liuliuliu's Profile

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Your Favorite Bowl of Noodle Soup in Chinatown

i think it's a tie between hu tieu nam vang at pho hoa (rice noodle, fish cake, pork paste, sliced pork, crab meat, squid and shrimp -- plus the crucial soft-yolky quail eggs) and the shredded beef with long hom peppers noodle soup (i get shanghai-style noodles). there's a frightening ratio of peppers to everything else.

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Gourmet Dumpling House
52 Beach St, Boston, MA 02111

Pho Hoa
17 Beach St, Boston, MA 02111

Feb 27, 2009
liuliuliu in Greater Boston Area

Beyond the Basics at Penang?

an enormous bowlful of curry mee with coconut milk-based broth is a wintertime fantasy. rice and egg noodles, several permutations of fried puffy tofu, shrimp-fish-paste-filled bitter melon, plump slices of eggplant, bean sprouts, fish balls, and lots of sinus-clearing spice.

Feb 27, 2009
liuliuliu in Greater Boston Area

Best fried chicken?

not sure if it's the 'crispy chicken' on the dinner menu, but will gilson served an immaculate fried chicken for the mardi-gras themed special menu last monday. excruciatingly moist meat, and crumbly-crisp skin. according to gilson, the prep included "12 hours cured, 5 hours soaked, yogurt dipped, flour fried". i'd check to see if it's served regularly. chicken of my DREAMS.

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Garden At the Cellar
991 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138

Feb 27, 2009
liuliuliu in Greater Boston Area

Disgusting "corned beef" hash at Johnny's Luncheonette

i don't claim to be a hash expert, but i enjoyed a particularly flavorful meat-y rendition at trident for sunday brunch recently. menu specifies it's homemade. (official description: "Corned beef hash with potatoes, onions, shredded cabbage, celery, carrots and garlic; topped with two eggs any style and a side of toast") Very hearty ... I'm sure you could top the mess with a side order of bacon or sausage on top for extra grease power.

Feb 27, 2009
liuliuliu in Greater Boston Area

Excelsior is Closed

official closure statement from the restaurant: http://www.excelsiorrestaurant.com/ab...

"Today [February 3, 2009] we announce that Excelsior is closed and will be re-opening as a new restaurant in the fall of this year."

Feb 03, 2009
liuliuliu in Greater Boston Area

1/2 price wine Monday's at Stella's

yup -- indeed, too good to be true. went last night hoping to snag a bottle, and after Stella did the half-price deal for the first time last week, they got a call from the ABCC to cease and desist. sigh.

Feb 03, 2009
liuliuliu in Greater Boston Area

Humboldt Fog - where in Greater Boston?

i just also spotted it at dave's fresh pasta near davis square! a huuuuge hunk of it :) for the record, it's also a great place to find a good selection of various cheeses. there's also superfresh local mozzarella and a very tasty fresh smoked mozzarella.

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Dave's Fresh Pasta
81 Holland St, Somerville, MA 02144

Oct 05, 2007
liuliuliu in Greater Boston Area

cha fahn in JP closing

i just saw posts here:
http://www.chowhound.com/topics/442172
hmm.... perhaps a zon's outpost will replace it?

Oct 04, 2007
liuliuliu in Greater Boston Area

cha fahn in JP closing

this is kinda sad b/c i've never made it out there, but perhaps people who were fans or were curious will try to catch them before they leave forever next weekend.

the details (exerpted from their newsletter):

"Cha Fahn Closing! It is with very mixed feelings that we announce our tentative closing date on Sunday, October 14th. (please call the restaurant at 617-983-3575 beyond October 14th) For our regulars and those who haven't been in for a while, please make sure you come by before then; would love to see you! On November 1st we would have celebrated our 4-year anniversary--we have learned much more than we ever knew possible. For our "regulars", you have seen just how much we have changed and we have greatly appreciated your enthusiasm and support through the years. This is a positive change for the owners, Chih-wei and Shane, as we look forward to what the future holds. We will, of course, always cherish the memories and experience Cha Fahn gave us and you, our customers."

the menu looks really interesting, including Jasmine tea wilted kale with pine nuts and lemon soy dressing, Taiwanese style noodle soup with tender beef slices and spinach, tea-bathed chicken, rainbow trout with sage infused ume-koji stuffing, and Hot pop-over with Azuki beans and berries.

i wonder what will move in next!

Oct 04, 2007
liuliuliu in Greater Boston Area

Nachos, anyone?

some shoutouts...

