by Richa Chaturvedi ’18
At long last, Mange App is a dining hall hack that everyone on campus will enjoy. Currently beta testing in Cabot, this app allows for HUDS grill orders to go paperless. The app displays the daily menu, takes grill orders from anywhere on campus, and texts students when their orders are ready. Finally, no more of that awkward circling around the grill during the chaos that is lunch hour!
Mange App currently lives exclusively online – the iPhone and Android app should be rolling out in the next month – and, while there are some areas for improvement, it definitely has this starving student’s stamp of approval. The first time I used Mange App I was a bit annoyed. I was running to office hours, wanted something from the grill, and had to register as a user and figure out a new interface just to get a piece of chicken. I soon realized that my aversion to adapt to something new got in the way of me understanding the coolness of the entire set-up. Now, if I need something quickly, I can order from my room and get a text telling me to go pick my food up. I’ll probably start getting more texts from Mange App than I will from my roommates, to be honest.
Like I mentioned, no rollout is without its drawbacks. Currently, lunch time on the app is set to begin at noon. That means for you early lunchers that you literally cannot order food until 12:00, even if lunch technically begins at 11:30. This, and other small issues, are already being worked on and will be resolved before the school-wide release of the app. HUDS has even been kind enough to set up an iPad on the counter so that students without smart phones can use the service.
I am sure that the school-wide release of Mange App will turn out to be successful. Already, Cabot grill (which is definitely the best) is more efficient, while using less paper. Mange App is the ultimate dining hall hack: it increases productivity without sacrificing taste. You may ask yourself, now what? I have my grilled chicken in no time and now have no idea what to do with it. For some great ideas on how to spruce up your dining hall meals, check out more Crimson Crave dining hall hacks!
by Emily Brother ’19
Inspired by the instagram chef, Jacques La Merde, who mimicked the plating techniques of haute cuisine using junk food, I attempted to create my own gourmet-looking dishes using the food from Annenberg. Here are a few of the plates that I made:
- Vegetarian Frittata Garnished with Carrots, Greens, and Tabasco Sauce
2. Sausage Links with Quinoa Raising & Black Bean Salad and Barbeque Sauce
3. Vegetarian Chili with Lettuce, Green Pepper Sauce, and Dijon Mustard
4. Pound Cake with Yogurt and Red Wine Vinaigrette
5. Chicken Bake with Lima Beans and Ketchup
6. Carrots, Cucumber, and Corn with Balsamic Vinegar
- Granola and Yogurt with Peanut Butter and Strawberry Jelly
by Angela Yi ’19
As a Korean from Orange County, California, I have frequent cravings for my Korean-style chicken wings. When I heard good things about BonChon Chicken, “excited” doesn’t even begin to describe how I felt. I made plans to eat dinner there with my fellow Korean friends who were also originally from Orange County, and we were all anticipating a night to finally satisfy our longing for some food from back home.
The place was pretty full when we arrived, which I took as a positive sign. The wait wasn’t unreasonable for a party of three, although the waitress couldn’t give us the approximate wait time. After about 15 minutes, we were seated, and I took in the surroundings as we were given our menus.
I could see that BonChon obviously wanted to create an “oriental” atmosphere with its red seats and overhead lamps. There was also a grill in the table for Korean barbecue – something that I’m looking forward to using soon.
About five minutes later, the waitress returned to take our orders. We had Edamame as our appetizer, and a medium-sized Half-and-Half Soy Garlic and Spicy Chicken Platter (10 pcs) as our main dish, which the waitress had recommended for our party of three. The prices were reasonable, although they weren’t on the cheap side ($5.95 for Edamame, $20.95 for the platter).
What I found interesting was that our main dish actually arrived earlier than our appetizer, but the wait times for both were normal. We were also given radishes and a salad as sides for the main dish.
I first had the salad, which – as you can probably see from the picture – had too much mayo. It also had too many spices, which made a very strange combination that did not impress me. The edamame was better, but it was a bit overcooked. But, I really liked the radishes. They were crisp and refreshing, just as radishes should be.
I then tried the Soy Garlic chicken. The outside was crunchy, and the inside had a nice texture. The garlic was thankfully not overpowering at all, but instead complimented the chicken well. The Spicy chicken was very, very spicy. People who really love spicy food will definitely enjoy this dish – as for me, a person who can’t handle super spicy food, I couldn’t finish the chicken wing after one bite.
Overall, I felt underwhelmed. This might be because Orange County offers so many mouthwatering Korean-style chicken wings (if you ever come down to Orange County, you MUST try out Flying Chicken Pa-Dak), but BonChon was just “meh.” It wasn’t bad, but not particularly amazing, either. I’ll come here again to check out the Korean BBQ, and maybe once in a while to satisfy future Korean-style chicken cravings. For those of you who have never had Korean-style chickens, I’d recommend you to try this place out, only on one condition: Think of BonChon as an introduction to the amazing world of Korean food, but remember that it can get so much better.
