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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Stick A Fork In It: Kiss the Chef

Tell ´em Uncle Bao sent you.
Press Photo
Tell ´em Uncle Bao sent you.

One of the downfalls of eating out all the time is that it gets more than a little expensive. The second downfall is that you begin to miss having a nice home cooked meal. There’s a lot of pomp and circumstance when it comes to dining out. You got the whole- “what is appropriate to wear” problem. You got to deal with a waiter and the big wine question-“red or white? Can I drink merlot if I’m eating fish with a hearty tomato sauce?” Yeah, it can get complicated. Sometimes, I just want to go out and not deal with any of that crap. I want to eat in peace. I want food and an atmosphere that have no pretensions. When I get in this mood, I know exactly where to go, The V Majestic in Allston. It’s a great little family-run place that offers delicious Vietnamese-Chinese food at affordable prices in an atmosphere so laid back that you’ll feel like your eating in your own living room.

The V is located at 164 Brighton Ave. in Allston. The first thing that one encounters upon walking through the door is a barrage of “Hi! Hello! Sit! Sit!” from this energetic little man, affectionately known as Uncle Bao by the patrons. One thing about Uncle Bao is that he’s the main attraction. For the entire fourteen plus years that

The V has been open I’m pretty sure Uncle Bao has been there every day. And I’m almost positive that he’s the reason people keep coming back. Uncle Bao is the man.

There’s about ten tables at The V and hardly any decor. There’s a Vietnamese calendar on the wall, some palm trees strung with colored Christmas lights, a few “Best of Boston” plaques and that’s about it. The lighting is extremely bright and often there’s not even music playing. It’s great. The V is the type of place where if you want something to drink you have to get up and get it out of the fridge yourself. It’s no frills attitude allows it to be about as laid back as you can get. But, don’t get me wrong, while its atmosphere might be a little rough around the edges, its food most certainly isn’t. The menu selection is more than extensive-its ginormous. There’s over 130 dishes to choose from, none over $7.35 (with the exception of the combo meals that are meant for more than two people. Those can go up to $27). All the food is made on premises, even the stock used for their fantastic soups. They use the freshest ingredients, in many instances purchased that same morning. Trust me, I know how dangerous it can be dining out sometimes, you won’t have that problem at The V, unless you get overexcited about its deliciousness at eat too fast!

Once you’re seated one of the waitresses or Uncle Bao himself (if you’re lucky) will give you a pot of hot jasmine tea. Coming in from the cold to a nice cup of tea (which is free, by the way) is one of the most comforting things in the world and perfect to begin a meal. For starters, I had the Viet Shrimp Soup. Served in an enormous bowl, it can easily serve two people with leftovers. The soup contains shrimp, vermicelli noodles, pineapple, tomato, bean sprouts, bamboo and is topped with fresh basil and cilantro. Its a hot and sour concoction, so be prepared to sweat a little when eating it, it’ll definitely clear your head. For my main course, I had the Caramel Chicken. The chicken is served cut in pieces in a thick brown sauce with red and green peppers. Although it sounds like it would be sweet, it actually has a very subtle sweetness to it. Instead it takes its flavor from a vegetable stock of peppers, mushrooms, and onions with just a slight amount of caramel to give the sauce its texture. The Caramel Chicken is served with a side of steamed white rice and a small garden salad. It’s a good meal for anyone who desires a simple yet flavorful chicken entree. By the way, if you’re the type of person who likes to get their appetizer and entrée separately I would suggest ordering the main course when you get your appetizer. If you don’t you’re going to have a table full of food. When I said The V was no frills, I wasn’t kidding!

The V Majestic has become a Boston icon for many reasons. The cuisine served there is second to none for Vietnamese-Chinese fare. The atmosphere is extremely pleasant. As I said, it’s family run. Most of the people working there are related. And then, of course, there’s Uncle Bao. It’s wonderful to eat somewhere where you feel like youre part of the family and that’s probably the best thing about The V. On a personal note, last summer I drove by The V and saw that the metal awning had been drawn down over the doors and windows. I thought they had shut down for good and called my friend up in despair to tell him that the best thing that ever happened to Allston was no more. I honestly felt like a piece of me had been torn out. Thankfully, I was wrong. My friend told me they were closed on Tuesdays. I have a feeling it’s going to be a long time before The V leaves us. So, take my advice go to The V and when Uncle Bao yells as you’re leaving, “Thank You! Bye, bye! Come again!” I guarantee you will.

Food prices range from $3.10-$27

The V Majestic is located at 164 Bright Ave. in Allston. They’re open everyday with the exception of Tuesday from, 12:00 pm- 10:30 pm.

To contact The V call (617)782-6088 or visit their website at http://www.vmajesticrestaurant.com/

If you would like Vanessa to come to your restaurant email her at [email protected].