I have driven or walked through Natick Center countless times in the nearly 10 years that I have lived here. And the only thoughts that I have had in seeing the “Lola’s Italian Groceria” sign are of The Kinks. Imagine my surprise when I noticed on a Chowhound discussion post about lunch spots in the area that Lola’s is not simply a grocery store for olive oil and pasta but a full service deli market serving up sandwiches, pizza, calzones and full Italian specialty dinners.
Looking for something quick but hearty for lunch one weekend, I remembered Lola’s and decided to finally give it a shot. What an idiot I am for never having visited there before! The food was delicious. Fresh bread, brought in direct from the North End daily. Zesty sauces, spreads and oils. An entire gluten-free menu of dinners and desserts. Food prepared while you wait, call-ahead take-out or prepared selections in the refrigerated and frozen cases to bring home for later. There are also the olive oils and pasta groceries that were all I assumed they sold.
I decided to try the Caprese cold sub of mozzarella, tomato and pesto. I had intended to ask for it on focaccia bread instead of a sub roll but forgot. The roll however was fresh, soft on the inside and soaked up that pesto perfectly. I enjoyed the balled mozzarella chunks instead of the slab style and the tomatoes were perfect. The side of pasta salad was a bit heavy on the oil and pricey but it hit the spot.
My husband ordered the other choice I had been wrestling with – Anthony’s Chicken Sandwich. Anthony is the owner, and he knows how to make a pretty blah sounding offering taste delightful. I don’t know what herbs he uses on this grilled chicken but it is tender and juicy, standing out even with the melted cheese, onions, mayo, lettuce & tomatoes. This automatically comes on focaccia bread and the thicker bread does a good job here of holding all the warm ingredients in place. My husband was reluctant to give up a bite to me; he enjoyed it so much.
I have heard good things about the Eggplant Parm (the love comes from the sauce) and the Prosciutto (the Caprese with meat) sandwiches on the foodie boards out there so there are two more thumbs up offerings to test out at a later date. I am especially looking forward to picking up some Gnocchi for dinner one night and of course, sampling a fresh Cannoli.
It is exciting to know that I don’t have to go to the North End downtown for some delicious Italian. Even better is the fact that I can pick some up to serve to dinner guests or even for catering. I may be the last person in Natick to experience the awesomeness of Lola’s, but better late than never. Now I’ve got some incredible food to go along with that Kinks song stuck in my head.
Lola’s Italian Groceria
9 Main Street
Natick, MA 01760
Post by and photos credited to Molly G.
Find out what Molly is doing when she’s not eating @ The Bumbles Blog.