- i like the ones at redbones (even available late-night); the dish is on the smaller side, good for two people to share, but the cheese ratio is perfect and it's got the spicy/crunchy/seasoned balance down

- other side cafe piles on the vegetarian chili; ask for extra guac. quite hearty topped with the beans and grains. great grazing food, esp. on the patio.

- size-wise, and good when you're hungry late-night (serving until 1am), the paradise lounge nachos are the biggest bang for your buck (esp on cheap food nights). the tray is like the size of the top of oscar's garbage can, turned upside down, and piled with everything. the name says it all: "Big F’n Nachos"

Oct 04, 2007
liuliuliu in Greater Boston Area

Ten Tables 10/3

the back-stairwell passageway to the bathrooms at ten tables is awesomely treacherous! i feel like a shipcrew going into the galley :)

last time i was there on a wed prix-fixe, the blue fish was cooked so deliciously i could probably have eaten it 'til i bust. can't wait to see what will be going on the menu as we continue into autumn....

Oct 04, 2007
liuliuliu in Greater Boston Area

Savant Project? The Beehive?

hi everyone - i wrote the savant project piece in the dig. curious to hear how other people's experiences pan out as the place gets up and running full-speed. although i love the place from what i've seen, it's definitely not 100% hits, but comfy and engaging enough that you feel compelled to return for new dishes or drinks they'll experiment with on the menu. although the prices are kind of uppity for mission hill, it's nice that it's just a few greenline stops down from the copley/back bay area, in which reasonably priced eating/drinking (esp late hours) can be limited. weekend brunch is launching soon (if not already). for what it's worth, the sake drunken cup dessert is heaven. it's literally a glass of pleasing sake with berries and cream dunked on top. the fried churros, drizzled w chocolate, also come with an interesting shotglass of vanilla cognac and chai liqueur. a little indulgent, but a great balance of spice, sweetness, and richness.

Oct 04, 2007
liuliuliu in Greater Boston Area

potluck cafe, last night = cheap + tasty

ooh, thanks! you're right, it was definitely reminiscent of red wine. i'm a newbie to fuzhou stuff, so i'm glad to learn of the source of the hue. is it also the red wine lees that stain the meat red, too?

Sep 25, 2007
liuliuliu in Greater Boston Area

potluck cafe, last night = cheap + tasty

stopped into potluck cafe unexpectedly last night. first time eating there (despite seeing some of the reviews and delectable photos from others' visits), and i was really satisfied in a "i'm starving late night and need chinese comfort food badly" way. definitely will return. we were en route to king fung garden for some awesomely chewy and greasy noodles around 10:30pm, but got distracted by potluck and decided to stop in once and for all.

my DC and i ordered: fried taro cake ($1), fish balls stuffed with meat soup ($3), rabbit soup with thin noodles ($5.50) and shredded beef with basil ($8.95). all in all our feast (and we were stuffed) came to about $21.

the taro cake came out first, piping hot. (actually, everything came out REALLY hot, like immediately taken from the kitchen. this is a great sign, meaning things are freshly taken out, but sometimes the impulse to chow down is tempered by the fear of throat burns.) it's the size of a piece of pizza with a super crunchy crust, soft tenderness inside, and minimal grease. it's really addictive, and i'm quite fond of taro (so i'm familiar with the flavor and texture), but i guess i would describe it as reminiscent of a chinese-style hash browns, and a bit of sweet spices with the saltiness to make it almost doughnut- or fritter-like. super cheap + filling snack.

the fish ball soup (8 or 12, i cant remember) was a winner. i love fish balls (chewy, fishy, hearty), but the addition of saucy pork meat stuffed in the middle of the golf-ball things is awesome. the broth is clear, simple, and good, faint of ginger and garlic with a few snippets of scallions. i drank the broth until the very end-- a great clean ending to the meal. i could totally see having a bowl of this for a light lunch, a super steal at $3.

the rabbit soup is in a large, sharing tureen and the broth is BRIGHT RED. you almost think they bled the poor bunny in there, but it's actually the red dye for the barbeque curing of the meat (like the oftentimes neon-pink-red hue of bbq pork). the rabbit meat is tender and delicious, a mix of legs and ribs and plenty of small bones to pick around. quite lean, too. the noodles are the slippery, thin, mung bean silver type, slightly soft-overcooked but still slurpilicious. quite simplistic dish, but all the elements came together well.

