If you stumble over a few of the ingredients in Life Alive’s signature Goddess bowl, don’t worry—you’re not the only one. That’s why the restaurant’s website keeps a glossary of its menu’s potentially baffling ingredients and their health benefits. The Ginger Nama Shoyu sauce, for example, may seem outlandish to Americans but “the Champagne of Soy Sauce” shouldn’t be. It’s 100% organic and non-GMO, ages for four years in cedar kegs with less salt than traditional soy sauce, and is completely raw. Ginger adds an extra dose of healing, since it naturally eases digestive issues and nausea, as well as ulcers and inflammation. In this particular dish, the potent sauce flavors a medley of carrots, beets, broccoli, dark greens, tofu, and short-grain brown rice—a nutritional powerhouse all on its own. The Goddess bowl epitomizes Life Alive’s approach to vegan food: it should be organic, whole, and therapeutic, and use ingredients that come from local farms. And, it should meet these requirements without sacrificing flavor or convenience. In addition to nourishing the body, Life Alive believes that cuisine should also benefit the environment and the community. That’s why the restaurant sources its ingredients sustainably, recycles and composts scraps, and uses biodegradable packaging and cleaning materials formulated without chemicals or bacon.
Honey Dew Donuts founder Dick Bowen didn’t expect anything special to happen one winter morning in 1978. He simply arrived at his shop in Plainville, greeted his co-baker, and waited for the day's customers. Instead, what showed up was a devastating storm, known henceforth as the Blizzard of '78. The two bakers were snowed in and had nobody to serve their signature donuts to. Making the best of an unfortunate situation, they began experimenting in the kitchen and ultimately came up with the cinnamon stick, a helix of cinnamon and fried dough that would help their business reach even greater levels of popularity.
The snow ultimately melted, and Honey Dew Donuts went on to open several additional locations throughout New England. In addition to Bowen's signature cinnamon sticks, each shop serves steamy coffee drinks, freshly baked muffins, and dozens of other donut varieties.
Once they open the shop in the early morning, Jitters Cafe's sandwich makers stop looking at the clock. They prepare their slate of breakfast paninis any time of the day, giving patrons the ability to bite into hot ham-and-egg sandwiches or scarf down grilled-cheese sandwiches whenever the mood strikes. The lunch hour unlocks another list of paninis and salads that join in the hunger-fighting mission throughout the rest of the day. Each sandwich is made with bread freshly delivered that morning from local sources and pairs well with the shop’s brewed coffee.
If the name wasn’t enough of a clue, a close-to-empty donut case at 11 a.m. reveals the main draw of Linda's Donuts. Owner John, who has handcrafted donuts at Linda’s since 1982, rolls and shapes dough in the back while his wife, son, and daughter work the front of house, greeting customers, taking orders, and complimenting sock choices.
Customers line up for flavors such as chocolate-glazed and honey-dipped, waiting to dunk them into steaming cups of coffee while catching up on work using the shop’s free WiFi. After the donuts run out, customers turn to hearty sandwiches and burgers for lunch.
Cafe Burrito's crew stuffs tortillas with ingredients such as chili-lime chicken, cotija cheese, and zesty pickled veggies to craft its hefty Mission-style burritos, which epitomize the handheld meal. The menu also features other creative fare, such as Mexican-style grilled-cheese sandwiches, which showcase cheese melted over pork carnitas or pulled barbecue chicken, and pickled veggies. Diners can also top their food with special-made salsas crafted from fruits such as peach or apple, which rotate monthly to keep palates surprised.