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I've been trying since 2006!

about 9 hours ago
Luther in Greater Boston Area

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Bonus reward for checking that box: the site goes back to remembering which threads have new unread comments. It didn't forget!

Night Market in harvard square

wide yellow noodles

Dec 16, 2014
Luther in Greater Boston Area

Cilantro, new Chinese near Harvard Square

I tried about 8 of these dishes over the weekend and I would recommend not going for the dim sum menu. Tea was served on asking, and they basically left a pot of jasmine on the stove for a while, really bitter. Soymilk was served lukewarm, turnip cake was greasy and shrimpy and room temperature, pearl meat ball was oversalted. "Sichuan spicy dumpling" is a rendition of Mary Chung's infamous preparation, but at least these were edible as the large volume of liquid in the bowl kept the skins moist. Leek dumplings had been steamed some time earlier and were room temp and dry and chewy - they used thick opaque boiled dumpling skins for this traditional HK style dim sum item that should be made with delicate translucent starchy skins. Chicken feet were inedible as they were just barely cooked through, too chewy to easily get apart. Tripe had basically zero seasoning and was served in a dish of water. Overall the prices are similar to what you'd pay in Chinatown for cart- or menu-based items prepared well, but these were poor and came in smaller portions. It's not surprising that this menu lies outside of their wheelhouse. They are offering some popular Sichuan menu items, plus an extensive American menu, plus these Cantonese dim sum items. I agree with lipoff that Dumpling House down the street is also pretty disappointing especially given the long wait times and high prices. I realize now that I never gave Thailand Cafe enough love- yeah the food was prepared a little crudely and everything was pretty heavy on the salt and MSG, but it was good value for money and they always seemed to know what they were doing. There was a real focus and efficiency to the menu that I appreciate.

Dec 15, 2014
Luther in Greater Boston Area

Night Market in harvard square

It's a weird strategy. They're offering a dish "dan dan noodles" that is in fact not at all dan dan noodles. So they confused and likely irritated some people by saying one thing and serving another, and at a much higher price than actual dan dan noodles should cost - this is a dish of street food, not fine dining. I think people would bristle less at paying a high price for Chinese food if there were high-priced-style Chinese dishes being offered anywhere in town. As it is, offering familiar street food (fried chicken wings, dumplings, dan dan noodles) at a restaurant with the name NIGHT MARKET doesn't evoke "paying white tablecloth prices." Take the bones out of the chicken wing before you charge me $2 or $3 per wing. Put some crab or something in the gyoza if you're going to charge $2.00 per individual dumpling.

Dec 15, 2014
Luther in Greater Boston Area

Chinatown up and coming?

AFAIK the design center thing does actually use raised beds full of soil. The volunteers were hauling the soil, I think.

Dec 12, 2014
Luther in Greater Boston Area

Chinatown up and coming?

I guess "trendy" doesn't quite have the right connotation, but I think jetle25 was trying to say what we all know, which is that GDH has this weird enduring popularity among a (mostly white) clientele that results in constant lines down the street when there's nothing about the food that really differentiates it or justifies the lines.

As far as won ton noodles, yes there's about half a dozen places that serve it, not that any of them are a destination, more a last resort when one is feeling really desperate for the stuff. I think the inclusion of XLB is perfunctory at most Chinese restaurants now since many people are familiar with the item and will order it even if the quality is shit and the preparation is an embarrassment.

Ramen sucks, there's basically no la mian anywhere, or dao xiao mian for that matter, or peking duck, etc, etc. So yeah overall I wish we had more quality and options in Boston. But as is the case every time this conversation comes up, NYC is just that much bigger and has that many more fresh immigrants that the difference is expected. Different city is different.

Night Market in harvard square

lol "slightly eclectic"

Dec 11, 2014
Luther in Greater Boston Area

What are the Spiciest dishes at S & I and Thai North?

Was this recent? I went a few times to S&I in the last 6 months and certain dishes are being made differently (and not in a good way). They have someone else cooking at least part of the time. I used to be a huge endorser of S&I but now I wouldn't necessarily recommend.

Dec 11, 2014
Luther in Greater Boston Area

Chinatown up and coming?

It's infuriating to see someone's private commercial enterprise getting supported by free labor. I don't consider them to be providing some kind of public service, and if they're somehow competing with non-volunteer family farms it also seems bad.

