Mei Mei – A Boston Food Truck and Restaurant

Locally sourced & made with love

February 4, 2014
by Mei
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‘Start with Chinese Food. Add Creativity.’

A huge thanks to Devra First and the Boston Globe for the restaurant review!  It’s a testament to the many many hours of hard work put in by our entire team.

Thank you also to Barry Chin for these gorgeous photos….

Carrots and Seeds. Photo Credit, Barry Chin

Carrots and Seeds. Photo Credit, Barry Chin

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Trotters and Waffles. Photo Credit, Barry Chin.

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Five Spheres Chicken. Photo Credit, Barry Chin

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John Crow Farm Rib & Belly Pork Chop. Photo Credit, Barry Chin

January 6, 2014
by Mei
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New Year, New Stuff!

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Happy New Year! We are excited to ring in 2014 with a brand new awning which makes us feel more like a real restaurant. We’re like grownups now! And we’re also psyched about a fun change for our lunch menu – real plates! We thought, what’s the point of moving from the truck to a brick-and-mortar if we can’t enjoy our Double Awesome on a real plate? So we’ve moved away from compostable dishes, which has the additional benefit of minimizing our waste stream. Hooray sustainability! We’ve also added a few more items to the lunch menu like our favorite Sweet Potato and Sage Dumplings and Charred Cabbage Salad and made some size changes based on your very helpful feedback.
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Are you seriously missing the Magical Kale Salad this winter? Well, the Charred Cabbage Salad is our seasonal version and, tough as it is to believe, some of us actually like it even better. Same stuff – garlic panko breadcrumbs, Narragansett Creamery Sea Salt Feta, slow-poached-then-fried egg. Different stuff – we’ve added black beans to the rice wine vinaigrette for extra savory flavor, switched out the kale for crunchy and delicious cabbage and tossed in sliced local apples for a tiny hit of sweetness. It’s been a huge hit on our dinner menu and we think even the biggest Magical Kale fans out there will be pretty happy.

charred cabbage salad at mei mei
Speaking of our dinner menu, have you tried it yet? Come check out all the delicious stuff that Max and Irene have put together. We think you’ll be pretty psyched you did. Turns out you can do a lot in a kitchen larger than a truck that doesn’t move every few hours! It’s been great seeing old truck regulars and making new friends in the restaurant. We’re enjoying showing off some of our new dinner dishes and are continuing to experiment and try new things. Some particular new favorites include our Trotters & Waffles, a throwback to the very early days of the food truck. It’s a breaded and fried John Crow Farm trotter cake – like a delicious meaty pork nugget – on top a housemade brioche waffle with cabbage pickles, maple Dijon whipped cream and some spiced cranberry sauce.

trotters and waffles

trotters and waffles…in a special photo stolen from a smartphone.

Also brand new is the Beef Heart Tartare with juniper dressing, smoked chestnut creme, baguette crisps and local herbs. And there’s always my favorites of the past month since we opened…the Kung Pao Chicken Dip…

kung pao chicken dip at mei mei

and the Five Spheres Chicken, sold by Irene with a super sassy face.

five spheres chicken and a super sassy face from irene.

Some last bits of excitement about the end of 2013 and the beginning of 2014 - Thank you to Zagat for mentioning us in Boston’s Biggest Openings of 2013  alongside some of our absolute favorite spots like Ribelle and Bronwyn.

We’re also super excited to have been featured in the Boston Globe’s Quick Bite section in this article ‘A Parking Spot for Mei Mei’. High fives for an article that mentions Little House on the Prairie, drug tests, supremely happy pigs, and a human Double Awesome. Love it!

And just out today…the Boston Globe’s list of Where to Eat in 2014 by Kara Baskin! Super excited to have made this stellar lineup.  It’s so fantastic to see how the Boston restaurant scene has evolved in just the months since we opened our food truck and we’re so proud to be part of such a creative, dedicated and exciting group. High on our list to try in 2014 – Row 34, Sarma, and Kirkland Tap & Trotter. Getting hungry already…

November 6, 2013
by Mei
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OPENING DAY APPROACHES!

