Year of the Takeout Day 167: STINKY Tofu in Boston

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Stinky Tofu with Pickle from Dumpling Cafe (695-697 Washington Street, Boston, 617-338-8858).

This weekend, we had the opportunity to try out some of Boston's Chinese cuisine!

Though we obviously didn't get to eat at all of the restaurants, quick looks at a lot of the menus in Chinatown seemed to suggest a strong Taiwanese influence.

We were also lucky on Sunday not just to spend time with some of our dearest friends, but to try all their food, too.

For starters, something must be said of the $5.95 fried stinky tofu with pickle.

It's like making out with the devil, or at least as we imagine making out with the devil would taste like: sulfurous and sour, with a menacing crunch.

The spicy, vinegary cabbage offsets the squishy, pungent bean curd's density by giving a sweet, light, vegetal vibe to the dish.

One friend ordered the minced pork with black bean sauce over noodles ($5.95), which easily rivals those at Shanghai Asian Cuisine.

The Taiwanese-style rice cake with pork and vegetable ($6.50) has the general flavor of lo mein, but these ovular noodles lend a novel, fun chewiness to this starchy staple.

The General Tso's, called General Gau's ($9.50) as per the region's culinary dialect, features a moist mouthfeel and an admirable amount of spice in its trademark, sweet glaze.

Even the $5.95 crab rangoon comes out better than expected: There are real flecks of crab and the wontons have an even thickness, making for a consistently textured fried snack.

Overall, dumpling cafe -- which is open until 2 a.m. -- deserves a revisit.

(P.S. Yeah, we "got our drink on" Saturday, but we had a pork bun too, right before our bus took off. We Tweeted a pic but didn't wind up writing about it. Anyway, we just wanted to let you know that we do, in fact, eat Chinese food every day but sometimes consume more than we can even write about.)

For more Year of the Takeout, click here. And follow Victoria Bekiempis @vicbekiempis.

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