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Leigh Witchel

Noshing near the Wang Center

27 posts in this topic

Of course this is only peripherally related to ballet, but it never hurts to know :wacko:

I did a lightning visit to Boston this weekend to see the Bolshoi. I went to school there during the Mesozoic Era, so going back, it seemed like a familiar room where someone moved all the furniture. Needless to say, I didn't have a clue where to get a bite to eat.

On Sunday, I wandered towards Chinatown on Washington Street and less than a block or so from the theater saw a sign front for Vietnamese sandwiches (Banh Mi). I'm a sucker for Vietnamese food and I've been meaning to try these for ages. So suitcase in hand, I made a beeline for it.

Oh. my.

Heaven on a baguette for around three bucks. The sandwich has your choice of meat (being a Banh Mi novice, I went for chicken teriyaki but what is traditional is the dac biet - barbequed pork and Vietnamese pate) with vinegar spiked cucumber, scallions and carrots and hot peppers at your discretion (I asked for just a little and got a satisfying kick rather than an eye-tearing wallop)

It's a takeout joint only, but what a great cheap eat. I loved seeing the Bolshoi's Don Q, but I really want another Banh Mi! (You can get them in NYC as well, but for me it's a hike to Chinatown) I think the shop is near Washington and Kneeland Streets.

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There are lots of great places for a wonderful bowl of Pho, also!

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Since this was my very first time in Boston, I had to do the touristy thing -- Jacob Werth's German restaurant. Excellent sauerkraut & not awfully expensive. Fun atmosphere, too.

Question for Mme. Hermine: My husband felt right at home at the Wang, we overheard so much Russian being spoken among audience members up in the Mezzanine. Does Boston have as high a Russian population as New York City/Brooklyn? Or...did the NYC Russians all head-up to Boston just to see their beloved Bolshoi?

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Yes, there was definitely a lot of Russian spoken at the performance. And I think Jacob Wirth is right near Pho Pasteur and Banh Mi. So depending on your mood dinner can be sauerbraten or Bo Luc Lac!

I have to schedule another visit back with some time to rediscover the city. And eat more sandwiches :(

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there's a big Russian community in boston, natasha, no surprise he felt at home! jacob wirth's used to have the greatest prime rib special, i remember, and their food is generally pretty good. if you went to the other corner, not toward tremont street, that was also an excellent place for the pho i mentioned :) . sounds like you all had a great time!

that's it, leigh, you and i are going to have to do a vietnamese food tour of boston.........and i shall sneak in my great vice, the chinese bakeries...mmmmm : :(

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Hey, please count me in, guys! Anyone else going to Boston for the Boston Ballet's Sleeping Beauty in May? Cheers.

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Not to mention La Sylphide next March, don't forget!!!!

and there's a good Balanchine program coming up.......

there are TONS of good places to get food around the theatre district, quick and relatively inexpensive. I find it a wonderful place to wander....and there is always The Pink Slipper sign on a side street which I gave high marks for Special! (No, not pink slipper as in ballet.... :( )

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I was planning on the Balanchine evening, but I think the Sox will have to lose the playoffs for me to go (the night of the 23 is all reserved up in Boston in case the first game of the World Series is there.)

Natalia - I'm planning for La Sylphide - Sorella Englund is setting it, and she is an amazing Madge. I am curious to see if she can set a production at the level she can perform in it.

This means Banh Mi in March :(

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I used to get Vietnamese food in that part of town. It's good to know it's still available!

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alas, the Pho Pasteur on Stuart St closed abruptly (it seemed) last spring. One week we ate there, a couple of weeks later it was closed and being converted to an Indian restaurant.

* as you read in you will find there is still a Pho Pasteur in the area, on Washington Street - hooray *

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Leigh I seem to remember that Sorella Englund set La Sylphide on the San Francisco Ballet in 1986, though I didn't see it, maybe someone did?

Sorry to hear about Pho Pasteur closing, I used to actually get pho take out from there, they would give me a bag with each ingredient individually packaged and I would have to assemble it at home. But there should be plenty of places for a good bowl of pho within walking distance. I remember there was a vegetarian place too that was very good, just don't remember streets, etc., as we would just go there when we came across it! and did i happen to mention chinese bakeries? :(

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Wait a minute! On Monday, I saw a Pho Pasteur near the Wang, as we rode around in a Trolley Bus tour. Maybe there's more than one Pho in Bo?

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Yes, I'm sure it's there right off Washington. I walked into it, but I didn't think I had time for a sit-down meal before I had to catch my bus. It was quite open, and quite busy!