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Dear Friends:

The time is finally here! After months of construction, permits, licenses and inspections, we are FINALLY ready to open the restaurant. We’re going to be practicing this weekend, then opening our doors to the public on Monday, November 11th! We’re located at 506 Park Drive, on the corner of Buswell Street, just a block away from street parking on Beacon Street and on the Fenway D line, St Mary’s C line and BU Central B Line!

To make sure we do things the right way and keep the truck running in the meantime, we’ll be starting off with limited hours (11am-3pm) and a limited lunch menu, similar to what we serve on the truck. We’ll practice, get your feedback, and work to improve all week. Then we start ramping up and introducing the dinner menu!

These are the dishes we’re most excited to serve, and we’re also incredibly honored to serve them first to our Kickstarter backers who pledged to support our soft opening. They’ll be our guinea pigs as we practice our entry into table service dinners – it’s a big step up for us food truckers! Kickstarter friends, look for information in your inbox today.

The week of the 18th-23rd will be our soft opening week, with a minor break to do this awesome event Overkill in support of Lovin’ Spoonfuls, and then culminating in a launch party on the 23rd to thank all the people who have helped us make it this far.

So if all goes well, expect to be sitting down for dinner in Mei Mei starting November 25th! We’ll be closed for the day on Thanksgiving, but you can bet we’ll be very very thankful this holiday.

Can’t wait to see you all in there so soon….

Andrew, Margaret and Irene <3 <3

P.S. Thanks to UrbanDaddy for the awesome photo at the top!

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November 1, 2013
by Mei
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Where to Eat. Right Now. by Boston Magazine.

We’re absolutely THRILLED to be included on Boston Magazine’s list of Where to Eat. Right Now. The List. It’s such a huge honor to be included with just about all of our favorite restaurant heroes in Boston. Can’t. believe.it.

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50 restaurants where to eat right now boston magazine

Max’s beautiful Carrots and Seeds dish was included in the Vegetable Superstar spread alongside friends like Journeyman, Asta, and The Gallows. Gorgeous food styling as always, BoMag.

mei mei in boston magazine

Speaking of amazing styling and food photography, we love this photo of a six-layer coconut cake. Brown Butter Bakers is a project by L’Espalier and Craigie alum Jess Scott, a college classmate that I just reconnected with in Boston! Small world. Big cake. Mmm.

tall cakes in boston magazine

 

October 24, 2013
by Mei
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Bike caps and T-shirts and Tote bags, oh my!

DOUBLE AWESOME!

 Woohoo, we’re happy to report that all our new Mei Mei Kickstarter gear is in!

Bike caps, yeah!! Thanks to Kickstarter backer Rachel for providing this sweet photo. If you wanna snap a picture of you and your swag on Instagram, tag us @meimeistreetkitchen or @meimeifoodtruck on Twitter. Bike caps and t-shirts will be for sale in the restaurant although the totes are a limited edition for Kickstarter backers, sorry!

Kickstarter folks, if you haven’t received anything yet, it’s either winging its way across the country or the Atlantic, or for a few people, we haven’t received your size information yet. Those people we’ve emailed individually, but feel free to get in touch if you have any questions or are still awaiting your gear after a few days.

Hooray for lots of fun things arriving in the mail!

As for the rest of you eagerly awaiting your restaurant rewards and just hoping to eat in here….thank you for your everlasting patience. We are in the final stages of permitting and licensing – our application is at the Building Department waiting on a few signatures and then we can move forward with all the restaurant licensing paperwork. It’s a long process, to say the least. I spent 3 hours at Inspectional Services earlier this week trying to get things sorted out and have made 3 trips to City Hall, but we are moving forward, slowly and surely. We did pass our fire inspection – those balloons in the picture below mean our fire suppression system is working, yay! – and we’re on our way..

I’m going to stop giving estimates because I keep being (very) wrong, but rest assured we are working seriously hard to get open and get you in there and eating Double Awesomes every day.

We’ll be in touch soon….

