Saturday, January 7, 2012

A Very Chinese Christmas At Grasshopper

On Christmas Eve, I dined with my family at Grasshopper Vegan Restaurant in Allston, MA. This is one of my favorite places to eat in Boston and I was excited my entire non-vegan family agreed to go there. Despite it being a technical holiday, we were able to use a $25 gift certificate, which greatly reduced the price. Also, since there were five of us, we ordered a ton of food and I was able to try more of Grasshopper's amazing offerings.

We began the meal a round of hot and sour soups ($4 each).

This is seriously the best hot and sour soup I've had. It is so tangy and has a lovely assortment of soft tofu pieces and chewy savory faux pork strips. The consistency is very chunky, yet is still slurpy.

Next, we had the House Special Assorted Appetizers ($9).

I am a huge fan of this, as it pretty much covers every type of of appetizer. There are the soft, luscious vermicelli rolls that have a light licorice flavor. In contrast, there are the fried spring rolls and bean cakes, which are crispy on the outside and soft and delectable on the inside.

We also had an order of fried wontons ($5), which were also included in the assorted appetizers.

The wontons were wonderful. They were crispy and crunchy on the outside, with a savory meaty filling inside. The interior was soft and doughy, which was a lovely contrast to the exterior.

Next, we had some chicken fingers ($5), mostly to please my chicken-obsessed brother.

These had the consistency and texture of corn dogs, with the flavor of chicken. The outside was spongy, while the interior was slightly chewy. These were enjoyable and fun to eat.

Next, our entrees came out. First, I tried the "Beef" Lomein ($9.50).

I haven't had lomein in years, since my stomach can't handle the grease laden dish. Nevertheless, I was excited to try Grasshopper's version, since their dishes are not nearly as greasy as other Chinese restaurants. I really loved this dish and am so happy I tried it. It was not greasy at all. The soft, slurpy noodles were lightly coated in a beany sauce and stirfried with a lovely assortment of vegetables. The beef chunks were very authentic in both taste and consistency.

Next, I tried The No Name ($12.45).

This is one of my favorite dishes at Grasshopper. The "chicken" was slightly chewy and closely resembles the real thing. The vegetables were well-cooked and easy to chew. The sauce was the best part of the dish, as it was sweet and tangy and sopped up the "chicken" and vegetables perfectly. It was so scrumptious, I found myself wanting to lick the plate afterward.

Lastly, I tried the Braised Spicy Tofu and Assorted Seitans Hot Pot in a Clay Hot Pot with Pineapple and Lemon Grass ($10.50).

I also thoroughly enjoyed this dish. It had such a wonderful assortment of textures, from the soft, crumbly tofu pieces to the slightly chewy seitan slices. The sauce was very spicy with sweet, succulent undertones. The lemongrass and pineapple flavors really complimented one another and this dish really demonstrated the amazing skills of the Grasshopper chefs.

I loved the meal and was so happy to spend my Christmas Eve with my family, eating such delicious food. Grasshopper is a true winner and I'm glad they've survived for so long. With the discount, the meal ended up costing less than $10 a person. Quite a steal!

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