Organic Garden Café of Beverly, MA Offers Medicinal Food!”

294 Cabot St.
Beverly, MA 01915

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Organic Garden Cafe

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(978) 922-0004

Reviewed by Pegge Bochynski

by Pegge Bochynski

Nestled in the seaside town of Beverly on the North Shore of Boston, Massachusetts, is a culinary gem—Organic Garden Café founded in 1999 by Robert Reid. According to the cafe’s website, Reid’s sister-in-law was fighting terminal cancer in the mid-1990s. Her illness launched him on a journey to seek an alternative diet that would support her in her battle. His extensive research led him to develop an organic, raw food diet packed with living nutrients. In a sense, he was somewhat ahead of his time. Over the succeeding years, studies have shown that similar diets featuring locally sourced, unprocessed, and antioxidant rich ingredients are essential to living a long, healthy life. Reid’s mission to help people access healthy, “medicinal” food became the basis for opening his Beverly restaurant.

Organic Garden Café

Organic Garden Café

Organic Garden Café is located on Cabot Street, a busy downtown thoroughfare. It’s housed in an intimate space with twelve to fourteen tables—mostly for two—placed closely together. A refrigerator case at the back of the establishment contains a variety of homemade vegan desserts, as well as take-out items, including  the café’s own veggie burgers. The menu is a vegan-lover’s dream. Breakfast, lunch (weekdays only from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.), and dinner items are prepared from scratch every day and feature certified whole foods, many of which come from local farms. Dishes are not cooked in the conventional sense. Instead food is prepared using no- or low-heat techniques. The result is fare that pops with melt-in-your-mouth flavor.

Interior

Because of the restaurant’s popularity and limited space, reservations are suggested. When we arrived around 1 p.m. on a Sunday afternoon, only a few tables were occupied. But by the time we left, the place was nearly full. After we were seated, we surveyed the extensive menu options. There were so many delicious looking choices that it was difficult to decide. The guest of honor (the person whose birthday we were celebrating) selected the Nut Butter Squash Ravioli ($17.95). Made from thinly sliced red beets, the flavorful “raviolis” were stuffed with nut butter, covered in a vegan cashew alfredo sauce, and sprinkled with rosemary, walnuts, and tomatoes. The luscious dish was both light and satisfying.

Nut Butter Squash Ravioli

Nut Butter Squash Ravioli

Our second dinner companion ordered the Cheezburger Plate ($16.95). Sandwiched between two pieces of toasted rye bread, the mildly spiced sunseed burger had a tangy taste. It was accompanied by sauerkraut with live cultures and crispy kale chips of the “you-can’t-eat-just-one” variety. The third person in our party chose the Basic Bowl ($6.95).  Faced with a choice of greens, grains, and sauces, she chose spinach, quinoa, and lemon tahini sauce. The bowl also included shredded carrot, scallions, and bean sprouts. The veggies were at their crisp, crunchy peak, the flavor of which was enhanced by the light, citrusy sauce.

Cheezburger Plate

Cheezburger Plate

In addition to main meals, Organic Café also serves up cool, nutrition-packed smoothies such as Hemp Pro Coconut Blast (coconut water, banana, and hemp protein powder), Chuck Berry (strawberries, blueberries, banana, date, and agave), and Get Your Greens (kale, barley greens, apple, and banana). A variety of no-bake desserts are also available, including apple, blueberry, and pecan pies; dark chocolate truffles and amaretto bliss thimbles; and macaroons and Turkish delights. Other pastries such as muffins, whoopie pies, and cupcakes are imported from a local baker. Finally, the wine and beer lists feature a variety of brand name organic vintages and brews.

Basic Bowl

Basic Bowl

By the end of our meal, all of us were in agreement—Organic Garden Café certainly deserves the Best of Boston 2013 award it recently earned. The restaurant is located at 294 Cabot Street in Beverly, Massachusetts, and is open Tuesday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. It’s closed on Mondays. There is metered parking along the street and in a city lot a couple of blocks from the restaurant. For additional information, check out organicgardencafe.com.

 

Pegge Bochynski is a freelance writer who has published more than 150 articles and book reviews in print and on the web for a variety of publishers, including Salem Press, Oxford University Press, Marshall Cavendish, and Thompson-Gale.

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