i know many people were probably too scared or too disgusted to eat in the place- a sort of mini mall in one room of various restaurants, up one flight.it never seemed particularly clean although in nearly 2 decades of eating there i never got sick. if you're the sort who minds eating cafeteria style with a lot of people you don't know, perhaps wouldn't want to know, perhaps shouldn't know or perhaps have no way of understanding you probably hated it. it seemed the very essence of chaos and randomness but never once was my order screwed up or not brought directly to me. in the midst of the teeming disorder of downtown revolving around a foreign language and culture , once i had that plate before me i was grounded, comfy(even on those horrible cheapo chairs at those wobbly tables) and happy.rod thai had the best pad thai in the entire city- it's one of the few dishes i ever have constant cravings for and now i will forever go unsatisfied.
such was my disbelief that it was gone i had to stand in the middle of beach street staring up at the signs advertising lofts, refusing to move, refusing to believe. chinatown eatery was one of those constants of life- always there, always affordable and even if no one cared particularly you were there they were never going to throw you out. the son of a friend who was always running away was always found hiding out at the chinatown eatery. he felt safe there.
filene's is still a partially gaping hole in the center of boston. nice. and where the littlest bar was is about the hugest condo building i have ever seen- an obscene slab of concrete, a towering ugly straight up at a dizzying angle uninviting wall, that appears empty just like there are no lofts where the chinatown eatery was even though it appears to have closed in 2007.
when i moved from allston and then stopped working downtown i must admit i pretty much stopped going into boston for anything. i always missed allston's restaurants and while using the interwebs to find out what may have happened to the eatery i found my second favorite asian restaurant, v. majestic, had also closed. i lived right next door and went there at least once a week. glowing chicken and spring rolls. v. majestic was around in the 80's, one of the oldest vietnamese restaurants around. they guy who owned it was always so nice to me. i get the impression that as he aged, a relative took over and the food started to slide. it closed in 2008.
if you go to new jersey, there seems to be a diner on every corner, open all the time. boston has always sort of sucked for diners and late night dining, a situation that only became worse in the late 90s. (does anyone remember charlies kitchen in kenmore? hardcore rules!the site of a million after clubbing trenda just picked them up 'dates'. endless cups of tea. vegetarian stew. what about empire deli at the end of boylston street just before longwood, across from star on the wedge? at least i think that's what it was called back when right next to it there was actually a sears in the sears building.).on my only day off and on the morning after a djing gig the best thing for the hangover was dragging myself the block to grecian yearning. what is it with you damn greeks and your cinnamon use in gravy? anyway, it was the best, cheapest breakfast- the bacony salty goodness the eases the soul so you can wake up, re-hydrate and face whatever and whomever you did the night before. grecian yearning on harvard ave allston burnt down the summer of 2008.
how the hell do you make pad thai?