Thursday, July 14, 2011

Boston Bargains: Delectable Edibles

Now, if I said that for fine dining, Boston was on par with New York, I'd be a dirty rotten liar. It's simply not true. We have a handful of nosebleed expensive restaurants that are undeniably very good. Any one of the restaurants by Ken Oringer (Clio, Uni, Toro, etc) or Barbara Lynch (No. 9 Park, Menton) come to mind as some of the front runners, and then there are the very earthy, fresh, honest restaurants in Cambridge that have received praise of late (Craigie on Main, Salts). However, we just don't have places like Daniel, WD50, Momofuku Ko, like our biggest rival of all time down the coast. If you're going to drop a good chunk of your rent check on a meal, there are bigger payoffs in New York. It pains me to say so.
BUT, what we do have are some incredible, inexpensive places to get very sophisticated, and thoughtfully prepared food. The lunch spots that are worth walking to! The Chinatown hole in the wall joints that somebody has to drag you to in order to let you in on the secret. You know what I'm talking about, because I'll bet you know at least one really good one (and I hope you'll share)!
So from time to time, we're going to have to give some praise to our talented, hardworking folk who produce more than affordable, delicious, delectable edibles. And I think that the first entry should praise one of the hallmarks of the Boston Food Truck bonanza that has been encouraged by City Hall. You know who I'm talking about: Clover Food Truck.
This food truck first appeared in Dewey Square, kitty-corner to South Station last year, and while it was already the darling of many in Cambridge, it quickly gained praise and became a favorite of the lunch crowd in this area of Boston. They feature all things vegetarian, and while some people may turn up their noses at places sans dead birds and mammals, everything they offer is excellent. In fact, their best offerings, in my opinion, are the items that aren't meant to taste of meat at all. (I too grow kind of annoyed with vegetarian restaurants that are really trying to make all their stuff taste like meat... and so it often tastes of phony, cloyingly sweet, or altogether over seasoned garbage.) Their other great skill is sending employees to pick up fresh veggies and fruit at the farmers market, and all in all, trying to keep pace with the seasons. I can respect that.
So, all of their sandwiches at lunch will set you back no more than five dollars. That's it. No tax, order your sandwich, the pleasant employee will take your name and a fiver, and you wait for your food. It's quick too. They have really put effort into keeping waiting times down, and let's hear it for an efficient lunch that keeps me out of trouble!
If you've only one opportunity to try a sandwich, you need look no further than the chickpea fritter sandwich. The canvas is Clover's very own round, whole wheat pita bread. And from there on in, it's a falafel concoction that is only rivaled by Falafel King up at Downtown Crossing, and East Side Pockets on Thayer Street in Providence, RI. A smear of homemade hummus, slightly thinner than the variety you would buy at the store, coats the bottom interior of the bread. Chick pea fritters, taken fresh from the fryer, are added to the sandwich, and then topped with a sort of Israeli salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, and spices. Next, the pickled veggies: lovely pink-tinted shredded cabbage, strings of shredded carrots, and sliced red onions. This is all topped with a few slices of actual pickle, purchased from Regal Crown in Worcester, and their own Tahiti. It's perfect bite, after perfect bite, after perfect bite. The unique bread with a bit of fritter, and the zing of the pickled veggies is something truly to look forward to for lunch. The sandwich is also very filling without being something that's going to weigh you down in the least. 
So take a walk by Clover if you have a chance. It's not to be missed. 

Location Rundown:

Clover DWY
Summer St. & Atlantic Ave, Boston 

(Near South Station T stop)
Weekdays 8am – 6pm (breakfast, lunch, dinner)

No comments:

Post a Comment