced foods come together in the form of creative breakfast and lunch dishes. Nashoba Brooks Bakery and Russo’s Produce are just a few Watertown producers the chefs tap for ingredients to produce their delectable dishes. Fluffy lemon ricotta pancakes—infused with fresh lemon zest and ricotta cheese—are a big crowd pleaser with early-risers, as are the caprese breakfast sandwiches, which cradle strips of applewood bacon, smoked gouda cheese, and layers of pesto mayo between slices of ciabatta bread. That sort of creativity carries over to the coffee menu, where diners can choose from candy- and- dessert-themed lattes, such as the Almond Joy, the Milky Way, and the Cinnamon Bun brew, any of which is sure to awaken your inner child and exhaust its babysitter. Of course, Uncommon Grounds also keeps the spirit alive well into the lunch hour, doling out hot Panini sandwiches, burritos, and burgers.
Sevan Bakery has been bringing a taste of Armenia to the Watertown community for more than 40 years. It all started in 1971, the year the family-owned bakery first began baking fresh breads like Armenian pida, lavash, and simit––a savory, sesame ring filled with cheese or olive paste. Then, in 1984, the family decided their neighbors were ready for more, and so they began preparing generations-old family recipes that, like their beloved baked goods, are made from-scratch each day. Now, when customers drop by for crusty French loaves or savory boregs (turnovers), they can also grab ready-to-eat entrees and side dishes such as kibbeh, lentil pilaf, or stuffed grape leaves. But that's only the beginning––today, Sevan Bakery has grown into a full international food market, offering a unique selection of nuts, cheeses, herbs, oils, wines, and other specialty foods that are rarely found outside a United Nations potluck dinner.
Lilly’s Cafe & French Bakery owners Alex and Susan sate sweet and savory cravings with a lineup of deli-style sandwiches, pastries, and renowned specialty cakes. Lunchtime trips to Lilly's replenish flagging bodies like a puff of nutrient-rich steam with hearty deli sandwiches prepared with fresh ingredients including Boar's Head meats and cheeses. The mediterranean-chicken sandwich ($6.95) harks back to sunlit walks under Roman arches with a full complement of hummus, roasted red peppers, and lemon oregano on focaccia. Pastry lovers can select from a bouquet of croissants and sweets such as specialty red velvet cupcakes or miniature cheesecakes.
If the name wasn’t enough of a clue, a close-to-empty donut case at 11 a.m. reveals the main draw of Linda's Donuts. Owner John, who has handcrafted donuts at Linda’s since 1982, rolls and shapes dough in the back while his wife, son, and daughter work the front of house, greeting customers, taking orders, and complimenting sock choices.
Customers line up for flavors such as chocolate-glazed and honey-dipped, waiting to dunk them into steaming cups of coffee while catching up on work using the shop’s free WiFi. After the donuts run out, customers turn to hearty sandwiches and burgers for lunch.
Cafe Burrito's crew stuffs tortillas with ingredients such as chili-lime chicken, cotija cheese, and zesty pickled veggies to craft its hefty Mission-style burritos, which epitomize the handheld meal. The menu also features other creative fare, such as Mexican-style grilled-cheese sandwiches, which showcase cheese melted over pork carnitas or pulled barbecue chicken, and pickled veggies. Diners can also top their food with special-made salsas crafted from fruits such as peach or apple, which rotate monthly to keep palates surprised.