For years I’ve been trying to find a decent happy hour in Boston to little avail, so I’ve extended my search to the outskirts and stopped by The Exchange St. Bistro (67 Exchange St, Malden) Last Friday I rounded up the troops to check out their Wine Down After Work series featuring a $1 – $5 bar menu and specialty martini’s for $5. The menu is served at the bar only from 4pm – 7pm
The spot is about two blocks from public transportation on the Orange Line’s Malden station with plenty of street parking and validated parking.
When you walk into the restaurant there is no feeling of suburbia, the place is spacious yet intimate with upper level booths and tables that are on stadium type levels and a bar that separates the front of the restaurant from the back.
A kind patron moved over to make way for me and my gal pals to have a seat at the bar. Our waitress/bartenders did double duty as they took our orders and poured our drinks. With the $1 tapas, it’s $1 per tapa, so if you get oysters…$1 per oyster. We gave ourselves a test run to see what we liked before doing multiples. I was in a cheesy mood so I had the Eggplant Rolitini and the Goat Cheese Fritter to start, then moved onto the $5 mac and cheese and the $8 brocoli rabe spring rolls. The $5 martini was a choice of either a cucumber martini or a pineapple….we all went for the pineapple. It didn’t really pack a punch, but was tasty enough. The Eggplant Rolitini was good, though I would of liked it to be a bit warmer, but the portion size was ample. They messed up my order with the brocoli rabe spring roll and brought me a regular spring roll, which they quickly exchanged. I thought that the spring roll was a bit soggy, and the sauce too heavy for a spring roll, but I really enjoyed the $5 Mac and Cheese that was very cheesy and though on the soupy side, had a great crunchy crumb top.
My gal pal Denise had her fill of Oysters on the Half Shell and Scallops Wrapped in Bacon as did my friend Melissa. They both envyed our meal companions who choose the prefixed menu of lobsters for $24.99 as the lobsters were huge! The salad looked very good and came with a light sorbet dessert. Definitely a great deal.
Our watiresses were very attentive, talkative, not overly so, and friendly. Even after the check was placed down they made no mention of us needing to leave as we stayed and dished end of the week stories for quite some time. I really appreciated that they had already separated out our checks without us asking and didn’t give us any sort of hassel about it! Thank YOU!
On our way out the manager and hostess asked how our evening went and we ecstatically said that we had a lovely time and they invited us back for Thursday’s Ladies Night where the male bartenders come out to cater to fab! gals like us :)1
Cheap eats, great atmosphere, friendly service AND FREE PARKING, The Exchange St. Bistro is definitely doing something right!
Give ’em a try and tell ’em you saw it on BostonFab!