Tag Archives: Central Square

Dumpling House in Cambridge

21 May

Whenever I have an opportunity to visit a Chinatown, I’m completely drawn to wandering down its streets. It awakens my senses in a way that I can only compare to walking through a mercado, like the ones I visited in Oaxaca. There are so many countries in Asia on my dream list of places to visit. Until I visit those places, though, I love trying as many new flavors and dishes as I can closer to home. Boston’s Chinatown is a great place to start, and Gourmet Dumpling House is no doubt one of the more popular restaurants for xiaolongbao, or soup dumplings. However, the place is always packed and there are only about 20 seats, so trying to grab a quick lunch or dinner without a 30+ minute wait is a challenge.

Then about a month ago I saw the ‘Dumpling House’ sign along Mass Ave between Harvard and Central Square in the former Buddhist Cultural Center tea room space. Rumor says it’s a sister restaurant to Gourmet Dumpling House. I’ve enjoyed two great meals there so far- they’re still working out some of the service kinks, but the food was great and it’s hard to find a sit-down restaurant with these prices in Cambridge. While I miss the experience of going into Chinatown for Gourmet Dumpling House, Dumpling House is a good alternative.

Dumpling House mini soup dumplings

Delicious soup-filled steamed dumplings, xiaolongbao

The first time I ventured over with Renee from Eat.Live.Blog and a co-worker for lunch. We ordered the beef with long horn peppers – a dish we love ordering from Gourmet Dumpling House – and it tasted exactly the same: super spicy, tender beef, fresh green peppers. We also shared the mini soup dumplings with pork and the Sandong style pan fried dumplings (both orders are $7.25 for 7). The soup dumplings were the same as GDH, too. The interesting thing about these soup dumplings is that, while the filling is extremely moist and has a great rich flavor, the dumpling wrapper is always a little thick and slightly dry/sticky. I really love the contrast of textures while eating these, but I’ve had dumplings elsewhere that have a thinner and more delicate wrapper. I guess it comes down to individual preference; I like both.

Dumpling House has a fantastic lunch deal of an entree, soup, and white rice for $8.50 that we didn’t order, but I look forward to returning soon, because that is an amazing deal.

dumpling house pan fried udon noodles and beef

sauteed udon Shanghai style

Then about a week later I returned with my boyfriend for dinner. We ordered the soup dumplings again, plus the sauteed udon Shanghai style (above) and the sauteed flat noodles with beef (below). Both were solid choices – the udon noodles were slightly salty, but the texture of the noodles was right on and I enjoyed the mushrooms and pieces of beef throughout.

Dumpling House sauteed flat noodles with beef

sauteed flat noodles with beef

Of the two dishes, I prefer the sauteed flat noodles with beef  – I’m just obsessed with those flat rice noodles (the same kind used in drunken noodles) and the beef was perfectly tender. While I’m kind of a wimp when it comes to spicy dishes (i.e. when I ate the beef with long horn peppers I also consumed multiple glasses of water and an entire bowl of rice…), I realized halfway through the meal that I should have ordered something with a bit more of a kick. But there will be a next time!

With two overall positive experiences, I can’t wait to go back. The only warning I should include is that it’s a new place, and there is a certain amount of confusion that sometimes comes with recently opening: when we went for lunch, we asked for the dinner-size portion of the beef and peppers so we could share. They brought us the lunch-size, but charged us for the dinner portion. We asked if this was the correct size for what we ordered and they assured us it was. I didn’t believe them, but what did I know, maybe that’s the standard size? Then, when we went for dinner, the portions were huge, confirming that they over-charged us and gave the wrong portion during my first visit. It’s a small detail that I’m sure will be worked out in the coming weeks.

In summary, check out Dumpling House, and feel free to invite me.

Dumpling House, 950 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA

Snowflake Social at Margaret Fuller House & Contest

28 Nov


The Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House is a nonprofit community center in Central Square, Cambridge, MA. They’re hosting an open house fundraiser on Thursday, December 8 and you’re invited!

Local bakeries and cafes will share delicious samples in rooms throughout the house (including Café Luna, Crema Café, Mariposa Bakery, Toscanini’s, and Veggie Galaxy). There are also fantastic raffle prizes (including Sebastians and Flour Bakery). You can’t miss this!

You can register here and pay at the door (a $10 donation) for this fun event. The Margaret Fuller House makes a huge difference in the families of Area IV and Cambridge through their food pantry, after-school program for youth, computer lab and classes, health support groups, and other resources.

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And…EatingPlaces is giving away two Snowflake Social tickets!

How to enter (one entry for each option, for a total of up to two entries):

  1. Comment below, answering this question: What do you like most about winter/holiday parties?
  2. Follow @EatingPlaces, tweet the following, and leave a comment below saying you did: I entered to win @MFNHouse #SnowSoc tix from @EatingPlaces! http://bit.ly/qGtXvb #Boston #nonprofit

The contest will end Friday, December 2, at noon (EST). The winner and one guest will attend the Snowflake Social (located in Cambridge, MA) on Thursday, December 8 (6-8pm).

One winner will be chosen at random using an online generator. I will contact the winner via email on 12/2 and if there is no response within 24 hours, an alternate will be chosen.

Good luck!

Dosas at (where else) the Dosa Factory

17 Jan

The Dosa Factory is easy to miss in all of the commotion of Central Square, particularly if you’re looking for a restaurant and not a storefront. Entering through the Mass Ave side, you’ll walk through a small, but well-stocked (and slightly overpriced) market to a small kitchen surrounded by ten tables between two casual rooms.

On a weekend evening it might be difficult for a party larger than four to find seating, but you should try your luck anyway. The flow of students and shoppers makes for a fun environment (sometimes it’s fun to pretend I’m still in college) and a henna artist was looking for clients the night we were there.

image

Our crowded table

Dosas are huge, crispy crepes served with a variety of fillings (including vegetarian, chicken, seafood, and lamb). I ordered a masala dosa (potato and curry leaf spiced onions served with sambar and coconut chutney, $7.95), paneer pakora (fried cheese with three sauces, $3.95), and a mango lassi ($2.95). All were satisfying and inexpensive (I was so full, couldn’t finish the last third of my dosa).

The best way to describe the service is simple and efficient: you order and pay at the counter, find a seat if you can and eat in, or wait for your order and take out. They don’t go out of their way to be friendly, but they distribute food quickly and check in to be sure you have what you need.

On my list of items to try next time: gulab jamun (condensed milk and wheat balls soaked in syrup), saffron and pistachio milkshake (how can that not be amazing?), oh, and the huge list of chaat (road-side-style snacks).

Go by yourself, meet some friends, or bring home for take-out. The Dosa Factory has a great selection of difficult-to-find-in-Boston Indian street food and is conveniently located in Central Square (I may need to start taking a detour on my commute to work…).

Dosa Factory, 571 Mass Ave, Central Square, Cambridge, MA

Dosa Factory on Urbanspoon

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