October 17, 2013
by Mei
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August, September and October Food Truck Weddings

We celebrated in Cape Cod, we partied up in Boston, we swooped out to Western Mass, we bopped over to Cambridge and Somerville and zoomed back down to the Cape again. Late summer and early fall has been a big Mei Mei Street Kitchen wedding party!

Congrats to Carlota and Tristram…

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Xiao and Vanessa….
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Jack & Teresa…

Jack and Teresa

as well as Jennifer & Jon, and Kyle & Jennifer!

We don’t have photos from a lot of these weddings sadly, but we do have access to all the photos from one August wedding….

Mine! Which I’m super happy about because you can see a lot more behind-the-scenes action of our amazing truck team, courtesy of the amazing Natalie Norton. 

View More: http://natalienortonphotography.pass.us/leolovesmei

Way to kill it, Alex, Gab, Jenny, Emily, Micaela and Harry!

Some truck crew action shots…

View More: http://natalienortonphotography.pass.us/leolovesmei

View More: http://natalienortonphotography.pass.us/leolovesmei

 

View More: http://natalienortonphotography.pass.us/leolovesmeiView More: http://natalienortonphotography.pass.us/leolovesmei

some food shots…mm…whole roast pig…

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and buns…

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and curry…

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and eating shots!

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Plus, a gratuitous pig head shot. Gotta happen at every food truck family wedding.

View More: http://natalienortonphotography.pass.us/leolovesmei

Oh and did I mention the CHEESE PORTRAIT THAT HAPPENED? Apparently that happens at food truck family weddings too. Should you desire a customized cheese portrait for your celebration, Irene may be willing to oblige…

View More: http://natalienortonphotography.pass.us/leolovesmei

 

We’re sad to see you go, wedding season. Can’t wait for next year!

View More: http://natalienortonphotography.pass.us/leolovesmei

October 9, 2013
by Mei
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Oh So Close

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A haiku for you.

Oh, opening day.

So close, yet so far away. 

Coming soon…Mei Mei!

We know, we’ve been promising the restaurant opening for months now. Turns out the whole process of getting a brick & mortar up and running is WAY more complex and time-consuming than we ever thought. We’re doing our best to make it happen as soon as possible, but it’s a crazy complicated process and we’re learning new things every day. We want to make sure to keep you all in the loop though. Here are the last few things we need to get open:

Fire alarm test  - Right now, we’re waiting for the Boston Fire Department to come test our alarm system and sign off so we can get our Certificate of Inspection.

Common Victualler’s License – Once we have the certificate in hand, we can take a whole bunch of paperwork to City Hall and apply for our license.

Health Inspection – Once we have our CV license in hand, we can schedule a health inspection. Once the inspector signs off that our space is safe and clean and ready for cooking, we’re good to go!

Three things. Seems kinda simple, right? The problem is, like all the other things that came before them, that it’s really difficult to predict when these things can happen. Sometimes they go super fast. Other times, they take many weeks longer than you thought. So every time we keep saying ‘Oh, the restaurant is 4-6 weeks away’, or ‘Oh, the restaurant is 2-3 weeks away’, we really mean it. And then it turns out to be wrong. So we’re sorry we keep telling you the wrong thing, but we are so close….we think. Fingers crossed!

On the bright side, the space is looking great and we’re super excited about it. And it’s been featured in both the Improper Bostonian and the Boston Globe in the past two days! Thanks to Matt Martinelli from the Improper and Kara Baskin from the Globe for these wonderful articles….

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September 25, 2013
by Mei
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Totes Amazeballs

Just a quick update everyone – we passed our final electrical inspection! WOOHOO! And the Kickstarter reward tote bags arrived! And we got new high efficiency dual flush eco-friendly toilets that will help with sustainable certification! It’s been a good day.

Check em out below.
For all our Kickstarter people, T-shirts are arriving next week and hats soon after that. Sorry for the delay on hats – since they’re completely customized, the turnaround time is a lot longer. But don’t worry, it’s all coming soon! We will be starting to ship rewards this weekend, so keep an eye out in your mailbox (or inbox if you still haven’t told us what size you want).

