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Our Mother's Day Dumpling Class!

We had a hugely successful Mother's Day Dumpling Class a few weeks ago  - thank you to all the people who filled the restaurant in support of our charity! We were super excited to be putting on this dumpling making & folding class for a couple of reasons, namely the awesome partner companies and organizations involved. I mean, learning how to make and fold dumplings is excellent no matter what. And yes, getting to eat all the dumplings you can fit in your belly while wearing your brand new custom Hedley & Bennett apron is a dream come true. But we are extra psyched to have been able to raise so much money for our charity partner, the non-profit Baraka Wellness.

Irene and I first met the dynamic and energetic Raheem Baraka when our friends at Lovin' Spoonfuls (another amazing nonprofit!) asked us to run a cooking workshop showcasing seasonal vegetables for participants in the Baraka Wellness Healthy Moms, Healthy Kids program, which focuses on fitness, nutrition, coaching and social support for at-risk young mothers and children.

What better organization to support for a Mother's Day event?

Armed with local zucchini and eggplant, cheese graters and vegetable peelers, we headed to the Curtis Hall Community Center in Jamaica Plain to demonstrate some recipes and techniques.

We snacked on zucchini bread, demonstrated a shaved zucchini salad, showed some eggplant cooking methods, chatted about American and Dominican kitchen techniques, poked some cute baby cheeks, and had a great time.

It was so fun and so rewarding to show some new skills to an interested and engaged group of women and we hope that this workshop helped contribute to some of the positive outcomes seen through the program.

 

Here's what we're up against: (statistics from Baraka Wellness)

FACTS:
 

  • 3 out of 4 families headed by a single mother live in poverty.

  • More than one third of children and adolescents are overweight or obese.

  • Obese adolescents are more likely to become obese adults.

  • Nearly 50% of all African American women have diabetes.

  • At least one out of every five U.S. teenagers has abnormal cholesterol levels.

  • Overweight and obesity are associated with a 52 percent increased risk of a diagnosis of asthma.

  • Children born to obese mothers are twice as likely to be obese and to develop type 2 diabetes later in life.

But thankfully, the people of Baraka Wellness and so many other partners and organizations are working hard to combat these stark realities. Some measurable improvements reported by Baraka include 400% increase in nutrition knowledge, 300% increase in daily physical activity and 3-43 pounds lost while enrolled in Healthy Moms, Healthy Kids. They combine fitness classes with nutrition classes, dietary coaching, social work and more to approach a complex issue from multiple angles. It's so great to see such a targeted, specific, measurable program really make a difference in people's lives. 

We're so happy to support the important work being done at Baraka Wellness through this event. Through the dumpling class, we raised $800 which will go directly to Healthy Mom, Healthy Kids (a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization)! Learn more about them by checking out the video below.

And a huge thanks also to Claudia and Leah from Fresh Magazine by Hannaford for the adorable little recipe cards! You guys are the best. 

Stay tuned for our next class and more opportunities to get dumplings in your belly, an awesome custom apron around your waist, and support a great cause!

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Pancakes for Public Radio!

We love public radio and we particularly love our friends over at WBUR 90.9 FM, just around the corner from the restaurant. We cater lots of events for them and even did a dinner with Mark Bittman for their donors once, so we were excited when they invited us to cook up some pancakes to feed the volunteers for today's marathon fundraiser.  

Chocolate chip and blueberry pancakes and squeeze bottles and electric griddles go go go! 

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The awesome and indomitable Jess Coughlin was my sous chef for the morning. Thanks for all the fun Jess! Happy to be part of #teamWBUR.

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I love Here and Now, so it was great to meet host Robin Young and some of the producers! 

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Hopefully our carb-loading will help WBUR reach their target of raising a million dollars in 26.2 hours! Good luck guys!  

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Dim Sum PopUp at Shepard!

We love dim sum. We love brunch cocktails. And we love our buddies over at Shepard in Cambridge!  It's an honor to be working with them on this fun pop-up featuring inventive versions of dim sum favorites.

Think dry aged lamb buns, chicken mousse stuffed chicken wings, corned beef and xo dumplings and more. And booze. Definitely booze. 

UPDATE: this event is currently fully booked! Check out Shepard on OpenTable or call their restaurant to see if any spots open up. For everyone who reserved a table, see you there!

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Pop Up Do Good Recap!

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It was a crowded, festive, warm and wonderful night last Monday when a crew of amazing cooks, servers, and guests descended on Mei Mei for Pop Up Do Good! As we mentioned in this blog post last week, this event was a benefit for Syrian refugees organized by the tireless Mary Kastman of Sarma restaurant. 

Here she is, giving a prep-meal talk to the lovely crew of servers who volunteered to help out at the event. 

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Tables were outfitted with some lovely bouquets from our mom Elaine (aka mama Mei Mei) and you can see some tasty pink pickles from our buddies at Commonwealth Restaurant. I ate about a gallon of these the next day....

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Commonwealth was just one of the many generous donors who helped support the event, including Savenor's Market, AP Wines, Jack's Abby, Reserve, Oleana, Sarma, Sevan Bakery, Sofra, Townsman and so many people who lent their time and hands.

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The food, inspired by Syrian cuisine, was plentiful, colorful and fantastic. Above you can see just a fraction of the vibrant dishes, including a cucumber caçik, hummus with crunchy fried chickpeas, muhammara with red peppers and house baked bread.

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Irene and Mary came around with spectacular Lamb Kofte Shish! I was definitely too busy eating to take any more photos, but thankfully Lindsay Barcebal from Oleana snapped some great pictures...I'm hungry just looking at them.

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You can see the crowd listening to Mary's speech about the event and thanking all the sponsors.  

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The night ended a parade of delicious snacks from the pastry teams at Townsman and Sofra, including Turkish delight truffles, buttery flaky baklava, a milk pudding and more, plus candy snacks to go!

It was an amazing night and we raised almost $3000 for the American Refugee Committee! Thank you to everyone who supported in any way and we can't wait to do it again! 

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Roasted Cauliflower with Cranberry Sweet & Sour Sauce.

