Dado Tea, between Central & Harvard Sq., Cambridge
Serious Pig posted about this place recently (link below). The hungry traveller also mentioned its imminent opening a whole back.
The tea in the Tibetian Suma Tea is pretty deep, serious stuff -- when I asked, the cherrful eager-to-please counter guy told me it's made with pu-erh. It's a sturdy, complex fermented tea that can grow really deep when aged properly. (At a SF chowhound tea tasting a few months ago, some considered the earthy, loamy aged pu-erh an acquired taste, but it's one of my favorites, especially in the presence of rich food.) For this Tibetan brew, they add a knob of butter, a pinch of salt (barely discernable as salt, even its presence was clearly felt) and steamed frothy milk (think cappuccino).
I felt that the tea was good, but the entire brew could have been richer and more concentrated, both on the tea and the butter/milk side. I asked about that too and the counter guy confessed that the tea is slightly saltier and mostly butter laden in Tibet. The tea fundamentals are sound; maybe they can be persuaded to make the richer version. (Yak butter is probably not feasible).
Also snacked on a bunch of things:
a piece of fried dough twist, appropriately sticky and syrup-coated (a packaged Japanese snack)
a decent peanut wafer (package taiwanese snack)
a red bean filled mochi -- fine filling, but the mochi shell was too coarse and lacked exquisite delicacy. The rice flour dough needed some more pounding for textural refinement.
Interestingly, this came in an unlabeled clear wrap. It wasn't bad, but it didn't make enough of an impression for me to inquire about its source. Might be a mistake on my part -- a manju shop around these parts could be a very good thing.
a fair piece of inari sushi
an extremely buttery almond croissant from Iggy's. (Breads, bagels and croissants were half price in the evening.) Good flakiness, fairly brittle crust. I'm betting that it's a stellar textural treat in the morning when it's fresh. One minus -- too buttery -- there's a nearly invisible film of oily coat on the palate after consuming the croissant that's faint but noticeable. Might be a late in the day thing. Nice almond paste filling -- could use a bit more of that.
Next time I'm getting Dragon well.