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.
The bean grinding gurus at True North Coffee steam, mix, and pour creative coffee beverages, as well as serve a delectable menu of freshly-baked pastries and sandwiches](http://gr.pn/g6VlHt). Patrons can recharge after a long night of werewolfing with a foamy cappuccino ($2.70–$3.60) or throw back a shot of carefully pulled espresso ($1.60–$1.80). Mochas ($3.05–$4.65), chai teas ($2.85–$4.30), and lattes ($2.70–$4.45) come steamed or chilled while True North Coffee's duo of pastry wizards whips up freshly baked treats such as sugary brownies and bars ($1.95), as well as berry-infused scones and muffins ($1.95). While visitors kick back and soak in the relaxing atmosphere and become hypnotized by the alternating colors of the lustrous wood floor, they can munch on classic café sandwiches ($2.50–$6.75) to silence midday hunger roars into satisfied belly meows.
A look of resigned beatification crosses the faces of fresh kiwis, mangos, bananas, and papayas as they knowingly march into whirring blenders to join Maui Wowi Hawaiian's homemade, nonfat yogurt. With no artificial flavors, unnatural colors, or fake accents, the smoothies—most of which harbor less than 250 calories in their 12-ounce incarnation—infuse guests with two servings of fruit and a bevy of vitamins in flavors that range from the tart kiwi lemon lime to the dulcet black raspberry. For caffeinated pick-me-ups, baristas brew kona coffee and mix up specialty drinks, starting with a blend of arabica and kona espresso.
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.