Myers + Chang

IMG_5325Menu: The menu is set up Dim Sum style with offerings from $5 Crispy Spring Rolls to  $11 Thai Pork Lettuce Wraps to $18 Chicken and Waffles. You can also choose from cold or hot noodles, dumplings, rice, vegetables and sides. While this is an Asian-inspired menu, many items are American dishes with Asian influences that won’t be unfamiliar to the unadventurous diner.

Food / Presentation: 
Salmon + Green Apple Tartare – spicy soy, spinach, sesame crisps
One of the best tartares I’ve ever had! Each element in this dish really brought it all together. Even amount of apples and salmon. Touch of sweetness from the apple and just the right amount of spicy soy. And the sesame crisps were a great texture and large enough that you didn’t run out of a vehicle for the tartare. This is a must try!
IMG_5349Crispy Arctic Char Roll – nori, hot Chinese mustard
We at first thought this would be similar to a rice sushi roll, but I’m glad it wasn’t. Essentially this dish is 2 fried Arctic char rolls cut in half to create 4 “open-faced” rolls. Another great dish, with a spicy but not too spicy dipping sauce. I couldn’t figure out what the pink veggies were, but they offered a nice relief to the spicy mustard.
ImageDumplings-Potsticker Style – edamame, mustard greens, wasabi
I originally wanted the Mama Chang’s Pork + Chive dumplings, but ended up ordering another pork dish, so I went with this veggie version instead. Had we known there were 5 pieces we may have not have ordered this plate, as we clearly over ordered! Regardless, we had 3 and took 2 home (which was perfect for a late night snack). The dumplings weren’t bad, a pretty simple veggie dish with a bit of a spicy kick. I’d try the pork ones next time.
IMG_5347Wok-Roasted Mussels
To me, mussels are mussels. They really differ based on the bread served with it and the sauce they’re swimming in. This dish came with 4 slices of grilled garlic toast and a lemongrass broth. Pretty good as mussels go.
IMG_5338Fish Tacos + Kimchee Sesame Salsa – crispy hake, soft corn tortilla, whipped cilantro
Each of the two tacos came with three crispy chunks of hake. I love fish tacos, and I typically prefer grilled to fried fish, but these were really good. The fish pieces were thick enough that the fried part was really only a thin layer. The menu indicated this was a 1 out of 3 on the hotness scale which holds true.
IMG_5348Thai Ginger Chicken Salad – lemongrass, rice vermicelli, butter lettuce
Layered from bottom to top with lettuce, vermicelli, and chicken salad mixed with the lemongrass. This dish gave us light and refreshing flavors among the other sauces, spices, and fried pieces we ordered. Marked as a 1 out of 3 stars for spicy ness, I think it could have been a 2 for sure!
IMG_5334The General Lee’s Pulled Pork – collards greens, bean curd, pickled mustard seeds
We did not need this last plate, and I took 3/4 of it home, but I’m glad we ordered it. I loved pulled pork, and while it was served simply on a dish mixed with the above fixings, it would have also been great on a sandwich. 1 out of 3 hotness stars… My mouth/lips were on fire at the end of this entire meal.
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Restroom: Full of Asian influences and decor, including the soap!
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Service: I was thankful our server asked if this was our first time at the restaurant – which it was – because we definitely needed some guidance with ordering. He said typically people order 2-3 dishes per person. With that advice Matt & I ordered the above 7 plates, 3 each and then 1 to split. Dummies! We went home with 2 dumplings, 1/2 of the chicken salad, and 3/4 of the pulled pork. I wasn’t mad. We had our $100 OpenTable gift card to use up, and I now had lunch for 2 days!
Service in general was great. Keep in mind, when ordering, they bring out plates as they’re ready. Matt & I ordered everything at once and got a bit overwhelmed when we had 4 different items at once on our table. I think our server thought we were crazy when I listed off the 7 dishes. As soon as I finished he reminded “Ok, I think that’s good to start!”. Yes. That was good to start, and good for the night!

Overall: This was my first time at Myers + Chang and it definitely lived up to the expectations set by reviews, friends, and reputation. Chef/owner Joanne Chang (of the infamous Flour Bakery) created a menu inspired by Chinese, Taiwanese, Thai, and Vietnamese cuisines. The atmosphere is casual and the dining room is more of a funky diner adorned with some kitschy objects. An Asian tea tin held plastic and wooden chop sticks, as well as forks and knifes for those who have yet to master the sticks.
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The food was great, but next time I would definitely space out my orders and pace myself. The only disappointment was when I ordered the Pineapple Express cocktail (pineapple-infused vodka, thai basil) only to discover they were out. Out of what?? House-made infused vodka? Make me more! I instead went with the Luckiest Kitty (herb-infused sake, St. Germain, grapefruit, smoked salt) which I was nervous about since I don’t like sake, but I love St. Germain and am developing a nice friendship with grapefruit, so this drink really worked for me.

