Closing & Opening: 2 New Restaurants that Continue a Legacy
One thing you can count on, no matter where you live, is old favorite bars and restaurants closing. It’s always nice when the block is spared, cool spaces remain, and great new tenants take over. This week, I visited two new restaurants in vintage spots and had excellent meals in both.
1. Tang Wong
Broadway’s China Doll was an institution, and my in-laws were crushed when I told them it was closing. They’d been going for years, and thankfully I got to go with them once while it was still around. The dark interior and tall booths reminded me a lot of the first Chinese restaurant I can remember going to back home. Thankfully, it wasn’t long before new owners arrived.
Our server warned when we ordered that dim sum can take a while, but we didn’t notice a significant delay. We ordered a lot of food and all of it was great, but the standouts were definitely the stuffed sticky rice in lotus leaves, the veggie and pork tofu skin wrap in oyster sauce, and the huge side of green beans we got from the regular menu.
They serve dim sum from 11-3, and I can’t wait to try it all, as well as some regular lunch specials, which are very reasonably priced.
Having only been to China Doll once, I can only vaguely remember it, but I can still say the interior refresh is quite the change. The dining room is nice and bright, and they’ve got a spacious lounge off to the side which can be accessed via several doors. Looks like a great place to duck into for a few drinks.
2. Yummy Banh Mi
I’ve always tried to be the go-to guy about Vietnamese food, but was scooped by the Live in Everett Instagram when they spotted Yummy Banh Mi downtown before I did back in early June. I couldn’t figure out online at the time where it was, but spotted it the next time I drove up Hewitt, in the old Barry’s Catering spot. I’d never been to Barry’s, but have always loved the building.
Don’t let the name and small space fool you; they’ve got a lot more than sandwiches and bubble tea, and several tables, all of which have great views thanks to the floor-to-ceiling windows. There doesn’t seem to be a restroom available for customers, though, but I didn’t confirm.
I was there for dinner, and had the pork and shrimp vermicelli bowl (bun thit heo va tom), which was fantastic. Perfectly-cooked shrimp and pork, bouncy noodles, fresh vegetables and herbs, and just the right amount of flavor in the sauce. And I had a great time watching the world go by while I ate.
I also picked up two grilled pork banh mi to go so my husband and I could have them for lunch the next day. That turned out to be a good thing, because I ate most of mine before remembered to get a photo. I caught him via text before he had his, and got him to send back a photo of it.
Just like my bowl the night before, this tasty sandwich was stuffed full of delicious pork and crisp vegetables, plus just enough mayo. That part can be hard to get right. When I have one that’s been in the refrigerator overnight, I like to heat half in the microwave and eat half cold, and both ways were great.
The restaurant business is tumultuous and even the best ones can close suddenly, or better yet, when owners decide it’s time to retire after a successful run. Always be sure to give the new places a shot, you might find your new favorite where the old one was.
Christopher Bragg works from home in Everett and loves walking, swimming, and cats. You can find him all over town, but only if you keep weird hours and avoid crowds like he does.