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Eat like an insider: Jen Fields

The Director of Operations for Waypoint and Alden and Harlow shares the secret to authentic Sichuan.

There’s probably no place higher on our coveted reservations list than Chef Michael Scelfo’s new Harvard Square spot, Waypoint. Unless you count in his equally beloved neighboring joint, Alden & Harlow. And behind it all is Jen Fields, the two restaurants’ savvy, food-loving director of operations. The 36-year-old Medford resident and longtime “it” restaurant fixture (formerly of Toro) shares her favorite authentic Sichuan and the best fried snack in the city.

Best late night meal?
Anchovies is the South End is great for late night. It’s dark, and randomly has a disco ball and a super-eclectic mix of people. It has character that you could never intentionally re-create, which is a dying breed of bars. You also can’t beat the Italian nachos, artichoke-heart salad and $25 bottles of wine. 433 Columbus Ave., anchoviesboston.com.

Best meal under $5?
Border Café. Order a Pacifico and then go to town on some free chips and salsa. Straight out of the fryer and salted to death, which is exactly how I like my fried food. 32 Church St., Cambridge, bordercafe.com

Best hidden foodie gem?
Chili Garden in Medford is my favorite discovery since moving out to the burbs. Authentic Sichuan, really nice people. It has really eased my Chinatown withdrawals. I’m always surprised more fans of Chinese food in the city haven’t heard of it. 41 Riverside Ave., Medford, chilligardenmedford.com

Best place to dine alone?
Charlie’s Kitchen in Harvard Square. Make friends with the regulars if you want to be entertained, or just eat your double cheeseburger (sub beer fries) and zone out to the jukebox. 10 Eliot St., Cambridge, charlieskitchen.com

Place you recommend for out-of-towners?
Assuming they’re from somewhere lacking Cantonese and seafood (which is a lot of the country), I would send them to Peach Farm in Chinatown. One of my all time favorites in Boston for salt-and-pepper live shrimp, lobster and surf clams. 4 Tyler St., peachfarmboston.com

Go-to date spot?
Myers + Chang has been my husband and [my] go-to spot for years. We actually ate our last meal out there the night before we had our son. The food is always on point and the service is so genuine. I could live off the papaya salad. Also, my son really appreciates them letting him throw chopsticks and edamame around without batting an eye. Such a happy place for us. 1145 Washington St., meyersandchang.com

Best place to catch up with friends?
I’m a big fan of Shojo in Chinatown. It’s generally relaxed, cozy and they play great music. It’s also run by awesome people with a stellar cocktail program and tasty snacks. 9 Tyler St., shojoboston.com

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