I love rice, I love rice, I love anything with rice in it, on it, around it. It’s my favorite. Sushi, white, fried, brown, pudding, drinkable. I can’t explain it, I always have.
One of my all time favorites is the fried rice at Billy Tse’s in the North End of Boston.
I “discovered” this place on a date night shortly before my first round of law school finals. Really, my soon-to-be boyfriend brought me there before
a round of studying or memo writing watching TV and drinking wine and eating said Chinese food. I knew the North End was known for its Italian, and so when he took me to the Chinese place, I thought, “I’m gonna like this one…” (Two weeks later I accosted him at a bar and informed him he was my boyfriend from then-on. Being that he is still with me, he obviously remains very intimidated by me and my opinions).
At that juncture, I knew a few things about this one, shall we call him “Mr. Western Wear.” (Inside joke, but objectively hilarious nickname). Great hair, questionable taste in music, awful taste in TV shows (Survivor 1-14), completely brilliant and wonderful. I also knew he had a Reese Witherspoon-look-a-like-ex-girlfriend who lived around the corner, so when a beautiful, blonde girl came in the restaurant to say hi, I hid my face behind my study guides and swore I would never eat rice again if I managed to save face for the next five minutes.
Thinking back, I’m not sure whether I actually fulfilled my end of the bargain so I could clear-heartedly eat that night. On the one hand it was an old friend from college, thus relieving all my anxiety. On the other hand, can you really say “you saved face” if you have to crawl out from behind your stack of study guides to meet a new boyfriend’s old college friend? “Oh hi, just reading things really closely so I learn them better, so nice to meet you.”
Nevertheless, the fact that I chose to dive into my takeout carton was all very lucky for my stomach, as I got to experience what would become my go-to comfort food in Boston. It’s kind of hard to explain why it is good, because when it comes down to it, its fried rice. But as far as fried rice goes, it’s just so good. Circular reasoning at its finest (I killed the LSAT). Anytime I am conflicted with feelings of hunger and a simultaneous need to be cuddled, this fried rice cures me. It’s a treat and a hug at the same time.
Rice aside, they have many other worthwhile dishes. Spicy Thai Basil Chicken being my other favorite. I also recommend the Agedashi tofu.
Now, when I call and order Chicken Fried Rice, Two Miso Soups, and Spicy Thai Basil Chicken, they (Billy) say “Oh hello! Mr. Western Wear, how have you been?!?”