My fiancées reaction was one of confusion when I said I wanted to go out to Miami Café for my birthday meal, she found it odd that Id want to go someplace that delivers, but alas, it was perfect. I began with the Mondongo tripe stew, which is slightly different than Mexican menudo, for all of you tripe-lovers. Menudo has hominy; this did not (nor did it have some other occasional mondongo ingredients like potatoes or carrots, apparently it used to but people complained). Also, mondongo has some subtle cilantro and lime flavor that menudo typically does not. The only thing Id change would be to add some garnish to the mondongo similar to what menudo is typically served with, diced onion and lemon wedges perhaps. Also, the mondongo isnt served with any tortillas, which might be nice. The pulpo con arroz was an amazing, salty, extravaganza. I was thinking that the octopus would be in larger pieces and maybe with slightly crispy skin, this wasnt the case, it had more a stir-fry quality which was a-ok and came with a giant pile of rice My fiancée had the tostones which, though delicious, were deceptively filling, she also ordered the avocado salad and they forgot the salad and just brought her an avocado. Odd. We enjoyed the mango shake as well, especially good if you maybe find mango lassis too cloying, this isnt so sweet that its strange to eat with a meal.
The next day I brought 11 people to Chinatown to collectively thumb our noses at the alleged SARS outbreak. We hit the 3rd floor of Chau Chow City and not even the BU school of hospitality riff-raff in tow left unimpressed. Lets see if I can recall everything: several manifestations of the pork and shrimp dumpling/spring roll (many using the sea-shell shaped dumpling mold), awesome scallop dumplings, lobster dumplings, taro nests with mushrooms, pork buns, fried spring rolls w/pork & shrimp, fried tofu, rectangular rice cakes that were made on the a little mobile griddle?, mussels vaguely gratin-style, clams w/spicy black bean sauce from the steam table, some other more doughy concoctions, and THE CALAMARI WAS FRICK-ASS AMAZING. Along the dessert lines we were all fans of the sesame covered dumplings filled with lotus seed paste which almost had a brown sugar, cookie dough flavor to it. Oh, and we dug the egg custard filled dumplings as well. 11 People for $90.10 before tip.
Then my roommate and I headed off for bubble teas (coconut milk and star fruit, each w/pearls). The woman warned my roommate about the starfruit taste, but alas, I keep good chowhound company and she was no neophyte. Then it was off to X-Men 2, then homemade pizzas (w/a few ingredients from Salumeria Italiana), and then the beautiful and perfect fiancée once again catered to my whim and brought me a Boston Cream Pie from Rosies to be enjoyed by all, and then off to Our House on Comm. Ave for $5 Big Rocks. Apparently, pizza by the slice from Stefanies came into play at the end of the night but Im very fuzzy on the details of that though I did pull a folded paper plate from my coat pocket this morning.
Sunday, more low key, Once Upon a Time in the West and Tres Generaciones tequila, sipped slowly and deliberately prior to some good Alias watching. The birthday I had planned, based on many chowhound reviews came together perfectly and deliciously and so I say to you all remember, that on your birthdays you are socially allowed such extravagances and its best to take advantage.
Oh, and did you see on channel 7 last night they called the Aji Ichiban a CHINESE place with Mayor mumbles Menino leading a ribbon cutting?