17 Nichols Avenue, Watertown, MA 02472
Watertown is one Boston suburb that really seems to be turning into a restaurant haven of late, with such stellar places as the Aegean, La Casa de Pedro, and Strip-Ts, and so many others. And in the East Watertown section of town is a true gem of a restaurant that may just serve the best falafel and baba ghanouj in the Greater Boston area. This place is called Sepal, and it is a friendly little Middle Eastern restaurant that is around the corner from the aforementioned Aegean and Strip-Ts.
Sepal is about as authentic a restaurant as you can find when it comes to Middle Eastern cuisine. The person who opened Sepal comes from Palestine, and the food is made using recipes from that area. Indeed, the falafel, which has a warm green color to it, is unlike any of the more Americanized falafel that this writer has tried. The flavor of the falafel is simply incredible; if you come to this restaurant for just one item, you may want to consider this to be it.
Service is friendly at Sepal, and the simple, quiet atmosphere inside lets you concentrate on the entrees without any distractions. In addition to the falafel, some other standouts include the hearty butternut squash soup, the creamy hommos, the vegetarian grape leaves, and my personal favorite, the baba ghanouj, which consists of cooked eggplant in a paste of sesame, garlic, and lemon juice. You can order combination plates at Sepal, allowing you to try many different items on the menu. Most of what is on the menu is vegetarian fare, but there are some chicken, lamb, and beef entrees for meat lovers.
Sepal has been around for a pretty long time, although only for a few years in its current location (they used to be on nearby Mt. Auburn Street). Somehow, the restaurant is still relatively unknown, even within Watertown itself. Perhaps its location on an East Watertown side street keeps it hidden. The restaurant is starting to gain a reputation among food critics, however. My only question is, what took so long? Sepal is one place that should be on anyone's short list of top restaurants to go to. If you like Middle Eastern food, this top Watertown dining spot should be on your list for sure.
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