and the beef with basil... well, i'm a sucker for anything stir-fried with basil, but it was a great heap of greasy (in a good way) beef + basil + onions, well-seasoned and excellent over rice. it reminded me a lot of (the regrettably late) quality cafe, just delicious and oily and addictive. it was a medium-sized portion but we got full before even polishing the plate off.

also noticed a sign on the door for fresh shrimp going for $13.95 a pound, and lots of wiggly sea creatures in tanks near the front: crab, lobster, some lively white fish, a fat black fish, and some really sleepy eels. also spotted some fist-sized spiral shells (i'm so bad at identification)... conch? snails? plus, i love the cozy, cheesy decor (light-up 'moving' pictures, plastic leaf garlands).

the menu was really extensive and hard to choose from, though! is there logic behind the white paper menu (one side clearly more authentic than the other) and the separate laminated pink menu?

Sep 25, 2007
liuliuliu in Greater Boston Area

Speed's

can someone please report on the price of a speed's hot dog + any options? thanks!

Jun 11, 2007
liuliuliu in Greater Boston Area

ice-cream trucks?

hi -- i'm wondering if people could help me identify any ice-cream trucks in the boston area and if you know anything about their routes, schedules or whereabouts.

i know the 'frosty ice cream truck' by the public gardens...

any more knowledge on this one in brookline?
http://www.chowhound.com/topics/14346...

this one from davis square is immortalized... but I can't properly find anything on the web regarding "K&J Ice-Cream" except this post which says it's been spotted around davis/tufts.
http://realfake.org/blog/2007/05/03/i...
http://community.livejournal.com/davi...

and i hear (but have not personally seen) one making rounds in south end.

if you have any dirt or have spotted any in the wild, please throw in your knowledge. it'd be great to have a comprehensive list of them come summertime. thanks so much!

Jun 06, 2007
liuliuliu in Greater Boston Area

where to find shochu?

hi -- just by chance i spotted it on bostoneventguide.com: http://www.bostoneventguide.com/rc010...

Dec 17, 2006
liuliuliu in Greater Boston Area

where to find shochu?

ooh, i just found this upcoming event at Fugakyu:
12/24 & 12/25, 11:30am-1:30am; 12/ 31, 12:00pm–1:30am; 01/01, 11:30am-1:30am
Fugakyu invites you in to start the tradition while sipping on a Shochu cocktail and nibbling from the extensive menu of traditional and nouveau Japanese cuisine. The menu includes sushi, sashimi, tempura, as well as unique entrees rarely found outside of Japan. The extensive sake list, which will keep you feeling warm and merry, includes handmade sake imported from Japan.

Dec 15, 2006
liuliuliu in Greater Boston Area

where to find shochu?

Couple months ago I fell deep in fascination with shochu (distilled spirit from anything from barley to sweet potatoes to soba) in some nameless Japanese hole-in-the-wall in New York. I've never seen it poured anywhere in Boston until I discovered the "Shochu White Cranberry" (Shochu Japanese Spirit, Squeezed Lime, White Cranberry) at the Franklin Cafe in South End last night. Amazing.

Any recommendations on where else to sip this stuff? Either in Asian dives or high-end yuppie bars, it doesn't matter. Just curious where it may have been spotted in the wild.

Thanks!

Dec 15, 2006
liuliuliu in Greater Boston Area

Where to find Oliebollen - Dutch doughnuts - for the New Year?

Hi! i am wondering if there's anyplace in the Boston area that makes traditional Oliebollen. Literally "oil balls," it's basically doughnuts sometimes incorporated with currants or apple pieces. Think of anyplace that might have it? A bakery, a Dutch grocery, anyplace. It's a tradition in the Netherlands to eat them on New Year's Eve. Thanks!

Dec 05, 2006
liuliuliu in Greater Boston Area

recommendations for a delicious, romantic, graduation dinner

hi -- i'm finally finishing my master's graduate studies and want to celebrate by (what else) eating! i've been living in cambridge for a while, so i'm familiar with the offerings, but i think it's also time i need to discover something new. it'll just be me and my bf, so romantic is a nice touch, too.

ideal specs: genuinely delicious, not pretentious, a step up from everyday dining, palatable to grad student wallets, and creative. i dont mind high prices as long as they are really really deserving.

some places that i was considering: oleana, sel de la terre, mamma maria. i'm still looking for the perfect place.

any recommendations would be appreciated! thanks!

Aug 10, 2006
liuliuliu in Greater Boston Area