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Despite our truck and restaurant focus on the best locally sourced small farm ingredients, we still love the gloppy, greasy, thoroughly inauthentic (although authentically Americanized Chinese, but we digress) Chinese takeout experience every once in a while. Like over the weekend, when it was about 20 degrees and all we wanted to do was eat crab rangoons and General Gao's chicken and sit on the couch and watch back to back Harry Potter movies.

Yes that happened, and it was awesome, and the best guilty pleasure meal. But we try not to do it too much - because it's not super healthy, because we try to cook often, because we want to avoid processed foods and industrial meat for the most part. And that's part of how our sauce line came about. We wanted to be able to eat Chinese flavors that we know and love at home in an easy and accessible format, but also to be able to feel good about the ingredients. We like knowing where the ingredients came from and that the sauce wasn't made with an abundance of sugar or salt or oil or all the tricks that often make fast food taste so good.

So we're really proud of this Cranberry Sweet & Sour sauce. It's made with organic cranberries from Fresh Meadows Farm in Carver, MA. And while it's got a sweet side as well as a vinegary kick, it's not loaded with preservatives or chemicals or anything else you can't pronounce. All natural, gluten free, vegan, all the good stuff. 

And we wanted to make it super easy. So I made roasted cauliflower and just poured the sauce on and mixed. So good. It's barely a recipe, but details below. Let us know if you tried some and what you did with it, we'd love to hear!

1. Take one head of cauliflower and cut into pieces. Don't forget the stalk! I sliced it into thin pieces, cutting off any hard or woody bits and added it to the pile of florets. You can also use the leaves if they're in good condition (not wilted or browned).

2. Put the cauliflower on a lightly oiled sheet pan in the oven at 400 degrees. I left it in for about 20ish minutes, I think. To be honest, I'm not sure. Just check after about 15-20 minutes and pull the tray out when you get nice browned bits and crunchy edges. 

3. Put into a bowl and toss with a drizzle of cranberry sweet & sour sauce! Add chopped scallions or fried shallots if you like. Eat with some steamed rice if you want. Enjoy! 

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Pop Up, Do Good!

We here at Mei Mei are very honored to be part of a great event coming up - Pop Up Do Good, a benefit dinner for Syrian refugees featuring Syrian-inspired cuisine. Many of us had been thinking about how we could do something to help this humanitarian crisis and it was perfect timing that the amazing Mary Kastman of Sarma restaurant contacted us about doing this pop-up. Mary has been working tirelessly to plan and execute this event with a bunch of volunteers from our favorite restaurants around town: Sarma, Sofra, Oleana, Townsman, Commonwealth and more.  Getting to eat food prepared by these cooks in one night is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. 

Clockwise from upper left: organizer Mary Kastman of Sarma,  Maura Kilpatrick of Sofra, Meg Thompson of Townsman, Liz Barwick of Sarma, Emily Klug of Sarma, Lindsey Barcebal of Oleana.

Clockwise from upper left: organizer Mary Kastman of Sarma,  Maura Kilpatrick of Sofra, Meg Thompson of Townsman, Liz Barwick of Sarma, Emily Klug of Sarma, Lindsey Barcebal of Oleana.

In the hospitality industry, we sometimes see huge amounts of money being spent on nights out in restaurants. While we value and cherish these opportunities to enjoy great food and drink out with loved ones, it's also important to step back and see how we can use our money for pressing causes like the Syrian refugee crisis.  According to the donation recipient, the American Refugee Committee, 'we know that more than 6 million people inside Syria need emergency food assistance right now.' If you can help support these needy people while also getting to taste a delicious meal from some of the best cooks in Boston, how can you say no?

We know that $70 for a ticket is not an insignificant amount of money for many people. The ticket price was set at this amount to reflect the value of the donated food and drinks from the generous sponsors listed below, and we also want to make sure we can give as much money as possible to the American Refugee Committee.  So maybe if you're planning to go out twice this weekend and next weekend and will maybe spend $20 or $25 a meal, consider staying in those nights and putting that restaurant  budget towards one incredible night of food, drinks, and a very worthy cause. We may also be able to offer some pay-what-you-can tickets  later this week, so stay tuned. 

Enough from us. Here are some words from the organizer and brain behind this event, Mary Kastman. She answered some questions for us to give a bit more information on the pop-up. 

1. How did you get the idea to do this pop-up? 

I was driving to work one day, listening to NPR as I normally do and I heard a story about many of our public figures wanting to close our borders to Syrian refugees due to fears of terrorism. I was incensed and started thinking of what I could do to help the refugees. I'm sure many of my cook friends would agree that we try to understand/process a lot of the world through the lens of food so I thought: Why not do a pop up?  

Muhammara with Spicy Walnut and Pomegranate Molasses

Muhammara with Spicy Walnut and Pomegranate Molasses

2. What inspired the dishes that will be served? 

I'm super lucky to be involved with Middle Eastern food and ingredients every day so I am bringing a lot of that knowledge to the table. There is a ton of crossover in flavors and textures in the regions surrounding Syria (i.e Lebanon and Turkey) but also some differences that I have learned about through extensive research and the guidance of my Syrian friend and coworker, Elliot. The food is not meant to be an exact replica of Syrian cuisine, but rather a taste of the incredible flavors that are just the tip of the iceberg. 

Lamb Kofte Shish, Freekeh Tabbouleh and Tahini Yogurt.

Lamb Kofte Shish, Freekeh Tabbouleh and Tahini Yogurt.

3. How did you choose everyone who is involved? 

My wonderful friend and chef Brian Young encouraged me to seek out the folks at Mei Mei as a possible space and partner for the event. Being a huge fan of the food truck, I reached out to Irene and BOOM! Here we are! From there everything was pretty organic; Mei Mei has an existing relationship with Reserve and they are stoked to be involved. I wanted to give the event a special feel while utilizing Reserve's app so that people can sign up right on their phone. It literally takes less than 5 minutes to sign up --- that was huge!

Sofra was also a natural partner in that the uber fabulous Maura Kilpatrick does phenomenal work with these flavor profiles. She also shares my feelings about the refugee crisis and was more than happy to help out. I cannot wait to try her treats! 

Potato Kibbeh with Spinach and Armenian String Cheese filling.

