My trip to Boston
I went to Boston for a conference recently and I got a chance to sample a few restaurants.
Number one is My Thai Vegan Cafe and Bubble Tea Bistro. I ate there three times in four days! I wish I could eat there every day forever. It's in Chinatown at the corner of Washington and Beach Streets. It's on the second floor; you have to walk up an ugly stairwell, but once you get upstairs it's a very nice, large restaurant space. A Yelp reviewer accurately described the service as "inattentive" but it's not really bad and they whip up their wonderful food really quickly; so it all evens out. I tried red curry with veggie-shrimp, pad Thai, stir fried rice noodles (Chinese style), "Choo Chee Fisherman," temple soup, and a mango/coconut bubble tea. It was all delicious, though my favorites were the red curry and pad Thai. The temple soup was really interesting: coconut milk, sweet potato, butternut squash and peanuts. It was very rich and sweet and I couldn't help thinking it would make a delightful breakfast on a cold morning. I'd like to try to recreate it. Here's the menu to make you drool: http://www.bostonveg.org/restaurants/MyThaiCafeMenu.pdf If you get the chance, go there! ;)b
Right downstairs from My Thai is Pho Pasteur, a Vietnamese restaurant. It's far from vegetarian, but it does have some vegetarian dishes. I got Lemongrass Tofu. It was good, not great, though I found the tofu itself to be far tastier than the stuff I buy at the store. The place was a madhouse on Saturday night, but the staff was totally on top of things and found a place for 6 of us to sit without too long of a wait.
On Sunday, I had to find a place for lunch near the new conference center. Some Yelp reviewers mentioned that Flour Bakery labels the vegan items on their menu; so I decided to give them a try (Farnsworth location). They did have a few bakery items that were vegan, though I didn't try any of them. I had their only vegan sandwich: grilled tofu. It was pretty good. The tofu itself was kind of boring, but there were also grilled zucchini, red peppers and onions with a kalamata olive spread that made it pretty tasty. The thing about this place was that the young staff was friendly and efficient but it was insanely busy at 11:30 on Sunday morning. And, apparently, it's the place to take your kids. About 90% of the tables had at least one child under 4 and one table had half a dozen of them. It certainly was not a serene dining experience. ::)
I tried to go to Wheeler's Ice Cream, but neither of the phone numbers I had found on the web was in service and, when I got there, they were closed (why would a place that sells sandwiches not open until 1:00 PM?). They owe me $1.70 for the wasted T ride. >:(
Last but certainly not least is Espresso Royale on Newbury Street. I couldn't get there until my last day and had suffered through a number of minimalist breakfasts (e.g. a banana) before my meetings. The two young people working there were very nice and the woman was able to point out three or four pastries that were vegan. I got a cranberry scone with orange glaze, which was quite good, and a truly wonderful cup of English Breakfast tea (raw sugar and soy milk are on the fixins bar). And I got a bagel with sun dried tomato tofu spread for the road. A nice finish to my trip. ;)b
Excellent reviews, Veggydog! Sounds like a great, fun trip. :)>>>
eta: and for anyone else interested, Pho Pasteur has 2 locations in Boston, 1 in Allston, and 1 in Cambridge
I'm glad that you liked My Thai. It used to be Buddha's Delight, with a more pan-asian menu, and there used to be 2 locations, but at least there's still one left.
Pho Pasteur is super overrated, imho. Were you staying near Chinatown? There are so many better places... oh well.
Wheeler's is great...when they're open. I have definitely had that happen to me before and it sucks. Wheeler is a really weird dude, too. I happened to see him the day after I tried to go there and found the place closed and I told him what happened and he said, "oh yeah, there was drama." wtf man, you don't close your shop randomly like that. that's just not cool. but I remember before he opened the shop we had a holiday party and he delivered two huge tubs of ice cream. that was pretty sweet.
Oh yeah, and there's another Espresso Royale on Commonwealth Ave that's larger than the Newbury St. one. That's a great place.