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Boston Area

Horrific Boston area restaurants (e.g. Grasshopper)

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Horrific Boston area restaurants (e.g. Grasshopper)

Ryan | Apr 11, 2005 01:23 PM

Name restaurants in the Boston area that are simply disgusting. In other words, they would have to pay you to eat a single mouthful of their food. These are restaurants that you encourage fellow Chowhounds not to try under any circumstances--and you are doing them a more valuable service than, for instance, debating the merits of Dok Bua vs. Khao Sarn (the latter, by the way, is a bland faux Thai restaurant that doesn't come close to falling into the disgusting/be forwarned category I am talking about).

I came to this idea after eating lunch at Grasshopper in Allston. For the record, I was a strict vegetarian for about 15 years of my life. I love seitan and vegetarian meat substitutes, and actually often prefer them to meat in Asian foods. I've been to Buddha Delight Too in Brookline once, which I found acceptable and maybe better--worthy trying again.

But Grasshopper was freaking unedible. Not just bland. The hot and sour soup that came with my lunch special is the worst thing I can remember putting into my mouth. I couldn't even get one spoonful down. It had the same sour flavor that the artificial lemon in a can of Lipton iced tea has, but much stronger. The sourness was overwhelmed by an aspirin-like bitterness that I presume comes from their animal-free thickening agent.

My appetizer was "chicken fingers." Out came a plate full of huge things that looked like corndogs. Inside were little pieces of tofu, the only edible part. Whatever the thick batter part was tasted likesome combination of molasses, flour, and the bitter stuff that ruined the soup. I'm sick jus thinking of it.

My main dish was, to be fair, edible. Vegetables cut to all sorts of different sizes so that there was no way to get them all cooked evenly. No matter, just make them all mushy! They were drenched in a clear, almost tasteless "lemongrass sauce" that was thickened with enough corn starch to give the texture of eating slop. All accompanied by watery fried rice that didn't really taste fried. One would think it's hard to mess up fried rice.

This restaurant was so bad that I would not be friends with anybody who likes it. From observing the other sketchy zombie-looking clientele, I have a feeling that this friendship criterion would be highly redundant.

Who has other restaurants I should avoid at all costs?

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