Potato Kibbeh with Spinach and Armenian String Cheese filling.

4. Why did you pick the American Refugee Committee and how will they use the money?

Through extensive research and months of communication, the ARC was the clear choice. They have an A+ rating on Charity Watch and a low percentage of overhead. They have refugee relief programs all over the world that focus on providing food, clothing, domestic violence programs, shelter and education. The money we raise for this event will go towards basic necessities such as food staples, blankets for the winter, hygiene kits and clothing. For more information, check out the website: www.arcrelief.org

Hummus and Tahini

Hummus and Tahini

5. Tell us more about the talented team in the back of house!


Liz Barwick, a fellow Wisconsin native, also spends her time at Sarma. You can find her most nights rocking pans on the sauté station.

Lindsey Barcebal hails from Maine and is part of the dream team over at Oleana. She brings her grill, sauté and garde manger expertise to us for this event.

Emily Klug of Sarma will be providing our Pop Up with her delicious bread---z'attar dusted flatbread and anise seed bread with figs!

Maura Kilpatrick of Sofra bakery has some killer dessert plans for Pop Up, Do Good! Think buttery, flaky baklava and Turkish delight truffles!

Meg Thompson of Townsman will be collaborating with Maura on some special cookie swag that our guests will receive as an extra special thank you for supporting the cause.

6. Anything else you want people to know?

I'm just so grateful to everyone involved and I hope the event will be a smashing success. Special thanks to all of our supporters! Their generous donations are allowing us to maximize our gift to the ARC.

AP Wine

Jack's Abby

Mei Mei

Oleana

Reserve

Sarma

Savenor's

Sevan Bakery

Sofra

Townsman

Commonwealth

Thanks everyone for reading...now go to Pop Up Do Good and book your tickets!

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Our Online Store is Live!

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WAHOO! We are super excited to announce that our three inaugural products for the Pantry at Mei Mei line are now available in the restaurant, the container later this week and our new online shop! 

Click on over to our Pantry page to buy 3-packs of sauces. E-commerce is new to us, so it took us a little while to get the whole store set up and all the shipping and packaging logistics in place. Turns out these bottles are kinda heavy (chock full of local ingredients!) and so we had to look for a while to find an affordable shipping option. We're not okay with $35 to send you a $28 box of sauces, and we assume you feel the same.

For now, USPS Priority Mail is looking like the best option because their medium flat rate boxes can fit 3 bottles (in fact, they can fit 6 if you want to double up!) but we're going to keep looking around to try and get those prices down. 

So, order away and let us know what you think! If you make something and snap a photo, tag us on Instagram or Twitter or Facebook and we'll share our favorite posts. Thanks for supporting everyone....especially you, Lisa, Adam and Chelsea:) We <3 you guys!

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Talkin' Turkey

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Talkin' Turkey

You guys might remember how excited Irene was last year about getting pasture-raised deli meats from The Piggery. We were all excited! And it wasn't just about having as many delicious cottage bacon slices, cranberry sage dumplings, and porky hot dogs as we could get our hands on - it was also about sharing the love and building the infrastructure for high-quality, responsibly produced food. 

We were super excited to learn that among others, UMass Boston has hopped on the Piggery train along with us and is trying out their pasture-raised turkey deli slices! Shane from Baldor has been instrumental in getting the word out and pushing these great ingredients. If you attend or work at UMass, ask about them!

These products are truly one-of-a-kind. Now that Hormel owns Applegate, high quality deli meats made by real people and small businesses are getting harder and harder to come by. Plus, pasture-raised poultry farms are still few and far between. But at The Piggery and Bluebird Dream Farm, Brad and Heather lease land to their friend Nick. Nick loves his birds - he sees to their every need, singing to them, and sometimes even camping out in the fields to protect them! Then Brad, the meat wizard, makes the deli meats, and sells them to us. This is what food and relationships are all about! 

Wanna talk turkey? Come in and try some on your rice porridge or in your Double Awesome today. 


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Beer-Poached Sausages with Cranberry Sweet & Sour Sauce

And now for the second installment of Easy Home Cooking Recipes with Mei Mei Sauce, Part 2. Also known as the second post in the #OnlyATinyBitDrunk series, in which the recipes are easy enough to do when you are lacking just the teensiest bit of control of your fine motor skills. Introducing...Beer Poached Sausages with Cranberry Sweet & Sour Sauce!

beer poached sausages with cranberry sweet and sour sauce.

I'm super excited about this one, because it took us a while to perfect the Cranberry Sweet & Sour Sauce recipe. It's finally bottled and on the restaurant shelves now!  And you'll be able to buy it on our online shop soon, so stay tuned. 

Anyway, I wanted to cook something that would basically let me eat the cranberry sauce straight, because it is crazy delicious. Sweet like ketchup, but more fruity and fresh, with a little vinegary kick. My Scottish husband, raised to douse all his sausages in the inventively named brown sauce, thinks this is a perfect substitute. 

So here's the recipe, in all its posted-while-a-bit-inebriated glory:

Step 1: put sausages into a pan and pour in a bottle and a half of beer or however much you need to cover up those little weiners.

Step 2: finish the rest of that beer and probably another one for good measure. Gotta quality check!!

Step 3: when the sausages are cooked, take them out of the beer and put them in a frying pan with a bit of oil so they get nicely browned.

Step 4: remove from the pan and pour on some awesome sweet & sour sauce from fresh cranberries available NOW at the restaurant and online in like 2 days! Oh and serve with more beer. Wahoooo! 

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Easy Home Cooking Recipes with Mei Mei Sauce, Part 1.

Steamed Greens with Smoked Maple Ginger Sauce.

Steamed Greens with Smoked Maple Ginger Sauce.

Sometimes you just need an easy recipe.

Maybe you had a long day and you just want something simple. Maybe you got home super late and you don't to wait for takeout. Maybe you want a really healthy meal that still tastes good. Or maybe your baby didn't nap all afternoon and cried for ages and made a huge mess and pooped all over you and so you had a glass of wine as soon as she finally crashed, and then another, and eventually you realized you needed to eat something immediately or you were also likely to crash, most likely in an embarassing position on the floor of your kitchen. 