148 Mount Auburn Street
By Danielle Leavitt ’17
Darwin’s Ltd., located at 148 Mount Auburn Street is the perfect place for a Valentine’s date. Eclectic decor, a vast array of natural, organic soups, made-to-order sandwiches, wines, and fresh veggies and fruits — it’s a great place to either pick-up a picnic lunch or eat in. Take a seat in the cozy seating area with your date, and sample many of the different flavored coffees and fresh bakery items. However, no great Valentine’s date would be complete without a gluten free option, and Darwin’s is no exception. Their gluten free sandwich bread is incredibly tasty, and the homemade gluten free pastries and scones are to die for. My personal favorite sandwich is the Hilliard: sprouts, Havarti cheese, and turkey on gluten free bread. For the yummiest and best kept secret in Cambridge, take your date to Darwin’s Ltd.!
1682 Massachusetts Ave
By Victoria Piccione ’16
There are few things more romantic than really delicious Italian food. It makes sense: the country is romantic, the language is (quite literally) (R)omantic; it only follows that the food be romantic as well. Giulia on Mass Ave. has mastered this romance – and everyone knows it because the restaurant is always packed. The lighting is dim and the venue is small, the perfect amount of cozy for you and your Valentine. And despite below-freezing temps and below-zero wind chill, the food will warm you from the inside-out.
For the antipasto, you can’t miss the burrata: kind of a cross between mozzarella and ricotta, this is probably the best cheese you’ll ever eat. Choosing a main course is virtually impossible, with countless mouthwatering pastas on the menu, each prepared fresh daily at the big wooden pasta table featured right in front of the kitchen. And with amazing secondi, like homemade lamb sausage, you may be better off sharing, so you can both get a taste of everything. Of course, Valentine’s Day is the chocolate holiday, so your meal wouldn’t be complete without the chocolate terrine or the affogato. (The latter may just be the best gelato on this side of the Atlantic.) No matter what you choose, though, you can’t go wrong.
With a three-course meal averaging around $35 per person, I wouldn’t really call it a bang-for-your-buck kind of place. But you will certainly be getting your money’s worth. Let’s be honest: great food evokes feelings of pleasure–all the better to share it with your partner. But even if the date is a total flop, you’ll undoubtedly find yourself falling in love with Giulia.
13 Brattle Street
By Orlea Miller ’16
Looking for somewhere new and exciting this Valentine’s Day? Try the Beat Brasserie (the Beat Hôtel)! The regular Bohemian-themed menu will be offered, along with specials including a Duck Confit Salad, the Blue Crab Crostini, and Roasted Lobster with Squid Ink Pasta. You can’t miss this season’s dessert offerings: banana bread pudding, raspberry and blackberry mousse, and flourless chocolate cake! Live music and drink specials are sure to add to the special occasion. Reservations are highly encouraged, call 617-499-0001 to make yours.
210 Hanover Street
By Caroline Gentile ’17
Located in the always romantic North End, Taranta boasts an unlikely fusion of Italian and Peruvian cuisine that is actually a match made in heaven (perhaps like you and your date!). Any of their six pasta dishes are to die for, but the lobster ravioli are by far the most popular. As for the main dishes, the Petto di Pollo –chicken stuffed with fontina cheese and spinach– and the Amazon paiche are sure to impress. The dim lighting, friendly service and delicious food make Taranta a perfect place for a Valentine’s Day date. Be sure to make a reservation by calling 617-720-0052.
40 Brattle Street
By Dana Ferrante ’17
Tables for two, apricot cookies, a spiral staircase, peppermint orange hot chocolate. The only thing missing? That special someone. If you’re looking for an intimate environment, made for conversation, warm beverages, and classic coffee shop romance, Café Algiers is the perfect place to go and hide from the sure to be snowy Valentine’s Day weather this year. Chances are it won’t be teaming with people, and you won’t have to wait an hour to get your delicious tabbouli salad or cheese plate with arabic bread. For a causal Valentine’s Day, where you’ll be warm, well-fed, and able to hear what your date is saying, Café Algiers is the place to go.
By Caroline Gentile ’17
Maybe it’s because I’m part Italian, or maybe it’s just because I love carbs, but pasta bolognese is probably my favorite meal. To me, nothing is more satisfying than a plate full of perfectly al-dente rigatoni smothered in a hearty, meaty bolognese sauce. When I first decided to try my hand at cooking in third grade, it was no surprise that I decided to make a bolognese sauce.
My mom chose a recipe for chicken bolognese by the Australian chef Bill Granger, known for his clean and simple approach to cooking. After spending hours learning how to chop things, and overcoming my weird phobia of touching raw meat, I produced a delicious chicken bolognese sauce. Using chicken instead of beef really lightened up the sauce, making it possible to have seconds (or even thirds!)
