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Jul 12, 2011 02:00 PM

Sweet Potato Bistro- Newton

I was driving by last night and saw it was open. I already had some dinner waiting at home, but thought an order of "Beef Tendon in Spicy Sauce" couldn't hurt on a hot night. While waiting the few minutes the order took, I noticed that the dining room seemed pleasant enough, with a great fish tank (for looking, not eating). The staff seemed stressed (perhaps understandably because it was their first day!), but friendly.

Spicy beef tendon is one of my favorites at Taiwan Cafe. This version had much bigger and thicker slices, but the texture was good- more tender than it looked and the flavor was excellent- salty and spicy with some fresh cilantro on top. It was promising!

I'll be back to try more, after giving them some time to get in their groove.

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  1. Shangri-La does a great version too.

    149 Belmont St, Belmont, MA 02478

    1. "I already had some dinner waiting at home, but thought an order of "Beef Tendon in Spicy Sauce" couldn't hurt on a hot night"

      This is why I feel a kinship with the people on this board.

      1 Reply
      1. re: three of us

        We're like a big loving family here, even when we're all flaming each other about best pizza or burger, or for that matter, beef tendon in spicy sauce.

      2. I picked up a few items for take-out tonight. Pleasant space inside, and it was reasonably crowded. I'd wondered if any of you were Hounds.

        Here's what I picked up:

        -Steamed pork bun. Softball sized steamed bao filled with minced pork bits, some tidbits of greenery here and there. The skin was a bit too doughy (conversely, perhaps not enough filling), and the meat filling didn't have much flavor.

        -Taro cake. Originally I wanted turnip cake, but they were out. Taro cake was dry and crispy, good taro flavor. It was a tan color that I wasn't expecting, but this was not because of it having been pan fried. In fact, I'm really into the crispy crunchy golden brown outsides, so maybe I'll order it "well done" next time. I really would have loved a small cup of hoisin sauce for dipping, but my take-out bag didn't have any. I'm not sure if they forgot to include it, or they simply don't provide it.

        -Minced pork over rice. I got a plastic tub full of white rice, with a generous dollop of dry ground pork and minced greens. Two disposable plastic snap-top containers (the kind tartar sauce comes in) were at the bottom of my bag, filled with a murky brown watery sauce. It had a rich, spicy smell, with cinnamon and allspice and chili and fish sauce notes. I poured this over the rice/meat mixture. This is the classic Taiwanese braised pork over rice, ubiquitous among snack shops and food stalls - total comfort food.

        Tasty? Yes. Cheap? YES! The whole huge bag of food was $9.

        I want to give it a few more gos, especially considering it was their 2nd day. I hope someone here is able to check out their weekend dim sum!

        1 Reply
        1. re: Prav

          just saw the note on their website that weekend dim sum will not be offered until sometime in mid August

        2. We stopped in for a quick lunch this week. I found the ambiance a bit stark....wood tables same color as wood floor. White walls with no artwork/color of any kind. Nevertheless, fresh and clean feeling.

          We succumbed to Americanized choices......but they were quite yummy! Scallion pancake was nicely crisp- - could have used a little more scallion IMO and faintly tasted of five spice. Kung Pao shrimp and Moo shu Shrimp were well prepared, fresh and tasty with hefty portion of small/med shrimp. Brown rice was available, which I prefer. We'd definitely go back and sample other offerings. Good start though!

          1. I decided to venture over here for lunch today. My friend and I were the only people there for about half our meal, but then again the front is covered in scaffolding so it's not really ripe for walk-ins.

            We both had the hot and sour soup to start, which was OK. It wasn't too gelatinous but could have used a little more vinegar, I think. I was tempted by some of the non-Americanized Chinese options, but I decided to get something off the lunch specials list for my first time. I got the twice-cooked pork and my friend got the shrimp in chili sauce. The shrimp was "meh", but the pork was tasty - not too overloaded with sauce, served with fresh, crisp veggies, and the fried rice was good too.

            I'll definitely be back, and will be eager to try some of the other options. The MaPo Tofu sounded good, as did some of the Taiwanese Tapas.