Just hypothetically speaking, here. 

This is how my new Instagram series of posts has started, jokingly referred to as #CookingAtHomeWithMeiMei while #OnlyATinyBitDrunk. Because I realized that if I can do it drunk without hurting myself or burning down the house, it's simple enough that  it should be in regular rotation. 

So here it is, pulled directly from Instagram in its slightly drunk glory but with better formatting - my 'recipe' for Steamed Greens with Smoked Maple Ginger Sauce. But I promise you, it's good enough to eat even when you're not drunk at all. 

Step 1: Have our smoked maple ginger sauce in your fridge (most important part!)

Step 2: Stick two bags of steam-in-the-bag veggies in the microwave and cook.

Step 3: Open bags without burning yourself (hardest part) and put into bowl.

Step 4: Sprinkle with white & black sesame seeds because you #fancy.

Step 5: Pour sauce on veggies and eat and congratulate yourself for 'cooking' a super healthy tasty dish!

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Apple Hoisin Dressing

One of my favorite things about our new sauces is how versatile they are for different types of meals. The apple hoisin is delicious slathered on ribs or pork buns all on its own, but mixed with just two ingredients it becomes a delicious dressing for salads or veggies. It's so good that regulars at our shipping container have been dropping by to purchase little takeout cups. And I may or may not have been eating it with a spoon. But no one will ever know for sure. 

Here's all you need:

1/4 cup apple hoisin sauce

1/4 cup rice or apple cider vinegar

3/4 cup neutral oil like this delicious Full Sun Canola oil

Blend, whisk, stir, shake, choose your mixing method of choice. Drizzle it on any salad, like the Quinoa, Corn, Broccoli, Bacon bowl above. Or eat it with a spoon. I certainly won't judge. 

 

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Our Sauce Line! And a Recipe for Smoked Maple Ginger Noodles.

We are SUPER excited to be launching our new Pantry at Mei Mei line this weekend! Eek! We've been working for months now on getting them produced here in Boston so you could enjoy some Mei Mei in your own kitchen! And of course we are focused on bringing delicious Chinese flavors with the best locally sourced ingredients, as always.  We'll have them for sale at the restaurant starting December 12 and they'll be available for online purchasing in early 2016. 

For those of you who pick up a bottle or two or three, we wanted to show you some tasty ways to use them in your own kitchen. Today for lunch I made these noodles with tofu, spinach and pickled carrots and straight up poured the smoked maple ginger sauce on top. Freaking delicious. Check out the easy recipe below to make it yourself!

Smoked Maple Ginger Noodles with Tofu and Veggies

Serves one very hungry person (aka me) or two normal people. Increase the recipe as needed!

What You'll Need:

8 oz ramen noodles (or soba or udon or the noodle of your choice)
2 tbsp vegetable oil (we love the deliciously buttery non-GMO oils from Full Sun)
6 oz firm tofu, dried on a paper towel and then sliced into bite-size pieces
1 carrot
1/2 cup vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar, but rice vinegar would be great too)
1 tsp sugar
a handful of spinach
salt and pepper
1/4 cup Smoked Maple Ginger Sauce
1 tsp black sesame seeds, for garnish

What To Do:

  1. Put a pot of water on high heat. 
  2. While you're waiting for the water to boil, make (super) quick pickles! Shred your carrot and place it in a small container with the vinegar, sugar and 1/4 water. Let sit while you prepare the rest of the meal. 
  3. Pour the oil into a pan (non-stick is helpful here) over medium-high heat. Once it's hot, add the tofu and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Let the tofu cook about 3-5 minutes until lightly browned and you can easily flip them over. Hit the pieces again with a tiny bit of salt and cook for another few minutes then remove from the pan. 
  4. Once the water is ready, add the noodles and cook according to package directions. When the noodles are just about done, add your handful of spinach to the pot and stir. Once all the spinach is cooked, drain the noodles and spinach. 
  5. Drain the carrots from the brine and add the cooked noodles, spinach, tofu in a bowl. 
  6. Add the Smoked Maple Ginger Sauce and mix. Sprinkle some sesame seeds for garnish and eat! 

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Welcome to Mei Mei by Design!

The time has come! After many months of planning, organizing, building, and manufacturing, our shipping container is almost ready to open! Our contractors are still putting the finishing touches on the container over the next few days, but we're so psyched to finally get open and serve food that we are just going to make. it. happen. soon.

So we're planning for menu testing and practice this Monday - if you're not yet following the Mei Mei by Design Twitter account yet (@meimeibydesign), this would be a good time to start. We'll be giving away a few free lunches on Monday to our followers and that's where you'll find menu updates, specials, events, promotions and more. If you work in the Innovation Design Building or nearby, don't miss out!

Now a few words on the menu: we've had to re-tool our planned menu a few times based on the container setup. Even though it's a teeeeeny bit more spacious than the food truck (and has heat! wahhoo!), it doesn't drive back to the restaurant every day to reload and get more food. So the menu had to be designed to be prepped and cooked almost exclusively in the container. We also wanted to create dishes that made sense for the people working in the IDB because we want you to come eat with us often. And lastly, we based the menu on the very best ingredients from our local farm partners who concentrate on growing great vegetables and delicious grains, and producing excellent cheeses and tofu and other items. 

What this means is that the Mei Mei by Design menu isn't going to look like the food truck menu or the restaurant menu. We don't have a griddle to cook hundreds of Double Awesomes, and we don't have the room to roll dumplings. We don't even have a fryer for sweet corn fritters. Instead, we're going for a fresh & local vibe, with about 95% of ingredients from our partner farms. Which is why the names of the bowls on our starting menu all feature a farm name. We'll tell you more about them as you read on!

Our first bowl is The Four Star, named for an awesome sustainable family farm in Northfield MA.

The L'Etoile family grows fantastic non-GMO whole grains that are richly flavored and full of nutrients. Plus, growing whole grains is great for the soil.

We feature their triticale in this salad, which is a wheat-rye hybrid, as well as roasted sausage, russet potatoes, dried cranberries, arugula, crispy shallots, and a tangy cranberry dressing. Perfect for a New England fall. (Note: we've done some menu testing and revising since these photos were taken, so you might see some small differences!)