Dec 10, 2014
Luther in Greater Boston Area

Chinatown up and coming?

That green-roof farm on the Design Center is infuriating, they are a regular for-profit operation and somehow get access to the roof and volunteers to haul dirt for them.

Dec 10, 2014
Luther in Greater Boston Area

Real Food Buying Club in Boston?

I only eat imaginary foods

Cilantro, new Chinese near Harvard Square

dim sum like cantonese dim sum or some kind of sichuan breakfast?

Dec 07, 2014
Luther in Greater Boston Area

Cilantro, new Chinese near Harvard Square

You think "fragrant vegetable" would have more appeal?

Dec 07, 2014
Luther in Greater Boston Area

What are the Spiciest dishes at S & I and Thai North?

som tam heat is based on however many peppers they throw in there, so it's easy to adjust, just ask for what you like. each batch is custom, you can get e.g. salty crab shell bits or not.

Nov 26, 2014
Luther in Greater Boston Area

Authentic Mexican restaurant recommendations?

Definitely bomb tortas at Tenoch

Nov 23, 2014
Luther in Greater Boston Area

Authentic Mexican restaurant recommendations?

TJ, you can see in the faint gray text at the upper right of each post to whom it was responding. Pretty awful site design

Nov 22, 2014
Luther in Greater Boston Area
1

Authentic Mexican restaurant recommendations?

I had a couple underwhelming experiences in the last year, it seemed that at least some days of the week they were using reheated leftover meats. I did happen to stop in during non-peak times.

Taqueria El Amigo near the Watertown/Waltham line has continued to be consistent.

Both of these are takeout places with a few tables, nothing more than taco shop type atmosphere.

Nov 22, 2014
Luther in Greater Boston Area

Beer Bribery in Boston

I think it's a waste because pay for play should be legal, just like how it is for every other kind of food and beverage retail.

Nov 16, 2014
Luther in Greater Boston Area

Have You Heard of Any Boston Based Kickstarter Food Projects?

Intellectual Ventures is scum, I hope they fail.

Nov 16, 2014
Luther in Greater Boston Area

New Chinese duck menu at Fiskie's Cafe?

That is unexpected and cool!

Nov 16, 2014
Luther in Greater Boston Area

Have You Heard of Any Boston Based Kickstarter Food Projects?

Eating coffee beans is a very efficient way of getting caffeine.

Nov 14, 2014
Luther in Greater Boston Area

Great Soups Downtown

You are a polite person, not a single mention of lmgtfy

Nov 13, 2014
Luther in Greater Boston Area

Potassium Carbonate

I like how it's Boston and everyone is a scientist (serious)

Nov 13, 2014
Luther in Greater Boston Area
1

Potassium Carbonate

I think you need to choose a new username. Sodium bicarbonate and sodium bicarbonate are most definitely not the same thing...

The cation in these compounds most certainly affects the pH of a solution of a given amount of the substance. For example, at 0.1 M at 25 C:

Potassium carbonate (potash), pH 11.5
Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), pH 8.4
Sodium carbonate (washing soda), pH 11.6
Sodium hydroxide (lye), pH 13.0

This is why baking soda is a poor substitute for potassium carbonate or lye in recipes that require bouncy shrimp, springy noodles, or nicely browned chewy bagels or pretzels.

EDIT: Harold McGee's tip is to bake your baking soda to make sodium carbonate. I have never tried this. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/15/din...

Nov 12, 2014
Luther in Greater Boston Area

Dosa Factory

For South Indian, I'd say Dosa n Curry closer to the city, or Ritu ki Rasoi if you're heading out to the burbs

Nov 10, 2014
Luther in Greater Boston Area

Dosa Factory

Haha, better to go elsewhere for the food itself

Nov 09, 2014
Luther in Greater Boston Area

China King still best peking duck?

It was never good peking duck. Peking duck is defined by a crisp skin with rendered fat but moist meat. The China King product is basically a slightly crisped-up roast duck. It retains a lot of fat.

Nov 04, 2014
Luther in Greater Boston Area

Great Soups Downtown

West lake soup (I think the English name is something like "Beef with Chinese parsley") at Best Little Restaurant. Fantastic rendition with excellent textures.

Nov 04, 2014
Luther in Greater Boston Area