As I’ve mentioned before, I’m trying to slowly work towards a more planet-friendly diet. This is a pretty big challenge for me – at my baseline, I’d probably eat meat with every single meal. But it also means I get to experiment with all sorts of new foods and restaurants that wouldn’t have ever been on my radar before.
One of these is Life Alive, a hippy oasis in Central Square that I’ve come to really enjoy. The menu isn’t fully vegan – they make eggs and have some dairy offerings as well – but it’s a place that prides itself on a restrained, green menu.
The place is pretty nuts for a meat-eating bro like me; the staff all wear earrings and bandanas and look like they came straight from a skinny hipster catalogue. The walls are slathered in exotic (Bengali?) letters and vague quotes about love and holistic balance and whatnot. Everywhere you turn, there are cacti on the windows and beads dangling from the ceiling. Above the water tap, there are some wise words from Tupac (if there was no money and everything depended on the way you treated people, how would you be doing in life?).
It’s a goofy, ridiculous place, with some very solid food.
First bite: Life Alive Juice – apple, beet, carrot, celery, kale, wheatgrass
The extensive juice menu is a pricey, overwhelming place – side note: the worst trend in the food world is paying up the wazoo just for someone to use a blender. I blacked out and chose this juice just because it was first on the menu; it was pretty tasty, like an 8/10, even if a little pulpy / heavy on the kale, but I couldn’t get past the price. That’s mainly a me problem, though – I’m willing to look past it.
Best bite: The Seeker Salad – lemon garlic hummus, cashews, granny smith apples, cukes, carrots, sprouts and a ginger-shoyu dressing
The toughest part of eating deer food in lieu of meat is never feeling full; with this salad, that wasn’t remotely a problem. The outstanding hummus was rich and filling and plentiful, the dressing didn’t overpower it, and every ingredient added its own distinct crunch to the creamy hummus. Plus, it came loaded with cashews, and I love cashews.
Golden Spice Latte – Turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, honey, cayenne
This tasted good, but also nothing like a latte, which was what I wanted. It barely tasted like coffee. A really spicy, hot drink that kind of seemed occasion-less – I can’t think of a time I’d order it again, but it got me all kinds of caffeinated, so I can’t complain.
Tofu Peanut Satay Wrap – with cucumbers, pickled carrots, radish, and greens
Tofu’s so tricky; it never tastes that different, and it never tastes that good, but it is possible, I’m learning, to earnestly enjoy it. This tofu wrap put together a solid, tangy performance, but only for a few bites. It looked truly beautiful, and the veggies worked really well within the firm tortilla, but after a few minutes, the tofu and the sauce kind of leaked through the wrap, causing it to turn into a soggy, but still enjoyable, mess.
TL;DR: Solid vegan-ish food, if a little overcomplicated