 

Another one of our local producers we've worked with since the very early days of the food truck is the fantastic Narragansett Creamery, which is why our next bowl is called The Narragansett.  

We love their feta cheese on the Magical Kale Salad, and have used their excellent grilling cheese and ricotta in many dishes in the restaurant. This bowl features their crumbly queso fresco along with crumbled chorizo, russet potatoes, baby kale, yellow eyed-beans, crispy shallots, all tossed in an umami apple dressing.  

Gotta have bacon on the menu, and of course we named it after our favorite pig farm in all the land, The Piggery

Run by Brad and Heather, this butcher shop/farm is where Irene worked during college and they raise phenomenal pastured pigs and make delicious cured meat products. All the meat on the menu is from their farm in Ithaca, NY - go visit if you're ever in the area!

Their cottage bacon is perfect with local sweet corn, pickled mushrooms, garlic panko and a spinach-lettuce mix with a sweet tomato dressing. Mmm yum. 

 

 

The Hei Wa is named after the Heiwa Soy Beanery in Belfast, ME - they make all the certified organic, non-GMO, totally delicious tofu we use in the restaurant using traditional open kettle methods.

Their soybeans are all grown in New England and they put a ton of effort in creating a pure and sustainable product. Hei Wa means peace or harmony in Japanese, and that's how we feel when we eat this salad with tofu cubes, kimchi, ocean kelp, brown rice, baby kale, crispy shallots and garlic peanut dressing. 

 

 

The Northern Girl is named for a Maine company that supports a lot of small farms by helping to process their produce for restaurants and retailers. We love what they do: 'The premise is simple:  sell the top notch percentage of each of our farmer’s crops on the fresh market, and process the culls and surplus to feed locavores the rest of the year.  Its the kind of thinking that keeps farms in business...'

We're using ruby red beets from them in this bowl, alongside Narragansett Creamery sea salt feta, pea shoots, arugula, triticale, pepitas, and a smoked maple soy ginger dressing.   

 

Last but not least is The Full Bloom, our salad made with bee pollen, fresh mozzarella, pea shoots, arugula, triticale, and a honey buttermilk dressing. 

Our honey and bee pollen are brought to you by Full Bloom Apiary in North Franklin, CT. This salad is fresh and springy with a great hit of floral notes from the multicolored flecks of pollen. 

 

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Happy September from Mei Mei!

 

Happy September everyone and welcome back students! So much going on these days:

  • Big news - we are opening our third location and as you can see, baby Kira is VERY excited about it! Check out the info on our new shipping container kiosk, Mei Mei by Design, on the right. Can't wait! More info in an Eater article here
  • A few familiar faces are moving on to do exciting things and we'll miss them all terribly! We've recently said bye to our fearless kitchen leader Max, who is going on to work at Little Moss in South Dartmouth with our buddy Chris; Jean, who is returning to education (but will be teaching at the school behind Mei Mei!) and Gabe, who is continuing his kitchen explorations around town. Come back and visit all the time, guys!
  • Speaking of saying goodbye....WE'RE HIRING! We're looking specifically for a new lunch counter rock star, but are always open to meeting cool new folks. Visit our Jobs page for more info. 
  • Man. Can't believe it's September already! We've loved farming in the sun with our friends, playing with new summer dishes, testing seasonal cocktail specials, and enjoying the beauty of a Boston summer. 


Love and farming fun,
the Mei Mei team

P.S. Do you follow us on Instagram? Let's be friends!

Mei Mei in the news


Woop woop - thanks to The Daily Meal for naming us one of the 101 Best Food Trucks in America! Wow. We're thrilled!

We're also psyched that Boston Magazine named us Best Dumplings in the city! Considering how many delicious dumplings there are in town, it's a huge honor. Mmm. Dumplings. Hungry. Want to eat dumplings now....


We're also psyched that Andy's crazy takeout chinese food + pizza mashup got featured in Boston Magazine too.  Stay tuned for the next pizza pop-up on the way!

OUR NEW SHIPPING CONTAINER!!!!

OUR NEW SHIPPING CONTAINER!!!!

Get ready, Seaport friends - Mei Mei is headed your way! Along with our buds at Roxy's Grilled Cheese, Jubali Juice, Traingle Coffee and more, we are setting up shop in a repurposed shipping container at the Innovation Design Building at 23 Drydock Ave. 

We'll start out by offering creative sandwiches, soups, salads and other customized meal options for weekday lunches, with potential for breakfast and dinner in the future. Of course, the container will feature all the sustainable ingredients and well-sourced food that is so important to us, including exclusively pasture-raised meats, small farm produce, and locally made cheese and bread. We'll also be showcasing some of our favorite snacks and drinks from businesses we like, such as Spindrift sodas! 

Opening is set for mid-late September...we'll keep you in the loop!

Fall Truck Schedule and Special Events 

SPECIAL EVENTS

Sunday, September 6 & 13: SoWa Open Market!

 

REGULAR 2015 SCHEDULE
MONDAY

11:30am-2:30pm: Landmark Building in the Fenway
 

TUESDAY 

11:30am-2:30pm: Stuart St. at Trinity Place

 

WEDNESDAY 

11:30am-2:30pm: Dewey Square

 

THURSDAY 

11:30am-2:30pm: Belvidere St. by the Christian Science Center (119 Belvidere St. by the Prudential T Stop)

 

FRIDAY 

11:30am-2:30pm: Dewey Square

 

SATURDAY & SUNDAY

Lots of special events, private catering and festivals! Got a special occasion coming up? We promise it will be extra awesome if the Mei Mei truck rolls up full of food. Check out our catering page or email andrew@meimeiboston.com to have Mei Mei at your next party!


Check out our Find Us page for more information!

 

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Happy April from Mei Mei!

