Thursday, January 22, 2009

Veggie Cheap Eat: Spring Rolls at Porter Square Book Store

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Where can you go to get delicious, yet affordable Vietnamese spring rolls in the Boston area? A Chinese restaurant? A Vietnamese restaurant? The answer is in the Porter Square book store located in Cambridge MA on 25 White street. Inside the book store, lies a small cafe called Cafe Zing that serves these yummy soft spring rolls. Catered from a place called Indochine, these soft spring rolls are made with lettuce, tofu, mint, carrots and vermicelli noodles and are served with a sweet and tangy peanut sauce. For around $5 you can have three of these delicious rolls which makes for a perfect light lunch or a nice veggie snack. Call ahead or get to the cafe before the evening, these rolls are very popular and tend to sell out early in the day.Blog Pictures 372

In addition to these addictive spring rolls, Cafe Zing also sells coffee, tea, and gluten free desserts. Their gluten free toffee almond cookie is quite tasty. Seating is limited and service is friendly. Definitely a nice place to come for quick veggie bite.

Cafe Zing on Urbanspoon

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Veggie Cheap Eat: Shanghai Cafe in NYC

It can be difficult to find good vegetarian options in Chinatown. After a long day of shopping in Soho, Chinatown was the closest place to grab a bite. My carnivore friend insisted that we venture into Chinatown for dinner. I was a bit hesitant because I’ll admit I am a bit skeptical of the true vegetarianess of Chinese food in Chinatown. Except for Penang in Boston, my limited experiences with Chinese food in Chinatown have not always been the best. Since we were hungry, we did not want to travel too far to have dinner so we went to a restaurant called Shanghai Café.
Shanghai café located on 100 Mott St between Canal and Hester St serves Shanghainese food in a casual relaxed setting.

The ambiance, with its fluorescent lighting and eighties décor, differs from the standard Chinese restaurants in Chinatown. The meal started out with a complimentary green tea. I ordered the Black Mushroom Noodles with soup for $3.50 and the Vegetable pan fried Noodles for $6.25. For only $3.50, the Black Mushroom Noodles is quite large and is a meal on its own. The soup was tasty; I loved the thick dark mushrooms in the flavorful vegetable broth. The noodles however were plentiful but a bit too thick for my liking. The waitress ensured me that the broth was vegetarian, but as always double check. The pan fried noodles with vegetables were made with a thick sweet flavorful soy sauce. I am generally not a fan of crunchy noodles but I really did enjoy the taste of this dish.

Overall I enjoyed myself at Shanghai café. The service here is a bit slow and some of the servers are friendlier than others. My experience at Shanghai café was positive and I will now keep an open mind about trying restaurants in Chinatown. The food was good, and for the price you really can’t complain. I know there is a vegan restaurant in Chinatown Boston, called My Thai Vegan Café but I have not had a chance to try it yet. Do you know any other Chinese restaurants in Boston that have good vegetarian options?

Shanghai Café on Urbanspoon