Ali Berman is a foodie, so you can bet she will steer you in the right direction on her culinary adventures. This months’ stop? Massachusetts (or as our friend Bitch calls it “Mass-a-two-tits.”)
On my way up to Maine last month, I stopped 30 minutes north of Boston for the night. I wasn’t expecting much when I did my typical google maps search for vegan eateries, but was beyond excited when I discovered that 15 minutes off the highway in Beverly, MA was a raw vegan restaurant.
My husband and I, tired from our three hour drive from NY, made a beeline over to Rawbert’s Organic Garden Cafe to see if their food could possibly compare to the raw vegan delicacies I had experienced at NYC favorite Pure Food and Wine. Short answer? Oh yes. And for a girl on a non-profit salary, totally affordable.
In fact, it was so yummy, we not only ate dinner there. We also went back for brunch.
Here is a rundown of what we ordered and how it rated.
For under $10 (yes, you can eat here for under $10 and leave totally satisfied) I tried the Thai Bowl. From what I understand, all of the bowls are delicious, but this one was recommended to me by the server so I decided to go with her gut. The dish, made up of brown rice, sunseed croquettes, thai cashews, bean sprouts, carrot, and scallion with almond butter sauce, was nourishing and divine. I would definitely recommend it, although you might have a hard time choosing between all the different delicious sounding bowls available.
My husband opted for one of the specials. At $15.95 (one of the most expensive things on the menu), he tried the Nut Butter ‘Squash’ Ravioli. It boasted heated raviolis in red beet ‘shells’ with rosemary walnuts, and cashew alfredo. The dish was gorgeous with its bright red beet shells and creamy white sauce, and delectable. Worth the splurge for sure.
For dessert, we both tried the chocolate chip cookies. These little treats didn’t look like much, but our server assured us that they were her favorite dessert on the menu. She was right. A little crumbly, a little chewy and with a hint of salt, I relished every single bite. Made with cashew, they were very filling, so you don’t need to order more than one or two to satisfy your sweet tooth. I felt like I kept that cookie with me for hours.
The next morning when we went back Gary chose something simple off the menu- the granola. His berry granola was some of the best I’ve ever had, especially when the milk (vegan of course) soaked in. It was flavorful, the right mix of crunchy and chewy, and left the milk as delicious as the granola.
I opted for the Grateful Bowl, a dish filled with kale, quinoa/rice mix, bean sprouts, teriyaki almonds, carrot, and scallion with lemon tahini. What drew me to this dish was the fact it sounded like it would give me enough energy to get through the rest of the drive. I was right. There must have been a full head of kale in there. Also, you pay what you can afford. If someone comes in and can only afford $1, they can get the Grateful Bowl. I chose to pay the full price ($8.50) to help cover the cost for the next person who comes in and really needs a hearty meal. It’s the kind of dish where you pay it forward if you can, or just be grateful and enjoy if you can’t.
Wanting to do something special for my friend who was turning 40, I also picked up their tiramisu. Normally, I wouldn’t think of paying $60 for a dessert, even one that was the size of a full pie, but being that it was for a very close friend, I decided to go for it. I can honestly say, it was worth every penny. Eight hungry people spent two nights devouring that tiramisu and saying after nearly every bite, this is one of the best desserts I’ve ever had. It was creamy, chocolaty and not heavy on the coffee flavor (which does me just fine). Don’t expect it to be like a traditional tiramisu. As with most raw dishes, expect a variation on what you’re used to. But, if you’re like me, you’ll enjoy it perhaps even more than the original.
We did sample some of the cooked desserts that were brought in from other chefs (as in, not cooked in-house). While still yummy, they weren’t nearly as impressive as the raw concoctions, and I am a typically cooked food kind of girl. So I would recommend, choose raw.
I’m so glad we found this gem of a restaurant. If I’m ever up that way again, you can bet I’ll be visiting Rawbert’s.
Ali Berman is a writer/teacher/activist. She works as a humane educator for HEART teaching kids about issues affecting people, animals and the environment. She is also the senior editor forEcorazzi.com and a fiction writer.