“What do you mean, you’ve never been to Myers + Chang?” [insert name of credible Boston foodie] would say, looking genuinely concerned for my palate’s well-being. “You need to visit.”
This conversation would recur every few months. And with Joanne Chang appearing on every credible list of top Boston chefs, I raised Myers + Chang higher and higher on my list of must-visit restaurants.
Tuesday, April 22, 2014. Some days are longer than others. This day was even longer than those.
I had two final papers due that morning, plus an in-person final exam. By noon, I was ready to curl up in the fetal position and call it a semester, but I couldn’t fall asleep yet. I had a special end-of-semester dinner planned with Jodie, Becca, and Lena, the same crew featured in my Hole In One post!
Our bond had remained strong in the year since moving out of our dorm. After all, it was the kind of bond you can form only when you rise up against your university and demand justice after your overpriced dorm is transformed into a construction zone. In an empowering tale of how a little planning and a lot of anger goes a long way, we underdogs rallied and prevailed against the bureaucracy. We got 25 percent of our housing costs refunded and priority housing for the next year, during which I lived like royalty in the swanky West Village E.
But I missed my old YMCA roommates. In celebration of another year at Northeastern down, we trekked to the South End for dinner at Myers + Chang.
Myers + Chang is a well-established Asian-fusion icon on the Boston food scene. Joanne Chang and Christopher Myers met while working in Cambridge at Rialto. Myers’ food credits include Via Matta and the regretfully now-closed Radius. Chang’s other famous Boston venture is the acclaimed Flour Bakery, with locations in the South End, Fort Point Channel, and Kendall Square.
With all entrees less than $20, Myers + Chang is affordable on most budgets. Gluten-free and vegetarian menus are available too.
The semester is done, so bottom’s up! Just kidding; I don’t drink alcohol, so I started with a fizzy almond lemonade. The drink was delicate and airy, more almond than lemon, in a tall glass that should be held by four fingers with one’s pinky sticking out. My friends ordered a pitcher of sangria.
Unless you request otherwise, everything at Myers + Chang is served family-style in whatever order suits the kitchen. The four of us selected six dishes to split. We tried and failed to predict the order in which the dishes would arrive.
Scallion pancakes are one of my favorite Chinese food items. I order them at every opportunity. Hands-down, these were the best I’ve ever had. The pillow of savory fried dough knocked our collective socks off. The waitress told us that Myers + Chang uses focaccia bread to maximize fluffiness. I hereby decree that everyone everywhere should do this to all scallion pancakes all the time.
2 tacos x 3 chunks of fried fish per taco = 6 large bites of buttery white fish. The kimchee-sesame salsa was a bit light on the kimchee, but maybe we’re just being picky, since you can never have enough of the spicy Korean pickle.
We all agreed that the brussels sprouts was the unexpected winner for favorite item of the evening. A little spice, a little salt, and a lot of bite. Talk about going out with a tang! (*Rim shot.*)
Everyone was full when it came time for dessert—except me. My body defies physics when sugar is involved. But my ever-supportive friends indulged my sweet tooth. I opted for the chocolate peanut-butter layer cake, because chocolate + peanut butter = love.
Jodie recognized Joanne Chang and Chris Myers eating dinner near the doorway. I suddenly got all shy, but luckily for me Lena had no such inhibitions. She dragged me up from our table and over to the acclaimed chefs, announced to them that I have a food blog, and asked if she could take a photo of me with them. Of course, Myers and Chang were gracious about the photo and fun to chat with.
It’s so nice when a restaurant lives up to the hype, and even better when you get to share the experience with good people. +100 foodie cred to The Girl Who Ate Boston.