Boston’s True Bistro — Protecting Animals And Our Planet, One Bite At A Time!

True Bistro
1153 Broadway
Somerville, MA
True Bistro
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(617) 627-9000

by Pegge Bochynski

The Boston area hosts several fine vegan restaurants, but True Bistro located in Teele Square in Somerville, Massachusetts, stands above the others. Opened in 2009, it has become a destination eatery that is distinguished by a calming ambiance and an eclectic menu that offers something for everyone, whether vegan or not.

True Bistro: Awarded Boston's Best 2014 by CBS Boston!

True Bistro: Awarded Boston’s Best 2014 by CBS Boston!

True Bistro is situated on a busy downtown street but as you step through the door, you leave all the hustle and bustle behind. Although the dining room is small—it holds around 40 people comfortably—the high ceilings and large, light-filled windows give the impression of a spaciousness that belies its actual size. Original paintings dot the wall near the entrance, small vases of fresh cut flowers adorn the tables, and soft, soothing music sets the tone for a peaceful, unhurried meal. It is apparent that owners Michael and Linda Harrison have taken great care to create a tranquil environment where patrons can relax and feel welcome.

True Bistro's elegant green tea service

True Bistro’s elegant green tea service

The Harrisons, like the majority of Americans, were once meat eaters. When they heard about the unhealthy practices of factory farming, however, they embraced vegetarianism and later veganism. Yet their passion for plant-based fare goes deeper than operating a vegan restaurant. It is also a way for them to share the benefits of their culinary philosophy with those who might not be aware of the positive impact eating vegan has on human health and the environment. On their website, the Harrisons cite their commitment to the non-exploitation of animals, environmental activism, and the creation of dishes that are made from high-quality, fresh plant-based ingredients. Created by master chef and committed vegan Stuart Reiter, the restaurant’s offerings are indeed exceptional and reflect Reiter’s travels to Austria, Japan, Hungary, and Ghana, among other countries.

 

Rolled crepes filled with bananas and chocolate-hazelnut spread, covered with a light dusting of powdered sugar ($9)

Rolled crepes filled with bananas and chocolate-hazelnut spread, covered with a light dusting of powdered sugar ($9)

One sunny Sunday, we took in the brunch, which also is offered on Saturday. We started off with a cup of green tea—a common beverage in vegetarian restaurants. But instead of bringing just a pot of hot water, a tea bag, and a mug to the table, our wait person placed before us a full tea service, which included white china teapot with a matching cup, a strainer, and a spoon all sitting on a white napkin atop a tray. When it was time to order our meal, the waiter was very helpful in answering any questions we had and was most knowledgeable concerning veganism in general and True Bistro’s offerings in particular.

 

A separate side dish of home fries featured golden browned potatoes lightly tossed with olive oil, roasted red pepper, onion, and parsley ($2)

A separate side dish of home fries featured golden browned potatoes lightly tossed with olive oil, roasted red pepper, onion, and parsley ($2)

The first dish that arrived at our table was rolled crepes filled with bananas and chocolate-hazelnut spread, covered with a light dusting of powdered sugar ($9). The two good-sized crepes were light and a bit crispy, while the banana and chocolate-hazelnut filling was pleasantly sweet. A separate side dish of home fries featured golden browned potatoes lightly tossed with olive oil, roasted red pepper, onion, and parsley ($2). True’s Cheese Burger with seitan, melted Daiya cheddar cheese, sauteéd mushrooms, and aioli ($11) was a fusion of mouthwatering flavors. Sitting on a few slices of fresh Boston lettuce, the components were sandwiched between slices of a delectable homemade sesame seed bun. Accompanied by crunchy, lightly salted Kennebec French Fries, True’s Cheese Burger is a meal even a non-vegan would enjoy.

 

True’s Cheese Burger with seitan, melted Daiya cheddar cheese, sauteéd mushrooms, and aioli with Kennebec fries ($11)

True’s Cheese Burger with seitan, melted Daiya cheddar cheese, sauteéd mushrooms, and aioli with Kennebec fries ($11)

Finally, the tofu scramble was a delicious combination of finely chopped tofu, roasted button mushrooms, arugula, tomatoes, and herbes de provence ($10). A savory alternative to the traditional brunch favorite, scrambled eggs, this tasty dish was satisfying without being overly filling and was perfectly complemented by a side of greens drizzled with olive oil.

the tofu scramble was a delicious combination of finely chopped tofu, roasted button mushrooms, arugula, tomatoes, and herbes de provence ($10) complemented by a side of greens

the tofu scramble was a delicious combination of finely chopped tofu, roasted button mushrooms, arugula, tomatoes, and herbes de provence ($10) complemented by a side of greens

We thoroughly enjoyed our dining experience at True Bistro and look forward to returning to sample their dinner menu.

Awarded:
The Best of Boston 2011
Boston’s Best 2014 by CBS Boston

 

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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