By Michaella Lesieur, Staff Writer
Friday night spins around and all you know is that your stomach is growling for something different. Want flavor, atmosphere, and something to kick off the weekend? Well, if you are reading this you have come to the right place. The Torch has lined up a series of must-visit, local restaurants fit for any palet.
The Back Eddy, 1 Bridge Road, Westport, MA (508-636-6500)
$$ Spotlight Menu Item: Seafood and Sunset
The Back Eddy is first up on our list as you take a drive down to the shores of Westport and eat right by the ocean. Featuring a great selection of seafood and other fan favorites, from Eddy’s Signature Stuffed Clams ($9.00), to a Fried Fish sandwich ($11.00), to a side of their homemade Eddy slaw, you can’t go wrong with this gem. As a personal favorite hot spot, I can assure you will get all the local flavors you can get into one bite. Don’t forget to take in the beauty of the cotton candy skies as you walk onto their dock perched right on the marina.
Bayside, 1253 Horseneck Road, Westport, MA (508-636-5882)
$$$ Spotlight Menu Item: Lobster Roll
If you are looking to step it up a notch, Bayside is two minutes from The Back Eddy, featured on the other side of the beach. The famous lobster rolls ($19.99) are divine and were voted as one of the best by Food & Wine. Enjoy the best plump naked lobster meat on a grilled-to-perfection bun or enjoy one of the other menu items. They also offer a new Roasted Beet and Kale burger ($9.99).
Not Your Average Joes, 61 State Road Dartmouth, MA (508-992-5637)
$$ Spotlight Menu Item: Peanut Butter Thing
Maybe you are craving all American, in which you will be nothing but an average Joe, at the home base location of NYAJ. Start off with the focaccia bread dipped in the popular oil that leaves you licking your lips and forgetting to save room for dinner. Whether you are craving a burger or a seasonal favorite, you can always find something that is “not your average.”
Make sure you savor the flavors of the famous Peanut Butter Thing, filled with peanut butter and chocolate chunks, then folded into vanilla ice cream, sprinkled with Oreo crumbles, and then drizzled with caramel and chocolate sauce. I rate this a five-star splurge.
Sonic Drive-In, 707 Grand Army Highway, Somerset, MA (774-365-6941)
$$ Spotlight Menu Item: Lil Grillers
Get ready for an entertaining way to get your fast food fix. Open until 2 a.m. you can get a $3.99-foot-long and tots, Lil Grillers, a spin to your average grilled cheese sandwiches, and your favorite cheeseburger, all delivered to you on roller skates. This is a must go to place for an experience you will never forget.
Porta’s Da Cidades, 231 State Road, Westport, MA (508-674-4004)
$$ Spotlight Menu Item: Portuguese Cusine
It is all viva Portugal here, with nothing but authentic Portuguese flavors from your Chouriço, to your Prego No Pão, a steak sandwich served with Portuguese fries, or Bife à Casa, steak topped with an egg and pepper. Camaráo á Moçambique – which is shrimp Mozambique. Each dish comes with a heaping portion which can allow you to get two meals out of one.
Riccardi’s Italian Restaurant 901 Hathaway Road, New Bedford, MA (508-991-4200)
$$ Spotlight Menu Item: Best Thin Crust Pizza
Make it a pizza night with the real Italian aromas at Riccardi’s Italian Resteraunt. The thin crust pizza is the best around (starting at $5.95) and is topped with nothing but the most divine flavors. From fresh mozzarella to plump tomatoes, you can top it with just about everything. If not in the mood for pizza, there are other Italian favorites too from broccoli & ziti with chicken ($9.95), to antipasto (Large $11.45), Italian grinder ($6.45), and minestrone soup ($2.95).
Freestones, 41 William St., New Bedford, MA (508-993-7477)
$$ Spotlight: Best Date Night or Night out with your besties
A local bite that is easy on the wallet and gives you just the right amount of atmosphere and flavorful eats. The Freestones Pasta ($14.95) is my personal favorite, as it blends together sautéed shrimp, artichokes, onions, peppers, diced tomatoes, and spinach tossed with feta & parmesan cheese. It is served over a bed of ziti, and drizzled in a garlic white wine sauce. There are a wide variety of other menu items such as steaks (starting at $13.95), crab cakes ($8.95) and more.
Waterfront Grill, 36 Homers Wharf, New Bedford, MA, 508-997-7010
$$ Spotlight: Sushi Lovers
Enjoy some fresh sushi while overlooking the beautiful fishing port with great views of the harbor. From the Sweet Potato Roll ($5) to the California Roll ($6), Avocado Roll ($4.50) and Smoked Salmon ($6-8), you can never go wrong at the Waterfront Grill. If you’re going in a group and not everyone likes sushi, they also offer a variety of other items. The Lobster Quesadilla ($12) and Coconut Shrimp ($9) are yummy alternatives. Don’t forget to try the Marinated Beef Strips bathed in sesame ginger sauce ($8).
Good Friends Chinese Restaurant, 734 State Road, North Dartmouth, MA (508-999-2651)
$-$$ Spotlight: Late night Chinese fix
You and your best buds can order from the many Chinese food fan-favorites, from Lo Mein (Starting at $4.75), to Fried Rice (Starting at $4.15), and crab ragoons, you will be able to find everything you want all in one place. They even have a healthy diet menu!
Frontera Grill Mexican Resteraunt, 214 Huttlestone Ave, Fairhaven, MA (774-628-9723)
$-$$ Spotlight: Mexican Flare
Get ready to spice up your appetite with the Frontera Grill for some family style Mexican delights. Craving Nachos or tacos? They have the best of the best. The Mango Club Quesadilla ($9.50) is something different, as it is stuffed to perfection with Monterrey jack and cheddar cheese, grilled chicken, avocados, bacon strips, seasoned mango, all accompanied by some good old avocado salsa. They have a vegetarian menu for an added bonus, such as the California Quesadilla ($9.95).
~ Bon Appétit!