Thursday, August 12, 2010

Suburban Boston Eats

Hi, hello, and howdy! I know I've been out of touch for a while. Apologies. I've been eating so well for so long while traveling and it's actually been kind of overwhelming to look at all the great food photos and figure out where to start. Then I had an epiphany: Start at the beginning, dummy. In this particular case, that would mean Boston. Well, not Boston proper, as my friends in that neck of the woods are suburbanites, but whatever. Let's talk food!

My first dining out experience of the trip was at The Pongal in Billerica. This was authentic Indian food, as evidenced by the fact that we were the only white people in the place. Always a good sign. Lover of all things South Indian as I am (yes, that includes my husband), I ordered a dosa:

So good! It arrived steaming hot, stuffed with potatoes and onions and spices, and served with some of the most mouth-watering chutneys I've ever had. I've had many dosai in my life, and this is up there with the best. Way to bring it, Billerica!

The next morning, we headed out to brunch at The Red Lentil. This place is all vegetarian with plenty of vegan options and their brunch is to die for. My friend, and fellow vegan, and I decided that she would order a savory dish and I would order sweet so that we could share. Such a good call:

This tofu scramble was super yummy and even had little bites of squash in it, but the potatoes were the show stopper. They were perfectly crispy with just the right amount of onion and herbs. Mmmmm. But wait, there's more!

Vegan sweet potato pancakes! I mean, right? Amazing. Sweet, but not cloying, and drenched in a lick-the-plate blueberry maple syrup. I died.

After brunch we rolled ourselves out of there and took a road trip to Rawbert's Organic Garden in Beverly and picked up a whole bunch of stuff to have for dinner. This is a mostly raw cafe with tons of options, so it was hard to choose what we wanted. After much debate, here's what we got:

Ok, so I made the salad, but the almond hummus, falafel chunks, and flax crackers are all Rawbert's, and all supremely tasty. The hummus, in particular, was fantastic. Garlicy, smooth, and satisfying.

We also got rich, decadent cashew butter cups. Oh yeah.

And of course we had to get cookie sandwiches. These were not raw, but still vegan, and they totally reminded me of these cookies I used to eat when I was little. Love when food does that. :)

So, on my last day in the Boston area, I had to go back to an old favorite: Veggie Planet. At this pizza and salad joint in Cambridge, most things can be made vegan by subbing the cheese with Teese or with their homemade tofu-basil mash. Here's my already vegan "Oddlot":

This is a tasty combo of tomatoes, olives, garlic, and the tofu-basil mash. Better still, Veggie Planet has, hands down, the best pizza crust I have ever tasted. Ever. It is whole wheat with a cornmealy vibe to it. Honestly, I don't know what goes into it and I don't care. It is superior to all other pizza dough and I worship it. And, to make it even better, it comes from Haley House Cafe and Bakery, a local non-profit restaurant that supports all sorts of good in the community.

So, yeah, I like me some Veggie Planet, and all the other veg-friendly eateries in the Boston area too. I make my way there once a year or so and there always seems to be more options each time I come. Hopefully that trend continues!

Up next: Eating well in NYC.

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