Food & Drink
FOOD: Where Will You Eat Your Last Summer Meal in Boston?
by Ted Karczewski
As the summer months come to a close, I hope you seize every opportunity to get out of work early and enjoy the warm weather while it’s still here. If you’re from Boston, or you just moved here, winter can be a struggle, and you might not get out and explore the food and drink options all around your neighborhood.
I’ve taken this into consideration, and mulled over which restaurant in Boston I would go to for my last meal of the summer. I landed on Myers & Chang in the South End, as its family-style method of serving and small plate portions make coming with a group of people a great idea.
From the second you walk through the front doors of Myers & Chang, you know you’ve entered a place ideal for large groups – whether they’re friends or your clients, this spot has something for everyone. If you’re visiting Myers & Chang during the warmer months, the staff will gladly seat you outside, and the small space only complements an already casual and friendly atmosphere.
Of course, no matter when you visit this restaurant, you’ll want to start off with a cocktail, and Myers & Chang offers quite the diverse list of drinks. I went with a cocktail called The Year of the Dragon, which mixed together plumb wine, campari, orange and ginger. For $10, this drink is a refreshing yet bitter concoction that helps you immediately de-stress after a long week. Pair this cocktail with the salmon and asparagus tartare and you have the perfect after-work snack.
If you want to stay a bit longer…
Myers & Chang is often a place that draws you in and doesn’t let you go until you’ve had more. If you’ve come with a few friends, eating family style is the way to go – portions are good sized and affordable. The salmon and asparagus tartar will run you $12, but split among a group, and combine with a few other dishes, you’re in for a great night. Here is how I recommend you spend your time at Myers & Chang.
After you’ve enjoyed your first cocktail, and the menu is rather extensive, you’ll want to dive into the dinner menu even further. Everything on Myers’ menu comes out fast, so don’t try to stagger your order – it’s best to let whatever finishes first come to you immediately. The malaysian fried green tomatoes, which includes shrimp, sambal belacan and kerisik, is – and this is no exaggeration – outstanding. The green tomatoes are flavorful and juicy, even though they are encased and fried. Grab a sliver of tomato with a baby shrimp and you’ll be sent into minor shock while your brain processes what exactly it just ate. This dish will run you $13.
Now, you’ll certainly enjoy the green tomato dish, but if you want a complete 180 degree turn, make sure you order the braised pork belly buns for $9. This dish includes a fatty, well-braised pork belly that is wrapped in bao and served in brandy hoisin and a house pickle. Each order comes with two servings, but the bao is soft, and the little bites can be divided up easily. If you’re a fan of pulled pork, give your taste buds an upgrade and dive into this innovative sandwich.
I am also the type of person to go overboard in the foods I order. It’s not that I necessary spend too much money, but there is never any rhyme or reason to what I select on a menu, especially if dishes are served family style. So, after I mowed these two hot dishes, I was given the taiwanese-style cool dan dan noodles, which was only $8. Served with fresh peanut and chili sambal, this chilled noodle dish makes your mouth water just as much as it clears your sinuses. If you’re on a date, you might want to avoid this dish – makes your breath stink and your nose look like you’re sick, not something the lucky gal or guy across the table will want to see.
By now it’s time to have an offering that resembles more of a “complete dish,” as I would say. You’ve had a few small plates, and as delicious as they were, it never felt complete. Order the pan-roasted soy glazed salmon for $15, and you’ll get a filet served over rice, glazed in ginger, sriracha, rock sugar, with a side salad. This dish would be enough to serve one as a full dinner, but it also is a perfect item to share, especially after an onslaught of small plates. While the salmon definitely holds its fishy taste, take each bite with some of the cilantro served with the dish, and the freshness of the herb, and the lively flavor of the fish combine to give you a memorable yet light end to your dinner.
It’s true – Myers & Chang can run you a pretty penny if you visit this restaurant alone, but that’s not the type of place it is. With the long bar tables and outside seating, you’ll find that this South End spot encourages groups, and the more people you bring, the more likely you’ll end up paying fewer dollars when it comes time to tip the server well.
Myers & Chang
1145 Washington Street
Boston, MA 02118