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Archive for the ‘restaurants’ Category

I got a small cost-of-living increase (emphasis on small) last Wednesday so we decided to go to the Pepper Club Restaurant for dinner since it was Restaurant Week anyways. We went there over a year ago and the service was terrible (rude and slow) and the veggie options scant even though they are touted as a veggie-friendly restaurant. But the prix fixe menu for Restaurant Week had lots of veggie (and dessert) options and was a decent deal for $20.09 for an appetizer, entree, and dessert, so we decided to give it another try.

(from The Pepper Club)

We started with a shared appetizer, brie with apricot jam and crackers. It was delicious, although I’m pretty sure they just spooned some jam onto a brie wedge and broiled it a little. For his entree Elliott got the tempeh meat loaf, which was a little… mushy… to be called meat loaf. It tasted healthy, if you know what I mean. I got the quinoa stuffed peppers, which was an insane amount of food considering I was about done after the brie. It was also a little under-spiced. Needed some onion and garlic or something.

For dessert Elliott got the grapefruit tart, which I’m pretty sure was actually a lemon custard pie. I got the chocolate cheesecake, which was great but I left it out on the counter overnight and couldn’t bring myself to eat it after that. Anyways, unlike last time, our waitress was super nice but the whole dining experience took 1.5 hours, which is way too long for me to sit at a table with Elliott without a TV, computer, newspaper, or at least a radio. And I overheard the table next to us complaining that they had been there two hours (during their dessert).  Given, the restaurant was a taken over by visitors in town for the U.S. synchronized skating championships…but still, it’s Restaurant Week– a good time to make sure you are fully staffed, right?  So, in sum:

first experience: bad food, bad service
second experience: okay food, friendly but slow service

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Yesterday we went on a much-needed New Hampshire liquor run (Winter+Maine= Drinking) and since Boston was having a Chinese New Years celebration, we decided to swing by.  We spent the whole morning watching lion dances from the various martial arts schools around town, and I was really disappointed because in kung fu movies it always ends up in a street brawl with tons of swords and blood flying everywhere. Unfortunately, the festival resulted in nothing but good times and smiling kids.

After this letdown we went to Pho Pasteur on Washington @ Beach St to cheer up.  Pho is one of the things I regret I never got to try the meat version of, either because it didn’t become all the rage until recently or because most kids under 13 don’t eat it.  Real sushi and shanghai soup dumplings are also on this list.

I chose Pho Pasteur because of its extensive veggie menu, including veggie pho (“pho chay“).  Their version is made with a veggie broth, tons of rice noodles, and broccoli, red peppers, baby corn, straw mushrooms, napa cabbage, celery, and lots of tofu.   One order is big enough for two, although sharing a noodle soup dish sounds really unsanitary.  As is customary with pho, it comes with thai basil or mint, mung bean sprouts, and lime on the side.

We went with our friends Eric and Chau, who happens to be Vietnamese. She gave Pho Pasteur a stamp of approval, although she said the meat pho does NOT compare to her mom’s.  As I understand it, the essense of pho is that the broth is cooked with all the bones and whatnot, so veggie pho can’t really come close.  Still, I enjoyed my bowl, probably because I didn’t know what I was missing.  Elliott’s dish was also really good- veggies and a white sauce in a nest of fried noodles.

pho chay

mi xao chay

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