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Jul 5, 2002 07:38 PM

English Tea Room in the '60's

  • d

Firstly, I'd like to thank you for sharing Galley Girl with us here in San Francisco, she was great fun and a wonderful addition to our Chow scene! (I know you'll enjoy Limster, he is our gift to you..."The Athens of America") As I was reminiscing about Boston, school days etc, food became my entrance...for example... my friends at school always sent me out to the North End on "Canolli Runs". Both Kens and Jack and Marions were still around. Quincy Market had yet to be restored and Durgin Park introduced me to rich perfumed Indian Pudding (I want some NOW!)...and Fried clam bellies!!! Chowder on Fridays...lobster rolls!!! I'd better stop, I'm drowning in saliva! To my question for old timers...on Newbury Street in the late '60's was a place called the English Tea Room, what I remember was a sweetish salad dressing...has this recipe ever been reproduced and printed, perhaps in one of the newspapers, or is it lost to history? How about their rolls?

  1. Too funny! English Tea Room was still around in the late 70's; some friends brought me. I also remember the sweet salad dressing. Tasted great, but you really couldn't eat THAT much because it WAS so sweet, their strategy to curtail the bottomless salad.

    I also remember some kind of volcanic chocolate dessert, a kind of cake-in-pudding all-in-one gloppy mess, that they served warm..I do remember that they had only one fish dish, a baked or broiled thing, but it was all about the salad and dessert for me. I've never found that salad dressing recipe, but I've always thought it was heavy on the corn-syrup....I should ask in "Confidential Chat" in the Boston Globe, a haven for little old ladies (sorry if that's non-PC, but my grandmother used to read it religiously!) who aren't web savvy.

    23 Replies
    1. re: galleygirl

      I do know when we will come to Boston but you can have dim sum show down and let eh Limster be the judge. I for one would love to read about what you all have in the way of dim sum in Boston.

      1. re: Yimster

        We'll take Limster for dim sum with us so he can weep about what he left behind, but the only stuff you guys DON'T have are those lovely little plates of seafood..

        Of course, there IS a Taiwanese place in Newton, but it's only weekends, and you have to be there by 10:30 to wait in line, so the hounds haven't made it yet..(No morning people!) Hmm, then there's weekend Dim Sum at Taiwan Cafe....

        1. re: galleygirl

          C Fox from the Boston has offered to take you place in Oct for a dim sum showdown. You do not know what you have started, we now developing list of places to eat. We are now planning to do a taste off soon. So by Oct C. Fox will know the winner.

          But you have started something else. Dim sum that you had is Cantonese type, but Northern China has there own style of dim sum. I have not a knowledge about that subject but I know someone who is. I will be posting on the subject soon. I have been told that there is Shanghai place with a Class two chef owner. If you watch Iron Chef and remember a Class one Chinese chef defeat Iron Chef Chen badly. I hope to set a Northern Chinese dim sum tasting.

          We were happy and honored to show you our humble places to eat.

          If you wish C. Fox can be your personel rep for the a tasting in Oct. I hope the Limster likes the Boston area we miss him already.

          1. re: Yimster

            Of course, you don't realize that CFox will have the same dietary drawbacks as I did, no beef, chicken, or pork.
            She will, however, follow the chowhound creed in the search for great seafood! I will have to perform some kind of chowhound mind-meld for her to carry on part 2 of the Dim Sum challenge..I'm sure she will rise to the challenge!

            1. re: galleygirl

              How about a meatless dim sum lunch. I will at a couple of place that serve meatless meals. I think that a meatless dim sum place just opened in San Francisco. I will post in two or three weeks.

              1. re: Yimster

                I came across a Chinese vegetarian place in Boston's Chinatown -- Buddha's Delight or something like that. Will try it sometime; wonder how it compares with Bamboo Garden in SF (Clement and 10th). Love to hear about the new veggie place in SF.

                1. re: Limster

                  Buddha's Delight is well known among many Boston hounds for it's unworthiness for wasting a meal on. Don't bother.

                2. re: Yimster

                  Sounds great! Looking forward to it!

              2. re: Yimster

                howdy Yimster!

                The food scene is quite different here. I've seen more foochow and taiwanese stuff than in SF. The cantonese offerings are less prominent.

                On the northern scene, there's a beijing place which I had a fairly good bowl of beef noodles last weekend. From my reconnaissance so far, here's 2 or 3 shanghainese places -- I'd love to try the shanghainese place you've mentioned -- can you find out the name please?

                Love to have you guys over here!

                1. re: Limster

                  I think he meant Shanghainese in South Bay that he wants to challenge us with! (g)

                  1. re: galleygirl

                    hmmmm...will have to make a trip south the next time I'm back in Bay Area....

              3. re: galleygirl

                "Hmm, then there's weekend Dim Sum at Taiwan Cafe...."

                Not Dim Sum, exactly, but "Taiwanese brunch" (sic), and not a huge selection...maybe about 8 or 10 dishes on the menu the time I was there.

                1. re: C. Fox

                  I thought they had a whole page???
                  (I've never gotten there early enough either...)

                  1. re: galleygirl

                    A separate sheet, by no means crowded.

                2. re: galleygirl

                  Taiwanese place in that's where my sister got all that good stuff 2 weekends ago.

                  It was pretty darn good.

