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DooWee & Rice Somerville - Wheeee! Life-changing Bao Baos!!

Mr. Swank and I popped into DW&R tonight after I rescued him from a darkened Red Line train at Davis Square. At first, we thought it was closed -- big closed sign on the window. But the lights were on and someone was standing at the counter, so we ventured in. Place was near-empty, save for one dude eating a plate of fries and grooving to an iPod. No ambience, but Aladdin was playing on the big-screen TV hanging from the wall.
Counter service only, and the server was quite friendly. We opted for Vietnamese spring rolls to begin. The roll was PIPING hot (I nearly scalded my tongue) and stuffed with shrimp, pork, carrots, jicama, vermicelli, and garlic. It came with a cup of garlicky sauce that was somewhat salad dressingish in consistency. Mr. Swank got the standout dish of the evening: Bao Bao. OH MY GOD. Do yourself a favor, drive directly to Powderhouse Circle, and order 20 of these. They're basically fluffy little tacos, stuffed with either pork or steak. Pork is apparently the "signature," but Mr. Swank and I couldn't get enough of the medium rare steak, tender and topped with chimichurri sauce, scallions, and crisp shallots. A bit sweet, a bit tangy, and so amazingly meltingly delicious. Still dreaming of them, longingly ...
Ahem. Anyway, finally, I ordered the braised pork rice plate. Loved the hot chili sauce, slightly smoky, that comes on the side. Rice was well-cooked. I did want more sauce, though, so I ordered white sauce on the side -- very similar to tzatziki. Pork was a bit dry, but the sauces ameliorated this. We also purloined a tube of plum sauce from the counter, which we drizzled atop the rice.
Overall, it was a DIVINE meal. As we were leaving, I noticed three or so tribes of Tufts students straggle in, so I hope they're doing a solid business. The Bao Bao are life-changing: Swank cannot lie.

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  1. Yay! Was supposed to go here for lunch this week but that got cancelled - it's on the calendar for later this month but I'm considering taking myself there sooner based on this glowing rec. I love that the guy trained at Le Cordon Bleu, yet is making his mama's and other homestyle recipes, not limiting himself to one cuisine, etc. Totally my kind of funky spot. Glad you had such a nice meal!

    GG
    http://www.semisweetonline.com

    1. Yeah, the spring rolls at $1/ea are a steal...but they need to include more sauce.
      The steak and rice is fantastic, steak is SO tender and delicious...sounds like the same you get on the bao bao. I also love the dressing that comes on the lettuce...nice little kick.

      1 Reply
      1. re: rknrll

        I also love that spicy dressing. I wonder if they sell me a container of it...

        I've been really enjoying have DooWee and Rice nearby. I've had chicken wings, steak, pork, and chicken bao (not crazy about the chicken, loved the other two), and steak rice plate and chicken rice plate (both meats fantastic, not crazy about the rice). Sounds like I need to get the spring rolls next time I'm there...

      2. hmmmm swank, tomorrow we follow your lead.thx much.
        btw, here's the link to the longer DooWee thread:
        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/875375

          1. Just wrote them and inquired about vegetarian food and got this reply within 5-10 minutes:

            "hello there Frederic,

            Currently the only vegetarian friendly dish we have is our new Soy ginger lentil soup. On Monday we will have a sauteed tofu and mushroom panini with a miso corn slaw. Thank you for your interest and stay warm."

            Which is great news since they're only a mile from us!

            http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com

            1 Reply
            1. re: yarm

              That's awesome - thanks for checking on that. Will definitely put it on the radar.