April is here, which means a new truck schedule...and some sunshine!? Other springtime excitement includes:

  • A new chalk wall for the restaurant by the amazingly talented Sophie Greenspan! Come check out her gorgeous work. 
  • WE ARE HIRING! We are looking for badass truck workers, line cooks, servers, counter folks, generally awesome people of all shapes and sizes. Visit our JOBS page to get in touch!
  • We are continuing to add fun new stuff to the menu like pasture-raised turkey slices! Read more about the deliciousness here, from our friends at The PIggery in Ithaca.  
  • We have two extra tickets that just opened up to our Pig Breakdown Class with Max this Thursday. Get em herebefore they go!
  • TOMORROW AT DEWEY SQUARE! Tasty one-time-only special treats to celebrate the new truck schedule / April Fool's Day / the general awesomeness of life. 

Love and pastured pork,
the Mei Mei team

We are super honored to have been chosen as StarChefs.com's Boston 2015 Rising Star for Concept! Thank you to StarChefs for including us in this killer lineup of local rock stars.  We will be serving up our 'dish that clinched it'  - Max's Honey Walnut Shrimp - at a big exciting gala dinner on April 16th. Details here

We love mac & cheese. Like everyone should. So we are especially excited for the newest dinner menu item - red cooked pork shoulder mac & cheese! It's got some of that fun childhood mac & cheese vibe, but the orange is from the Korean spice gochujang, not fake chemicals. Plus it's got local mozzarella and cheddar from some of our favorite purveyors, plus crunchy breadcrumbs, so basically LIFE IS PERFECT.  Also coming soon....sandwich specials! Think pastured pastrami, organic sauerkraut, maple dijon mustard and pickle mayo on Iggy's brioche....

We love mac & cheese. Like everyone should. So we are especially excited for the newest dinner menu item - red cooked pork shoulder mac & cheese! It's got some of that fun childhood mac & cheese vibe, but the orange is from the Korean spice gochujang, not fake chemicals. Plus it's got local mozzarella and cheddar from some of our favorite purveyors, plus crunchy breadcrumbs, so basically LIFE IS PERFECT. 
Also coming soon....sandwich specials! Think pastured pastrami, organic sauerkraut, maple dijon mustard and pickle mayo on Iggy's brioche....

April 1st is here, which means a new truck schedule...and some sunshine!? Other springtime excitement includes:

  • A new chalk wall for the restaurant by the amazingly talented Sophie Greenspan! Come check out her gorgeous work. 
  • WE ARE HIRING! We are looking for badass truck workers, line cooks, servers, counter folks, generally awesome people of all shapes and sizes. Visit our JOBS page to get in touch!
  • We are continuing to add fun new stuff to the menu like pasture-raised turkey slices! Read more about the deliciousness here, from our friends at The PIggery in Ithaca.  
  • We have two extra tickets that just opened up to our Pig Breakdown Class with Max this Thursday. Get em herebefore they go!
  • TOMORROW AT DEWEY SQUARE! Tasty one-time-only special treats to celebrate the new truck schedule / April Fool's Day / the general awesomeness of life. 

Love and pastured pork,
the Mei Mei team

Mei Mei in the news


We are super honored to have been chosen as StarChefs.com'sBoston 2015 Rising Star for Concept! Thank you to StarChefs for including us in this killer lineup of local rock stars.  We will be serving up our 'dish that clinched it'  - Max's Honey Walnut Shrimp - at a big exciting gala dinner on April 16th. Details here. We're especially psyched that it'll be featuring delicious local and sustainable shrimp from Sky8, the first shrimp farm in Massachusetts!

New Menu Items!


We love mac & cheese. Like everyone should. So we are especially excited for the newest dinner menu item - red cooked pork shoulder mac & cheese! It's got some of that fun childhood mac & cheese vibe, but the orange is from the Korean spice gochujang, not fake chemicals. Plus it's got local mozzarella and cheddar from some of our favorite purveyors, plus crunchy breadcrumbs, so basically LIFE IS PERFECT. 
Also coming soon....sandwich specials! Think pastured pastrami, organic sauerkraut, maple dijon mustard and pickle mayo on Iggy's brioche....

April Truck & Event Schedule

Special Events!
4/16 - Boston StarChefs Rising Star Gala at the Colonnade Hotel
4/18 - Greenway Spring Food Festival
4/20 - HAPPY 3rd BIRTHDAY FOOD TRUCK!!!

Our new truck schedule for 2015!
MONDAY - NEW SPOT!

11:30am - 2:30pm: Hurley Building (New Chardon and Cambridge Streets) Just a few blocks from City Hall Plaza!

TUESDAY 

11:30am-2:30pm: Stuart St. at Trinity Place by Copley Square

WEDNESDAY 

11:30am-2:30pm: Dewey Square by South Station

THURSDAY  

11:30am - 2:30pm: Belvidere by the Christian Science Center Fountain (We'll miss you BU!)

FRIDAY 

11:30am-2:30pm: Dewey Square by South Station

SATURDAY & SUNDAY

Summer is coming and that means food truck parties and weddings! We also do corporate and private party caterings that we can deliver straight to your home or office.  Check out our catering page or email andrew@meimeiboston.com to have Mei Mei at your next event!
Check out our website for more details, we'll see you out there! 

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Of dumplings and fillings...

Dearest Mei Mei friends, 

 

You guys like dumplings, right? Right. So do we. We love them, actually. And we've got a few dumpling related announcements for you!

The first is that we're making a change to our dumpling wrappers - switching to pre-made from hand-rolled. We love the chewy, hearty texture of our hand-rolled wrappers - we always will - but we're growing beyond our capacity to keep production up. So we're switching it up, still folding each dumpling by hand and with lots of love, just with a wrapper that someone else made for us. Like most sandwich shops that outsource their bread, and most of your favorite dumpling spots around town, we searched around for the best tasting brand and they are now producing delicious wrappers for us. We're even working on a custom wrapper with specially chosen ingredients, so we'll keep you all updated on that. Some of you might even prefer the crispier, thinner dumpling skin - let us know what you think!

Up close and personal with the crispy bubbly all-new dumpling wrappers.  

Up close and personal with the crispy bubbly all-new dumpling wrappers.  

We're also super excited to tell you guys that our increased capacity is going to mean more dumplings more of the time. Since we opened the restaurant, we've kept the dumpling menu pretty consistent with the beloved pierogi and traditional pork. But, now that production is streamlined and we've really settled in at the restaurant, it's time to have some fun - the crazy delicious dumpling kind of fun. We'd love to hear your ideas and requests, and have designs on whiskey apple pork dumplings, hot Italian sausage dumplings, and much, much more.  

