Lunch Comes Alive at Salem’s New Organic Café

Posted: August 7th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Cafe, Life Alive, Vegitarian/Vegan | Tags: , , , , , | No Comments »

When Coven opened at 281 Essex Street in Salem, we really loved their concept and baked goods. While disappointed by their departure, we were happy to find the space was filled almost immediately by another restaurant.

The new tenant, Life Alive, is one of three organic cafes founded by Heidi Feinstein, a natural health consultant. We’ve eaten lunch there a couple of times now and have really enjoyed it. Despite being an organic café focusing on nutrition, health conscious meals, juices and smoothies, the hippy-crunchy vibe doesn’t overwhelm. The staff is welcoming and happy to explain any unfamiliar ingredients or options available. You order and pay at the counter, and they bring your meal to you when ready.

One rainy afternoon, the Udon Miso Masterful ($9.15) really fit the bill: warm, filling and energizing. Chock full of veggies, udon noodles, and dark barley miso broth, it was a soup with attitude and almost too large to finish.

On a return trip, we tried two of the signature meals-in-a-bowl, the Goddess ($8.55) and the Lover ($9). The beets, carrots, broccoli and dark leafy greens are only lightly cooked so they retain flavor and crunch, and the short grain brown rice adds body and texture. The Goddess featured tofu, while shitake mushrooms graced the Lover. Both were drizzled with Sesame Ginger Nama sauce that was addictively tasty.

The persnickety 13 year old along for the ride was horrified when she realized where we planned to eat. “You brought me to a vegetarian restaurant without telling me?” And the eyes rolled skyward. But she was very pleased to discover a wrap called The Feisty Child ($7). PB&J along with honey and banana on a warm wheat tortilla earned raves.

While dropping $10 on lunch might not fit your daily budget, the same items and prices are served at dinner and if you’re looking for a hearty, healthy fresh alternative, Life Alive is definitely worth investigating. Everything we tasted was super fresh, and the bowl portions were impressive.

Life Alive Cafe
281 Essex Street, Salem
(978)594-4644
www.lifealive.com

Life Alive on Urbanspoon

Share

Wenham’s Grassy Roots Feeds Body and Soul

Posted: March 19th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Breakfast, Cafe, Grassy Roots, Wenham | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments »

Let’s face it, healthy food is not always delicious. But we’re happy to report that at a lovely new spot in Wenham, we found a lunch you can feel good about. We stopped into Grassy Roots last weekend and were delighted by the airy space and the fresh selections.

We started with one of their juice combinations, which are made on the spot from whole fruits and vegetables. The Get Up and Go is a tasty combination of pineapple, lime, and cucumber ($7) that was made on the less-sweet side at our request. (It would be fabulous with a touch of gin in it, but that’s another story.)

The store carries a great selection of smoothies, sandwiches, salads, and panini, along with fresh baked goods. We tried the Lovely Viola, which featured large chunks of moist poached salmon, arugula, onion, and dill tartar ($10). Definitely worth returning for. We felt the same way about the Barstool, a combination of roasted eggplant, hummus, roasted red peppers and watercress that tasted incredibly fresh and more decadent than most vegetarian sandwiches ($8).

Of course, since we wanted to report on all of the shop’s offerings, we had to try a few of the goodies on display. Honestly, the things we won’t do for you people. The triple chocolate brownie was dense and fudgy, though we’re not sure the small size was worth $1.50; the muffins were moist and flavorful; and the cheddar chive bacon scone was one of the best savory scones we’ve ever had—cheesy and smoky with a wonderful light texture.

If you’re traveling on Route 1A, definitely stop into this high quality breakfast and lunch spot, and if you try the mocha morning smoothie, let us know how it was because we already regret not trying it.

Grassy Roots
152 Main St, Wenham
(978) 468-5200
grassyroots.squarespace.com

Grassy Roots on Urbanspoon

Share

Greens Galore at Salem Farmer’s Market

Posted: July 13th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Marketplace, Salem, Salem Farmer's Market | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

There are a lot of things to like at the Salem Farmer’s Market. The gorgeous produce, of course, but also bonuses like organic European-style bread and pastries, lobsters from A&J Lobster, goodies from Nana’s Kitchen, ready-to-eat seafood from Rowand’s Fisheries, and live music.

First, the produce. Our pick of farm stands is Green Meadows, which had a gorgeous display of all-organic vegetables including spherical zucchini and multi-colored chard. We also noted raw wildflower honey from Tomten Beeworks in Ipswich and adorable beeswax candles. The beets at Green Meadows were larger and better looking than the ones selling at another stand for the same price.

Along with the abundant greens at stands like Long Hill Orchard and Clark Farm, we spotted new potatoes and bright-pink radishes.

At the top of the courtyard, we were happy to find the much-smaller First Light Farm stand, which featured zucchini blossoms, organic eggs, and a selection of Valley View Farm goat cheeses.

One last note on produce: we were there at 5:30 and saw several signs for raspberries, but no actual berries. If you want fruit, get to the market nearer to its 4:00 opening.

We had never heard of The Swiss Baker, but we were drawn to Armand Bryl’s bright yellow truck and astounded by the breads and pastries for sale. Bryl, originally from Zurich,  bakes once a week from his truck, just before market day.

His products are pure European delight, and they are only available at the Salem market (and occasionally Lowell). The breads are 100% organic—we sampled the chewy, complex, and highly addictive multigrain—and the pastries are nearly so. (Organic butter would make them too expensive, Bryl said.)

There was a great selection of fresh fish at the Rowand’s booth, including pieces of maple BBQ salmon for $8 and fish kebobs with a mix of salmon, tuna, swordfish, and halibut, also $8. Patrons looking for something to munch on immediately were buying lobster rolls ($10) and Maryland ($2) or natural ($3) crab cakes.

The baked goods at the Nana’s Kitchen stand were almost sold out, and we could see why. The large brownies ($3) and double chocolate cookies ($1) looked terrific. These treats are sold mainly through retail outlets like Shubie’s in Marblehead.

One last thing to like about the Salem Market: it’s right up the street from Artist Row where you can shop for lovely crafts, use the public restrooms, and have a refreshing cocktail at one of The Lobster Shanty’s outdoor tables.

www.salemfarmersmarket.org
Thursdays 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Derby Square, Front St

Share