Thursday, September 30, 2010

Chang's House, Brighton, Boston MA

All attempts to blog last week were derailed last week by a mixture of my own laziness, Netflix suddenly finally sending me Max Headroom after jerking me around for a month by promising there was no wait... until they were about to send it, at which point it became totally unavailable and no I'm not still bitter, and actual misfortune. (In the form of my car kicking the bucket in a truly stunning manner.  Expect even more subway-friendly restaurant reviews for at least the next couple of weeks.)

During this little intersession, it was my great delight to be able to eat at Chang's House, which is fast becoming my go-to local Chinese take out restaurant.  Chang's House is unique in that their vegetarian menu consists extensively of fake beef and fake chicken entrees.  This is good for people who are trying to "convert" to vegetarianism, or people who simply want to cut some fat from their diet.  However, they really didn't do anything for me.  (Disclosure:  one of the reasons I stopped eating meat was because I didn't like the taste, and I tend to find even meat analogues a bit too much like the real thing -- if they're good quality.) The meat-analogue entree we ordered was a disappointment. The General Gau's "chicken", little balls of gluten done up like dim sum chicken balls, had a wonderful sauce but the fake chicken itself was dry and there was barely enough sauce to moisten both the "chicken" and the wonderfully fluffy jasmine rice they served it with.  

My advice is to stick to the tofu dishes, as they offer a wonderful and selection of really tasty tofu entrees.  My particular favorites are the crispy sesame tofu (fried tofu served covered in sesame seeds and sweet and sour sauce, a delightful appetizer if you order it alone, but also good with rice), and the spicy curry tofu.  Unlike the crispy sesame tofu, the spicy curry tofu is a full meal.  The spicy curry tofu (triangles of fried tofu drenched in yellow curry sauce) is cooked with some nicely steamed vegetables, and the overall pepper fire is moderated somewhat by the aforementioned fluffy jasmine rice.

All in all, Chang's House offers up an excellent vegetarian meal at a good price.  They are also one of the few Boston-area restaurants that stays open until one in the morning.  When I moved to Brighton, one of my tiny niggling worries was that I wouldn't find a Chinese place to replace Rose's, but Chang's House is a great substitute. 

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