As always, we welcome your feedback and are grateful for your continued support! Peace, love, and porky dumplings,

the Mei Mei team

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Introducing... turkey slices! And some notes on pricing and sourcing

Dear Mei Mei Friends & Family,

Hi from Irene, and greetings from Ithaca, NY! I miss you all so stinkin' much. I've been busy finishing up school and working at my friends Brad and Heather's butcher shop, The Piggery. Maybe you've noticed because every time I drive back to Boston, we have some awesome new things like deli ham for the Porco Rosso, cottage bacon for your double awesome, and rib tips and hot dogs for... your face. And stuff.

 

Brad and Heather are some of Max's and my oldest friends in Ithaca. They started out as humble pig farmers, experimenting with corn and soy-free feeds, mob grazing, and all kinds of other awesome stuff. They love and care for their animals in a way we really admire, and having seen their farm and business grow over the last six years, we really dig their process and trust their quality. A little over a year ago, they launched a USDA certified processing facility that allows them to produce a lot more stuff, like sausages and deli meats, all made with their and their partner farms' pasture-raised meats. Most of their products are unique - pasture-raised sandwich meat is extremely hard to come by. And Applegate, their biggest competitor, just got bought up by Hormel. So we think it's more important than ever that we support this growing business owned and operated our close friends.

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We've been working really hard with The Piggery and with Baldor to make their product available in Boston - to everyone, not just us! (If you know any stores or restaurants who would like to hop on the porky goodness train, tell them to get in touch!) So, for all you poultry lovers out, there, I am happy to announce that we've come through, and are now offering...

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Pasture. Raised. Turkey. Deli slices! All turkey, no fillers, no creepy crud. Add to your Double Awesome, your Rice Porridge, your everything. It's a delicious addition to our menu, and we think it's really a one-of-a-kind ingredient. As you guys well know, we care a lot about animals getting raised on pasture, and we're one of Boston's only food trucks or restaurants to serve exclusively pasture-raised meats.

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As we continue to develop our sourcing for the sliced meats and other exciting items (chilli relleno dumplings, anyone?), we'll be working on our pricing as well. All our sliced meat add-ons are going to $2.75, which isn't cheap, but that's not really our shtick. High quality, humanely raised meats raised by people we know and trust - that's our shtick! Relationships matter to us, and after being lied to by more than one distributor or farmer, trust is a huge factor in making sourcing decisions that we and YOU, our guests, can get excited about. And your food truck Double Awesome with ham/pastrami/turkey/bacon will still be under $10. Plus, we'll have opportunities for us to add other amazing options to our menu like salami, capicola, and baloney - so keep your ears to the ground.

As always, we want to hear your feedback and are grateful for your continued support. We're so excited to have more poultry, more infrastructure for high quality food, and more fun options for you guys at the truck and restaurant. Let us know what else you want to see. Can't wait to hear from you!

Love and pork forever,

Irene "Boys Only Want Pork if it's Pastured" Li

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Happy New Year from the Mei Mei Crew!

Happy January everyone! 

Can't believe it's already 2015! Well, a new year means all sorts of fun new projects and we're excited to share. Here are some dishes, projects and events we're working on these days:

  • HOT DIGGITY DAWG! We are working with our upstate new york besties The Piggery (where Irene is working during her last year of school at Cornell) to provide you with the best pork & beef hot dogs in town (or so we humbly think:). Brad (pictured right) and Heather of the Piggery not only raise their own pastured pigs, but do just about everything in house to make absolutely amazing meat products. It's hard to find pasture-raised hot dogs and we're psyched to feature them! More info to the right....
  • Pop Pop Pop-Ups! Coming January 19th is a one-time event at Mei Mei with our friend Chris Cronin, formerly of Washington Square Tavern and now of the upcoming Project 202
  • Getting ready for COCHON 555, the pork event of the year!  We did family meal last year and are honored to be invited to compete this February 22nd. More info to come...
  • #MEIMEIINSTAWIN! Are you a food porn fanatic on Instagram? We love it when people snap food photos at the truck and restaurant and we want to support your great work with food! Follow@meimeiboston on Instagram, snap a food photo in the month of January, then tag us and #meimeiinstawin and you could win a $50 gift certificate! 

Love and pasture-raised pigs,
the Mei Mei team

Have we mentioned hot dogs yet? I think we have, maybe once or twice. Well,Boston Magazine and Eater are talking about them too, because they're freaking delicious! 

Peter has come up up with some ridiculous sauces including a dijon cheddar bechamel and a radish relish with cumin, coriander and mustard seeds plus organic watermelon radishes from our friends at Red Fire Farm. Then as you know, spicy ketchup and soy aioli make everything more awesome...

We're also making housemade hot dog buns. Because why not? They're a twist on our housemade steam buns with Four Star Farms local flour and buttermilk. Yum. 

Hot dogs will be available in the restaurant and on the food truck on Wednesdays in January! Come stop by and give em a try! We promise you won't regret it....

Pop-Up Fun!

We are super pumped for our January 19th Overlooked Pop-upwith our buddy Chris and our friend Adria, pictured above. He's a badass chef who shares our commitment to sustainability and she's a local ceramicist who is making beautiful hand-thrown pottery for pop-up diners to take home!  

Here's the deal: this seven-course meal paired with local craft booze will focus on thoughtfully prepared, under-utilized, super-local food. Think laying hens, seafood charcuterie, underappreciated winter vegetables, plus beer from Framingham's Jack's Abby brewers. A few more alcohol partners are in the works too, so don't miss out!

Tickets are available limited and only available  HERE, so get ready to get stuffed with some delights you don't see on menus around here too often. Read more from Boston Magazine on this event and other cool stuff around town. We promise a night you won't forget! 

 

 

 

January Truck Schedule

Special Events!
1/9 - Craft Beer and Chocolate for Charity at Somerville Armory to benefit the Greater Boston Food Bank
1/15 - Girl Scouts Cookie Creations at the Back Bay Events Center
1/19 - Overlooked Pop-Up at Mei Mei Restaurant!
1/29 - WBUR On Tap at the WBUR studio

January 2014  - Weekly Truck Schedule
MONDAY - NEW SPOT!