Since then, this recipe has become my go-to for a quick and easy dinner. If third grade me can make it, anybody can!
2 TB extra virgin olive oil (the best you can get your hands on)
1 onion, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 slices of pancetta or prosciutto, chopped
1lb 2oz minced ground chicken
1.5 cups crushed tomato
1lb 2oz rigatoni
1/2 cup pinot grigio (optional, but recommended for added flavor)*
freshly grated parmesan cheese and 3 TB flat leaf parsley to serve
Put the oil, onion, celery, garlic and a good pinch of salt and pepper in a saucepan over medium heat and cook for several minutes until golden. Add the prosciutto/panc etta and chicken, and stir constantly with a wooden spoon to break up any lumps. When the mince is cooked through, add the tomato sauce and simmer for ten minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the directions on the box until al dente. Toss together with sauce, parmesan, and parsley, and enjoy!
By Adam Wong ’17
It was a crazy idea, and one that was unlikely to come to fruition: my freshmen roommates and I would taste and critique General Gau’s chicken from every Chinese restaurant in the Greater Boston area.
Why General Gau’s? Well, we love it, every respectable Faux Chinese restaurant serves it, and with a calorie count upwards of 1300, it is a better nutritional deal than a big mac. For us the choice was obvious (especially for Tim– he’s an economist).
Unconcerned with fickle municipal boundaries, we decided to start off our culinary quest in our figurative backyard: The Hong Kong. Located directly outside our freshman dorm, its golden sign beckoned us to consume animal proteins and simple carbohydrates when the time for worrying about such simple matters of nutrition was naught (2am).
As I walked in, the owner looked up, and gave me a warm smile as he patted my back and sat me down at a window table as far away from the bar as possible. (I had a bit of a reputation). After being given chopsticks, playing drums with my chopsticks, and having the waiter take away my chopsticks, I was joined by my compatriots. Tim: rowing extraordinare, economics degenerate. Greg: six pack, piercing green eyes. And me, Adam Wong, waggish cavalier conspiracy inventor.
Team assembled, we quickly named our project: THE SEARCH FOR THE GREATER GAU. As fledging food bloggers, we observed our surroundings to judge the full experience of the Kong and its general Gau’s chicken.
(But first, the bathroom. It is calm, quiet, and the gentle Lysol massages your senses into catharsis. It is a pentagon– a very strong choice. As a unisex bathroom, it unfortunately lacks the convenient urinal and fortunately lacks passive aggressive sharpie graffiti.)
The water came out early and judging from the ice, condensation on the outside of the glass, and the way my teeth hurt while drinking it, the water was cold. Check plus! Knowing the importance of hydration on a crazy Friday night we downed our complimentary waters. Noticing our desperation for hydration, our waiter left a pitcher at our table, showing conscientiousness to our plight. The ice, not quite toothsome, was none the less chewable.
The ambiance is familiar: a painted relief of a Chinese mystic flying on a dragon, her hand formed in a Buddhist symbol, or more likely (judging from the tasteful Steve Miller Band playing in the background) the symbol for “rock on”.
About five minutes after we placed our fateful order, the General ambushed.
Marmalade heaps of deep-fried chicken floated onto our table. The feeling of seeing an old crush fluttered into our respective hearts. Bite-sized pieces glazed in a sweet-and-sour chili orange sauce, sprinkled with creamy white sesame seeds, and broccoli (because we are dignified, thank you very much). Each man mercilessly stabbed a piece and flung it into his gaping mouth. As the chicken came near, the characteristic sweet-and-sour smell wafted into our noses and ticked our sinuses. We put it in our mouth. It was sexy. I fully embraced the hot, sticky chicken, delighting as my teeth cut easily through the sweet, succulent meat. As the tangy orange sauce dribbled down the corner of my mouth, the sour vinegar gave way to the sweet of the sauce, and finally the savory of the chicken. I swallowed, and kept the mouth party going with a subsequent mouthful. I looked up from my mouth meditating, and saw Tim, slumped over his chair in bliss, and Greg, staring comatose into the ceiling. How could so much satisfaction come at the low price of $10.95?
Once we went into beast mode, it didn’t take long to finish the plate. There was a significant amount of the sauce left-over, which went well with the non-sticky, long-grain rice that came with the Gernal Gau’s combination plate.
The check was delivered soon after and we all received fortune cookies of the Lucky Panda brand. To our delight, the fortune cookies were delivered uncracked, unopened, and most definitely containing fortunes. Cracking the two, golden-yellowish sides in half, we put them in our mouths in such a way to avoid ingesting the paper. The cookies themselves –mildly sweet but otherwise flavorless — fragmented like chips in our mouths as we bit down on them. To our surprise, the papers had words, and to our amazement, the papers told us our fortunes. Realizing the terrible nature of predetermination, we busted the heck ‘outta there, but only after leaving a generous 20% tip.