Boston Restaurant Blog -- March, 2007
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Over the past few weeks, I have been to some really good restaurants, including Grotto in Boston, East Asia in Somerville, Monte's in Lynn, and Pizzeria Regina in the North End of Boston. But it has been awhile since I have been to a really offbeat, fun place (though Zon's in Jamaica Plain comes close), so with that in mind, we headed over to Huntington Avenue to try the quirky, unusual Betty's Wok and Noodle Diner.
For those who haven't been to Betty's Wok and Noodle, it is a friendly little spot with a number of Asian-Latin dishes. In some ways, it is a better version of Fire and Ice, as you get to choose noodles, meats, sauces, veggies, etc. and then decide whether you want it stir-fried or in a soup. We tried one stir-fry and one soup, after starting out with some decent--though not outstanding--vegetable dumplings. Our entrees included stir-fried chicken chow foon with Cuban chipotle citrus sauce, and slices of chicken and cabbage with Shanghai wheat noodles in a broth that included a fairly hot kung pao sauce. Both dishes were very good, though you can probably do better at some of the top Asian restaurants in the Boston area.
So overall, the food at Betty's Wok and Noodle was satisfying, but not memorable. It is not the food, however, that makes me love this place; rather, it is the crazy, kooky vibe that makes Betty's so interesting. From the unusual atmosphere (some parts of it feel like a bustling diner; others feel like a soothing Japanese restaurant; still others feel like a cavernous college Internet cafe) to the, well, unusual people who work there, Betty's is unlike anyplace in the Boston area. The background music is also eclectic, as they play Sinatra, Sammy Davis, and Bing Crosby while the theater-goers are there, then bust into modern-day bands such as Outkast and Black Eyed Peas when the theater-goers leave. One funny personal note: The person who I believe was the general manager noticed that we were into Outkast and some of the other present-day bands, and he ended up coming to our table with a couple of sangrias on the house and talked music with us for awhile. Definitely a nice gesture on his part!
I will definitely be going back to Betty's Wok and Noodle in the near future, as the food is pretty decent and the atmosphere is unforgettable. I may try some of the more Latin-influenced foods there the next time I go; if I do, I will report back to you about how it was.
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