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The Perfect Bite: By far, the Salmon + Apple Tartare on a sesame crisp.

http://www.myersandchang.com

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Cafeteria Boston

 

Bread: No bread was served.

Menu: Well rounded offerings of contemporary American cuisine: Starters, Big Salads, Pizzas, Sandwiches, Burgers, Entrees, Plate du Jour, Sides. Each section has plenty to choose from and the prices are quite reasonable, with the most expensive item being the Scallop entrée at $26.

Food/Presentation:
Tacos – your choice of mahi-mahi, chicken or steak, pickled cabbage, radish, spicy crema, salsa verde
The tacos are in the Starters section and come 4 to a plate, meant to share as an appetizer. I knew I’d be picking at my mom’s parmesan fries that came with her turkey burger, so 4 fish tacos was a perfect dinner for me. The mahi-mahi was thankfully grilled (not fried like typical fish tacos) and came with a dusting of chipotle powder perhaps? There was a small kick to it but maybe that was the spicy crema. These were really great, for an app to share or as an entrée!

Bathroom: There are 2 unisex single rooms stalls complete with a bowl sink (which I love), a pretty flower display, and automatic hand dryers.

Service: Our server was personable, friendly, and complimented my headband which automatically gives her points 🙂 She suggested the Sparkling Sangria, which my mother & I ordered a jar of, and mentioned the Mahi-Mahi Tacos were a customer favorite. I was already planning on ordering the fish tacos based on a friend’s recommendation and our server’s comment sealed the deal for me. Both of her suggestions were spot on! 

Overall: Cafeteria is my go-to spot on Newbury Street and one of my top 3 Back Bay favorites when looking for reasonable prices and great food. The menu is extensive with a little something for everyone. Starters, Big Salads, Sandwiches, and Burgers range from $8-$16, while Pizzas and Entrees run $11-$26. We ordered a jar of the Sparkling Sangria for $18 which held about 3-4 glasses. They have other creative cocktails and a decent wine and beer selection. The interior is at “Garden Level” which is fancy for the basement (however they have stairs that lead to a 1st floor level which I’ve never seen). This was about my 5th time at Cafeteria and I’ve never been disappointed. I highly suggest you stop by, especially while you can enjoy their patio seating.

The Perfect Bite: Mahi-Mahi Tacos, spicy crema, pickled cabbage… should have added avocado!

http://www.cafeteriaboston.com/

For more photos & descriptions of what everyone in my party ate, visit my Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/ThePerfectBiteBoston

 

Forum

 

My first Restaurant Week Lunch experience! Forum was chosen because of their outdoor seating, their presence on OpenTable, and the menu looked delicious!

Bread
: None was served during lunch.

Menu: This was my first Restaurant Week Lunch, and the menu looked excellent with 3 options in the first course, 4 in the second, and 2 for dessert. I opted for the Light Lunch for $15.12 and ordered an appetizer and entrée.

Food/Presentation:
Fish Tacos – local cod, red cabbage, pico de gallo, chipotle aioli
Three fish tacos were served in soft tortillas in a taco holder. I guess it’s my fault for not asking, but I assumed the fish would be grilled and not fried. After getting passed that initial disappointed I did end up enjoying this course, especially the chipotle aioli, yum. Not the best fish tacos I’ve ever had but certainly not bad at all.

Flatbread – roasted garlic, butternut squash, ricotta, fontina, basil
Sounds amazing right? Well it would have been had I been in the kitchen. I’ve made a butternut squash flatbread 5 times better than this mess (granted I was following a recipe, but still). The squash seemed to be haphazardly thrown onto the dough, as was the random shreds of basil. The cheese was also a bit overwhelming; the ratio of squash to cheese was way off for me. Maybe it’s my OCD kicking in, but I like flatbreads to be even with each piece consisting of all ingredients. Sub-par 2nd course.

Bathroom: Really nice, with a pretty flower display (I have a thing for branches in arrangements). Two stalls, two sinks, large wide mirror.

Service: I found myself looking around for our server every now and then, wondering where our 2nd course was, and why it was taking so long to bring the bill. Perhaps I shouldn’t be so critical; I tend to have a “hurry up and go” attitude and need to learn to relax every now & then!

Overall: A bit of a disappointment overall. I’m glad I went for Restaurant Week, otherwise I wouldn’t have been happy paying the regular prices for the dishes I ordered: the fish tacos are normally $13 and the flatbread around $15. Salads and Sandwiches run $12-$16 for lunch, and dinner Pastas and Entrées range $26-$38 – kind of steep. Their menu items sound incredible, but then again so did my flatbread. I sat outdoors but the interior had a contemporary yet elegant vibe. Cocktails are a normal city price ($10-$12) so I’d consider returning to sit at their long rectangular bar, which is equip with at least 8 TVs on either side and comfy stools.

The Perfect Bite: Honestly, nothing about this meal was perfect. The fish tacos weren’t bad, I just wish they weren’t fried…

http://forumboston.com

For more photos visit my Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/ThePerfectBiteBoston