For everyone wondering about the restaurant (and Kickstarter rewards peeps) we are hoping to be up and running with very limited truck and lunch service in about 3 weeks. We still need to get our restaurant license, pass a health inspection and then move all our stuff into the new restaurant. We are so so close, but taking it step by step as we want to make sure that we keep the truck up and running and feeding all of you that rely on us for lunch every day.

As soon as we can after that, we will be gearing up to start our brand new and exciting dinner service! If you haven’t heard, we’re going to be doing a lot more stuff here in the restaurant that we can’t do on the truck. It’s going to be new, it’s going to be fun, it’s going to be a big and exciting and creative challenge. Read more about it here in Irene’s interview with BU’s Daily Free Press, We can’t wait! <3 you all!

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September 16, 2013
by Mei
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Brick & Mortar September Update

Hello everyone!

We know you’re all eagerly awaiting the restaurant opening and so are we! We were hoping for our final inspections a few weeks ago, but unfortunately ran into a delay regarding our building’s electrical system. After many complications and just a leeeetle bit of teeth-gnashing, we are now just waiting for the utility company to turn our meters back on and then it’s time for final inspections. After that comes licensing and permitting and we will start scheduling our soft openings and launch party…hooray!

For all you Kickstarter backers, thank you for your shipping and sizing information. All the swag has been ordered and we’re waiting for it to show up! Production take a little while, especially on the hats, but we will be having a big packing/shipping party as soon as everything arrives!

Check out our new dining room floor, all spiffy and shiny.

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Also the sign from the previous tenant is now gone, so as soon as the landlord finishes renovating the front facade, it’s time for the Mei Mei awning to go up!

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We also had a followup meeting with the Sustainable Business Network today to discuss moving forward with certification. It’s all thanks to you folks and we couldn’t be more grateful.

Step by step, we’re moving closer to opening….can’t wait to see you all there.

Much love,

the MMSK crew

August 16, 2013
by Mei
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Brick and Mortar Update!

We’ve been getting a lot of questions recently. When is the restaurant opening? When can I eat a Double Awesome in a place with seats and air conditioning and really beautiful reclaimed wood counters and an awesome chalk wall?

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Well, here’s the brick & mortar update you’ve all been waiting for. We have all our major equipment in place. We have an enlarged and expanded walk-in refrigerator in a new location. We have new lights, shelving, sinks, chairs, and more. We screwed in our first light bulb today – pretty psyched about the awesomely hipster Edison bulb thing going on.

IMG_4827These butcher block tables got cut and sanded a few days ago. So much happy eating will take place on you, my friends. IMG_4794

And I’m in love with these shelves! We’re gonna put so much stuff on them. What has not yet been determined. But it will be figured out, never fear. IMG_4485

We hit up a restaurant auction and now are the proud owners of gently used but still beautiful plates, cups, pans, pots, knives, spoons, and more. Check out Andy’s game face.

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And as of today, we have Internet! I’m even writing this in the ‘office’ right now! (See photo: it’s about as makeshift as it can get. Can’t wait to get this all free of construction dust and sorted out).

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Here’s what still needs to happen: our fire alarm and fire suppression system needs to get finished and tested. We’ve still got some last electrical work to do and various bits and bobs with the plumbing. We’ve got a few more days of carpentry and loose ends. Then cleaning! (see aforementioned construction dust). Our chalk wall needs to get finished as do a few other walls and ceilings. And of course, inspections. Electrical inspection, fire inspection, building inspection and health inspection! Permits and licenses can take some time to go through the system, so even though we hope to be in here testing dishes and training staff within a few weeks, it can take a few weeks after that to open up to the public. So. Fingers crossed, if everything goes well, if nothing big and scary comes up (knock on our brand new butcher block table wood), we are hoping to be open before the end of September. Eeek!

We can’t wait to feed you all – on your very own yellow chair pulled up to a beautiful butcher block table looking up at a newly designed chalk wall.

See you soon….

Andy, Mei & Irene