Although you don't hear about it as much as, say, Waltham, Quincy, or Malden, the city of Medford has become a great destination spot for dining out. Countless neighborhood eateries can be found in Medford Square, South Medford and Hillside/Tufts, and the Wellington area, and while West Medford also has some top dining places in its village-like commercial area, there really hasn't been much talk about this neighborhood over the years when it comes to food, other than perhaps the high-end Bistro 5 on Playstead Road. This changed a bit in 2014 with the opening of Snappy Pattys on High Street (Route 60) in the heart of West Medford, though after some initial press on the place, it seems to have become a bit of a hidden gem that's frequented mainly by locals. This could change of course, especially with its recent expansion (more on this in a bit), but for now, this New American/burger restaurant remains mostly under the radar.
Snappy Pattys is one of those places that is hidden in plain view, in part because it takes up a couple of small storefronts along High Street that look like a number of others in the commercial strip. The interior includes two sections, with the original space being a small but bright and modern-looking room with a vague industrial-chic vibe to it thanks to its high ceiling, exposed pipes, track lighting, colorful paintings on the walls, and open floor plan. Seating in this area consists of a handful of both high-top and regular tables along with counter seating at the bar, while the new room next door (which used to be home to a gym) adds a decent amount of extra seating including some relatively comfortable booths. A spacious patio out back adds quite a bit of additional seating to the place during the warmer months as well, and parking here is easier than you might think, as metered spaces along the road are often easy to get while a parking lot for the restaurant is hidden in the back.
One of the people behind Snappy Pattys--Nicholas Dowling--comes from such places as the Franklin Cafe in Boston's South End and the The Citizen Public House and Oyster Bar in the Fenway, and like those places, this restaurant focuses mainly on modern American fare with a slightly upscale tilt to the menu. The signature dish here is one not often seen as upscale, though the griddled patty melt sliders are more inventive than sliders that you might find at your basic neighborhood pub. Consisting of grass fed ground beef and cheese placed onto two slices of baked whole wheat olive oil brioche, these greasy and savory sliders make for a near-perfect meal, with three of them included per order (you can also order them individually). Several slider options are offered that you can mix and match, including the Original (American cheese, ketchup, dill relish), the BBQ (Colby cheese, pickled onion, bourbon BBQ sauce), the Mexican (ancho cheese, pico de gallo), and the Texan (Cheddar cheese, bacon, and a "secret" sauce), with this last option being among the best of the lot. The handcut buttermilk fries are a good option to go with the sliders, though if it available when you go, the decadent Gorganzola poutine fries may be worth the extra money if you're a fan of this Quebecois-style treat. Full-sized burgers which are served on a bun are also available at Snappy Pattys, and several non-burger options are offered as well, with one highlight being the sublime buttermilk fried chicken, with these crispy and crunchy morsels of goodness possibly being even a better option than the sliders themselves. Other offerings worth trying (depending on the season and the specials) include some zingy fried pickles, sweet-tasting pork tacos with field greens, tots with parmesan cheese, and char-grilled steak tips. Brunch is offered at Snappy Pattys on Saturdays and Sundays and it includes both small, shareable plates and more traditional-sized brunch plates, while drinks include local craft beer options, some domestic and international wines, and a few barrel-aged cocktails.
West Medford seems like the type of place that would have some destination restaurants, and it certainly has one in Bistro 5. But Snappy Pattys should probably be included here as well, as its sliders are outstanding and its fried chicken is really something special. It should be interesting to see if its expansion into the space next door helps bring in more crowds from both within the neighborhood and elsewhere in the Boston area. For now, though, Snappy Pattys is one of those local places that residents are lucky to have in the area.
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