2-4 Hartford St, Newton; (617) 332-6210
600 W. Cummings Park, Woburn; (617)933-5156
When Mine’s book first came out this Newton cafe was a French-style place called Oh La La. Though it appears relatively unchanged, the cuisine has moved further down the continent. It’s still a fine stop for a quick eat-in or take-out meal. (Its Woburn sibling does the same for the office-park crowd.)
The traditional, southern Italian food is homemade and hearty. Just $4.25 gets you a big slab of tender spinach lasagna, slathered in tomato sauce, with a hunk of crusty bread. Same price for a hot chicken parm sandwich, made with fresh, breaded chicken breast. They roll their own calzone too, with various fillings. Can’t decide? Go for the combo plate eggplant, meatballs, and sausage, topped with sauce, served with pasta, bread, and a cannoli for dessert, all for $7.95. Course, in true European fashion, you’ll have to take a nap afterwards.
Those cannoli, by the way, are also made on the premises; half of the Express is a bakery, serving up breads, pastries, and cappuccino. This side of the store has a pleasant ice cream parlor look to it, including bookshelves lined with paperbacks to leaf through while you sit n sip (these seem to have survived intact from the previous incarnation). If the weather’s nice, you can also sit outside on the brick patio. Open weekdays from 7:30 am. to 7:30 P.M.; Saturdays 7:30-6; Sundays 8:30-3. Woburn hours are 7:30 to 3:30, weekdays only.