Bar Bites: Asian

For when we just don't feel like using Tamari at home, and my husband has a craving for dumplings... 

Myers and Chang

Location: Boston, MA

Eat:  What more can I say about this amazing restaurant other than I love it and I always want to go? A fun, funky, and supremely delicious Asian-fusion restaurant featuring a vast main menu, plus a gluten free menu, a shellfish free menu, and a vegetarian menu! Seriously! Bring your friends, family, neighbor, anyone! There is something for everyone at this casual (but great for celebrations) and hip location run by Joanne Chang (of Flour Bakery and Cafe) and chef Karen Akunowicz.

I love the gluten free menu because it has some amazing food that's entirely safe - GF dishes are served on red plates to make sure you know that those are the ones for you (and that means you don't need to share. Right?). My top favorite is the Nasi Goreng and I order it every single time.

My husband loves it for the non-GF dishes such as the dumplings and even more so for the great seats we try to get facing the open kitchen. I love watching them cook with blazing speed and incredible accuracy for every single dish sent out to guests.

I love Myers and Chang because it feels like family when we visit (such a joyful host!) and we have an awesome dinner - or dim sum brunch- every time. A must-go for anyone in search of delicious food, fun atmosphere, and a safe space to eat gluten free Asian-inspired fare. Plus! They have a cookbook out now so you can make some of your favorites at home. Win! 

 Banyan Bar and Refuge

Location: Boston, MA

Eat: I am so happy to include another great Asian-fusion restaurant to my gluten free dining guide! Suggested by a friend that we try this place out recently, I was excited and wary as I knew it had taken over the old Hamersley’s location (memories to this day of that roast chicken). But thankfully, Banyan proved to be a worthy replacement in that it’s totally different from the space’s former inhabitant, offering a cool vibe, fun atmosphere and really delicious food! Plus, all items are marked gluten free, where available, and the staff is happy to ask the chef if other items not marked GF can be made that way. What a delight!

Our server was knowledgeable, friendly, and extremely helpful as I had a lot of questions. We ordered almost everything GF possible (because hunger) and altered a couple menu items to be gluten free which was a wise move - they were so good!!

The cocktails are yummy and have interesting flavor combos. The ones we tried were great and worked well with our dinner. The interior decor is lovely and the ceiling is covered with tree branches, creating a serene, but also very lively (at the bar) space. Great lighting helps as well!

Each dish delicious and by the second appetizer, I wanted to come back! All dishes are served for sharing and come out as they are ready, which is good since some arrive immediately such as veggies, while others take longer (my husband loved the crispy pork ribs).

I’d say my personal favorites of the night were the corn off the cob (naturally GF) and the mapo Dip (made to be GF). Awesome! I am thrilled to have another local restaurant offering yummy, accessible Asian-fusion food that has many gluten free options and a staff that is happy to help make sure your meal is safe and delicious!

Perk: outdoor dining on the patio is available, but no reservations accepted for those seats. I’d recommend reservations for indoors as it got busy quickly and the bar area is not too large! Fun fact: you can reserve counter seats! Let’s go! :)