The city of Somerville has become a hotspot for dining over the past decade or so, and while it has restaurants featuring many types of cuisine, for some it has also become *the* place to go for lovers of Nepalese cuisine. While difficult (if not impossible) to find in many parts of the local area, Boston's northwest neighbor has a number of eateries that offer at least some dishes commonly found in Nepal, including House of Kebab, Momo N Curry, Martsa on Elm, Masala, House of Tibet, and a tiny (though not quite as tiny as before) place in Magoun Square called Tasty Mo:Mo: that isn't all that well-known, but has some tremendous options at very reasonable prices.
Tasty Mo:Mo: is located along the southeastern edge of Magoun Square (and just down the street from Winter Hill) on a section of Medford Street that has many little independent restaurants, bars, and stores. The business recently moved to a larger space basically across the street, and while there was zero atmosphere (and almost zero space) at the old location, the new space has a bit more elbow room. The somewhat dark room has approximately seven tables and a couple of stools at a counter area along one of the walls, while the ordering counter can be found toward the back. This may not sound like much, but compared to its old space which had a grand total of one table, a few seats along a small counter area to the side, and a little counter, the new spot is definitely a step up.
Having a menu that is as tiny as its space, this is good in a way because it makes diners' decision-making at Tasty Mo:Mo: rather easy since there are such few choices. The momos are the big draw at this eatery, and what exactly is a momo? It is a dumpling with a fairly thick wrapper that brings to mind some versions of Japanese gyoza, Peking dumplings, Chinese buns, and some other types of Asian dumplings. (In contrast, Hong Kong-style and Shanghai-style dumplings typically have a much thinner and more delicate skin.) Tasty Mo:Mo: offers regular steamed momos with pork, chicken, and veggie filling options and two types of sauces (a mild tomato-based sauce and a hotter chili-based sauce), and it also has a red-hot steamed chili momo option, with the dumplings coated in a sweat-inducing red chili sauce that seems to get hotter as you continue to eat them. The momo wrappers are tender and slightly chewy, while the fillings are fresh-tasting and have a nice blend of herbs and spices, with the pork filling being especially tasty. For those who prefer pan-fried dumplings, Tasty Mo:Mo: has those as well, and they also come with the two different sauces. As good as the momos are, it could be said that the best item of them all at Tasty Mo:Mo: is the aloo dum, an extraordinary dish that has a mix of stir-fried potatoes, onions, and tomatoes in a comforting curry-style sauce, with the dish probably not being out of place at an Indian restaurant. Other items at the dining spot include a terrific version of fried rice, a chow mein dish that has a nice balance of stir-fried noodles, meat, and veggies, and a spicy fried chicken plate with chili peppers, onions, and bell peppers. Prices for all items at Tasty Mo:Mo: are well under $10, with portions being such that two items would probably make for a full meal.
Nepalese cuisine may not be as popular as, say, Chinese, Italian, or Mexican food in the Boston area or elsewhere in the region, but in Somerville, it is indeed quite popular, and Tasty Mo:Mo: is certainly one spot for it that should not be overlooked.If you don't mind doing takeout--or don't mind sitting in a rather plain-looking room that will never be mistaken for an elegant hotspot--this Magoun Square eatery should be on your short list of places to try within the city.
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