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Bites Nearby: Maximo's Takeout

This storefront eatery is the new kid on Mt. Auburn Street in Watertown.

Open less than a month, actually has four small tables with a dozen seats in its cheery room. But they're obviously aiming for more that a dozen customers at a time, with so many people commuting up and down Mount Auburn Street — there's even a bus stop just outside. "Early dinner is picking up," says proprietor Phillip Zeller, a Watertown resident. "People are ordering on their way home."

What to eat: One regular ("I've had the whole left side on the menu") recommends the burritos. There are also lots of hearty sandwiches and salads, including a nicoise salad (grilled tuna, mixed greens, green beans, olivs, hard-boiled egg) and a Cobb salad (grilled chicken, romaine lettuce, cucumbers, etc.), both for $8.99. The fanciest dishes, the grilled plates ($9.99), come with two sides, a choice of around a dozen not-all-usual dishes, including kale, southwestern quinoa, and sweet potato mash.

The vibe: Friendly and courteous (when you're the new place in town you aim to please).

Cool factor No. 1: The owner buys local: the produce is from Russo's, bags of nuts from the adjoining store, and cookies from a bakery in Essex.

Cool factor No. 2: Non-meat-eaters don't have to feel picky or put-out, since the menu states: "Menu items can be made vegetarian."

Cool factor No. 3: There's no deep fryer.

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