Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Boston Day One: Vej Naturals

After a traffic-filled ride from the airport, me and my Boston foodie friend, Shelley, arrived starving, at Vej Naturals near her house in Malden. I was initially a little wary, what with its sparse decor, small space, and the fact that we were the only people there, but my experienced pal assured me there was good eats to be had. Boy was she right. The food was fresh, unique, and plentiful!
I went with a standard green salad to start, but Shelley ordered this amazing Ranch Salad. Smokey, rich, and with an authentic ranch-style dressing, this vegan salad was quite delicious, and a meal unto itself for only $6! Can't beat it. Our entrees certainly gave it good competition though:Shelley went with the Tofu and Pesto Sautee. If you like pesto, this is the dish for you. Basil and garlic and pine nuts, oh my! The flavor is bright and tasty, but balanced nicely by the savory polenta cubes and tofu. It was great, though not too unlike some other pesto pastas you may have had. My dish, a Taste of Tripoli, however, was a very novel take on Mediterranean food:

You're looking at a chickpea and bulgur patty on top of romaine, stewed tomatoes and okra and topped with a tzatziki sauce. The veggies were perfectly seasoned with garlic and herbs, and the patty was earthy, hearty, and wonderful. Topped with the slight zing of the tzatziki, it was an amazing entree that I could have eaten twice over, and not just because I was so hungry!

The moral of the story here is to not judge a book by its cover. Vej Naturals may be a hole in the wall for now, but they're looking for a new location, and putting out some really high-quality food in the meantime. It's certainly worth a drive from anywhere in the Boston area (or a flight from CA!), and was a fantastic way to start my vacay. More of my Boston eats coming soon, of course.....

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