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Jun 1, 2009 07:58 AM

Ordering way off the menu. Major props to Myers and Chang!

My SO is a raw foodist. Other then Grezzo (awesome food by the way) we usually have to call a week or so ahead and request one raw food dish. Chef Matt at Myers and Chang did an absolutely amazing job. I spoke to the hostess on Tuesday, He called me Friday, did the online menu research, prepped it on Saturday and served us on Sunday while the rest of us ordered of the menu. Fresh rolls using mandolined cucumber as the skin, an asparagus salad with marinated goji berries. He even wrote out a little description for the server to present. The tigwers tears, banh mi and pork belly buns rocked as well. Some rawist friends of my so suggest giving the waiter a note explaining the dietary restrictions. But as a chef myself (I know you other ch'ers dont like my restaurant, but the longer we have been open the more apparent that North Station is a culinary wasteland anyway and we have dumbed down the menu and done some cost cutting measures that if the economy were better would make me look elsewhere for work.) I know that sendingh a note to the kitchen through a server when you arrive will get you very little special food. However a rock star like Chef Matt took the challenge, researched and actually put out food that rivaled Pure Food and Wine in NYC and Grezzo here, and he did it with a kitchen not designed for raw food. Anyway, much thanks to M and C, and we have another dinner next Saturday with parent/uncle types and if anyone can recommend another place tpo try this I am listening.

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  1. That's awesome - do you think being the chef club helped with this special request?
    Which restaurant is yours?

    4 Replies
    1. re: Bob Dobalina

      Knowing how to talk the talk helped. I gave ample notice, explained the situation and he was more then happy to help. As my post mentioned, some rawists think walking in and handing the server a note will inspire a chef to make something off the menu. But while we would love to, playing Iron Chef for one customer during service with an alien cuisine is not always the best way. Chef Matt excepted the challenge, took the time to research and created something on par with the menu they already offer. Most decent chefs are happy to put in the work if it doesn't interfere with service. Matt used the opportunity to educate himself and show off at the same time.
      I run the kitchen at DJ's in the old Hooters space. While we have a few good ch posts, we opened mid way through the Celts/Bruins season last year. In an attempt to maximize the rest of the season, the owner pushed us to open quickly no soft open, got final permits on a Wednesday and opened that Friday, wasn't allowed to have product in house until Thursday, so cook and waitress training consisted of explaining on an empty plate what the stuff would taste and look like if we had it here. We definately worked out the kinks by the time the C's won it all, but by then the boards opinion was tainted. Overall ch and yelp are more positive then negative but when all is said and done we are a burger and wing place even though the opening menu had things like dijon molasses glazed pork tenderloin, snapper veracruzana and a decocstructed tuna Nicoise. Oh well.

      1. re: uwebres

        Thanks for the follow-up post. I wish more chefs took the opportunity to show off. Likewise, I can see why you might be discouraged with the down-shift in the menu at DJ's. So what would you make to show off? What sorts of things are you making to keep your SO impressed with your raw food skills? That's gotta be a little challenging to be a chef and the SO won't eat your best creations....but maybe we'll start to see some raw food inspirations on the DJ's menu. ;)

        1. re: Bob Dobalina

          We can barely sell veggie burgers in this hood, and we make from sctratch black bean, corn and cumin burgers. At home I make Heather things like pureed fresh corn (quite good raw) with avocado chunks, cilantro and lime. Julienned cukes, peppers, jicama and squash tossed in lime or orange juice. Tons of fresh fruit smoothies (sweetened with raw agave necter) Citrus based salad dressings, sea veggies tossed in namu shoya (uncooked soy sauce, not quite the same as regular soy, but even more umami flavor). pepitas, raw almonds, etc.. Using only raw foods is a challenge, but flavor profiles are the same. Mint and tangerine smoothies are a good thing.

        2. re: uwebres

          I am one of DJ's boosters. Haven't been in a while...we should stop by (we have always had tasty food on non-game weekend afternoons).

          Keep fighting the good fight. I love finding good food in unlikely places. :D

          I just posted about Vee Vee in another post. Maybe this place could work for you and Heather.

      2. Really-which restaurant do you work at? I work near North Station and am raking my brain to find a place in this neighborhood that would have to "dumb down" their menu!

        1. that is really nice to hear about a restaurant! i like myers+chang quite a bit. fun atmosphere, good service, and some really good plates. a few mediocre/not so good ones too but by now we have learned which ones to avoid! with their regular, vegetarian, and gluten-free menus they do try to cater to a wide swath of customers.

          that kind of personalized service is what will keep the tables booked there while tumbleweeds are blowing through other establishments.

          with regard to your request to for another restaurant that may accommodate your SO: perhaps toro? they are also a small plate place with a varied menu. some items off it need no adjustment (marinaded olives, spiced almonds, tomato bread, hummus, salad, etc). if you contact the manager, alyssa, she is super nice and would most likely be very happy to work with you. the HUGE downside to toro is they do not accept reservations.

          1 Reply
          1. re: intheq

            thanks, toro seems like a good idea. If they except our request then they sort of have to take our reservation. I will post the responses I get from various restaurants as I try to make reservations. As for the items you listed, almonds are pasturized, therefor not raw, hummus is nevermade from fresh chickpeas but dried then cooked, unless I misunderstand tomato bread, bread is out olive marinades tend to have things added for flavor that have been cooked somewhere down the line. If I understand correctly, Heather (my s.o.) eats raw due to the destruction of beneficial enzymes in the food from cooking, and approaches it holisticaly so nothing over 118 degrees enters her system, even as a flavoring to a main dish.