11:30am - 2:30pm: Northeastern University: Opera Place and Huntington Ave

TUESDAY 

11:30am-2:30pm: Stuart St. at Trinity Place by Copley Square

WEDNESDAY 

11:30am-2:30pm: Dewey Square

THURSDAY  

11:30am-2:30pm: BU East on Comm Ave by Morse Auditorium

FRIDAY 

11:30am-2:30pm: Dewey Square

SATURDAY & SUNDAY

Brrr...winter is here! If you don't want to brave the cold, it's a perfect time to bring the truck to you! January is a great time for office catering (hire the truck to feed your whole company) or delivery. Check out our catering page or email andrew@meimeiboston.com to have Mei Mei at your next event or celebration!


Check out our website for more details, we'll see you out there! 

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Happy December from the Mei Mei Crew!

In case you don't get our monthly newsletter, we recap it on the blog for you to catch up. But sign up here and get it straight to your inbox! 

Last month, we asked for your votes...this month, we are proud and grateful to report that we've been named Eater Boston's Restaurant of the Year!!

What an amazing way to wrap up 2014 and celebrate our first year as a brick-and-mortar restaurant. Thank you all for your support! As the littlest Mei Mei Irene recently said:

We've been so lucky to have guests, friends, family, and other industry folks who appreciate our passion and embrace our quirks. That we can run a business while being ourselves is truly special. Awards and votes and press coverage aside, we're just gonna keep doing what we've been doing: serving high quality local foods (150,000+ pounds to date), never-ever feeding you or your families factory-farmed meat (and hustling to find the alternatives), listening to our farmers and striving to see our restaurant from their point of view (limiting food waste, loving unloved products), sharing information about recipes and farmers with anyone who wants it (if you have to keep secrets, you're doing it wrong), fostering teamwork and reflective democratic processes among our staff, accepting every request for time off pretty much ever, and treating every stakeholder in our food system like family to the very best of our ability.

It's been a wild and wonderful 2014 and we've learned so much every single day. Can't wait to see you all again in 2015!
 

Mei Mei in the news


We've got a pastry rock star in our midst! So proud of our very own Jacqueline Dole, who was named to Zagat Boston's 30 Under 30 list today! Amazing news, but we're not surprised after sampling so many of her delicious creations over the past few months.  I mean, get a load of that Triple Corn Caramel cake.

And then there's the cider donuts and the miso sugar cookies and the egg nog pannacotta....YUM. Keep your eyes peeled this Friday...there may be something special going on to celebrate Jacqueline's success!

Big Meat Meals!


We are super excited to announce the launch of our Mei Mei Family Style Dinners! We're working with our farmers to source some seriously delicious cuts of local, pasture-raised meats that we'll cook up for you and a bunch of friends with a bunch of made-just-for-you side dishes. Whole beef shank with spaetzle, greenhouse soup, and squash pickles? Yum. Whole pig's head with steamed buns, roasted veggies, and duck fat potatoes? GIMME NOW!

These Big Meat Meals are perfect for you and a bunch of friends or family and just need to be reserved 5 days in advance. Give us a call and we'll have both a table and an enormous piece of meat ready for you and your crew. Perfect for birthdays, holidays, family special occasions, and more. Bring on the feasting!

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Happy November everyone! It's our birthday!

Here's the place where we keep you updated with our monthly newsletters. Want it delivered straight to your inbox? NO PROBLEM. Just click here!

But if you prefer to catch up here on our blog, here's the latest news...

It's our birthday tomorrow (Nov 11 marks one year of the restaurant) and we'll cry with joy if we want to - what perfect timing to be nominated as Boston's Restaurant of the Year? Thank you Eater Boston for the honor - and please click here and vote, it'd be a great birthday present:)

Other fun updates since our last newsletter:

  • We made the Boston Magazine 50 Best Restaurants of 2014! CUE FREAKING OUT! Couldn't be more honored or excited.
  • Trick or Treat Chicken Feet at the truck and restaurant for Halloween! We served up cute pumpkin cookies and chili-garlic chicken feet (don't knock em till you try em!)
  • We launched a new take-out menu with everything under ten bucks! Perfect for a quick and affordable meal for our friends living in the area and great for kids too. 
  • Mei spoke on a panel discussion for the City of Boston's Women in Business Accelerator and a couple of Mei Mei folks went to Food Day at Babson. Two very inspiring and educational events!
  • Our bomb pastry chef Jacqueline kicked off Cider Donut Saturdays. Happening. 


Mei Mei in the news

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It's a huge honor to have made the Boston Magazine 50 Best Restaurants list, and it was just icing on the cake that the issue also included a little piece on cool restaurant bathrooms. Middle sis Mei has been weirdly into restaurant bathroom decor as long as she can remember and we love how the cookbook on the walls was something our grandparents worked on decades ago!

It was also super fun to be featured in this Boston Globe piece on how 'Cheeky names are spicing up local menus'.  We love that our Double Awesome got a nod alongside dishes like the Kenny Mother Effing Powers burger from our friends at The Gallows and the Wu-Tang Tiger-Style Ribs from Shojo. 

And one last bit of self-promotion - don't forget to vote for us as Eater Boston's Restaurant of the Year!

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New Menu Items!

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We're super excited to have launched our Take-Out Under Ten Bucks menu with some new and exciting dishes on it. For example, ham & cheese on housemade challah bread? HOLLER. It's a perfect option for folks who live in the area and want something delicious and affordable but maybe don't have the time or money to eat in the restaurant all the time. WE GOT YOU GUYS.

Plus the rice porridge is back on the menu, now with new toppings like delicious beef meatballs or Yu Xiang chicken and eggplant stew. Perfect for the chilly weather that's been coming along!

In the meantime, Jacqueline is working on some fantastic new stuff in the pastry department. Recent deliciousness has included salted caramel squares, hazelnut heath bar crunch cookies and pumpkin blondies. You can find her stuff at the restaurant, on the truck, and she's even available for private parties and caterings. Apple cider donuts and caramel apples at your next event will make all your friends very happy, we promise.  

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