                  We didn't try the time-sensitive xiao long bao because sis and my bro-in-law got it to go (long lines).

                  But we got good renditions of the basics like cong you bing (scallion pancakes), dou jiang (soy milk), gou tie (potstickers). Also a very good sausage-like item -- ji juan -- crispy tofu skin wrapped around a meat (chicken?) stuffing.

                  1. re: Limster

                    Soooo, that's the one we want a review on!! Or better yet, when do we go?

                    1. re: galleygirl

                      when do we go? Let's scheme during the Khao Sarn dinner.

                      1. re: Limster

                        Okay, you're on!..Is there pork in the savory version of soy milk?

                        1. re: galleygirl

                          I haven't tried this savory version yet -- so I don't know. The sweet version was nice and rich, just like what I was used to back home.

                    2. re: Limster

                      You are referring to Chung Hsin Yuan I take it... very good choice. The xiao long bao are nothing special, but try the niu rou jia bing - 5 spice beef sandwiched inside sesame-studded shaobing. If I recall correctly, the seaweed salad and pressed tofu strips were quite authentic and tasty too.

                      And try not to snack too much at McD's next door while you are waiting for your number to come up ;)

                      PS: I just started cruising this board so forgive me if my posts are way out of temporal whack. You probably already went there ages ago.

                3. re: galleygirl

                  Yes, it was sweet, I vaguely remember thinking honey and poppy seeds. Also their rolls were slightly sweet, don't remember dessert, but they served Shrimp Newburgh in these little oval metal plates. The mind dims...went there once so stoned (it was after all the 60's) with friends, that I "freaked out" (good 60's expression) vowed never to have one of "those brownies" in public ever again! A good life lesson for me, I obviously can't "hold my brownies"!

                  1. re: derek

                    No, it was celery seed & actual sugar - I am sure! The rolls had raspberry filling drizzled inside!

                  2. re: galleygirl

                    The English Tea Room was around inn 1979 when I became a vegetarian. I had a salad with their famous dressing and it was so sweet that i almost gagged having gotten used to vinegarette.

                    The ETR was right at the cusp of the foodie trend that began in the late 70's when the Anthony Bourdaine generation of chefs graduated from culinary schools.

                    Dressings of that style soon became dinosaurs.

                    Tea Room
                    196 Crystal Spring Ave, North Falmouth, MA 02556

                  3. Do you have the recipe for the salad dressing?

                    1. I'm as into nostalgia as the next person, but English Tea Room was way overrated--prices were great, but sweet rolls were hideous and service was inattentive at best.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: ShelT54

                        We must have gone on different days - we used to go there specifically for the rolls and salad - who cared about anything else? :) I've been looking for these recipes for years... I'm sure you're right, but you can't help what you like, right?

                      2. I live in Boston and I was a regular at the english tea room and enjoyed their enormous silver bowls of salad.with their own house dressing. I think this the following recipe is what you are looking for.

                        English Tea Room Dressing

                        2/3 Cup sugar
                        1 Teaspoon dry mustard
                        1 Teaspoon paprika
                        1 Teaspoon celery seed
                        1/4 Teaspoon salt
                        1/2 Cup honey
                        1/3 Cup vinegar
                        1 Tablespoon lemon juice
                        1 Teaspoon grated onion
                        1 Cup salad oil

                        Honey based salad dressing. 6 servings. Mix dry ingredients in separate bowl. Blend honey, vinegar and lemon juice in small bowl; then add to dry ingredients. Add oil in slow streams, beating it constantly with beater. Use over various greens topped with red onion. Enjoy! (From Boston's English Tea Room on Newbery Street).

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: gbun

                          Any chance you know the recipe for the rolls?

                          1. re: gbun

                            Thank you so much for the recipe for the salad dressing at The English Tea Room....Can't wait to try it....seems it will be very sweet....both honey and sugar....OMG

                          2. i have the recipe for the salad dressing from the english tea room in boston, except not on me. your post is very old - don't know if you are still interested. if so, let me know and i will send it along.

                            6 Replies
                            1. re: klind

                              I would love that recipe - I've been looking for it for a long time. THANK YOU!
                              Do you know about the rolls - with the raspberry inside?

                              1. re: Paintpaintpaitn

                                Unfortunately, this thread has been dormant for several years. One can only hope that the posters are still reading this board and can help you with your request.

                                1. re: PinchOfSalt

                                  Yes still reading the post. I remember the English Tea Room and Limster. What was memorable about the ETR was that it existed at a time when interesting options were few. It was a good alternative for it's time.

                                  Tea Room
                                  196 Crystal Spring Ave, North Falmouth, MA 02556

                                  1. re: chuck s

                                    I was the one that posted the recipe for the English Tea Room dressing. My husband and I would go there for the salad as often as we could. The salad was always filled to the top of the silver bowls and you could get refills. I am still making this dressing for my family and now my teenage grandchildren. Long live the memories of the English Tea Room

                                    Tea Room
                                    196 Crystal Spring Ave, North Falmouth, MA 02556

                                    1. re: gbun

                                      I always thought they made the salad that sweet to keep you from wanting refills. It tasted SOOOOOOOO good at first, but you tired of it really quickly

                                      1. re: galleygirl

                                        You must have a healthy palette, I never, ever got tired of it:)