Guess what? There is good chinese food in Boston. In fact, there's good chinese food in Medford/Somerville. This is great news, huh? Unfortunately, it took me 5 1/2 years to find the two best chinese places. Did I mention they are each less than half a mile from Tufts? Anyway, on to the restaurants!
Wang's is on Broadway in Somerville. It's near Hannah's in Magoun Square. This was Emily's find. She heard the dumplings were good so that's what we got. An order each of the vegetarian leek, vegetarian spinach, and pork. All are steamed (as they should be) and are the best dumplings I've had since the last time I was at Joe's Shanghai (in Queens.) The dumpling wrappers aren't too thick and doughy, as crappy dumplings often are, and the filling is perfect. It's flavorful and each dumpling is filled with the perfect amount of stuff. I even saw the old chinese woman making them in the kitchen when I picked the food up. Consensus on the food sites is that there are the best dumplings in Boston. I don't think I need to test that theory; these are good enough for me.
The other place is Chili Garden, which is in Medford Square. True to it's name, there's plenty of heat in the food here. This place serves authentic Szechuan cuisine, which is really really spicy. They grow a chili in Szechuan that is really spicy (the flavor is called "la") but it is also numbing (called "ma.") I got the beef short ribs, which were a good example of this Ma La one-two punch. Amazingly, the Szechuan chili will kick your ass but also allow the flavor of the food to come through.