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Mmm...Vietnamese sandwiches. The bbq is good, but I like the Vietnamese ham the best. Be sure to try that kind. :(

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Gee, I'm hungry. Maybe we should ask Alexandra to open a 'Cheap-Eats-Near-Theaters' forum? I'm traipsin' over to the Royal Ballet forum to post about cheap-eats near the Royal Opera House, for the 'Sylvia' trip. That is, if any 'cheap eats' exist in the Covent Garden-Soho area of London. Is there anything 'cheap' in London?

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Many moons ago, (like around 1983) I remember eating a great cheap Vietnamese meal (a classic bbq pork over rice noodles deal) near Covent Garden.

Perhaps we should start a "Banh Mi I have known" thread. Where do you get yours in Houston (or elsewhere), Old Fashioned? I did a search and found out that SF Ballet goers are in luck as well - Saigon Sandwich Shop is a small legend in SF and not far at all from the Civic Center - on Larkin near Eddy. I know where I'm going for a nosh when I visit in March.

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I'm curious about the Italian restaurant directly across from the Wang on Tremont. It looked like a really casual restaurant/bar - the kind of place I'd expect to serve great home style Italian if I came across it in NY. I was planning to try it but a cab driver suggested Maggiores instead (mistake). Has anyone tried the one across from the Wang? I'll probably go back for La Sylphide and I'm always looking for inexpensive restaurants close to the theater.

Susan

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if it's the one that's been there for a long time, i dont remember being very impressed with it. i liked joyce chen a lot, that wasn't bad, and there were even a lot of fast food-ish type places in the transportation building that were pretty good.

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Where do you get yours in Houston (or elsewhere), Old Fashioned?

I usually go to this place in Bellaire Chinatown (for those of you who aren't familiar with Houston, there's the old Chinatown downtown, and Bellaire is the later one) that my family has been a faithful patron of for years. The owners of this restaurant moved into a different building, and unfortunately, I don't remember the name of the new shop. Everytime one of us goes to visit my aunt in Vegas, we have to bring her the sandwiches. I think this is one of the most reliable Vietnamese sandwich shops in Houston, but there are a TON of others that people can choose from.

There was a small cafe called Republic Square (not in Chinatown) that served incredible Vietnamese po' boys (they differed slightly fom the traditional sandwiches- the bread being of a finer quality and they weren't served with the slice of jalapeno), but it turned into a Mediterranean food joint.

Just curious- how do prices compare across the country? Here, they're usually about 2-3 bucks.

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Hi i there,

I saw this thread and couldn't resist because I love inexpensive food and more especially goiod food . I read the first page and didn't go to the next, so i'm sorry if i've repeated someone...

Yes, Pho still exists on Washington street.(in fact, it is a favorite amongst some dancers of Boston Ballet...) There was another" Pho" on a cross street from the Wang that was kind of Upscale and not very good, but the Pho on Washington is definitely worth the trip.They have great soups and there really inexpensive. There is also a Maylasian restaurant across the street from pho called Panang and a thai restaurant called Montien that is across the street form the Wang center's backstage door.

Jacob Wirths' is great and on Friday evenings, the have "sing alongs" , so you can eat and nourish your inner "broadway" or "rock" star...It's really fun and they love a ballet crowd.

There is a great Dessert restaurant called "Finale" which is a little pricey, but well worth it if you want to splurge after a night out.

There is a chinese restaurant called" PH Changs "that is still good to best of my knbowledge. It is open late and usually crowded though...

Well, if you are in Boston already, eat up, if not then look into those restaurants, they;re worth it...

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Oh, I'm glad to hear Pho Pasteur is still near the Wang, will have to try to find its address.... we often eat at Montien, like it a lot. One of our group walks really slowly so we try to get as close to the Wang as possible for meals, then we don't have to rush or start unreasonably early....

PF Changs is a chain but has some good dishes - it is really noisy though so hard to have a conversation. Haven't tried the Italian place across from the Wang.

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The other problem with PF Changs is the long wait if you have no reservations. DD says Montien is awesome, and she often takes out soup from there. Italian place across the street is thumbs down. bbfan, have you ever eaten at Pigalle? I know it's upscale, but was wondering if it's worth it. One of the artistic staff at BB told me that at McCormick & Schmick's (also a chain, but pretty good food), you can get a great (and cheap) meal at Happy Hour time. Have to look into that one.

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Now that you've tantalized us with descriptions of this tasty-sounding nosh: Here's a conversation about Banh Mi from the Roadfood.com forum. Besides additional paeans, suggestions are given for places all over the country to find this treat. Looks like I might have to run a side trip over to Virginia when I'm in DC next month!

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We haven't eaten at Pigalle; we are often hosting a group of six so tend to look for lower priced places. We've gone to the Theater Cafe in the Radisson from time to time. It varies so much, from good to awful, that lately we've avoided it. We do prefer places where we can get reservations. Now that Legal's has reservations we might try there even though it is not in the bargain category. We have had meals at McCormick & Schmick's and liked them too.

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